(P) Roland Boschi
(I) Roland Boschi + Adam Gorham
(CA) Daniel Brown
(L) VC’s Clayton Cowles
Venomverse is Marvel’s next event after Secret Empire, bringing Venoms from different universes together for a so-far unspecified battle. This edge of Venomverse miniseries works in the same way as the Edge of Spiderverse mini, where many of the alternate universe characters are introduced before the big event (which is in November).
This issue is set in an alternate universe where X-23 bonded with the Venom symbiote during her escape from ‘The Facility’ and they’ve been together since that day – two outcasts on the road.
The story that this issue tells is pretty simple but awesome, Laura/Venom befriends a group of teen runaways from New York, they band together, stealing to survive with the threat of ‘The Facility’ looming over them. For such a small story, the characters of these kids are actually decently developed and are some pretty cool characters who I’d buy a comic about all on their own. Beyond this, the book does some really interesting things with the symbiote itself, using it in a way that I hadn’t really considered. Additionally, the book is just fun as fuck – with some absolutely brutal action scenes, made especially brutal given how they’re done by teens.
The art of this book has a dark and murky tone to it, with thick ink lines all over it, especially during Laura’s escape from ‘The Facility’ which gives the whole place a dark and creepy feel to it. All of the New York stuff is also pretty neat looking, really working well with the book. Best of all there’s brilliant amounts of blood and gore throughout which is exactly the sort of thing which works when you’re combining the brutality of X-23 AND Venom.
At first I thought this would just be a cash-in on the event, or a pointless prequel comic, in fact the only things going for it were the creative team and the protagonist (X-23). Yet to my surprise, the comic actually ends up being a pretty cool story. However it still hasn’t convinced me that Venomverse is anything other than a much darker and more grotesque version of Spiderverse (which isn’t the worst idea in the world), but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.