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Venom #158 Review: Not As Much Action As You'd Think

Kraven is slaughtering the underground dinosaur people whom Venom swore to protect. Eddie himself is stuck underneath the portion of street brought down by Shriek's attack. With his symbiote going feral, Venom is running low on time and options. Can he escape and stop Kraven's bloody rampage?

Venom #158 art by Mark Bagley, John Dell, and John Rauch
Venom #158 art by Mark Bagley, John Dell, and John Rauch

Eddie finds himself reminiscing on old times thanks to the symbiotes condition. It is pushing him to give into its bloodthirsty nature once more, and this will likely get worst before it gets better.

This issue also brings the finale to his showdown with Kraven, and, as such, it's a little disappointing how short the final portion of Venom and Kraven's fight. (Spoiler) It just ends with Venom throwing Shriek at him really hard. That is a little underwhelming.

The interjection of Lee Price's court hearing kills the pacing quite a bit. It could have functioned as an epilogue at the end, but its interruption of the chaos beneath the streets results in it being bothersome instead of ominous as intended.

That being said, the comic is still tense and fun overall. The decaying relationship between Eddie and his other is saddening but interesting. Eddie has become one of the more interesting protagonists in a Marvel comic under Mike Costa's authorship. He understands this character and his dynamic with the symbiote quite well.

Venom #158 art by Mark Bagley, John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, and Dono Sanchez-Almara
Venom #158 art by Mark Bagley, John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, and Dono Sanchez-Almara

Mark Bagley's artwork remains excellent and helps make up for the shortcomings of this issue. This man can draw Venom like few others. The fight scenes, while short, do look amazing thanks to Bagley. Dono Sanchez-Almara's colorwork is great too. He brings a heavy atmosphere with the coloring which helps convey the intense nature of this issue.

While it is an underwhelming finale to the "Lethal Protector" arc, Venom #158 is still a fun comic to read. There is plenty of chaos and violence to keep the story exciting, and Bagley and Almara's art make for gorgeous visuals. This one still gets a recommendation. Give it a read.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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