Edge of Venomverse #2
Written by Christopher Hastings
Panel Art by Irene Strychalski, Colors by Java Tartaglia
Cover Art by Francesco Mattina
Edge of Venomverse is kicking off the 5 limited issue arc by gathering a…pool…(see what I did there?)..of characters that will be transported into this new alternate Venomverse and kicking off Marvel’s 2017 major Venom story arc. Last issue was sad and seriously bloody when the Symbiote found a bond with killing machine X-23. This week’s issue goes down a much sillier path with Gwenpool meeting the Symbiote. What is Marvel building up to and will it be any good?
What You Need to Know: Marvel is bringing Venom back in a big way this year. Not only are we getting Eddie Brock back, but Marvel is bringing in new and interesting characters into the Venom storylines by creating Edge of Venomverse with well-loved characters being bonded to symbiotes and being pulled into a major story arc. It’s been revealed that X-23, Gwenpool and Ghost Rider are among the characters but more will surely be revealed as the issues progress.
Where are they going and what impact will that have on the Venom storyline? Only time will tell.
What You’ll Find Out: Gwenpool is seriously silly. Combine Venom with the cross-over Deadpool/Gwen character and it’s a recipe that shouldn’t work, but oddly does. The issue is a little jarring and eye-roll worthy at first but to its defense, it picks up quickly and becomes cute and endearing. Gwenpool does the meta “third wall breaking” thing that Deadpool is so notorious for, but it’s delivered in a way that comes across as less crass and more amusing than her predecessor can do. As the issue kicks off, Gwenpool has already merged with Venom, explaining to the reader that she’s happy with the relationship because with Venom bonding to her, she’s finally a “super-legit real-deal superhero with powers.”
Daredevil makes a guest appearance and Gwenpool is instantly infatuated, something the symbiote is confused on, as well – does Venom ever have romantic entangles? The symbiote probably experiences the effects on their host, but it all most really confuse the alien, as it appears to in this comic. Gwen knows who Daredevil secretly is and when he comes into her work the next day, advising her boss and the company she works for is polluting the city with toxins most likely related to something sinister and evil, Gwen spends the meeting doodling her affections for the masked vigilante rather than taking serious notes. In a daze, she hands her boss these notes that (gasp!) mention Daredevil’ secret identity. She spends the rest of the issue fawning over Matt and trying to get that blasted doodle back.
What Just Happened? The writer was wise by kicking the comic off right. Rather than hashing a tale already told in Edge of Venomverse 1, Gwenpool is already an established character by the time this comic kicks off, allowing the focus of the story to be about their bond and how they work together through some silly but impressionable events, giving the reader a chance to learn the character’s motivations and goals rather than through a tedious backstory that often doesn’t deliver on why the character does what they do.
The artwork was more cartoony and juvenile in this issue than last, but it fit the pace and storytelling of the character and the intent of the comic. Much better than Laura’s turn in addressing how she bonded to the symbiote.
Final Thoughts: This issue is a step in the right direction. Hopefully the issues build off one another rather than being single-shot issues of the character before they’re thrown into the main Venom storyline. I get the feeling the writers didn’t consult each other when creating these issues so it might make little sense how the narration flows from one comic issue to the next. Treat them like single issues.