VENOM #3 BY DONNY CATES, RYAN STEGMAN, JP MAYER AND FRANK MARTIN
Story
Art
Characterization
Summary
VENOM #3 lives up to this series’ continued hype. It’s sure to be a fan-favorite issue, and for good reason. It adds an intriguing character to the Venom lore and gives Miles Morales fans a bit of closure about a long dormant plot thread. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman are modern masters of horror, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
98 %
Frightening Fun

VENOM #3 continues Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s powerhouse run. In this issue, Miles Morales guest stars. Also, Venom finally meets the mysterious Symbiote dragon that’s been wreaking havoc all over Manhattan. Cates does an amazing job showing Miles’ grief and rage at finally facing a symbiote since the most tragic moment in his life. Kudos to Cates for bringing up a long-dormant plot thread about Miles’ mother, since she’s alive again after Miles became a permanent fixture on Earth 616. Stegman and color artist Frank Martin yet again create a magnificently creepy look with the artwork this issue. If VENOM #3 is any indication, this series is already one of the greatest runs in Venom history.

Symbiotes in Vietnam in VENOM #2

Venom vs. Miles: Dawn of the Symbiote God in VENOM #3

In the last two issues, Venom’s Klyntar symbiote has been going haywire and turning into a crazed, red-tinged version of itself. It’s been raving about a “god”. In VENOM #3, Venom transforms into that new form once again while fighting Miles Morales. Miles hits it with a venom blast, allowing Eddie to regain control of the symbiote. Miles becomes uncharacteristically uninhibited and angry, wailing on Eddie. Fans of Miles will note, the last encounter with a symbiote left Miles’ mother dead. Though his mother is now alive again, Miles seemingly still remembers this traumatic experience. Lucky for Brock, he’s able to convince Miles there was no way that was him as they’ve never even met before. Miles cools down and teams up with Eddie to fight the gigantic symbiote dragon.

Miles soon venom blasts the dragon and it falls. However, standing in its wake is a mysterious new ghoulish symbiote host who claims to be the Klyntar’s god. Find out more about him in VENOM #3.

VENOM #3
VENOM #3 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This new development with the supposed God of symbiotes is incredibly exciting. I always like learning more about symbiotes, since they’ve been mysterious creatures since their first appearance as Spider-Man’s black suit. Brian Michael Bendis briefly touched upon their origins and gave their species a name, the Klyntar, during his run on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. However, I wasn’t much of a fan of the idea that they’re inherently good creatures and that Earth tainted them. It seems like Cates is retconning that a bit by making their supposed “god” into a violent creature, much like a lot of the other symbiotes we’ve seen, like Carnage. Where this leads? We’ll have to find out.

Miles Morales’ Struggle in VENOM #3

I’m very happy that Cates brought Miles into the fray here. This surprisingly marks the first time Miles encounters a symbiote since his relocation to the main Marvel Universe. Bendis even wrote both Miles’ book and the GUARDIANS book, which featured Flash Thompson’s Venom. Either way, it’s great to see the meeting finally happen. Cates brings back this huge part of Miles’ background in a wonderful way. I love how unhinged Miles becomes while fighting Venom. The sight of a symbiote brings back painful memories for Miles. Even though their effects have been reversed, they’d still be incredibly traumatic to remember. I’m a sucker for writers bringing back long dropped plot threads, so this really satisfied that itch for me.

The plot thread hasn’t even been fully resolved yet. Cates left the result open ended, with Eddie telling Miles that he can fight him and get answers all he wants after the dragon’s taken care of. I hope Cates makes good on this. Perhaps this could be a whole story arc, especially since Miles doesn’t have a book at the moment.

Stegman and Martin: Modern Horror Masters in VENOM #3

With this issue, Stegman and Martin prove they’re experts at drawing horror books. They fill nearly all of this comic with eerie imagery. It starts with Eddie lying in a fetal position on a net of symbiote webbing (as seen a few sections above). He’s red-faced and sweating as these disgusting-looking tendrils make their way into his eye socket. It looks like something out of a fever dream, especially with Eddie looking like he’s literally ill. The series has been filled with dream sequences like this, and as a fan of horror films, especially the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, I adore them. Another fantastic page comes right after, when we realize why Eddie’s passed out: the possessed symbiote has attacked Miles.

VENOM #3
VENOM #3 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This is a downright beautiful homage to Todd McFarlane’s iconic cover of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #316. It takes it in a new direction, though, by making it look even more frightening. Venom looks psychotic with his giant grin and slobbering mouth. The best part is definitely the addition of Miles’ ripped mask. We see the abject fear in his eyes as he stares at the symbiote. He’s both afraid of what’s in front of him and, assumedly, remembering the painful memories of his mother’s death. It’s a seriously chilling scene, and one that needs to be made into a poster ASAP.

Final Thoughts: VENOM #3

5 Things We Learn From the VENOM Teaser Trailer

VENOM #3 proves that Cates loves Venom. His consistent streak of writing a fantastic Venom book continues with this issue. It adds some fascinating new information to the symbiote lore. Plus, it’s a treat for Miles Morales fans as well. Venom fans rejoice! This book is a treasure.

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