VENOM #5 Review: The New Snyder And Capullo

Monkeys Fighting Robots

Venom’s new wings, the Rex Strickland revelation, and the Grendel explained all in this week’s VENOM #5 as Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman continue to reinvigorate Venom while cementing a legacy as one of the best teams in comics today.

WRITTEN BY: Donny Cates
PENCILS BY: Ryan Stegman
INKS: JP Mayer
COLORS: Frank Martin
LETTERS: Clayton Cowles



To see what happened the last issue, click on the writer’s name below.

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After exploding from the belly of the Klyntar Dragon, Miles Morales Spider-Man, and Venom fall to their doom from thousands of feet in the air. Lucky for these two heroes, Venom’s symbiote gained some extra abilities coming into direct contact with the God-Host Knull. So, Eddie Brock’s symbiote grows wings and glides Spider-Man and himself to safety.

Brock and his symbiote realize that the Grendel must not complete its misison. If the Klyntar Dragon becomes complete with all its symbiotic pieces, it can’t be stopped. Grendel will fly through space and free Knull who’s been trapped for centuries. Venom recognizes that Rex Strickland is the last piece of the symbiote and the Grendel (Klyntar Dragon) is searching for him.

So, Brock and the symbiote combined with Rex to become stronger to fight the Dragon beast. Now, Brock has the Venom symbiote and part of the Grendel symbiote inside his mind communicating with him while giving Eddie new and enhanced abilities. But, will these new powers be enough to stop the Klyntar Dragon from freeing Knull? Symbiotes are going to hit the fan next issue!

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Well Done Cates

Cates’ story was incredibly original, creative, and transformative for the character. Cates has made Venom more than just a villain/ anti-hero who hates Spider-Man or even an alien from outer space. He gave Venom a backstory that weaves into the history of the Marvel Universe and completely opened up the character’s power set for the future.

Venom appears to be stronger, he can alter his bodies chemistry, and now can grow huge freakin’ wings! Readers should be excited to see where Venom is going, especially since he only gets stronger by absorbing other symbiotes. Who knows how powerful Venom will be now that he absorbed some of the Grendel symbiote? Heck, once the Grendel is re-exposed to ”the light,” will they combine with Venom to take down Knull?

Speaking of the Grendel, fans should have been blown away with Cates’ reveal that Rex was apart of the Grendel symbiote. Maybe I’m just an idiot, which I’m frequently told, but I didn’t see that twist coming. Cates brought the entire story together with this issue. Readers have everything thoroughly explained with only the end showdown waiting for Venom and Knull. Who’s going to win? My hope is the story is more of a long burn, but we shall see.

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Horrifically Talented Art

Stegman’s art is dark, clear, and fantastical with horror overtones that amplify this issue to another level. As always, Stegman’s art grabs the readers attention immediately, and JP Mayers inks add so much depth and texture to each page. Frank Martin’s colors attach emotion to every panel with his choice of deep, violent, and frightening tones while Clayton Cowles letters added weight, form, and guidance making this issue such an easy read.

If fans want to see Stegman and his art team genuinely shine, look no further than the winged Venom spread or the fiery, blood-laced, web panels, as well as their full-page spread of Venom combining with Rex to make a super-powered symbiote.  Those pages alone summarize Stegman and this teams talent while elevating this book to one of the very best each week.

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Should you buy this issue and/ or add this to your pull list?

Where have you been? Of course, this needs to be on your pull list! Stegman and Cates are the new Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Cates is diving so deep into the mythos of Venom, just like Snyder did with Batman while Stegman’s art captures the dark and fantastical of the character beautifully, just like Capullo did with the Dark Knight. Cates and Stegman are two of the best creative storytellers, and artistic geniuses in all of comics right now just like Snyder and Capullo were during DC’s ”Fresh Start” with the New 52. Listen up comic fans; this issue was creative, fast-paced, and easy to read. Buy VENOM #5 and add it to your pull list going forward. Readers will not be disappointed.

What did you guys think of VENOM #5? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu. If you would like to read more of my reviews, click HERE!