Graphic Novel Review: Venom: Homecoming

Venom: Homecoming

Venom: Homecoming - Credit: Archant

Back from space and back where he belongs - it’s the return of Venom...

It’s back to basics for the alien symbiote following years as a space-faring hero under the control of Spider-Man’s pal Flash Thompson, with Venom back on Earth and back to being a bad guy, albeit initially reluctantly as the legacy of its previous host proves hard to shake off.

Bonded with former Army Ranger and current low-level hoodlum Lee Price after a black market gang deal goes wrong, the weakened symbiote is overpowered by Price’s ruthless nature and helps him transform into a deadly new Venom.

Vowing to use his powers for personal gain, Price finds himself entangled with the opposing criminal factions of Tombstone and the Black Cat, while being pursued by the FBI and the suit’s former host Spider-Man. In the end there’s only one man who stands a chance of taking him down, the original Venom and current FBI agent, Eddie Brock…

Whereas the Earth-bound adventures of Flash Thompson’s Agent Venom, struggling to carry out black ops missions while keeping control of an at-the-time deranged symbiote, were exceptional for so many reasons, things went rapidly downhill once he signed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and headed off into space.

It was therefore inevitable that Marvel would reset the status quo and bring us a morally-challenged Venom rooted in the shadows of New York’s underworld, and adding Eddie Brock to the mix was a stroke of genius. After all, this was the man who took Spidey’s alien costume and turned it into a character of its own, perhaps one of the truly great comics creations of the ‘nineties.

Whether lightning can truly strike twice remains to be seen, but this is an auspicious start to Venom’s new/old direction, with Lee Price even more of a self-centred lowlife than the suit’s previous hosts. Quite what role he will play in the future given the book’s shock ending remains to be seen, but this seems to be a title which isn’t afraid of twisting its tale, so it looks as though anything goes.

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Which when it comes to a character like Venom is exactly how it should be.