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411’s Comic Reviews: Venom #1, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #13, More

December 1, 2016 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Venom

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Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

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Yesterday we discussed, “What can we expect from X-Men: Gold and Blue”

Now on with the show!

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Venom #1

Review by RobF

Hero, villain, hero, villain. Venom has had more turns than a doorknob. Now its writer Mike Costa and artist Geraldo Sandoval’s turn to take a swing. And they have brought us an interesting story about a symbiote wrestling with nurture vs. nature.

This story focuses on Venom’s new host, a man named Lee Price. He is a disabled military veteran with a large chip on his shoulder. Unable to support himself, he meets up with some unsavory characters (Mas Gargan, for one, former Venom “owner”) and starts on a life of crime. Little does he know what life has in store for him.

What sets this story apart from other Venom tales is perspective. A large part of the narrative is told from the perspective of the symbiote. With the varied array of former wearers this costume has a unique opinion and personality. In recent issues of Guardians of the Galaxy, the Venom costume found some kind of redemption but it is dismayed to find its new host is a bloodthirsty killer. Will it regress back to its maniacal roots or will it fight for what’s right?

The artwork is uneven to me at times. In some cases it suits the frenzied nature of Venom but in others it’s hard to make out what’s happening. This manga-like style (Joe Madureira influenced?) has never been a favorite of mine and here is no exception.

After a slow start the first issue of Venom picks up. Costa has an interesting take on an old character with the potential for more. He has never had a moral dilemma like this and it will interesting to see which direction he takes.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #13

Review by Jonathan Durden

Let me preface by saying that Eternal Warrior is one of my favorite reads on my pull list. I look forward to it every time I see a new issue, and I’m pretty much never left disappointed. The best part is, the cliffhangers aren’t that bad either. Often times I’ll be reading a comic and really be getting into it and as I devour the last few pages I realize how much still has to happen before the problem is resolved and then it ends in a giant cliffhanger and then I have to wait a whole month before getting to continue.

I think with Eternal Warrior, Robert Venditti (writer) has a way of giving us enough meat to chew on and digest before kicking back into gear four weeks later. He has a brilliant way of gauging the amount of action and reveals/big deaths or events that he needs to input into each issue to then say “Okay, this one is good, let’s start the next one.” And I greatly appreciate and respect him for that.

With issue #13, Venditti teams up with artist Robert Gill and colorist Mike Spicer again to create exquisite set pieces, great action, and engaging dialogue. Eternal Warrior Gilad Anni-Padda has journeyed to the salt flats beyond the hellscape to find his firstborn son Kalam and rescue him from the insubordinate Pale Herder. Gill and Spicer are a great team as they set up this scene of Gilad walking amongst the Herder’s minions demanding his son be returned to him. One of my favorite parts of this scene is when one of the grunts spits on and mouths off to Gilad, who then shoots another grunt, to make an example out of him. He then proceeds to burn the face of the one that spit on him using his smoking gun, as if branding him, then saying “I’ll remember you.” A chilling and truly awesome moment that the creative team formed for this issue.

I won’t spoil it for everyone, but I will just say it has a very satisfying climax and great anecdote Venditti wrote up from Gilad about how he learned how best to defeat a man far bigger than himself through learning from his past deaths. Did I kind of just give it away anyway? Read it and find out for yourself! It’s the only way to know for sure. Besides, the series is fantastic and everyone is incredibly talented and skilled that is working on it. With the next issue hopefully we will find out if Humongous will let Gilad and his child walk away free or if he will challenge them.

My only complaint is that I wish we saw what was going on in real life with the main villain the Dying One and what his plans are. Aside from that, this issue was great and I’m sure the next one will be even greater.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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Daredevil: Man Without Fear #1 (1993)

Review by Sankalp G.

I was having a discussion with my friends about what the best comic book TV show was. Most of us agreed that Netflix’s Daredevil Season 1 was the best and was very tightly knit. Then one of my friends chimed in that it is actually based upon the series Daredevil: Man Without Fear. Hence, I decided to pick it up.

