EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1
Marvel Comics launches the series that will lead into Venomverse this week with EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1 from writer Matthew Rosenberg and penciler Roland Boschi. In this first installment we meet a young Laura, X-23, attempting yet another escape attempt from WeaponX. The twist here is that in her attempt she comes into contact with a container possessing a strange alien substance that when pierced with her claws releases the Venom symbiote that instantly bonds with her. When ensues is a slight retelling of the original NYX story that finds Laura homeless and bonding with another group of teens trying to survive on the streets. They share the symbiote and use it to their own advantage only to have Laura reclaim it at the final moment before being confronted by a Venomized Captain America from an alternate reality.
Matt Rosenberg is one of my newly found favorite writers and I think he makes a solid entry to kick this series off. The issue plays out as a one-shot ‘what if?’ style book and that works great for me. The similarity to NYX is a welcome one as it shows a much younger and more vulnerable Laura than readers have become accustomed to in the last few years. Her naturally feral nature is a perfect match for the Venom symbiote and the result is a young character that is forced to try even harder than normal to contain the monster within. The opening action scene is intense and a fantastic set up that sets a quick pace that carries throughout the issue. I think the greatest strength of this story is the way in which Rosenberg uses the symbiote to push Laura just a little bit further towards the darkness than has previously been established with her character yet she is so much younger so it creates this haunting imagery of a small child barely hanging on to whats left of her humanity.
That sense of the monster versus the little girl inside is solidified by the amazing art from Roland Bosch. It might just be me but I definitely see a slight resemblance to Dafne Keen in Laura’s look. Her portrayal of Laura in Logan was truly outstanding so the likeness is a welcome one. When she appears with the black ooze of the symbiote creeping over her face it makes for a powerful image that really sells the tone the book is going for. I think EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1 kicks off this event with a very solid start. What if and multiverse tales are always an enjoyable read as they offer new looks and ideas for characters we are familiar with and I am curious to see how other creative teams tackle symbiote enhanced versions of Marvel’s main characters.