I’ll go ahead and admit that the last time I truly liked Venom was back in the 90s when almost every book had a hologram or a foil cover. After that, it was pretty much hit and miss (mostly miss) with the character and I didn’t like what was done with him until his role in Thunderbolts. But even that was getting a bit repetitive and boring. So now Marvel is prepared to unleash the symbiote on us again, and to be honest I was fully prepared to dismiss this issue. Little did I know how wrong my assumption was going to be, nor did I know how much fun I’d have reading Venom #1!
The Venom symbiote is now being worn by Flash Thompson, who is a participant in Project Rebirth 2.0. He is limited to wearing the symbiote for up to 48 hours at a time to keep it from permanently bonding with him. He’s also been implanted with a failsafe that will instantly kill him if he ever loses control. Let’s just say that Flash wasn’t the first guy to be used in Project 2.0, so the guys in charge won’t hesitate to push the button if he loses it. This particular mission has him heading to Eastern Europe to extract a scientist who has discovered how to weaponize Antarctic Vibranium. Only problem is that the entire place is a war zone, civilians are at risk, and Jack O Lantern is killing people at random while going after the same target.
What could have turned into a cliché-filled issue ended up being one fine piece of work from Remender and Moore. As it stands, the story itself was a strong one as Remender had Flash not only fighting to save the civilians, but his own aggression along with the symbiote’s attempts to take over. Even Jack O Lantern, whom I usually think of as a joke of a character, came off as a serious threat and a pretty powerful one at that. Through everything, Remender maintained Flash’s military mindset and his choice of putting the civilians first and trying to live up to being a hero like his idol Spider-Man.
The artwork from Moore is enjoyable, and what actually showed up in this issue was much better than the preview artwork that was shown of the costume months ago. The added surface textures really helped with the look of the symbiote, and then when it began to take some control the design change was even better. There were times when some of the panels looked too dark and some details were lost, but other than that it’s a great looking issue.
The premise is a very interesting one and it’s going to be interesting to see how the symbiote and Flash get along, especially when it comes to Spider-Man. One idolizes the hero while the other carries a deep hatred for its former host. The new Venom series is off to a very good start, and that was something that I thought I wouldn’t be admitting any time soon.