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Venom: First Host #2 Review

by Harlan Ivester on September 05, 2018

Writer: Mike Costa
Pencilers: Mark Bagley & Ron Lim
Inkers: Andrew Hennessy & Scott Hanna
Colorist: Dono Sanchez-Almara
Publisher: Marvel Comics

         Venom cries in this issue.
         It might be worth buying just because of that.

         Venom: First Host #2’s main problem is that nothing really happens until the last page. Sure, we take some time to learn about the first host’s motives and past, but everything that we learn could have already been inferred from the previous issue. The rest of the it is spent wrapping up a fight that goes how you already would have guessed, too. I think it’s worth mentioning that Costa brings back one of my favorite things about his run: acknowledging the symbiote as a character. It’s conversations with Eddie Brock make their relationship feel much more believable. VFH #2 also has a neat little call back to Space Knight, of all things. It gives me hope that the future issues might wrap up more loose ends and prove that they were worth creating in the first place.

         Ron Lim works with Mark Bagley on the pencils of this issue, and at first I didn’t notice. But going back and looking for the differences, everything does look a little softer. As a whole, it still looks and feels very Bagley because of angles and body language, but smoothed edges make close up shots of faces alleviate the similarities that Bagley’s characters usually have on their own. But on the other hand, they can feel inconsistent. It’s a little jarring seeing a very clearly Bagley face and then a very clearly not Bagley face of the same character two panels over. I really appreciate that Dono Sanchez-Almara doesn’t shy away from stark contrasting colors. He helps the book pop when he can, but there’s a lot of blues in this book that bog it down a little.

         Venom: First Host #2 isn’t exactly worth the price of admission. Yes, some important steps are made, but they can be summed up so quickly since the story is going exactly as you would have guessed so far anyway. If you buy this one, I don’t think you’ll regret it, but at the same time, I not going to go out of my way to recommend it to anyone unless they really, really enjoyed the first issue. But maybe Venom crying will make this issue a hot collector’s item.
 

Our Score:

6/10

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