Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Andy Owens
Colorists: Frank Martin & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
So I'm assuming you guys have all been reading VENOM and are caught up on ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, right? Awesome! A lot of crazy shit has been happening in Eddie Brock's life and it's all because of an evil genius, Donny Cates. That's right Cates has been putting Eddie through the craziest shit we've ever seen. He fought an entire army of symbiotes, tried to prevent the God Knull from returning and found out he had had a son. Damn that's a lot of crap to deal with. During all of this, Eddie has been somewhat accepted by the hero community because of his help in War of the Realms and now in the fight against Carnage. It's been a crazy and fun ride so far and after that last page reveal (Issue 20) to Dylan, that Eddie was his father, it's gonna be interesting to see where Cates takes him now.
Which brings us to today's issue which teams Cates with legendary Spidey artist Mark Bagley, who's no stranger to Venom either. This issue deals with the fallout of ABSOLUTE CARNAGE and the parenting revelation. Dylan hasn't exactly come around to Eddie and is obviously upset that Eddie had been hiding that info the whole time. Even though he's mad he still wishes Eddie luck on his secret meeting he's going on. Which just happens to be at Avengers Mountain.
The meeting with the Avengers was somewhat unexpected but was really cool to see Eddie be recognized as a "hero". As he's talking to them, in his head he's telling himself that he doesn't belong, "Venom can't be an Avenger". But then he hears another voice in his head, Carnage. If you guys remember, he had to absorb Carnage into himself to save the city. This is what sets ups the rest of this story. He has to get Cranage out of his head. As he rushes to leave, Captain America hands him a card and tells him that he can always call them "no questions asked".
When he returns to New York, he decides that there is no other choice but to leave. He needs to "exorcise" Carnage. Where could he possibly go, to the same island where he once "killed" Spider-Man. It connects this arc with Amazing Spider-Man #347 by writer David Michelinie and artist Erik Larsen. In that issue, Venom kidnaps Spider-Man to a secluded tropical island with the intent to have a final battle without fear of interruption.
As one of the most associated Spidey artist of the nineties, it's a welcome sight to have Bagley on art duties. This is perhaps some of the best work I've seen from him in awhile, besides SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY of course. This man is always at his best when he draws in the Spidey universe of books.
The ending of this issue depicts an Eddie Brock determined to get rid of Carnage once and for all. I couldn't be more excited for this new arc and what's coming in the future. VENOM continues to be one of Marvels best books out right now. With Cates at the helm you know it's only gonna get crazier from here.