Writer: Ram V
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Color Artist: Alex Sinclair
Inker: Andrew Currie
Cover Artists: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: Marvel Comics
In the quiet town of Baywater, Dylan Brock and his symbiote companions hoped to lie low for a little bit before moving on. But trouble finds them anyway, whether it’s the local biker gang, agents of the Life Foundation, or the menacing giant red symbiote Bedlam. Either way, in Venom #7, the Venom crew have their hands full.
So, the comic follows through on delivering what the cover and synopsis say – Venom finally faces off against Bedlam. The comic picks up where it left off with Dylan Brock and co. trying to help out the local biker friends stave off another crew of less-then-friendly bikers causing damage in Baywater. On top of that, there’s more trouble brewing right on the edges of the town as Venom tries to fight different dangers on multiple fronts. Ram V does a good job with the dialogue, pacing, and overall story flow as plot developments and themes coalesce fine in this comic’s story.
To top it all off, Dylan has his surprise first encounter with Bedlam, the crimson symbiote titan that Meridius let loose to hunt him. After a slow buildup in the previous issue, Ram V finally has the two symbiotes clash in the comic. Bryan Hitch does an excellent job with the artwork as usual, making the series of events feel a little more fluid and sequential than before. The artwork in the comic really shines through when it comes to the fight between Venom and Bedlam. Like I said, the art really helps build a flow of action and escalation as the two have a deadly back and forth between each other that leaves things on a surprising note at the end.
I think it’s safe to say that not much was done with the more grounded story of the Venom crew lying low in the town, making a friend, then needing to protect that friend from dangerous bad guys. However, while the story is pretty by-the-numbers compared to the Bedlam portion, the important takeaway is how Dylan’s actions have major repercussions for others, even nice strangers. Ultimately, the comic follows through on Dylan learning a tough lesson about how being a hero can have consequences for others.
Now, we finally get to see Bedlam in action and honestly…he’s a disappointment, at least to this reviewer. Bedlam is going to be one of those hit-or-miss kind of characters, you either like him or you don’t. He looks fine and is very much the hulking red symbiote he appears to be. He’s not a mindless brute, which is good, but he doesn’t leave that much of an impression beyond that. Admittedly, Bedlam does get some cool action shots in the comic, but that’s all there is.
I won’t spoil anything but readers’ mileage will vary on whether they like Bedlam or not. In this reviewer’s opinion, Bedlam leaves a lot to be desired as far as personality and definitely powers go. Lets’ just say he doesn’t exactly live up to his name. However, Bedlam serves his purpose in the story and advances the intrigue of the series’ primary storyline in his own way.
Venom #7 shows Dylan try to be the hero but he ends up taking on more than he can handle. The comic has the young Venom face off against the fearsome, crimson symbiote Bedlam, and Bryan Hitch illustrates him very well. Bedlam looks cool but readers’ mileage will vary on this new villain. However, the comic book still manages to finish the more grounded story while slowly advancing the series’ overarching plot.