Edge of Venomverse #3
Written by Simon Spurrier
Drawn by Tigh Walker, Colors by Felipe Sobreiro
Cover Art by Francesco Mattina
Variant Cover by Rom Lim, John Livesay & Jordan Boyd
Once again Edge of Vemonverse hits the shelves, introducing it’s latest creation – Ghost Rider with a Symbiote! How does this all work, considering that Ghost Rider is already a parasitic hellish spirit attached to its host? Don’t worry, the issue covers that topic..sort of.
What You Need to Know: We are three issues into a five issue limited series. First came symbiote-bonded Laura Kinney, also known as X-23/All-New Wolverine. Next came symbiote-welcoming alternate universe Gwenpool, armed with jokes if not hand-daggers. Finally, this issue reveals yet another player in the Venomverse: Ghost Rider, with host Robbie Reyes starring as the cursed human host. At the end of each issue, these newly bonded heroes are transported into a mystery realm and greeted occasionally by what appears to be a symbiote-bonded Captain America. We’re expecting Wolverine as the next character to be plucked into this universe but it’s still a mystery who will fill the last shoes, since the cover art for Venomverse features several characters that add up to more than the five issue run.
If you like Marvel taking a walk on the weirder side of things, this series is for you.
What Just Happened? S.H.I.E.L.D. is transporting dangerous prisoner Captain Zabo. As they are transporting the prisoner, literal hell breaks loose as all his past transgressions catch up to him in the form of angry vengeful mobs. Unknown to the S.H.I.E.L.D. transport, Captain Zabo has arranged some plans to thwart his arrival at court. What he doesn’t expect is Ghost Rider, wearing a familiar-yet-not-familiar new suit, to show up and take advantage of the situation.
And this is where things get weird. While I think it an odd choice to pick a character already burdened by a hellish spirit being bonded to his soul, they take Robbie Reyes and throw yet another parasitic organism at him, Venom. The way the issue plays it off, the hellish spirit and Venom have reached some sort of truce and essentially have control of Robbie 24/7. They can’t do this without a seriously lame nickname and thus dub themselves as….wait for it….Host Rider.
The artwork in this issue really did the story no favors in this reviewer’s eyes. While I am sure Tigh Walker is a very talented artist, his rough and angry drawings of Host Rider (I still can’t say that name without rolling my eyes) made the character’s features hard to make out and slightly cartoonish, when there was a real chance here to make this new character mashup a beauty of horror. Better luck in the main Venomverse storylines, I guess.
What Happens Next? Host Rider and all his (their?) cringiness were transported to a new realm with all the other characters we’ve been introduced to and fans have to wait until September to see what the writers and artists plan to do with all these oddball characters.
Final Thoughts: Two more issues left in this series and only one so far as left a good impression. Hopefully Marvel pulls out all the stops in the last issues coming.