REVIEW: ‘Venom,’ Issue #4

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Venom #4 - But Why Tho

Venom #4 is written by Ram V, penciled by Bryan Hitch, inked by Andrew Currie, colored by Alex Sinclair, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. “Codex” picks up in the aftermath of the third issue, with Dylan Brock being held captive by the Life Foundation as they perform experiments on him. The Venom symbiote races across New York City to save Dylan, but soon finds itself locked in battle with the Foundation’s latest mercenary, Spearhead-who happens to be equipped with all manner of anti-symbiote weaponry.

Since he started out as a villain and is often referred to as the “Lethal Protector,” it isn’t surprising that Venom doesn’t have a gallery of villains to fight. However, the Life Foundation has been a constant thorn in his side-and it looks like Dylan has inherited this rivalry from his father along with the Venom symbiote. V starts to peel back the mystery behind the Foundation’s goals, including their connection to the mysterious figure known as Meridius who appeared in the first issue, and Carlton Drake’s attempt to “evolve” symbiotes into a new form. Combine that with a shocking plot twist, and it’s clear that V and fellow writer Al Ewing have big plans in store for Venom.

Hitch brings his trademark hi-tech design to bear when crafting the Spearhead’s armor. The armor covers the mercenary from head to toe, with a long white cloak covering his head and a chest-shaped emblem in the form of a spear; coupled with Sinclair’s red and blue color scheme, the end result comes off as a superheroic version of a Guardian from Destiny. And true to his name, the Spearhead wields a hi-tech spear equipped with sonic pulses-one of the few things that can kill a Symbiote. This leads to some intense action sequences as the Venom symbiote writhes in pain after being hit by multiple sonic pulses. Hitch also brings another symbiote to life that could prove to be a thorn in Venom’s side, and it looks so horrific that even Carnage would shrink in fear from it.

What I really enjoyed about this issue is that it mostly takes place from the perspective of the Venom symbiote. Not only does this mean that Cowles has the chance to deliver the Symbiote’s narrative in Venom’s trademark black and white color scheme, but it’s also a way to shake up the storytelling. The symbiote has been a part of Eddie Brock’s life, and now it’s dedicated itself to protecting Dylan as the younger Brock sees his father within the symbiote. They’ve bonded on so many levels, and it’s only natural that it would extend to a father/son bond of sorts with Eddie’s passing.

Venom #4 delivers new twists and turns into its narrative, with the Lethal Protector facing off against the Life Foundation’s machinations. I don’t know where the series is headed, but it seems to be leaning into the cosmic horror elements of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s run and I’m all for that.

Venom #4 is available wherever comics are sold.


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TL;DR

Venom #4 delivers new twists and turns into its narrative, with the Lethal Protector facing off against the Life Foundation’s machinations. I don’t know where the series is headed, but it seems to be leaning into the cosmic horror elements of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s run and I’m all for that.

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