As far as anti-heroes go, it’s to find a list that doesn’t contain Venom. But over the years, the character has experienced drastic changes. He’s gone from a main-stay Spider-Man villain to an anti-hero to a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Still, a constant in all of these stories is a focus on the relationship between the Venom symbiote and its host. And Marvel’s newest series to focus on the character gets him back to his more villainous roots.
Written by Mike Costa and drawn by Gerardo Sandoval, Venom #1 drops us into a Marvel Universe bereft of a proper Venom, with a hostless symbiote stalking the streets of New York.
The Villain Emerges
Enter Lee Price, a former Army Ranger with a distant attitude looking to make ends meet. Lee is standoffish at best and a mildl sociopath at worst. But mostly he’s got a lot of self-determination. So, when a simple security job (set up by Mac Gargan, himself a former Venom host) is interrupted by a rampaging symbiote, Lee quickly dominates the alien life form. The result–he’s quickly becoming the new, complete Venom.
From the outset, Venom #1 focuses on the strange dynamic between Lee and the symbiote. You’d expect that the strange alien biomass that adheres to human skin would be the bad-guy here. However, by the end of the issue it appears Lee is the one bringing out the evil in Venom.
It is a fascinating reversal. And it makes for a good twist after the more recent runs of Venom where he was a full-blown galactic hero.
CHECK OUT VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT FOR MORE GREAT SYMBIOTE SPACE ADVENTURES.
Whether or not there will be a resurgence of Venom as a straight up villain remains to be seen. But with new characters and new twists on the familiar, Venom #1 is a good addition to the current Marvel Now lineup.
PREORDER THE NEW VENOM SERIES.