The first issue deals with introducing the important characters such as Battlin’ Jack Murdock (Father of Matt Murdock aka Daredevil) and, of course, Stick. The issue tells us much about why Matt is the way he is now and even when he wasn’t blind, he was already training and taking out all his anger when fighting similarly like his father. The deal with his friends calling him “Daredevil”, as an irony of some sort because they think he is coward, is a very subtle way of telling readers about Matt’s former life. Battlin’ Jack not agreeing to throw the fight and getting killed because of it ends this issue.

This issue also covers the incident where Matt saves a blind man from a truck accident and loses his vision because of some radioactive material and gains powers. It also covers the part of Stick training the “hopeless” Matt and giving some purpose to his life.

Most of us know the story by now but the way it is displayed here is completely different. Frank Miller is known as a legendary writer and this comic shows it. The art is on a whole different level though. This comic came out in 1993, so expecting some state-of-the-art digital paintings is blasphemous. Though the art of John Romita, Jr. is good enough to contain readers, its coloring part by the team of Al Williamson and Steele makes this issue absolutely beautiful. The way the lines are used to display depth and shadow clearly gives this a different theme and the art gives that feel of 80’s and 90’s suburbs in New York. I have already stated in my previous review that if art can convey the story and it themes then it is better than today’s perfect designs which do not suit the Story at all sometimes.

A great read, which is certainly very old, deserves it status as one of the best series. I don’t really know how to rate this one though it should be in the green part.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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Venom #1

Review by Stephen M. Lyon

Before I begin my review, I’d like to start with a confession that may make comic fans around the world want to moan, hiss, and burn me in effigy: I believe Venom is overrated. Now, before everyone tries to find my address so they can storm in with torches and pitchforks, this does not mean that I don’t like the character. All this means is that I’ve never understood how he became so beloved that Marvel decided to turn him from villain to anti-hero, as a surefire cash grab. I love him as Spider-Man villain, and I like him as a supporting character, but I’ve never really been sold on standalone titles like Venom Space Knight, or the series focused on Agent Venom from a few years ago. I am providing all this background for one purpose, and that is to say this title may have changed my mind.

Warning: Almost nothing but spoilers from here forward.

I’m primarily going to be focused on the writing of this comic, because that’s where the brilliance of this title lies, in my opinion. I didn’t find the art to be particularly amazing, but it does it’s job in that it doesn’t distract or take away from the story that is being told. If you’re into Venom for the look of the character, don’t worry – you’ll still see plenty of teeth and copious amounts of saliva dripping from a tongue that make’s Gene Simmons envious. Now, onto the story!

The title begins with the symbiote looking for a new host. It’s being introspective about all that it’s learned through previous hosts, particularly how doing good take strength, and that strength is different than power. It has decided that it wants a host that will help continuing to do good. The book then cuts away to a veteran trying to get under-the-table security work with some less than reputable individuals. It’s revealed that he’s down on his luck, as he’s on disability from an injury he received in the service, which keeps him from working with a reputable security company, even though it’s what he does best; He’s hired and told that no lethal force is required for this job, just the appearance that he’s capable of such force. Later, when he’s doing security for a black market product exchange, the deal goes bad and it looks like he’s going to die, as he’s unarmed. Right as the rivals start to shoot, the symbiote jumps in front, taking the brunt of the bullets, and jumping onto the veteran. It starts to tell the veteran that its last host was a soldier, and one of the best men it had known, and that they could save the world together too. However, the symbiote gets a rude awakening.

The veteran – named Lee – does not share the same goal as the symbiote, and does something that has never been done before (at least to my knowledge). His will overcomes the symbiote’s will, making it entirely subservient to his wishes. You see him communicating to the symbiote, that he’s in control now. He then goes on a rampage, killing all the rivals who had just shot at him, ignoring the pleas of the symbiote. He then kills his friend and a homeless man to keep his secret. It ends with a flashback to Lee’s life, and his philosophy, as he determines how to take advantage of his newfound power.

I came into reading this title with very low expectations; I thought this was going to be just another cheap way for Marvel to make money by exploiting the popularity of a character and sacrificing writing. However, I was immediately hooked and I cannot wait for the next issue to come out – this is definitely going on my pull list at my LCS. I’m intrigued by the shoe being on the other foot for the symbiote and I cannot wait to see how they continue to develop the relationship between it and the host. I highly recommend buying and reading and doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Steve here! That’s all the time we have. Tell us what you’re reading below and see you back here next week! You can now find our reviews on ComicBookRoundUp.com!