REVIEW: ‘Venom,’ Issue #30

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Venom Issue #30

Venom #30 “Venom Beyond” Part 5 concludes the story of Eddie and Dylan in the Ultimate universe. The ragtag team of symbiotes finally hits their breaking point and brings their fight to Codex. Venom #30 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Donny Cates, art by Luke Ross, colors by Jesus Aburtov, and letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles.

Previously, Venom #29 explored the history of Annie and Dylan from Earth-1610, learning that the influence of Knull infected Dylan by creating Codex. Meanwhile, Virus, revealed to be Mac Gargan a.k.a. Scorpion, was unleashed with a new symbiote to wreak havoc on the rebels. Unbeknownst to Mac, Dylan confronts him and obliterates his symbiote using his experimental Codex powers. Now having an enemy captive in their ranks, they plan to take the fight to the ruling power.

Issue #30 picks up from where #29 left off with Codex suffering the loss of the broken connection with Mac Gargan’s symbiote. There’s only one being on this planet who has the ability to destroy a symbiote connection so intensely: Codex. At the same time, over in the underground base of the rebels, Annie and Dylan share a moment from a mother who lost a son to a son who lost a mother. Annie, with some fresh perspective from an unlikely source, is invigorated with new rage to take the fight to their enemies and end this feud once and for all as the “Venom Beyond” storyline draws to a climactic close.

Cates delivered an interesting mini-plot for Venom #30, but it’s hard not to look back at the overall series and not feel like there was some lost momentum in comparison with the initial bombastic four volumes. There were definitely opportunities examined as far as the Venom symbiote exploring newfound powers after being connected to the hive, and an alternative future where Dylan’s future powers took him down a dark and destructive path that gave this series some legs. Ultimately, however, in frank terms, I’d say this felt more like a filler series to bide time to get from the end of the “Absolute Carnage” story up until we are expecting the “King in Blackseries.

Ross’s art style lent itself well to the series as a whole and was similar in nature to that of Juan Gedeon’s in the prior issues. The visual styling feels somewhat awkward during the beginning of the issue with detail just feeling off, specifically on the facial features. They look more like inked lines rather than the weathered look of aged skin. Ross makes up for it later in the issue when they get to unleash their ability during the dramatic action scene to conclude the series. During one of the final moments, there is an image of two of the characters being cataclysmically brought together and the depiction really stands above and beyond. A solid showing for sure, but the balance of the quality of the visuals feels more heavily weighted to the action scenes with less detail in the plot building scenes.

The colors from Aburtov follow the same results as the visuals with more care being shown to the big action sequences really popping from the pages. There’s a feeling of excitement and tension when you reach this stage, but up until this point again, nothing really stands out and grabs you any kind of impact.

Cowles lettering was consistent and placed well within the panels, but the onomatopoeia left a lot to be desired. Often times the design sadly blended into the background of the visuals leaving you without the impact of the action.

Overall, as a huge symbiote fan, I enjoyed the series, but it was more of a comforting “oh that was nice,” as opposed to “I think my jaw just hit the floor.” I truly do believe that a short story was needed to buy the creative team some time before the huge symbiote event of the holidays truly kicks off; something that wouldn’t impact the prime reality. Ultimately it reflects a “What If?” storyline more than anything long-lasting. It’s fun, but inconsequential.

Venom #30 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Venom Issue #30
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, as a huge symbiote fan I enjoyed the series, but it was more of a comforting “oh that was nice”, as opposed to “I think my jaw just hit the floor!”.  I truly do believe that a short story was needed to buy the creative team some time before the huge symbiote event of the holidays truly kicks off, something that wouldn’t impact the prime reality. Ultimately it reflects a “what if” storyline than anything long lasting, fun, but inconsequential.