‘Ve’nam’ is a bloody, gory but good read

Hes seen some things. An alternate cover for the comic book, Venam.
Image from amazon.com

He’s seen some things. An alternate cover for the comic book, “Ve’nam.” Image from amazon.com

Look, we all know the new “Venom” movie is bad. I could tell you how bad, but where would that get us? It is time to move on to better incarnations of the Spider-Man villain.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A giant dragon trapped in ice and covered in living, black goo is discovered and samples of the goo are taken and bonded to U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. That’s the premise of the recent Venom comic book series, “Ve’nam.” Only the first chapter has been released so far, but it’s already looking good.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Commander Nick Fury oversees an operation that involves throwing five venom soldiers into the battlefield. They start rampaging so Fury has the bright idea to send in Wolverine. It’s basically what the recent “Predator” movie should have been.

The art style in this comic isn’t anything too special. The penciling is good, but the characters and environment lack detail in a lot of the panels. The venom soldiers look great and their violent nature come off the panels pretty well. The brutality of the war compliments the nature of the soldiers in a great way from a visual standpoint.

It’s nice to see a Marvel comic that features a good amount of blood and gore without coming off as overly edgy. There’s also the added layer of black ops experimentation and the moral dubiousness that the Vietnam War was known for. Wolverine makes for a great anti-hero who questions Fury’s motives and methods at every turn.

“Ve’nam” is technically a prequel to the ongoing Venom comics, but anyone can go into this totally fresh and not miss anything. The subject matter is pretty grim, yet despite that, the tone feels more like an action movie that’s dumb in a fun way. I would love to watch a movie where Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine hunt down alien monsters in a jungle.

“Ve’nam” isn’t a sophisticated or complex graphic novel. It’s a fun, easy comic that anyone can breeze through in a short time. Sometimes it’s good to go back to the simple things. This is a great first chapter that will leave readers hungry for more and it gets four stars because of that. Read it instead of watching that movie.

Final Score: 4/5

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.