By: Rick Remender & Cullen Bunn (writers), Lan Medina (pencils), Nelson Decastro (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), and Clayton Cowles (letters)
The Story: Flash races to get to Betty before Jack and the Savage Six.
The Review: With co-writer in tow, it’s another solid outing for Venom. Aside from the brief Circle of Six crossover, it’s pretty remarkable how consistent this book has been in both quality and style. For instance, once again, Flash’s narration is strong this month. Remender and Bunn manage to once again strike the balance between a clipped, efficient use of words representative of Flash’s military background and training and narration that is rife with emotion, tension, and desperation. In other words, as Flash desperately tries to get to Betty, the narration does exactly what it should: it lets you step into the mind of the character, while I also pulling you into the story.
I’m also enjoying what Remender and Bunn are doing with the Rogue’s Gallery here. As always, Jack is written wonderfully. He’s cunning and creepy and having him get to Betty sans costume, playing up his old “Flash’s friend” identity under a guise of friendliness was a really great turn that’s perfect for the character.
A special mention also has to go to Megatak. Once again, Remender shows that he’s a master at taking what should very dated characters and concepts and, somehow, making them cool. I absolutely loved how Bunn and Remender used Megatak and how they’ve translated his very 1980s powers to work with 2012 technology. It’s loads of fun.
All in all, this is a page-turning, edge of your seat read with a real “deadline” feel. Between Jack’s creepy meet-up with Betty and the excellent narration, Remender and Bunn successively pull you into the race, desperately rooting for Flash to get there in time.
If there’s one downside, it’s Lan Medina’s artwork. Venom has had a bevy of fantastic artists to work on the book, but Medina, unfortunately, has never been my favourite. I think it may be due to the fact that he is the guy that most deviates from the style established for the book by Tony Moore. There’s nothing overly wrong with Medina’s artwork, there’s just nothing particularly remarkable or memorable about it, which isn’t something I often feel about Venom’s artwork. Venom’s look, however, is usually pretty distinct, and Medina’s art is a bit more generic. Chris Sotomayor does help quite a bit though, with his colors doing their best to unify Medina’s artwork with the overall “look” of the series.
Conclusion: Another solid outing for Venom and the Savage Six. The artwork, while not at all bad, is a bit forgettable, but otherwise, you’ll find much of what you enjoy about this book in these pages.
– Alex Evans