Venom #22 Review

Venom (2021) #22

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Ramón F. Bachs

Color Artist: Frank D’Armata

Cover Artists: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Eddie Brock, his son Dylan, and the Venom symbiote have been dragged into a conflict wrought by the insidious Meridius who’s been manipulating events through time. As things progress, more things start to add up while others do not. And now, a new element has been brought into the fray. Read Venom #22 to see how the android FLEXO gets dragged into this war within and without.


First of all, that synopsis is way off. This comic doesn’t really feature Eddie Brock in his new Crimson Venom form from Venom #21, at least not in the way readers would expect. The comic doesn’t really feature the past events in WWII all that much. And on top of all that, it’s Dylan Brock who’s the main star of this comic. Fair warning, there will be SPOILERS throughout this review. Let’s get to it!

The comic switches things back from Eddie Brock to his son Dylan and the Venom symbiote as they continue to put together a “Symbiote Squad” to defeat Meridius and save Eddie from him. But while they’re out looking for more symbiotes to recruit, they come across FLEXO who awakened from cryogenic freezing from way back in WWII. From there, we get to see Dylan take center stage as the new Venom as he contains the fighting with FLEXO and does what he can to keep things under control.

Now, we don’t get Cafu’s art this issue, nor do we get Eddie in action with his new four-armed Crimson Venom form he got from absorbing Bedlam. What we do get is Dylan and Venom encountering FLEXO and managing to help and recruit him into the squad, but it turns out to be someone else’s plan and not Meridius’. We also get Al Ewing doing a solid job with writing this new dynamic between Dylan and the Venom symbiote so that it’s more fun and edgy in all the right ways without feeling like he’s trying too hard. The art from Ramon F. Bachs isn’t too bad either and feels like it’s emulating Cafu’s most of the time.


So, it’s true that the comic does give some flashbacks to FLEXO’s time during World War II, but they’re very brief and merely dialogue with everyone but FLEXO. And if you’re like me who’s new to the character of FLEXO, sadly this comic doesn’t do a good job in explaining or selling the concept of a symbiote made of living rubber. Admittedly, I like FLEXO’s design, but there’s not much in the way of personality for him, and his abilities shown in the comic don’t leave a great impression either. As such, FLEXO is the most disappointing part of this comic which dropped my enjoyment of it a lot.

What’s more is that FLEXO is really just a vehicle for Al Ewing to add another character to the already crowded cast wrapped up in this Venom run. Who is it? None other than Doctor Doom. Why is he here? Why did he instigate FLEXO’s drive for revenge against Eddie Brock? We don’t know yet. Now, this could be one of two scenarios. Either this is just like with the previous issues where Eddie met Kang the Conqueror as part of Meridius’ plot, where Dr. Doom is only here to contribute to Meridius’ goals. Or he’s acting independently, fully aware of everything that’s happening with Eddie and Meridius and is taking his own steps to thwart the villain. We’ll see, but right now, it just feels like the cast of the Venom run is already crowded as it is with the Liz Allen, the Life Foundation, Eddie’s reporter friend from the first arc, the other Kings in Black, Kang, etc. Hopefully, this all adds up in future issues.

Final Thoughts:

Venom (2021) #22 (Variant)

Venom #22 brings Dylan Brock and the Venom symbiote into contact with an older and more odd symbiote – FLEXO. While the cover and synopsis tease that this would feature Eddie and FLEXO, it’s really Dylan and the Venom symbiote’s show. It’s their banter, dialogue, and overall dynamic that make this comic enjoyable with the art provided by Ramon f. Bachs. Unfortunately, FLEXO isn’t that great here as there’s very little personality or action from him. The comic builds up his vengeful motives, but even these are overshadowed by the reveal of the true mastermind pulling his strings, a character Marvel fans are very familiar with. However, their inclusion in this series makes the cast in this Venom run feel a little more crowded than it needs to be.


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