Venom: Spaceknight #1
By Robbie Thompson and Ariel Olivetti
So here we are; just when you think you’ve seen Marvel do everything they can possible do with the iconic symbiote (or “Klyntar” now… must have missed that happening) enter Venom: Spaceknight. From humble beginnings, to a few stumbles here and there and finally attaching to Flash Thompson in the stellar Rick Remember Venom series, this little guy has been through the ringer. Things have changed since Flash joined up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, though, and now he calls himself an Agent of the Cosmos… whatever that means. Oh, and having a soft spot for the big, black pile of goo has nothing to do with just how great this first issue is either, it’s just one of those issues that’s, well, great.
Writer Robbie Thompson seems to have a clear cut vision for our ol’ pal Flash and this first issue feels like we’re getting a broad spectrum look and what we can expect for the rest of the series. Crazy aliens, space fights, some sort of were-fish thing in space, and Agent Venom being all kinds of badass, in space. Did you catch the part about Venom being in space? It’s like Christmas come early, and then monthly. If you haven’t really been keeping up with Venom since Remender left his series, it definitely feels like a lot has happened. It might be worth going back and checking out some of those Guardians issues just to see and get your Venom fix, but Thompson does do a good job of filling in the necessities.
And, hey, then there’s the art. Ariel Olivetti is a beast and he goes into full on beast mode for this first issue. Olivetti has a style that some might compare to a cleaner version of Clayton Crain, or some might simply say that all his pages just look like painted pieces of magnificent art and forget comparisons all together. Olivetti has a style that fits this story and genre, so perfectly that it already hurts just thinking about the possibility of him ever leaving this book. Together, Thompson and Olivetti make this book what it is and being somewhat pessimistic, it’s hard not to already foresee breaks and/or artist changes so Olivetti can keep doing what he’s doing. But let’s not dwell, or we might get some water works here.
The design of Venom is spectacular, especially considering where he started when he became Agent Venom. There’s a smooth, brilliant evolution based on whatever Flash needs at the time it seems, and to see it in Olivetti’s glorious style is just jaw dropping. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Agent Venom, it’s worth checking out this issue simply for the art because it’s just that good.
Frankly, it doesn’t even matter if there is no finite ending here. It would be nice just to have a badass series with Venom, in freakin’ space, going around, punching things, getting into trouble and just having crazy adventures. Sometimes a series doesn’t need to be connected to the larger Marvel Universe so strongly and should be able to stand on its own and just be. It’s hard to say which direction Marvel and Thompson are going to take, but even if we don’t get our wish, you best believe we’re in for the long haul on this book and you should be too. It’s Venom. IN SPACE.