Venom #9 Shows That You Can Never Go Home
by Tony Thornley
After the better part of a year, Eddie Brock has been through a lot, questioning everything he knew about his other as he lost its constant presence. Now in Venom #9, he faces his greatest challenge–going home.
That might sound like a set up for a funny story, or something heart warming. Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin & Clayton Cowles tell a much more realistic story though, one that has Eddie Brock facing his past and the demon at the center of it–his father.
Eddie returns to San Francisco, trying to figure out why he went back in the first place after his battle with Knull. He finds himself face to face with his father, and a brother he never knew he had. After he’s chased away, that same brother tracks him down with a frightening proposal.
Cates quickly weaves a different spin on the similar themes of the previous arc–deepening and enriching his protagonist. Where the previous two arcs did this with the symbiote, this arc clearly aims to do so with Brock. In just one issue, we already see a big shift, with both a retcon to Eddie’s history and an addition in his brother. It’s all done with wit and skill that’s full of character.
Stegman and Mayer’s line work are still career best. They are able to convey a great range of emotion in Eddie and his father both. When the symbiote makes its presence known, the story quickly shifts into horror with just a few artistic touches, like panel shapes, strange angles, and the horrified reactions of the characters. Martin’s work deepens that and sells it on every page.
I’m still on this journey, but I’m impressed with how easily this team has changed me from being apathetic to being a fan of Venom.
Venom #9 is available now from Marvel Comics.