Writer: Mike Costa
Artists: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Price: $3.99
In my review of the first issue of this series, my biggest problem was with Lee Price. His character was more akin to the stereotypical brooding loner, nothing especially interesting aside from his ruthlessness. This issue does not necessarily fix this, but adds an interesting layer to Price and his relationship with the symbiote.
Following the events of the last issue, Lee has returned the equipment from the failed deal to his boss Black Cat, in hopes of procuring a position in her criminal organization. The relationship between Venom and Lee is looked into further, as the two argue on how to use their power and who is actually in control of their power.
Previously, I had mentioned that Mike Costa wanted this new series to read less like a superhero story, and more like a crime thriller. So far, Costa has been spot in his approach to the genre, with Lee getting involved in Black Cat’s criminal organization. However unlike other protagonists in the genre, Lee does not seek to rise through the ranks and take over the organization. Lee Price’s goal is to survive, and he believes this is possible only if he stays in the backgrounds of the organization. If he had more ambitious machinations, he would attract the attention of superheroes and perhaps other villains. It was also nice to see Venom show some backbone in this issue. Since regaining his strength, he and Lee have been at odds with one another about how they should use their power. While Venom claims he won’t kill Lee, he does say he could seriously hurt him. This situation can also lend itself to some comedic moments in the comic, when Lee is making a deal with Black Cat, and Venom causes Lee to vomit. Overall I did enjoy the dynamic between Venom and Lee in this issue, with Venom acting as the Jiminy Cricket to a Pinocchio who does not want to listen.
Sandoval’s art is still good, although I have found that sometimes some parts of his characters are weirdly proportioned. I remember on the last page of the first issue it looked like someone replaced Lee’s shoulders with football pads. In spite of one panel where it looked like Mac Gargan’s biceps were larger than his head, the art is still solid overall. It does its job and helps the story along and sets the atmosphere for the issue, but does not do anything necessarily special for this issue.
While not a large leap, this issue does take a step in the right direction. While Price’s goals could be seen as boring by some people, I find it a refreshing take from the norm. It will be interesting to see how long Lee will be able to keep Venom a secret from everyone, seeing how events transpire at the end of the issue. While this comic is starting off at a slow boil, I have a feeling that it will eventually pick up soon enough. While it is not perfect, Venom #2 builds off of the ground work set up in the first issue and hope of progress further down the line.
See you all next week,