"Absolute Carnage" is in full swing and reigning chaos, Spider-Man and Venom are fighting Carnage, and The Maker is babysitting Dylan and Normie, and in the process of stripping the codexes from the symbiote’s hosts, however, Dylan may have other plans.
Venom 18 is a classic Venom issue. This has the makings of what will surely turn into a key issue in not only Cates’ time at the helm of the Venom Universe but a key issue in Venom lore. With Dylan’s story in full swing, this issue only adds to the riddle of Dylan Brock. The book opens with Sleeper ascending on Venom HQ, conversing with Dylan. After a short conversation, Dylan finds out that Sleeper is actually piloting Tel-Kar’s corpse. Now, this is where it gets interesting, Sleeper tells Dylan “we are stronger when we aren’t alone”, just as one of Sleeper’s tentacles are reaching out to Dylan. The Maker continues with his plans to extract the codex from Normie, and the other previously infected people that are under his watch. However, Dylan being of the Brock lineage stands his ground and vows not to let that happen, and asks himself “what would Eddie do”? In true form, Dylan only comes up with one answer… ”Something stupid”. With this being an “Absolute Carnage” tie-in, it was only a matter of time before we crossed over that particular river.
The next panel shows The Maker talking with Eddie, however, we only get to read a few lines, before being prompted to read “Absolute Carnage” #2 to find out about the full conversation. The back and forth between The Maker and Eddie reveals that Carnage, in fact, did not dig up Anne’s body, Anne didn’t have a codex in her. Now as the plot thickens, we have to go back to Dylan and his “devil may care” approach to helping Normie, in keeping The Maker away from him. Dylan fires his shoulder cannon and ends up breaking the canisters containing the symbiotes. Buckle up kids, because this is where it gets crazy. The five symbiotes have now bonded to The Maker and created a hybrid of sorts. At this point I was already gripping the book, fervently turning pages in anticipation for the next panel. When Dylan asks The Maker “what do you want with me”? Responding “The Maker knows…and now…so do we”. The next panel will, over time, carve itself into Venom lore: readers see Dylan yelling at The Maker and what appears to be symbiote strands coming out of his eyes, and right as we think “Kid Venom” is about to appear, Captain America, Spider-Man, The Thing, and Wolverine appear, show up, ready help out.
Donny Cates continues to pilot Venom with twists and turns while sustaining his quest to re-write Venom in his own light all the while paying homage to early Venom such as "Sinner Takes All." All in all this issue was rife with revelation, excitement, and anticipation for what’s to come.
Venom #18: The Tie That Binds
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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