Friday, August 15, 2008

Collection Spotlight: Spider-man: Birth of Venom

It’s another installment of Collection Spotlight, the first weekly post for New Age Comics! We started big, a 2 parter for the AvP Omnibus books. Now we’re going a simpler route with a character I’m sure everyone knows about: Spider-man. While I’m going to try and not make it week after week of Marvel, I think this is a good collection book to start the Marvel books.

We’re starting with Birth of Venom, a collection of assorted Spidey stories that both lead to Venom’s creation, as well as him facing off with Spider-man. It’s a recently published Collection, premiering last year to coincide with Venom’s on screen appearance in Spider-man 3. So that means it’s still in print, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find right now today.

I’m spotlighting this for 2 reasons, the first being how disappointing Dark Origin was, so that you can find another place to read Venom’s origin, the second reason being New Ways to Die coming out next week, with what looks to be the return of Eddie Brock.

We’re going to change up Collection Spotlight a bit, I’ve realized that a simple Buy It/Pass It system is just way too vague, so we’re going to have a bit of a different review system, more closer to my regular reviews.

Must Buy: Exactly what it sounds like, a great book that shouldn’t be missed.

But It: Something you’d probably like to check out.

Consider It: After reading my review, if you like what you’ve heard about it, consider buying it.

Pass it: While it may not be bad, it’s not good enough to waste your money on.

Writers: Jim Shooter, Tom Defalco, John Byrne, Louise Simonson, David Michelinie

Artists: Mike Zeck, Ron Frenz, Rick Leonardi, John Byrne, Greg Larocque, Todd McFarlane

So that’s our new review system. I’m sticking with the Story, Art and Final comments aspect, as well as an Out of 10 final grade. Now this CS may be shorter than the past 2, because we’re not dealing with a big thick Omnibus, it’s a solid story and I won’t be covering single issues or every aspect to it, just pointing out what’s good and bad, why what works and what doesn’t.

Story comments: This is composed of several classic Spider-moments, from Spidey’s return from Secret Wars up to Venom’s epic defeat, it’s all one big spanning classic story that any long time Spider-fan can appreciate and enjoy.

But let’s get a little more specific here, what makes this so classic? For one, it’s got the first appearance of Puma, to the Rose, and other great villains. Of course this may not sound too enticing since you’d probably pick this up for Venom goodness. But if you’re a big Spider-fan you can appreciate all these great villain moments.

Looking beyond the villains, the fights and all that super-hero-hoopla, we get some great strong character moments, most notably from Peter Parker and Mary Jane, even before they became husband and wife later on in this book. We see the “origin” of Mary Jane, which makes for a great read. Peter Parker of course gets in great moments in his interactions both as himself, and as Spider-man.

But I’m sure no one really cares about all of that, no, you’re interested in this for the Venomy center inside. Well of course Venom gets a good chunk of the book as the main villain, it isn’t all build up to his appearance, if that’s what you where worried about. Venom gets in 3 big moments, his first meeting with Spider-man, his solo story and then their second confrontation with the wall-crawler.

It all makes for an enjoyable read; if you love Spider-man or Venom you’ll enjoy this collection as it has some of the best from both characters. That helps make this an essential read for anyone wanting to get into the character of Venom, and fans of Spider-man looking for a great classic read.

Art comments: While the art varies a bit, for the most part it’s all solid. Of course the main attraction is Todd McFarlane. While his first few issues of Amazing Spider-man where a bit off, come the second time around his art is fully developed into it’s amazing and enjoyable style. While artists like Ron Frenz do a great job here, their outshined by the greatness that is Todd McFarlane, though they still do a solid and good job as well and this would be a great book even if McFarlane weren’t on art.

Final Comments: Like I said, this one would be a lot shorter than the Omnibus reviews, this will probably be the regular size per Collection Spotlight. Now that being said, this was a great read with some great art, if you’re a Spider-man fan then you’ll love it, if you want to get into Spider-man and can’t afford, or find, those big Omnibus collections, check out Birth of Venom, it’s a great start for any new Spider-fan, and it’s a great read for seasoned readers like me.

8 out of 10

Buy It.

1 comment:

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