"Web of Venom: Ve'Nam #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Juanan Ramirez
Colored by Felipe Sobreiro
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2018, 33 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on August 29th, 2018
In the latest Venom series we learn that Eddie Brock's symbiote is not the first one to appear on Earth. S.H.I.E.L.D. got its hands on some a few decades back and used these brutal super soldiers in the Vietnam War. Web of Venom: Ve'Nam (Get it!?) takes a look at that bloody tale with some special guest stars.
First off, I love everything about this. The Venom symbiote has always been this mysterious gooey entity and writer Donny Cates has given it a solid backstory that has allowed him to play with Marvel continuity in the best way. In this case, he dives into the Vietnam War with Nick Fury and Wolverine. Think about this for a second. The former head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Logan, and a bunch of symbiote-crazed soldiers are fighting it out in the jungles of Vietnam. How awesome is that?
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The symbiotes are absolutely terrifying. They look soulless and hungry with their enormous teeth. Instead of eyes, there's a red spiral on their foreheads. Most are still wearing the soldier's uniforms too. Where artist Juanan Ramirez really excels is when these characters lash out with tendrils flying every which way in a horrifying attack.
When the symbiotes leap into action, they yell stuff in their native tongue. Letterer Clayton Cowles puts these in jagged red word balloons that go with the monstrous quality of their appearance. It's scary enough seeing these things jump at you, but imagine them shouting something no human ear has ever heard before.
Wolverine is the perfect person for this mission, although as he points out to Fury, he's not doing it out of patriotism. He's Canadian. He fits in with the timeline of this whole thing too, so he's a great choice. In this adventure he's not sporting his traditional yellow and blue gear, as the X-Men haven't been invented yet. Instead, he's in regular camo which is a good look for him, although it makes him look like your stereotypical badass soldier.
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What sets Web of Venom: Ve'Nam apart is Felipe Sobreiro's colors. You immediately understand not only that this is a flashback, but it's one to a specific time. Sobreiro's work instantly takes you to this time period that I only know from movies like Platoon, although there's a bit of Predator mixed in with all the blood and aliens.
Web of Venom: Ve'Nam fills in the gaps in the symbiote's timeline on Earth in a pretty fun way. It's a nice complement to the current Venom series that's greatly expanding on the character's mythos. Just think of what other events throughout history the symbiotes could have been involved in, both from the real world and the Marvel Universe. The possibilities are as endless as they are bloody.