By Clay Mcleod Chapman, Guiu Vilanova and Frank D’armata
As I went through my pull list this week, I found Web of Venom Empyre’s End. If I’m being honest with you, I had no interest in reading this book, let alone buying it, but my shop owner added it and I figured I would get it just because I liked the cover. I’d never heard of the writer or the artist, but I am familiar with Frank D’armata, and he does good work, so that was a plus too. Having said all that, this is actually a very good book and a good tie-in to the big Knull event coming our way.
Clay Mcleod Chapman has done something not many other comic writers have been able to do; he creeped me out. Web of Venom Empyre’s End is a downright terrifying book. It plays out like movies and shows we’ve seen before; a crew on a rescue mission gets more than they bargained for. We all know how this works, but there is something different about this book. Maybe it’s the way Chapman writes the symbiotes attacking, or maybe it’s that Chapman makes us like these characters before they meet their demise, either way, it works. Chapman develops some of these unknown Skrulls and makes us want to read more about them. For those who don’t know much about Knull, Chapman writes him as sinister as they come. His mere appearance should inspire dread and give you the creeps. For a book I had no expectations for, this was well worth the money spent and highly recommended.
The pencils this issue are handled by Guiu Vilanova with colors by Frank D’armata. For any scary comic to be successful, you need a good artist and colorist. Villanova does a great job of drawing the gut wrenching scenes when a character dies. Some of them look painful and gruesome as they beg for help only to be covers by a symbiote. Vilanova also conveys real fear on the faces of the characters as they flee for their lives. Telos looks great as he runs away from a horde of killer monsters. The colors by Frank D’armata are wonderful here as well. A dark color palette goes a long way in a horror comic. Seeing giant symbiote bats flying with a bright planet behind them is a nice if not terrifying image. D’armata balances the different shades of colors in this book too. With Knull and his pets next to him, there are varying degrees of black, and D’armata shows them all brilliantly. The pencils and colors were the perfect match for this spooky story.
Web of Venom Empyre’s End may be one of the scariest stories you’ve ever read. The script and imagery work so well together. Clay Mcleod Chapman is on my radar now. He has an eye and ear for good scary stories. If you’re not ready for Halloween to be over, check out Web of Venom Empyre’s End.