Marvel heard you liked Venom so they put more Venoms in your Venomverse in this week’s —wait for it— Venomverse Reborn #1.

Venomverse Reborn is the latest anthology series to explore the expanded multiverse of Spider-Man characters, this time hopping back into the titular “Venomverse” of infinite symbiote hosts. If you’re asking “wait, didn’t they end the Venomverse recently?” then you wouldn’t be alone in that, because I too thought Marvel put that cap on that bottle within the last year or so. But apparently not! Somehow, the Venomverse has returned. (And by “somehow,” I mean capitalism.) 

But pithy exasperation about late stage superhero comics aside, is Venomverse Reborn #1 a good time? I guess so. Al Ewing, presently of the ongoing Venom title, utilizes a framing device wherein a far-future Eddie Brock (now identifying as the King in Black) offers the unseen reader five glimpses into alternate universes, each with their own guiding question. This issue’s main premise is “what if Eddie Brock isn’t Venom?”, itself kind of pedestrian and tame — which, to Ewing’s credit, he directly acknowledges, because of course he does. We trust Ewing to be self-aware.

The somewhat baffling choice by co-writer Christos Gage, though, is to focus on the Venom of Earth-1048, AKA the universe of Insomniac’s Marvel Universe games, which means this Venom is that universe’s Harry Osborn. But if you played Spider-Man 2, you’d know that Harry is incapacitated by the end of that game, so when does he have time to meet Knull in Earth-616 during the King in Black event…? I realize there’s likely a very cromulent explanation for this, but between that and Greg Land’s typically distracting art, I was a bit too befuddled to really comprehend what I read. 

But wait, there’s more! The bonus story in this issue was a lot more enjoyable to me: a horror-flavored romp following a dwindling party of Avengers as they investigate who is picking them off one but one. (Spoiler: it’s Venom!) Benjamin Percy’s story isn’t especially notable as there have been similar stories with this exact setup (see: that one episode of What If?) but Brian Level’s art is what makes it worth reading, with gruesomely gory visuals aided by Ruth Redmond’s sickly colors. This is par for the course with anthology series, of course, offering a mixed bag of stories and styles. If you’re a Venom completist then you’ll probably seek this out, but for anybody else it might be a “wait for the trade and/or Marvel Unlimited” sort of thing.


Venomverse Reborn #1











  • Writers: Al Ewing, Cristos Gage, Benjamin Percy
  • Artists: Danilo S. Beyruth, Greg Land & Jay Leisten, Brian Levels
  • Color Artists: Ceci de la Cruz, Frank D'Armata, Ruth Redmond
  • Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
  • Cover Artists: Troy Daniel & Marcelo Maiolo

Credits (cont)

  • Editor: Jordan D. White
  • Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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