EDGE OF THE VENOMVERSE #4
Writer: Ryan Key
Penciler: André Lima Araújo
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 8/9/17
After his family is killed by the Red Skull, Logan vows justice for his family. He adopted Bruce Banner’s son, Junior, and together they worked to make the wastelands a better place. But now Logan must tell JR the truth about his parentage…
Plot: Upon learning that his father is Bruce Banner, Junior blames Logan for his death and takes off – after giving him an appropriate beating, of course.
Left alone, he’s found by a now one-winged Warren who claims to be able to take Logan to his son. But it is yet another trap meant to take vengeance for the people Logan was forced to kill.
Story: Edge of the Venomverse #4 continues in the vein of the first three, creating a stand-alone world that promises to connect with the rest when the Venomverse even arrives. The biggest problem with this is that a reader’s interest level in each story depends on their interest in the hero being depicted to begin with. As a fan of X-23, Gwenpool and Ghost Rider, I found the first three issues of Edge of the Venomverse innately interesting even if the story at times faltered. But having only encountered Old Man Logan in X-Men team-up books, it would take a really strong story to get me invested.
Speaking of the story, it was a wise choice to follow through with Junior and Logan’s father-son relationship, and it is of course the optimal choice for bringing the sense of pain and loss that might lead a hero to the dark side yet again. However, the road to Venom was more convoluted than necessary – especially when the title of the series gives away that each character will be joined with the Symbiote by the end of the issue. Perhaps the anticipation for Venomverse would have been built better had we seen more of Logan working with or struggling against the Symbiote rather than spending time on the failed plan that led to their bonding.
That being said, the last few pages in Edge of the Venomverse #4 contain some of the most emotional moments in the series thus far. Ryan Key succeeds in really making the reader feel for both Logan and his adopted son, despite all the destruction they’ve both wreaked.
Art: Despite the darkness of the plot and the Venomverse in general, the art style remains cartoonish and light. It helps to distract from the gloominess of the events, but it also makes it hard to take Angel and the kids seriously as villains. Perhaps that’s the point, though, because as soon as the Plan in unleashed, Araújo’s art seems to take on a more serious tone as if the stakes have just risen. The dinosaur on the cover gets a lot of play near the end, and all the panels incorporating him into the action have a life of their own. The best part is that there is some humor in the midst of chaos thanks to the rendering of character and dinosaur expressions.
Rosenberg’s colors are darker in hue, creating the right atmosphere for the story, yet still as rich and vibrant as the rest of her work. But the art team’s true talent is best shown in the last few pages, when Venom Logan emerges and the final showdown begins. Those panels are filled with well-crafted action and and captivating colors, helped along by the fact that this is when the story gets intense too.
Verdict: A somewhat slow-paced issue that is ramps up near the end, this is only recommended if you’re a big fan of Logan and specifically wish to see his transformation into Venom. Otherwise, it’s just another event prequel that will probably be recapped in the event itself.
Star Rating: 3 out of 5