Venom: Lethal Protector Paperback – July 1, 1995
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The first few issues are drawn by Mark Bagley. Unfortunately, due to illness, Bagley had to drop out of the latter half of the story, which was picked up by Ron Lim. While the two have overall similar styles, I much prefer the way Bagley draws Venom's face. It's nitpicky, but it's worth noting.
Overall, I had fun re-reading this series after 20+ years, and I look forward to checking out the rest of the 90s Venom comics.
Top international reviews
The reason why I bring this up is because the same incarnation of the character I mentioned can be found here in this very trade, to the point where I swear I could hear Darran Norris' voice over Venoms' dialogue. It truly made me feel like a child again, and I found myself smiling a lot of the way through. Venom himself is presented more as an anti-hero, out to protect the innocent as opposed to a straight up villain.
I enjoyed the art style, rather striking I must say. The story itself is somewhat deeper and was interesting from start to finish, with a few twists and turns along the way to keep things from being formulaic. Funny in some parts, also. We even get some more background information on Eddie Brock, too. The dialogue threw me off for a second with how many exclamation points there were, before I realised it was pretty standard for comics back in the 90s.
My conclusion is that this is a really good and fun read, I highly recommend it for Venom fans.
It's quite surprising that it took around 5 years for a character like Venom to get his own solo series since his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988) but regardless this is it and it was a great read. this isn't my first read of Venom but I'm trying to get more familiar with Venom and Carnage, with Venom so far I have read Marvel Platinum The Definitive Venom, Venom The Complete Collection By Daniel Way, Venom Vs Carnage and Dark Origin but most of what I've read started with Mike Costa's run (2016-2018) which is Homecoming, Land Before Crime, Lethal Protector Blood in the Water, Venom Inc, Edge of Venomverse, Venomverse, Poison X, The Nativity and First Host. So if you're curious about any of those I have done reviews for them.
In the first few pages I felt the title of Lethal Protector was easily earned and showcased as a woman is getting robbed so Venom steps in to stop him and horrifying the innocent girl more by murdering the thug right in front of her. Once the task is done Venom turns around apologizes for being rude hands her back her bag and is off. This was well done, and subtleties of the art display emotion from Venom by smoothing the lines of his eyes which is deliberate because in other panels that are not close ups he still has the rough outlines in his eyes, showing Venom is sincere with the victim, and this is within the first 2 or 3 pages and I'll be including a picture or 2 of this sequence.
I'll keep the story short, Eddie Brock has returned to his hometown of San Francisco to escape Spider-Man and fight crime away from him. Upon arriving law enforcement immediately recognize him as wanted from New York, word gets back to New York and Peter Parker pursues him. There are plenty of goodies and surprises and personally I found the Life Foundation section quite interesting. It does have elements of the 90s, like the clothes and Brock having a mullet...regardless, I found the story to be enjoyable and because of this I stopped looking for subtleties and instead was reading for fun.
I did notice in some panels the colour seem to be lacking, I also felt fight sequences didn't last too long especially the Life Foundation section which could have last longer especially considering how cool it would've been.
Overall I thought this was a great read with great artwork and plan on coming back to it, because of that I perhaps may need to look into purchasing the Venomnibus, which collects several other stories from his earlier days in a nice simple collection. Regardless if you like Venom or are just curious about his character I would say to pick this up.
Hopefully you found this review helpful and happy reading.
The only issue I have with the product is that the cover was not as advertised. Slightly disappointed, but does not affect the overall quality of the book and its content.