Venom: Lethal Protector #1 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by David Michelinie, art by Ivan Fiorelli, colors by Bryan Valenza, and letters by Travis Lanham. The story takes a trip back to the early days of the character’s history, exploring Eddie Brock and the Venom Symbiotes’ first foray into trying to be a hero, whilst he is hunted and attacked by heroes and villains alike.
The placement of the issue and the story, in general, is something that needs getting used to before one can get comfortable within it. This series occurs at some point during the original Lethal Protector comic, although it is not clear where exactly. But once you get your bearings the story becomes exciting. Revisiting this time period is fun as there is a blending of dark humor and a violent comic. The comic takes an incredibly unexpected turn as the threats Venom faces become ludicrous yet brilliant. In fact, it is difficult to know the direction that this series will take at all.
Part of the mystery within Venom: Lethal Protector #1 comes from the unpredictability of the character at the stage in his life. Co-creator Michelinie brings that unsettling nature that Brock constantly carries. In the very first battle Venom does something brutal and shocking, but spends the rest of the issue contemplating it. Both Brock and the Symbiote are in such conflict as if they are still learning each other. It is a fantastic exploration on its own, but in comparison to the current era, it’s even greater.
Michelinie’s dialogue is has a charm to it but can occasionally feel out of place. This is largely due to the fact it belongs in a different era. The writer has delivered a script that fits within the time that the original book was created as opposed to upgrading it to live in the present. The Venom dialogue is a mixture of fantastic and violent quips, but a lot of the word balloons are full of heavy exposition, but that is akin to the style during the original series. Eddie’s monologues are almost Shakespearean in their tone and composition, full of maturity and existentialism.
The art is fantastic too. This is classic Venom and Fiorelli captures that with a modern take. He is bulky and muscular as he was during this period, but there does appear to be a more sleek design within this issue. When in the Symbiote there isn’t this over-exaggeration of proportions, perhaps the most glaring changes between the eras. The detail in the tendrils and especially the face is incredible. Venom’s grin features more individual, vicious teeth as opposed to the combined lines. The other costumed characters involved are brilliantly created, featuring uniforms that mix hilarity with intelligence. The fights have a speed to them as Venom’s power is demonstrated superbly. In the opening fight, a lot of the action is out of focus or off to the side. This suggests that Venom is battling absent-mindedly as if those bothering them are barely registering. The most violent part of the combat could almost be missed due to how quickly it happens.
The colors are really nice and natural. They are muted and there is a lot of browns and blacks utilized by Valenza, but this is primarily due to the book happening in Autumn. The colorist creates a realistic color scheme even if the art style doesn’t support this. The “villain” Venom comes up against may be the brightest part of the book, but even that matches the tones of the browning leaves around them. Additionally, the lettering is perfect at denoting the voices of the characters and is dynamic enough to project intense energy.
Venom: Lethal Protector #1 is a great continuation of a beloved classic. Michelinie returns to the character to remind readers of what the character was like during his first solo series. Both the slightly corny dialogue and the interactions between Eddie and his Symbiote is a fantastic demonstrations of how far they have come both together and separately. The moral quandary Brock goes through is dealt with to show both humor and really powerful emotion, with stunning art on hand to showcase the excellent fight scenes when morality goes out the window.
Venom: Lethal Protector #1 is available where comics are sold.
Venom: Lethal Protector #1
Venom: Lethal Protector #1 is a great continuation of a beloved classic. Michelinie returns to the character to remind readers of what the character was like during his first solo series. Both the slightly corny dialogue and the interactions between Eddie and his Symbiote is a fantastic demonstrations of how far they have come both together and separately.
Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”