REVIEW: Venom #154

The relationship between Eddie Brock and the Venom parasite has always been complex. Eddie has used the suit to commit and fight crimes. The two have never seemed to be in full harmony; more like a dysfunctional relationship where neither partner believes they can survive without the other, even though being together causes more heartache than anything else.

But this twisted relationship is changing…

…The alien symbiote is learning. While Brock sleeps, the Venom parasite is beginning to understand humanity.

This should be labeled Venom #1. This is the beginning of a storyline that accomplishes something that even the summer event “Venomverse” couldn’t; it makes Venom interesting again. In this issue Mike Costa takes the love/hate relationship between Brock and his extraterrestrial suit and turns it on its ear to amazing results.

It’s compelling as hell to watch the symbiote staying up late while Eddie sleeps watching TV reruns; learning morality and the human condition from late night binge watching. The narrative of the story comes directly from the alien suit; that upon returning to Brock has begun to question its own motivations. Here lies the key to the brilliance of this latest issue. Costa is treating the suit as a legitimate character with its own thoughts and feelings. It is beginning to learn and that has more weight and depth than anything that has been attempted with the Venom character in years.

We are not being treated to the same old story of (enter the current human wearing the Venom costume) is a madman walking the edge between good and evil because their crazy alien suit is talking to them! NO! We are finally given a reason to care about not only the wearer of the costume, but the creature that makes up that iconic image.

Costa is breaking new ground with a stale character and if treated with respect and left to his own devices could be crafting a story that becomes a hallmark for Venom in the years to come. It’s this discovery of life and morality that has captivated fans for years. To watch a non-human character trying to grasp the simple concepts of humanity has been a staple of storytelling since time began. Treated right the suit may very well outshine any character that is placed within.

This issue is the perfect jumping on point for any fan of Spidey or Venom. Something special is happening here and hopefully more fans will jump on board to show their support.

The rest of the comic is top-notch.   Siqueira’s artwork is impeccable and an ideal match for the series. If Marvel is smart they will keep this writer/artist team in place and continue to allow them to work their magic. I really wasn’t expecting much when I opened this issue. I thought that I would find myself mired down in the aftermath of Venomverse, but this was a very welcomed surprise.

Final Thoughts: It’s too soon to tell, but Costa could be starting the best Venom run Marvel fans have ever seen. Final Score: 5 out 5 Parasites!

Venom #154
Story: Mike Costa
Art: Paulo Siqueira
Inks: Walden Wong, Cam Smith, Paulo Siqueira
Colors: Rachel Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel

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