Venom #8: Through Space and Time

Superstar writers Ram V and Al Ewing passed the story of Venom back and forth with each issue, cutting between Eddie Brock’s misadventures through time and the earthly exploits of his young son Dylan. The unconventional structure made for engaging reading to say the least, with each month bringing a unique story to the one before it. The duo’s creative writing experience has impressed so far, and this week it’s Al Ewing’s turn to take control again.

Pulling Eddie Brock from the otherworldly prison he was left in at the end of issue #5, Ewing quickly deposits the rugged anti-hero aboard a starship in 602.n/a century, where the symbiotes were weaponized to serve the intergalactic empire of Kang the Conqueror. Being an alien himself, Venom comics have always dipped into sci-fi territory, but so far the franchise hasn’t embraced the space opera subgenre so heavily, with a lightsaber duel that looks like it was ripped straight from A new hope.

Penciller Bryan Hitch has fun with the setting, rendering plenty of awesome spaceship interiors and sci-fi weapons galore. Particular praise must go to the familiar yet evolved designs of the symbiotes resembling cyborgs from the future, as well as the design of a surprise character whose appearance better not be spoiled.

The story progresses like one of the most thrilling sequences in a video game, with Eddie Brock appearing and mowing down crowds of enemies before facing the final boss. Kang the Conqueror makes his mandated appearance here, his relevance within the Marvel Universe reinvigorated since his live-action debut in Loki. Venom is the latest comic to cement Kang’s newfound status as a major player in Marvel’s current slate of books.

Unlike the period before Infinity War which Thanos has been thrust into in every comic book imaginable, I haven’t been annoyed by Kang’s presence yet. His unique abilities and moral ambiguity make him ripe for better stories than the Mad Titan, and similarly it was fun to watch Kang team up with Conan and Doctor Doom in savage avengers, his interactions with Venom are equally entertaining. Kang is a divine being who speaks exclusively in grandiose monologues, making him the antithesis of a character as grounded and straightforward as Eddie. By the end of the issue, the two form an uneasy alliance that threatens to break at any moment.

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