By Jody Houser, Francesco Mobili, Geraldo Borges, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Clayton Crain
Marvel has been giving us a few new 2099 titles, this new series of 2099 comics also gives us a new Venom 2099. Venom 2099 #1 begins with a young girl, Alea, who is getting a new treatment for burns on her arm from her father’s company, Alchemax. Unknown by Alea, Alchemax has been using very small parts of the Venom symbiote for medical procedures. Creating a new title based off an older series is difficult due to how hard it is to make it feel likes its own thing. So does this new take on Venom 2099 feel good and different enough to warrant a new series?
Jody Houser takes on the task of creating a new Venom 2099 for Marvel’s current run of 2099 comics. Houser passes this test with flying colors as she is able to create a comic with a body horror feel to it. The issue slowly builds up as it starts with a defenseless symbiote begging for help and a damaged girl desperate to treat her scars. They both start to change over the issue, for as the symbiote gets angrier, it’s cries for “help” turns into whispers to “kill”. Alea on the other hand, starts off helpless whether it is from healing her scars or dealing with her bully but becomes more in control as she begins to understand the Venom symbiote she has acquired. The relationship between Alea and the symbiote is different from Eddy and Flash right off the bat and it will be interesting to see how it progresses along this series. Venom has had many different series in the past with a number of different writers and hosts but if Houser can continue with this horror theme, this series will truly be memorable.
Aside from having a new feel on the writing, the art in this issue perfectly matches the horror tone to this book. Francesco Mobili, Geraldo Borges, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Clayton Cowles pair well with Houser’s writing by having an art style that has a lot of unsettling tones to it. This is most evident when Alea is getting her “treatment” and starts to have flashbacks of her and Venom’s past. The flashbacks have a yellowish filter to them that gives the reader a feeling they are watching a horror movie despite some of the Venom flashbacks depicting our favorite lovable webhead during his time in the black suit. The look of Venom is deceptively brilliant in this issue in that Venom has a relatively basic design, no white spider symbols here, but the proportions of the body or the vicious look in her smile makes her very intimidating.
It would be easy for Marvel to pump out the old Venom 2099 in a new issue or to really phone it in but Venom 2099 is off to a great start by putting some real effort making it its own thing. Hopefully Venom 2099#1 is a precursor for great things to come and this issue will continue on for a long running series.