Shield has found a dragon deep below the ice in Scandinavia, so of course, the first thing they do is chop chunks off it, dunk soldiers in it, and send them to war! Welcome to Earth, welcome to 'Nam!
Of course the second the venomized boots hit the ground things go sideways, and the Klyntar group goes rogue, killing anything and everything they see! Only Nick Fury can clean up this mess, but he needs help from an unlikely source, Wolverine!
This was a fantastic issue, and one of the only times I can recall enjoying Wolverine (I’m not at all an X-men fan) as he’s pretty toned down as far as Wolverine goes. This story takes place pre Weapon X so in keeping with crossovers placing Wolverine in classic settings he doesn’t have claws. Likewise, Fury is clothed as he was during the Vietnam era, spectacularly originally shown by Jim Steranko. This issue did have all the trademark moments for both heroes, much to my delight. (Including a delightful “ah man, an LMD” moment)
This origin story for Rex Strickland is one I’m almost more interested in than a lot of the current main Venom series, which has begun to drag a little at times. I remember saying when the first issue came out that a miniseries about Symbiote soldiers in Vietnam would be interesting, so I’m glad we got this one shot. It is funny that we discover alien life and immediately send it to war, although as Fury said they US government was eager to begin the next was of super soldiers following the loss of Captain Rogers.
It is a bit funny that in this Marvel timeline Captain America was lost during Vietnam, in real time he was unfrozen in 1963 in Avengers #4, weird how the sliding Marvel timescale works sometimes.
The art this issue by Juanan Ramirez is very well done, with Logan and Fury looking detailed and appropriately grizzled. Likewise, the symbiotes in their bloodlust state look super cool all decked out in soldier gear. There is one slightly disturbing panel toward the beginning where a symbiote is eating an enemy and holy crap it’s grisly. I will say it’s a bit nitpicky but faces seem to be proportioned strangely at times, with thin mouths and unfinished looking eyes.
The colors by Felipe Sobreiro have some really great standout moment, including one page where Logan and Fury are on the Symbiotes trail and the page descends from light and clean towards the top to a bloody hellscape near the bottom, amazing. Also cool is the panel where Logan senses Rex in a retro-looking panel that almost feels like a Spider-Sense panel, really cool.
Lettering by Clayton Cowles is good as always, he’s a real standout of the industry. It is a little funny that the Symbiotes only say one thing in their language, over and over again, same as in the main series. “God is Coming” hm.
I found the cover somewhat unspectacular as it’s basically just a rehash of a panel from Venom #2.
Really fun one shot, that is right on the cusp of a standalone story, I think you can read and enjoy it on it's own but the Venom main series does a lot of the initial stage setting. Really fun, can't wait for the next one.
Ve’nam #1: Welcome to Earth, Welcome to Hell
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 6/106/10
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