VENOMIZED #3 by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello, and Matt Yackey
Plot
Art
Characterization
Summary
VENOMIZED #3 struggles to deliver climatic moments that point towards the end of the five-issue miniseries, but it does have some amazing art and a unique plotline. In order for the next two issues to receive high scores, Bunn needs to remove the extra fluff scenes and focus on the bigger picture.
77 %
Anti-Poison
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Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello, and Matt Yackey’s third installment in the VENOMIZED miniseries may be just what the heroes of Earth were waiting for. The past two issues have seen the spread of Poisons and Symbiotes across New York, infecting numerous superheroes and risking thousands of civilian lives. But VENOMIZED #3 burns a few holes in the Poisons’ plans as Kid Kaiju uses monsters to bring civilians to safety and Anti-Venom destroys a Poison with only physical touch. But, as always in comics, the world’s heroes still have a lot of fighting in front of them if they want to rid the universe of the Poisonous aliens.

Poisons are Unworthy

VENOMIZED #2 left us unsure of the fate of Mighty Thor, but VENOMIZED #3 is quick to give us an answer. Mjolnir rejects Thor, as she is no longer worthy when bonded with a Poison. The Poison shell disintegrates and the Symbiote spits out a sickly Jane Foster, much to everyone’s amazement. Before that, none of the heroes thought someone could become human again after being a Poison…but apparently Asgardian magic is more powerful than the parasitic creatures.

VENOMIZED #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Poison version of Jean Grey reappears in New York, but her return is overshadowed by Kid Kaiju’s amazing civilian rescue. Using his ability to conjure monsters, Kaiju summons multiple monsters to airlift civilians off of the Poison-infested Brooklyn Bridge.

In another part of the city, Anti-Venom attempts to remove a Poison from (who appears to be) the Punisher. His attempt successfully subdues the alien, but instead of removing the Poison from Frank Castle, the Poison shell just melts away, with no trace of a human being underneath.

Slow and Sort of Steady

The biggest problem with a miniseries? They aren’t exactly “mini.” Numerous miniseries fall victim to the “too small of a plot” but “too many issues” phenomenon. The PHOENIX RESURRECTION miniseries has this problem where, although entertaining, the story drags on for numerous issues without a whole lot of plot changes to keep readers interested. Unfortunately, I think VENOMIZED might be following this same route.

VENOMIZED #3’s cover is of a Venomized version of Thor’s hammer, but very little of the issue has to do with Thor herself. She’s missing in action within a few panels. A lot of VENOMIZED #3 is made up of these small plotlines — some of which help to slowly move the plot forward and some of which seem like filler scenes. Things like a symbiote infecting a dinosaur aren’t really needed (even if it is pretty cool).

venomized #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

With such a large event going on, and with so many heroes involved, I expect there to be numerous storylines occurring at once. But, they all need to be functioning together and working towards a climax. This is a miniseries, after all, so every moment counts. Bunn needs to really focus on what this series is trying to accomplish and push it towards that goal. The filler stuff (though fun) can wait for a series with more issues.

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Where Did Jean Go?

Jean Grey appears a little before halfway through VENOMIZED #3 and then she just sort of…disappears. One of the world’s strongest mutants turns into a Poison and she doesn’t immediately destroy everything? Something isn’t right here.

For the past two issues, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Poison Teen Jean. She’s incredibly powerful without a Poison, so with the power-enhancing alien, she’s bound to be nearly impossible to beat. After her amazing show of dominance in the Poison-X arc, I was ready for more. But, her appearance in VENOMIZED #3 is really anticlimactic. I understand that in a miniseries like VENOMIZED there are a lot of characters who deserve panel-time. Still, I was hoping that Jean’s appearance would be cause for something big to happen.

venomized #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But, maybe this weird mishandling of a powerful character is actually a good thing. Since Jean doesn’t (seemingly) attack anyone, maybe she’s fighting the Poison within her and winning. She telepathically reaches out to Scott, but she doesn’t hurt him — she simply notes she’s found him. That could be a good sign…or a bad sign. Since Bunn doesn’t do a whole lot with her character in this issue, it’s hard to tell. Still, I have hope. I think VENOMIZED #4 will have something very interesting to say about Jean.

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Disaster City

Iban Coello continues to deliver amazing illustrations that perfectly capture the grotesque aliens that populate the VENOMIZED series. As silly as it is in terms of plot, Coello’s talents turn the Symbiote T-Rex into something truly sinister and scary. The way he captures the sticky, slimy Symbiote goo is unparalleled. I honestly don’t think there’s anyone out there who can draw Venom characters quite like Coello can.

Colorist Matt Yackey also does a good job in the coloring department. My only issue with the colors is the level of saturation. In some panels, the colors are a little too bright and cheerful. The plot of VENOMIZED (killer aliens taking over the planet) doesn’t exactly necessitate especially bright colors. I think a slight change in saturation could completely change the mood of the illustrations and align them with the more apocalyptic storyline.

venomized #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Final Thoughts on VENOMIZED #3

VENOMIZED #3 struggles to gain the momentum a series with only five issues needs to succeed. However, the issue does bring some of the best Venom illustrations I’ve ever seen and it still has a fun, unique premise that hasn’t been used in comics before. If Bunn is able to really hone in on one or two of the plotlines and speed up the story in future issues, VENOMIZED can definitely end on a high note.

Check out VENOMIZED #4, coming out next week!

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