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Review: Venom #17 – ‘Savage Six’ Begins!

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Venom #17
Writers:  Rick Remender and Cullen Bunn
Art:  Kev Walker [Pencils], Terry Pallot [Inks], Chris Sotomayor [Colors]

You’d think that after joining an Avengers team, things would be looking up for Flash Thompson.  Unfortunately, he’s about to get the ride of his life thanks to team of six villains (sound familiar?).

If you’ve been keeping up, Crime-Master and Jack O’Lantern know that Flash is Venom.  Deciding to end his issues with Crime-Master once and for all, Flash borrows the Venom symbiote from the Secret Avengers in order to kill the criminal mastermind.  It’s one last hit and then he’s a hero for good, or so he thinks.

About to snipe the root of his problems during a meeting between Crime-Master, Jack O’Lantern, Human Fly, Death Adder, and Megatak, Venom is interrupted by an intruding Eddie Brock–the former Venom host who has been on a one-man crusade to kill all of the symbiotes.

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Needless to say, things don’t go well for Venom or Brock.

Rick Remender and Cullen Bunn do a great job of setting up how much the odds are stacked against Flash–especially in the reveal on the issue’s final page–with the perfect balance of action and exposition.  Remender in particular has made a point of having certain aspects of Flash’s role as Venom parallel aspects of Peter Parker’s role as Spider-Man, so it only makes sense that he should give Venom his own 6-villain team-up to face off against.  After reading his first issue of Wolverine last week, the fact that Bunn is involved in this, as well, is icing on the cake, as it appears they are both prepared to drag Flash (and Eddie Brock, as well) through Hell and back.

Additionally, Kev Walker’s art is a great fit for this book.  It has a gritty ’90s feel to it that works for the character and never feels too exaggerated, striking the right balance between realism and cartoon.  The inks and colors–provided by Terry Pallot and Chris Sotomayor respectively–add to that grittiness, filling out the grim and bleak feel this storyline should have.

This is the perfect jumping-on point and one of the best issues of the series so far.

RATING:  EXCELSIOR!

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Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.
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