Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Remender, Moore & Staples
This issue kicks off a six part story that could easily have been a straight-up crossover with red Hulk, Ghost Rider and X-23. The arc, titled “Circle of Four” is to run solely in the Venom book (utilizing the ridiculous “.” numbering convention) weekly for the next five weeks. This first issue comes with a hefty page count for the $4 book cover price and uses those pages well to setup the story and provide some fun moments and ideas. I found this book to be a pleasant surprise and I plan to pick up the entire arc as a result of the strength of this book. I recommend picking this book up.
Basically, the book joins up, randomly, red Hulk, Ghost Rider(s), X-23 and Venom in Las Vegas. Red Hulk wants to bring in the renegade Venom for court martial while X-23 is trying to recover a vile of her blood that will be used for cloning. The Ghost Rider tandem just happens to be in the area.
However, the chief villains are trying to bring Hell to Earth and this course of action may have also helped to bring some of these characters together like metal to a magnet. After all, who is better to help create a gateway to Hell than the Ghost Rider?
As is the case with Remender’s work, he goes for the storyline that can include as many strange elements as possible. How many stories are you going to see a demon and coach carriage riding through the ruined streets of Las Vegas? Remender also keeps the story moving along nicely with timely dialogue and plenty of action.
Moore is the perfect artistic partner for this story. Raising Hell is a visual that Moore excels at. He delivers rich and full panels and provides plenty of creative designs throughout the book. This isn’t FrankenCastle level of odd but it comes close, especially at the end. I found Moore’s art to really enhance this story.
This Venom crossover looks like it is going to be very entertaining as Remender throws a bunch of random characters together against a motely cast of villains where Hell on Earth is the potential outcome. It helps that the book is going to be a weekly affair and that each future installment is only $3 and that they use a wide range of creators. This book may not be on everyone’s radar but after I read this issue I find myself totally onboard with this pseudo-crossover.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles