Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Cates’ second Venom arc comes to a stunning conclusion that feels both bombastic and personal.
After some grand realizations and a great deal of retconning of Eddie’s history, it was time to tie it all up with Venom facing the big bad of the arc – Eddie’s father! We got a lab explosion, a car chase (sort off), a pinch of domestic abuse and a final face-off. That final face-off is the main event of the book, but it’s not your standard guy hits guy affair. It’s actually really subdued and personal, hitting the reader with some good ol’ ‘feels’. It’s obvious that Eddie’s father has always been a piece of work, but you can’t help not feeling sorry for the guy.
Joshua Cassara took care of the pencils this issue instead of the book’s mainstay artist, Ryan Stegman. They both shared art duties in the previous issue, but I guess Stegman had some other commitments. The change isn’t obvious right away, as his style isn’t that much different from Stegman’s, but there are some differences. The most noticeable aberration is the character faces. Rain Beredo is in charge of the coloring in this book and he does of a great job. The way he conveys lightning and shadows elevates the atmosphere of the book and gives it a nice, tangible depth. Cassara and Beredo make quite the team.
Cates has been killing it for the last year or so, with Venom being his best work by far. The sales numbers speak for themselves. I mean, popular doesn’t always mean quality, but it sure is the case with Venom. He has come under fire by some fans for all the retcons he has made in the recent months, especially to the Eddie-Symbiote dynamic, but they all seem necessary when you consider the bigger picture. They also really move the story forward in some unexpected and exciting directions. Eddie having a son opens up loads of storytelling possibilities, and I’m excited to see how it all moves forward. Especially after the way this issue ends. And don’t get me wrong, superhero parents aren’t unheard of, but Brock is by no means a superhero.
It’s also worth noting that Cates is off the book for the next two issues, which are going to be War of the Realms tie-ins, written by Cullen Bunn. Breaks in stories can be a bit frustrating, but they also let the creative folk recharge their creative juices. I’m sure excited for what Cates has brewing for June.
Looking forward to seeing Eddie struggle with an alien symbiote, alien symbiote God, a son, and a crazy alt-Reed Richards.
Venom (2018-) #12
Can't wait for Eddie's dad jokes.