Venom: Space Knight #5
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Ariel Olivetti
If you thought that the Guardians of the Galaxy were weird …. you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Let me start by saying that the combination of concepts within this comic shouldn't work, but they do and in spectacular fashion. The tale of Eugene 'Flash' Thompson, former teenage nemesis of Peter Parker and now an embittered Iraq war veteran with artificial legs and Symbiotic powers is a story that could’ve been lifted out of today’s newspapers. Well, the war veteran struggling for identity part, not so much the Venom Symbiote blending part…I digress. Having served with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thompson is currently (according to the intro) "swashbuckling his way across universe as Venom Space Knight - Agent of the Cosmos". Now, the only thing that I like better than a bit of swashbuckling, is swashbuckling with a ragtag bunch of anti-heroes. Groot, Rocket Rackoon ...pfft... these guys have nothing on Flash's sidekicks: 803 the 'occasionally suicidal robot' (don't ask) and Pik Rollo a renegade space-panda assassin (yes, you read that right)
create a very deadly, albeit highly unusual, team-up.
Robbie Thompson's writing is filled with quick-fire humour and casts the Symbiotically-infused Flash and Pik Rollo, the monstrous pink panda (or 'space murder bear' to her friends) as a likeable and dynamic buddy combo. Thompson's knack for heartstring-tugging narrative keeps the narrative grounded and the underlying agenda propels the narrative along nicely. The speech-bubble banter fleshes out the characters and also allows us to empathise with our quirky, but strangely loveable heroes.
The artist, Argentinian legend Ariel Olivetti (on pencils, inks and colours) has done an amazing job and Marvel have squeezed every cent of value out of him for this issue. The cover grabs the reader by the throat, metaphorically and physically, and establishes the premise for the story. Olivetti’s artwork hits the mark perfectly and his colours look organic, almost painterly, lending the panels a very luxurious tone. This is old school art at its finest. Hidden details, such as the subtle pencil-scaffolding lines which form the figures contrast nicely against the broader backdrop of digitally-generated environmental textures. The character designs are quirky, with Pik Rollo and 803 fitting into the story as seamlessly as any of the GOTG crew - no mean feat considering that Pik Rollo is an enormous pink panda. The fact that the whole things works so well is largely testament to Olivetti's creative genius.
Roll on issue 6 - ‘nuff said. It’s a BUY!