Web of Venom: Ve’Nam #1 (Marvel Comics)
Runners Up: Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 (DC Comics), Venom: First Host #1 (Marvel Comics)
I really enjoy light weeks, as they allow fun books to shine a bit more. This one is no exception. The first Web of Venom special Ve’Nam, takes readers into the newly established past of Venom and his fellow symbiotes. Donny Cates has been on a roll, and is showing no signs of stopping. Backed by Juanan Ramirez and Felipe Sobreiro on art, Cates keeps Venom‘s momentum going, and weaves a surprising tale. With art reminiscent of Ennis, Parlov and Bellaire’s excellent Punisher: The Platoon, the book maintains a dark war setting while also injecting some classic Marvel storytelling. That balance has been Cates’ calling card. There are a few cover worthy moments that were thankfully left off of it. You won’t be disappointed.
Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 features a huge list of creators, but it pays off. Gail Simone, Inaki Miranda and Eve De La Cruz bring us the book’s lead story, “A Fine Fit of Feather and Fur” while Shea Fontana, Walter Carzon, Horacio Ottolini and Silvana Brys provide the Looney Tunes stylized “Cats!” back-up feature. While both entertain, it is Simone’s featured tale that steals the show. I don’t want to give the whole plot away, but the basic plot of ‘Cat vs. Bird’ is expanded to a more universal theme, and feels like it could have taken place in continuity. I mean that. The recent DC/Looney Tunes crossovers have found the ability to enchant over and over again, but this is one of the big ones.
The symbiotes return in this week’s second runner-up Venom: First Host, which also takes us deeper into Venom’s new past. Honestly, I was a little worried about this one. While Cates has quickly invigorated the concept, Marvel runs the risk of over-exposing the character going into the upcoming feature film. Luckily, Mike Costa and Mark Bagley mix it up and give us a tale that both embraces the new and somehow feels like it was written in the early nineties. Bagley is back on his game these days too, and this might be some of his best work since the early days of Ultimate Spider-Man. Thirty years after his inception, Venom is becoming one of Marvel’s biggest names, and fans are loving it.