Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman use their symbiotic relationship to creatively intertwine story and art together giving readers an epic new creation story for these alien symbiotes. You’ll never guess how deep and dark this rabbit hole goes. Let’s dive in!
WRITTEN BY: Donny Cates
PENCILS BY: Ryan Stegman
INKS: JP Mayer
COLORS: Frank Martin
LETTERS: Clayton Cowles
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
VENOM #4 SPOILERS TOO!
Knull has been around since the early Celestials, and something pulled him from the Void and into the Light. Then, seeing these huge beings, he used his Necrosword to slaughter a Celestial and was banished back to the Void. After escaping his banishment, Knull went out to conquer the cosmos until he was confronted by Gorr the God Butcher. Finally, he was beaten and left for dead after Gorr took his Necrosword.
After his demise from the God Butcher, Knull realized he could use his abilities to control other beings. Thus, he continued his quest for ending the Light until he reached Earth. While conquering Earth, Thor arrived and used Mjolnir to sever Knull’s connection to his symbiotes. Since the link was broken, these foreign pieces searched for hosts and found the closest things they could find; other life forms.
After all that, the symbiotes revolted and billions of them formed around Knull creating the planet Klyntar. Now finally, Knull has been resurrected and is using the Earth symbiotes as his hosts to free him.
How about EVERYTHING? This story was so incredibly creative and connected old continuity from THOR: GOD OF THUNDER with the current AVENGERS origin. Cates and Stegman took the time to think everything through and make sure they paid tribute to what was already done while morphing it into something fresh and new.
To anyone who has not read THOR: GOD OF THUNDER; you must. It’s a fantastic read and Cates connects it in so well to this story. It just makes sense. Heck, he even connects Beowulf to his story. That’s awesome! Even though Venom takes a back seat in this story, Cates still delivers with action and suspense that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
As always, Stegman’s art is crisp, clear, and grabs the readers attention. He always adds such amazing detail to his characters, the background, and is great at visualizing scenes and putting the reader right there with the characters. Martin’s color choices are dark and eerie, which totally add fuel to this issue. And lastly, Caramagna’s perfect lettering is placed in specific spots to draw the readers eye to the art without overpowering the page with heavy dialogue.
Keep in mind, and this issue was a backstory and origin of Knull as well as the symbiotes. Typically, stories of this caliber are saturated with words and dialogue. However, Stegman and his art team did a tremendous job spacing the art and words masterfully.
I left with a few questions. Questions that wouldn’t bring down a score but should get answered before the arc is done. I was led to believe that Knull was around billions of years ago with the First Celestials, especially after seeing the killer Stegman art. Anyway, who came first: Knull or the Celestials? Or, was everything VOID and the Celestials came to fill it? Also, was Knull just always “there?” Readers don’t need the answers to THIS story, but they would be intriguing.
And, how was Knull resurrected? Why now? What happened that triggered his resurrection? Finally, is this the same Void that the Sentry must deal with? I feel these questions are essential to the story and I hope Cates answers them.
Should you buy this issue?
Yes! Cates gives long-time readers the best payoff of all: a deeply interconnected universe. If you’ve been reading AVENGERS or THOR: GOD OF THUNDER, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Cates continues to find ways to connect horror, space, and Superheroes that’s interesting, clever, and imaginative. This is a must buy this week!
Should you add this to your pull list?
Absolutely! If what I said above about Cates isn’t enough, how about you look back through the art in EVERY issue so far? Stegman and his art team are top notch week in and week out. Cates and Stegman genuinely compliment each other and continue to be one of the best teams in comics right now. Add this series to your pull list and get the back issues 1-3. This team is doing great things that people will be talking about.
What did you guys think of VENOM #4? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu