July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Venom Volume 4

While Eddie Brock battles Carnage, his son Dylan holds his own with the Maker.

So, I decided to read Absolute Carnage so I could read the next volumes of both Venom and Amazing Spider-Man without worrying about being too confused.  Then I realized I had still skipped the third volume of Venom.

But that turned out to be a series of issues crossing over with the Thor-based storyline War of the Realms, so I think I’ll be OK there.  I am way too far behind in Jason Aaron’s Thor run to get to that one just yet.  In the meantime, yes, I did read the fourth volume of Donny Cates’s Venom, subtitled Absolute Carnage.

After a single issue showing Eddie Brock, with the Venom symbiote, is back in New York City, the story switches over to the real threat of Cletus Kasady and his own Carnage symbiote.  However, most of this trade doesn’t focus much on Eddie.  We check in on him once in a while, but most of the story is centered around Dylan Brock, the son Eddie didn’t know about until recently.  The symbiote, it seems, had altered many of Eddie’s memories, leading him to falsely believe that Dylan was his younger brother and not his son.  Now reunited, he’s looking for a way to tell the boy something the kid obviously needs to know.

However, there’s a big threat out there, and it’s symbiote-based, so while Venom and Spider-Man go off to deal with it, that leaves Dylan and little Normie Osborn in the care of the Maker, the evil Reed Richards from the now-defunct Ultimate Universe.  The Maker has a machine that could remove the codex from someone’s spine.  The only real question is whether or not it can be done safely.

OI course, other symbiotes are out there, and the Maker’s motives are not exactly to anyone’s benefit except his own.  That means it’s basically up to Dylan to figure out a way to take down the evil genius with maybe a little help from a symbiote or passing superhero.

Of the various Absolute Carnage stuff I read for this week, this may have been the best even if it had the (ironically) smallest stakes since the Maker is a bit further down the ladder in terms of threats as opposed to some kind of Carnage god-thing.  Dylan’s quick thinking comes in far more handy than any number of heroes throwing punches, and the end result is more of the mystery of Dylan’s own existence coming out while still advancing the overall plot of Cates’s Venom series.

So, really, this one made Absolute Carnage almost worthwhile.

Almost.

9 out of 10 chemistry lessons.