By Matthew Rosenberg, Roland Boschi and Daniel Brown
Venom seems to be trending upwards as of late. Tom Hardy has signed on to play the character in a feature film, Eddie Brock has reunited with the symbiote, and this week we’re treated to the Edge of Venomverse series. While the main Venom series started out slow, it has picked up since Eddie Brock has come back, but it’s always interesting to see what would happen when other well-known Marvel characters interact with the symbiote, and that’s what the Edge of Venomverse brings us.
Matthew Rosenberg gives us an introductory issue that focuses on X-23 and the characters from NYX. The issue starts very fast as Rosenberg puts us right in the middle of an X-23 escape attempt. How she gets the symbiote is fine, but nothing terribly surprising. What Rosenberg does that works here is he gets X-23’s tone and personality during her NYX days; she’s quiet and deadly, but uses her actions to do all the talking. As we get further into the issue, Kiden and her crew are introduced, which is where things get interesting. Rosenberg has a nice take on having these characters meet in an alternate universe; oddly enough, they end with the same results. The way the team bonds together and gets food and just look out for one another overall is very well done too. Rosenberg turned in a good first issue that should pique interest in where the series will go next issue.
The pencils this issue are handled by Roland Boschi with colors by Daniel Brown. The art is where the issue hiccups. The pencils by Roland Boschi are rough around the edges; many panels have oddly shaped body parts or misshapen heads. This is a gritty and stylistic approach to the art, but it is pretty rough in some areas, many times during action sequences. Having said that, there are some good and creepy panels in this issue. One that comes to mind involves a group of men attacking Kiden and her crew. As Kiden goes on the defensive, she has a part of the symbiote attached to her. This allows her to have the upper part of her face to appear normal, while the lower half has that grotesque symbiote smile. Boschi shines in panels like this. The colors by Daniel Brown are gritty as well and almost appear to have a texture to them. Brown’s work almost looks like it was done with a crayon, which is fine, but the subject matter in the book is kind of thrown off by the crayon-like colors used.
As far as introductory issues go, this is a pretty good effort. The story is interesting enough and it’s a cool concept. Matthew Rosenberg delivers a solid script that brings back some characters from limbo, which is always great. The art could be better, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone interested in picking up the series.