VENOM #7 BY DONNY CATES AND IBAN COELLO
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
VENOM #7 is yet another fabulous addition to an already stupendous series. Donny Cates fills the issue with on-point dialogue and shocking plot twists. Iban Coello designs a downright frightening-looking Venom. You cannot miss this issue.
96 %
Fresh Change of Pace

VENOM #7 greatly changes the pace and tone of the series. No longer bothered by Knull, Eddie Brock finds himself held captive by a mysterious organization. One of its members, a familiar face to many comic fans, interrogates Eddie about the events following the death of the Grendel dragon in the last issue.

Donny Cates focuses this issue on the interrogation, making this issue unique from the others before it. Instead of relying on horror and gruesome action, Cates focuses on dialogue and shocking plot twists. This doesn’t mean that VENOM #7 is a drop in quality from its predecessors. No, in fact, it’s just as fantastic as the prior issues. Artist Iban Coello changes the look of the series as well, shying away from Ryan Stegman’s more stylized work to a slightly more realistic, but still just as scary, art style.

Captive Audience in VENOM #7

In the last issue, Venom seemingly killed the Grendel dragon, and possibly Knull, by trapping it in a furnace. Unfortunately, it came at a large cost: the Venom symbiote nearly destroyed itself shielding Eddie from the searing heat. In VENOM #7, we learn that the dragon wasn’t entirely destroyed. A secret, possibly governmental, organization arrived at the scene of the epic battle not long after the events of last issue, and collected a sample of the dragon. While there, they discovered Eddie Brock’s slightly burned body in the wreckage as well. The symbiote instinctively took over and looked more monstrous than ever, killing multiple of the organization’s employees and transporting Eddie from New York to San Francisco. There, the organization caught up with Eddie and brought him in, where he’s been held in captivity for two weeks.

VENOM #7
VENOM #7 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Eddie had no knowledge that any of this happened. The symbiote has been erasing any painful memory he may have had after the battle. Someone has been relaying all of this information to Eddie while he sits in captivity. This agent of the secret organization turns out to be the Maker, the evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe who now resides on Earth-616. What more does the Maker tell Eddie, and what does he want from him? Read VENOM #7 to find out!

Slowing Things Down in VENOM #7

VENOM #7 marks a huge change of pace for the series. In prior issues, the action has been nearly nonstop. Plus, the horror elements were played up way more. Now, Cates slows down the series, possibly so its big reveals, both before and in this issue, can resonate more. I like this change of pace. It shows that the series can be more than just a fun, wild action-packed Venom story. This issue dials up the mystery, with the reader wondering why the Maker, of all characters, has an interest in Eddie Brock. We also wonder how Eddie will cope with some changes the symbiote went through after the furnace explosion. I like how Cates shifted the focus of the series, at least for this story arc.

Cates also proves his versatility in VENOM #7. He’s written a huge epic with the first story arc, and now he shows that he can write a slowed-down, dialogue-heavy issue just as deftly. Much like my other favorite Marvel writer, Al Ewing, Cates proves that he has an ear for the Maker’s dialogue and personality. Both writers used the character in new, interesting ways after Jonathan Hickman left Marvel. The Maker’s addition makes me even more excited for future issues, which is quite a big feat considering that I’m already eagerly anticipating the next issue every month.

A Monstrous Symbiote in VENOM #7

Iban Coello more than proves that he’s a worthy replacement for Stegman for this arc. In VENOM #7, he adds in some real stunning designs. For one, his Maker looks appropriately maniacal. In each page he appears, he looks both incredibly egotistical and unhinged. Even though you can’t see his eyes through his helmet, you can still clearly see his emotions just through his facial expressions. Coello captures these expressions just wonderfully. That’s the mark of a great artist.

VENOM #7
VENOM #7 page 14. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The other design which I love is the new, mindless Venom. Coello’s redesign looks positively frightening. Venom looks like a wild, rampaging brute. His gigantic, gaping toothy maw of a mouth takes up nearly his entire face, and his lack of eyes make him look incredibly unhinged and driven by instinct rather than logic. In addition to this, his bigger, hulking body, filled with spike-barbed tendrils, comes across as wonderfully savage. I really adore Coello’s design here. It perfectly fits Venom’s new state as a mindless, animalistic force of nature, rather than a conscious, symbiotic being.

Final Thoughts: VENOM #7

VENOM #7 continues the superb series with yet another brilliant issue. Cates and Coello make for a crazy-good combo. If you haven’t picked up this series, this is a perfect place to jump on!

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