Overview

Venom: Dark Origins #1

Review

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Venom: Dark Origins #1

Credits

  • Words: Zeb Wells
  • Art: Angel Medina
  • Inks: Scott Hanna
  • Colors: Matt Milla
  • Story Title: Chapter 1 (of 5)
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: 2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 6, 2008

Eddie Brock is shown to us as a kid, a high schooler, and then on his way to college as someone who just wants to be liked. Unfortunately, when his high school journalism teacher gives a lecture on truth and journalism, Eddie takes it the wrong way.

The problem with the original Venom is that there really wasn’t much to Eddie Brock. The back story to his hatred of Spidey was little more than plot device. The black suit was too cool to give up and now that Spider-man and it were separate, it would be really cool to make it into a monster. Needs host, here’s a guy whom for very superficial reasons hates the webcrawler, good match. Plot device. It works, but its not compelling and gives us no reason to care for the plight that Eddie would eventually go through.

This mini-series seems to be an attempt to fix that. The best parts are when Eddie is a kid. We learn that his mother has died, he has a natural ability to point out lies and above all, no matter the cost, just wants to be liked. As he ages, these qualities which could have just as easily turned him into a pretty decent kid, warp him into the kind of guy who would put on the symbiote and have a death wish for Peter Parker. It works to a degree. Unfortunately, his father and his community seem rather supportive. It would have been good to, I can’t believe I am saying this, add another issue bringing this series to the usual 6 issues. This would have given Wells more time to play with the elementary aged Brock, who is the most compelling the character has ever been. It is a shame that this opportunity was missed.

There is an early and formative appearance by the web slinger and this probably has as much to do with the eventual psychotic break of Eddie as anything else. Problem is, that really Eddie had already crossed the line with his college application and other antics that show that he has become a compulsive liar. I would like to know how a teacher’s lecture could be so warped. It just isn’t there in the script and brings what seemed like a great idea down to the merely average execution.

Medina’s art was a little off putting in the early going of the issue. But once you turn to the title page and see all the emotion in young Brock’s eyes it is all worth the goofy morphed cartooning on display. Slowly as Eddie grows up, the awkward look kind of goes away. Medina is just exaggerating the goofiness of kids and teenagers. It is much the same thing that Ditko did with Peter’s look in the early Spider-Man comics.

This is a flawed issue, but it is an interesting and compelling read and that is a first for the biggest non-character in comic book history. Let’s hope that it at least continues down that path and not into the normal lack of characterization that afflicts the title character.

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