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"Venom #31" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

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Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Iban Coello
Colored by Jesus Aburtov
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 9th, 2020

Review:

Knull has arrived and his symbiote army has swept across the entire world in a quick and decisive victory. Eddie Brock's plan has failed and he's now face-to-face with the symbiote god. His other has been forcibly removed as Eddie is thrown away like trash, tumbling towards the ground and his imminent death. Does he deserve salvation? Is there any hope?

The answer to both of those questions is maybe. We're just getting started with King in Black, so it would be weird to kill Eddie off so early, especially in his own book. In any case, Venom #31 serves as a character study of sorts, delving into this man's mind and exposing all of his flaws. Writer Donny Cates does this both from Eddie's perspective, as well as Rex Strickland, a man who has had his own run in with symbiotes ages ago and we met way back when this series began.

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The actual time passing for this entire issue is maybe a few minutes, but it feels like an eternity as Eddie is plummeting towards the ground. The two narrations, both from Eddie himself and Rex, contrast each other, and weave between one another. Letterer Clayton Cowles distinguishes them well, so it's never unclear as to who is speaking.

Artist Iban Coello unleashes total devastation in the imagery of Venom #31. New York City is a hellscape with buildings covered in symbiote goo and the sky full of monstrous dragons. Knull is in complete control as pitch black tendrils whip around his body, serving as weapons and extra limbs as needed. He looks vampiric in nature, yet that's not doing him justice for how downright terrifying he is.

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Although very little time passes, we get a tremendous amount of insight into Eddie as he's falling. Coello shows so much emotion on the man's face as he goes through fear, denial, and resolution all in the matter of a few panels. He doesn't care about himself or his fate anymore. He's afraid of dying because he can no longer protect his son, Dylan if he's dead.

Venom #31 tears Eddie Brock apart. He's taken to his core essence and we'll see him built back up again over the course of this arc and King in Black. Is he the hero we expected? Far from it, but he's what we have and he'll have to do. That's a chilling yet somber thought in the midst of this horrifying comic.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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