Writer: Ram V
Art: Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair, Andrew Currie, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
Somehow, the brand new KING IN BLACK (Eddie Brock) is already dead and his son (Dylan Brock) is on the run. But, on the run from who? And why? Yet even though Eddie’s deceased, death isn’t the sweet ending he thought it would be. You see, Eddie has found himself displaced from time and stuck in this strange garden awaiting the bizarre Meridus. Let’s dive into VENOM #2 by Ram V and see what answers we can uncover.
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If you dig into VENOM #2 expecting to get answers about Eddie and his mysterious pit stop, you won’t find them this week. Ram V turns the focus of the series towards Dylan and his new connection with the VENOM symbiote. Overall, readers don’t uncover too much new information. Nonetheless, Ram uses this issue as setup in order to progress the structure of the narrative moving forward while introducing a few new characters to his story. Readers, the premise is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. Plus, it’s logical and direct by inadvertently answering questions about the aftermath of the KING IN BLACK event.
The world was completely overrun by symbiotes with many of them hiding out on the planet. So, it would stand to reason that our government/ some sort of shady organization is hellbent on bringing them all in. Yet, the biggest problem I had within the pages of VENOM #2 was simply the disconnect from the story involving Eddie which was the most gripping aspect of the first issue. But truthfully, readers won’t learn too much throughout VENOM #2. Plus, there really aren’t any big cliffhangers or “wow” moments that leap off the page. It’s your regular, run-of-the-mill comic.
Now, that sounds like I’m knocking the wind out of the stories sails. However, I’m not thrashing VENOM #2 at all. It’s a solid story with loads of potential. Yet, you have to understand Ram V’s style and technique. He loves to build an anecdote, give it strong roots, and later create those suspenseful moments that really punch the reader in the face instead of throwing meaningless cliffhangers that get resolved quickly as the next issue begins. Give it time for the story to develop and I think we’ll be happy. Nevertheless, if I’m to be fair and grade merely on this issue, it was a bit lackluster this week.
Bryan Hitch has always been great with the superhero genre of comics. Action poses, muscular definition, splash pages, and large panel layouts have displayed some epic and memorable scenes throughout the years. Hitch’s success has always been when he can zoom in on the character to get a crisp, detailed look at their fervor only to immediately pan out to catch the action encompassing the environment around the main character. The bouncing back and forth helps provide that same feeling a reader would get as if they were submerged in a live-action movie. And VENOM #2 is no different.
However, the only real knock I can provide throughout this issue is actually the way Dylan Brock looks while inside the VENOM symbiote. It’s almost as if he matures every time he’s inside the symbiote. When he’s hitchhiking, he looks like a boy. Yet when he’s fighting, he comes across as an adult. And, I’m not talking about the muscular definition of VENOM. I’m referencing the panels when you can see Dylan inside the symbiote like the very last panel of the issue. It’s just a bit inconsistent and pulls me out of the story a bit with a sense of confusion for the main character.
VENOM #2 by Ram V and Bryan Hitch is your standard structural comic issue that lays some groundwork for characters and prospective plot threads by introducing some future key players to the story. Readers just need to keep in mind that a setup issue normally provides mild shock and awe keeping the status quo rather smooth and typical. This isn’t a bad thing, especially for a writer interested in quickly progressing a character that’s been deeply involved in a multi-year story that’s radically changed their dynamic. Ram V needs to slow it down, give us some info quick, and provide VENOM fans with a new take fast while somewhat sticking with the old. It’s a hard balance but he’s really not doing too bad, especially following the KING IN BLACK storyline. My only hope is that Ram focuses a bit more on Eddie and evens out the Dylan characterization alongside the more exciting story beats. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!