VENOM #5 BY DONNY CATES, RYAN STEGMAN, AND FRANK MARTIN
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
VENOM #5 is just so exciting. Donny Cates cements his status as an A-list writer with VENOM. This issue is no exception. Ryan Stegman’s artwork belongs in a museum; it’s just that good. Pick up this book immediately. It’s my favorite book of the month.
99 %
Pure Fun

VENOM #5 continues Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s streak of fabulous issues. In this issue, the Venom symbiote discovers new abilities after Knull, the God of Symbiotes, almost absorbed it. Cates brings even more new developments to the world of Venom and the Klyntar, and they serve to make this storyline even more exciting than it already was. It’s a serious joy to read. Of course, Stegman’s jaw-dropping artwork helps make it one of my favorite books on the stands right now. This issue further cements that this volume of VENOM may be the greatest Eddie Brock story in recent history.

Knull Reveals All About the Klyntar in VENOM #4

New Developments in VENOM #5

In the last issue, Knull almost took over the Venom symbiote, but Miles Morales stopped him. Just at the last moment, Morales broke open a hole in the symbiote dragon called the Grendel and saved Eddie and himself from going into space. VENOM #5 opens with Miles and Eddie on a freefall through the atmosphere. Miles can’t make a web parachute, so Eddie must save them. Unbeknownst to him, the symbiote gained some new powers from his near-meld with Knull. The symbiote sprouts wings and takes the two to safety. Miles gets dropped off while Eddie flies away with his newfound wings. His symbiote reveals that in addition to the wings, they also gained other powers. These include the ability to change Eddie’s brain chemistry, enhanced strength, and telepathy with other symbiotes.

VENOM #5
VENOM #5 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Unfortunately, this also means that Knull can track them down much easier than before. Eddie then decides to pay a visit to the mysterious Vietnam vet, Rex, who said he was bonded with a symbiote during the war. At Rex’s hideout, Venom learns a shocking truth about his ally’s symbiote. What is it? Pick up VENOM #5 and find out!

Pure Fun in VENOM #5

VENOM #5 just exudes excitement. This book started out as a horror book, with frightening images of Venom transforming into an otherworldly beast. However, it’s pretty much taken a deep dive into comic-booky action. Cates embraces the ridiculousness of the medium without taking a turn towards satire. It feels like everything ‘90s books should have been. When you take out the ultra-seriousness of the various grim-‘n’-gritty macho action books from that era, but keep all the goofy designs and over-the-top plots, you get VENOM. Cates knows this too, which is why the book succeeds. You can tell that Cates loves writing this, and it makes reading the book even more enjoyable. The excitement is infectious.

VENOM #5 pretty much exemplifies what I’m talking about. The idea of Venom meeting his maker, a nihilistic murderous elder god dressed like a Cenobite who’s bent on world domination, is inherently goofy. Cates embraces how goofy this is by making the book even more over-the-top, giving Venom wings and even more super strength. It hearkens back to the DC books of the ‘50s and ‘60s, except modernized. Of course, Cates also knows when to add in serious moments too. When Venom reveals the truth behind Rex, it’s a seriously tense moment. The ridiculousness is taken away for a bit and is replaced with more horror. It shows the range Cates has as a writer. He’s destined to become Marvel’s next huge writer because of his immense talent. He’s earned that reputation, and VENOM #5 proves it once again.

Stegman’s Metal Designs in VENOM #5

VENOM #5 is one of the most metal books since, well, VENOM #4. My point is that Stegman draws some of the most badass designs that feel like they came straight from the cover of an ‘80s metal album. The book rivals even DARK NIGHTS: METAL as the most hardcore book of 2018. Just look at his design for the winged symbiote. Venom has never looked more awesome. It’s one little addition which fits his character perfectly as if he’s been waiting for these wings since his first appearance. It makes perfect sense since his chest symbol always looked like it had wings (I suppose they were supposed to be spider legs, but they always looked more like wings to me). Stegman makes Venom look incredibly menacing with the wings here.

VENOM #5
VENOM #5 page 15. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Stegman even goes out of his way to show Venom use the wings. In many books, characters’ wings will stay stationary even when they’re flying. Stegman took the time to show how the wings work in the top panel. That’s the mark of a dedicated artist.

Final Thoughts: VENOM #5

Tom Hardy’s VENOM: 3 Comics That Could Serve As Source Material

VENOM #5 is a pure delight. Once again, Cates proves that he’s one of Marvel’s top current writers. The book is a perfect blend of over-the-top ridiculousness and some moments of seriousness. It’s hard to find that happy medium between the two, but Cates manages to. If you haven’t started reading VENOM yet, why not? It deserves all hype it’s getting because it’s just that good.

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