For the past year of Venom, Eddie Brock has been through hell. In the wake of the War of the Realms though, things seem to be going better. However, with Carnage’s return, things might be able to get much much worse…
Donny Cates, Juan Gedeon, Jesus Abuterov, and Clayton Cowles give Eddie one last reprieve before Absolute Carnage.
Eddie is desperate, as Dylan comes down with a fever. He falls back to one of his old gigs, hoping to find a writing job to make enough to get medicine for his son. However, it leads him to a much darker case that he expects, one that puts him face to face with an old foe… and on the path to Carnage himself.
Cates plays with expectations here, as explores the effects of his separation with Venom in the middle of a mystery story. He leans back into Eddie’s history as he’s done several times in the course of his run, and shows how good of an investigator the character is. However, Eddie grappling with the remnants of Venom in his psyche- both in Cates’ script and in Gedeon’s art- is the best part of the issue, as he still tries to play hero.
Gedeon’s work does so much to convey Eddie’s fragile state of mind. Every time he has a break, suddenly he’s Venom, and Gedeon doesn’t just put the symbiote over Eddie’s page, the character dominates the panels and pages, becoming a physically imposing presence. He also draws the Carnage possessed goons as inhuman, twisted and broken monsters, not just scary people. Abuterov adds a sheen to the line art that emphasizes the story points, especially when Eddie lets his dark side out, which are emphasized with splashes of bright color.
Everything has led to this, and now Eddie knows Carnage is back. It’s time for Absolute Carnage.
Venom #16 is available now from Marvel Comics.