The GeeksverseVenom By Daniel Way: Ultimate Collection

Venom By Daniel Way: Ultimate Collection
Published on Sunday, May 27, 2012 by
In my search for the origin of Flash Thompson’s Venom symbiote, I came upon a symbiote let loose upon the world without a host by scribe Daniel Way.
This symbiote starts his journey in 2003 in the Venom series, a collection of 18 issues in an Ultimate Collection, or collected in three slimmer trades by story arc. The story arcs are named and in parts, but honestly, the entire run is one story arc. The story may break into a journey, a time with Wolverine, and a exposition of clones and mysterious alien plans, but it all combines to tell a single story. To that end, it should be read in a single issue as presented in the Ultimate Collection.
Daniel Way (Author), Francisco Herrera (Illustrator), Paco Medina (Illustrator), Sean Galloway (Illustrator), Skottie Young (Illustrator), Sam Keith (Covers)
I’ve spent the past few evenings looking into the past.
I would have found this book slow in single issue form waiting between issues. In a collection, it is a fast read. Trades are fun that way.  The arctic suspense sequence is a nice study in how comics work. It is paced not by the writer or illustrator but instead by the audience. Do the pages fly by or slowly freeze? That is in the cool mind of the reader.
Daniel Way is channeling John Carpenter’s The Thing in the first part of this story.
Unfortunately, the story has a few hanging chads. The resolution is unsatisfactory yet well executed. Characterization is rushed away by background knowledge of the characters. The 18th issue left me looking for another installment to find out more back story about a character that had been important yet unexplored since the first issue.
Counterbalancing those problems are some fun moments. Venom on a dog, a bird, a flock of cockroaches are all fun moments that show the suit struggling to survive. Venom is a survivor.
An important aspect to the special agent Venom fan is the alien technology that allows the suit to be tamed.
The art isn’t how I would want this story to look, yet in a collection it drew me in. Fans of Chew might appreciate the stylized cartoony look. Since I grew up with the McFarlane Venom, I have trouble with other styles at the house of M.
One aspect that is not my taste yet notable is the contorted shapes made possible by the alien symbiote even when ignoring the humanoid trapped inside. Sam Keith’s covers are true to the interiors, hulking monsters that Keith fans would find familiar from Hulk or Maxx but seem grotesque from Venom. It is notable since the modern installment of special Avenger Venom is channeling this same monster blob when let loose.

Special agent Venom, Flash Thompson wearing the Secret Avenger suit, is assigned the alien wardrobe after Dark Reign, Dark Avengers, and other complicated world spinning Marvel stories. It is not hard to see it built on a foundation laid out by Daniel Way and team back in 2003. The hulking shape, the suppressor technology, and the theme of control are important to the current Venom story. Pitting Venom against Venom and having Eddie Brock as only one half of the fight  is also a nice aspect.

 

This is more fun than She-Venom (either one).  This story doesn’t carry the baggage of the Mac Gargan Venom.

 

As Brock returns to destroy the suit in the current Rick Remender run, Daniel Way’s Ultimate Collection is a nice read while waiting on the next installment.

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