Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Venom #5

By Dan Horn
July 28, 2011 - 10:29

After a brief mission concerning a kidnapped senator's daughter and the Human Fly, Flash Thompson returns home to a message on his answering machine from his mother. His father's been drinking again, something Flash has promised would mean the end of his tremulous relationship with the man who once treated him so abusively. But, before he can sever his ties, he's got to find his inebriated dad and get him home safely, which proves a difficult task. Here, we gain a potent perspective on Flash's true motives pertaining to his tenure as the black ops Venom and on the tragic hero's equally tragic family dynamic.

Remender's narrative is honest, speaking to your humanity, your experience, without pandering to your primal emotions or fishing for an easy tear, and perhaps that's why it's so effective, so powerfully sincere. He's constructed the perfect superhero book, by turns heart-rending and action-packed.

This is also one of those rare books, like certain issues of DMZ, where the art transition makes absolute sense and isn't obviously just a product of overbooked schedules, though it may very well have been. The great Tony Moore covers the visceral opening pages of Venom #5, and Tom Fowler follows with demure artwork on the bulk of this character study. Fowler's panels are a palpable ballast of substance, weighing heavily on the reader's heart, evincing the gravitas of self-destructive addiction.

Well, that's about all I can muster the will to say about this issue with the lump it's put in my throat. This may be the first time a comic book has had this kind of profound, personal impact on me. Everyone needs to read Rick Remender's Venom right now.

Rating: 10 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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