Edge of Venomverse #1 Review
Review by Jason Kahler
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Pencils: Roland Boschi
Inks: Roland Boschi with Adam Gorham
Color Art: Daniel Brown
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
The tagline for Edge of Venomverse #1 from the Marvel Comics website reads “The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE!”
Statements like that, breathless and hyperbolic and littered with all caps, make me tired. I’m eyeballs-deep in Secret Empire still, and now Marvel wants me on board with another event. And while the Spiderverse event had at its core an optimistic view of what other worlds would look like with other heroes, Venomverse has a much sourer core:
What would other characters from other worlds look like if they were possessed by the Venom symbiote?
You know. Other than Peter Parker, Eddie Brock, Mac Gargan, Flash Thompson, and Lee Price. Or all the other AlternaVenoms Marvel has trotted out.
I’m sorry if I sound snarky. I’m old and beaten-down and I just read a comic book about a young girl with metal claws, trained to be a killer by a nasty group of men, who gets possessed by an alien creature that implores her to eat everyone she encounters.
That conceit will appeal to some people. X-23, the alternative Venom featured in this issue, is popular in the books and enjoying added exposure from the Logan film. This book offers no nuance, though, and none of the good performances that make X-23 compelling in Logan.
While the new versions of Spider-man created for Spiderverse were a unique take on Spidey, Venomverse doesn’t do anything the usual 616-Universe hasn’t already done. Venom has body-jumped plenty of times before. Additionally, the symbiote is a one-note character unless the host is combatting the alien’s arm-eating tendencies. Nothing in the first issue leads me to think we’ll be met with interesting takes on the character going forward.
Spider-Verse presented familiar characters re-imagined. Venomverse is a new suit and an appetite for locals.
There’s a market out there for this. Someone will buy all eleven issues of the Venomverse event. It just won’t be me. I’ll pass, thank you. Although if Aunt May is ever possessed by Venom. . . no, never mind. But if Marvel is reading this, I call dibs on “VenoMay.”