Aliens, androids, war veterans, lasers, spaceships and punching…lots and lots of punching, are just a few of the fun things in store for anyone who picks up Venom: Space Knight.
People really ought to not judge a comic book solely by the artwork within its pages, but even the most unbiased would forgive you for diggin’ on this comic just because of its sick artwork. Ariel Olivetti’s pages are nothing short of hypnotic, and you can’t deny that it’s only helped out the story that writer Robbie Thompson delivers.
As a casual comic book reader, keeping tabs on the goings-on in the world of Venom wasn’t high on my priority list. I was content with him being one of those villains or anti-heroes or whatever that gives poor old Spidey a pain in the ass every now and then.Yeah, no doubt, Eddie Brock paired with the symbiote is one of the more badass characters that ever graced the pages of a Marvel comic, but as is the inevitable in the world of comic books, things had to change. Eddie Brock wasn’t Venom forever, and the mantle was placed on Eugene ‘Flash’ Thompson, who isn’t completely blameless when it comes to being a pain in the ass for everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood web-slinger. Thompson’s celebrated American Football talents and general physical prowess are pretty well known to Spidey fans, but before Thompson could warrant his own title, he lost both his legs serving his country in the Iraq War. And so, he was given a second chance to be a badass when they decided to pair him with Brock’s old Klyntar symbiote and voila – instant hero-you-can-easily-root-for. They even had him feature as a guardian of the galaxy (because why the fuck not?) His badassery definitely extended into deep space, and this is precisely where the action in the latest volume takes place, keeping this Agent of the Cosmos (whatever that is) very, very busy.
The new volume is a fantastic book, but the reason for its appeal isn’t the most straightforward thing to uncover. You have to wonder how differently things would have gone if they had another artist on the drawing board. The caliber of Olivetti’s artwork in Venom: Space Knight is easy to admire, giving the story a sense of grandeur and almost instantly commanding attention. The Argentinian singlehandedly covered art duties, and this finished work has the gloss and sheen of a piece of art that has been laboured over without worrying about real-world problems like deadlines. Take nothing away from Robbie Thompson’s script though, because without it, the artist would struggle to create the differing landscapes, strange and wonderful creatures, sweet spacecraft and other cool shit you’ll see in Venom Space Knight. The current story arc has already given us a number of plot points such as the pursuit of an abducted child, the influencing of robot 803 who is unable to self-destruct because of his programming, the search for a sense of self-definition and identity, and the exploitation of the downtrodden for another’s financial gain. It’s these kinds of unexpected twists and solid elements that the book has delivered to readers to make Venom: Space Knight a must-read. That, and the punching…lots and lots of punching.
Writer – Robbie Thompson
Artist – Ariel Olivetti