Let's travel back in time to before Venom #155 to Venom #154, which hit store shelves this past week.
Alright, we are back in time. Boy, I hope Marvel: Legacy is good, and Mark Bagley returning to do the art for Venom has me full of excitement!
Oh no! We went too far back! There are Nazis and white supremacists everywhere and a nutter president who refuses to condemn them and even expouses some of their ideas while cursing out black football players over a gesture of protest and is threatening to end the world in nuclear fire with a far-east dictator who claims they are communist!
Oh wait. That was there in the future, too. Would you look at thaaaaaaat.
Anyway, Venom #154.
This issue takes place from the perspective of Eddie Brock's symbiote, as we explore its sleepless world of crap television, pondering its relationships with Eddie as well as Gargan, Lee Price, and Flash Thompson, and even pushing Eddie to tackle problems he knows about and Eddie doesn't.
And it's awesome. One thing I've greatly enjoyed about Mike Costa's time with Venom is how he has fleshed out the symbiote as a character independent of Eddie Brock. This issue pushes to explore that character even further. We see how it spends its time while Eddie Brock sleeps, how it feels about Eddie and the decisions he makes, and the roles its consciousness makes in the Venom relationship.
We are given a more expanded idea of how it feels about previous hosts. It still hates Spider-Man, but it also hated Scorpion and Lee Price. It loved Flash Thompson though, and it's trying to get Eddie to mimic Thompson a bit (a good move in my book, Agent Venom is still best Venom).
We even see it try to make some personal amends, but I won't spoil that one.
And hot damn, the art in this book. Gerardo Sandoval doesn't take the interior art in this issue, leaving Paulo Siqueira to take over instead. It's incredible. The opening page (above) would look great as a poster, and the detail and expression given to everyone, the symbiote included, is incredible. If Bagley weren't coming in next month, I'd be fine if Siqueira stayed on as the artist.
Rachelle Rosenberg backs Siqueira up as the color artist, and her work is as solid as ever here. She seems to be one of the hardest working colorists at Marvel, and she is certainly among the best in the business.
Venom #154 is easily one of the best issues of the comic I've read. With action, characterization, and a killer artist, it looks and reads fantastically. Pick this one up off the stands. It's awesome.