VENOM: FIRST HOST# 2
VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 BY MIKE COSTA, MARK BAGLEY, RON LIM, SCOTT HANNA, ANDREW HENNESSY, DONO SANCHEZ-ALMARA
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The mystery of VENOM: FIRST HOST continues to unfold as Eddie and Venom are ambushed by a Skrull only to be saved by an unlikely ally, a Kree soldier named Tel-Kar! But why are these two following Eddie? And why did Tel-Kar call it HIS symbiote?
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In VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 everything comes crashing down, literally. Venom gets unexpected help from a Kree warrior named Tel-Kar after being attacked in an alley by a Skrull. But, why is a Skrull after Venom in the first place? Why has Tel-Kar returned after being away for so long? Writer Mike Costa raises the stakes a level in the second issue with an insane plot twist and some amazing artwork by the dynamic duo of Mark Bagley and Ron Lim. Three issues remain, and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Will Venom be able to save the day?

Symbiotes in Vietnam in VENOM #2

In this issue visually we get to see a little more of Tel-Kar. In addition, we find out more of his backstory and some answers to where he’s been all these years. VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 doesn’t disappoint. It has a few surprises that will leave readers running to their nearby comic shops or digital platforms.

VENOM: FIRST HOST #2

In the last issue, Venom was attacked in an alleyway by a Skrull but was able to recover thanks to an assist by Tel-Kar. Tel-Kar was stabbed during the encounter, and at the request of the symbiote, Eddie helps Tel-Kar by taking him back to Alchemax labs. Back at the Alchemax building, we remember that Venom’s offspring is still developing in a self-containment unit. This is a good plot device set up by writer Mike Costa as this will become an important element later on in the story.

An angry Liz Allan shows up while Venom is getting Tel-Kar’s wounds treated. She has a funny line of dialogue where she tells Eddie to take his Spawn and Papa Smurf out of her lab.

venom: first host #2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Tel-Kar appears in the doorway looking like Fabio Lanzoni, and he sits down and begins giving us some brief backstory on his journey and whereabouts. Once he finishes telling his story he and Venom exchange a few words. The symbiote is trying to remember Tel-Kar. He tells the symbiote that the memories of them were suppressed through hypnosis. Tel-Kar thanks Venom for taking care of the symbiote and ask for him to give it back, and that’s when things start to get very interesting. But you need to read VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 to find out what happens.

Internal Conflict between Eddie and the Symbiote

There’s no question that Mike Costa has easily delivered another great classic in the making. One part of what makes VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 work so well is watching the emotion and deeper level his writing brings in this issue. There’s a lot of compassion felt through the symbiote during this story. In the first issue we got a few glimpses of Eddie and the symbiote kind of going at it and exchanging words, but here it’s fleshed out a bit more. This time around the story focuses mostly on just the symbiote. From the first encounter with Tel-Kar in the alley, the symbiote instructs Eddie to help him. Later, after Tel-Kar gets hurt the symbiote instructs Eddie to help him again.

venom: first host #2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Eddie seems kind of confused but still listens to the symbiote anyway. For the reader, this is our first indication that something is probably going to happen between Eddie and the symbiote. I think overall this helps drive the story forward during this issue and ultimately becomes more of a story about the symbiote than Eddie.

Visual Eye Candy

This issue is dripping with amazing visuals thanks to artists Mark Bagley and Ron Lim. The pencil work here looks great. The characters could jump right out of the page. The fight scenes they come up with are pretty on point and inventive. This issue definitely has a lot more going on than the first one. I fell in love with one splash page in particular that involves the symbiote remembering its past. They manage to convey so much information on one page. You’ll know it when you see it because the colors done by Dono Sanchez-Almara are simply breathtaking. The inking team of Scott Hanna and Andrew Hennessy deserves a round of applause as well. It’s awesome to have Scott Hanna added to the fun as he’s one of my favorite artists. All around a great touch by other parties involved.

venom: first host #2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Who Gets the Symbiote?

One of the more obvious plot devices in VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 is Venom’s offspring. What we don’t know about it is what purpose it serves. What we do know is that Venom’s spawn is under the supervision of Liz Allan at Alchemax labs. Liz has been conducting her own experiments without Brock’s permission.

It wasn’t until this issue that I thought to myself that the title itself is a play on words. My prediction is that the Venom offspring will bond with a new person by the end of this series, maybe even Liz Allan. Either way, I smell a new series coming down the pike that includes Venom’s offspring. But, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say I want to see Tel-Kar vs. Venom or symbiote vs. symbiote. When is Venom going to bring the pain?

Final Word

VENOM: FIRST HOST #2 is definitely a great issue that provides a lot more clarity over the series. Although it doesn’t answer every question we may have, it was a good start. Tel-Kar certainly shows his true intentions here. His motive still seems a little confusing, but I’m sure it will make sense in time.

In the next issue, I’m hoping to see even more action and more of the connection that the Skrulls play in the story. Costa still manages to leave us on the edge of our seats to see what happens next. What will Eddie do now? The story ends leaving him in a pretty interesting predicament.

Overall, a good story, phenomenal art, and a pretty egotistical surprise villain.

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