Each week I highlight the ultimate Comfort Food Comic release. This is the comic that gets me the most hyped. The comic I’ll remember and revisit the most. The one that gave me that special feeling above all the other releases that new comic book day.
The Dish Of The Week for 1/15/20 is Venom: The End by Adam Warren, Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz, Guru -eFX & Clayton Cowles
Few people in comics have a better track record for me than Adam Warren. Dirty Pair, Empowered, his various Gen 13 stories, hell, even his Titans and Iron Man stuff I all enjoyed. When I saw he’d be teaming with Chamba of all people, I knew I couldnt miss this book. I’ve loved Chamba’s stuff forever. Im a huge fan of all the stuff Udon put out for all the various Capcom properties as well as Chamba’s original graphic novel RandomVeus, a CFC favorite.
I will also say I was really into these The End stories that Marvel put out in the mid 2000’s, especially the crazy Claremont written X-Men ones. I was pleasantly shocked when a new round of them were solicited for this year but I didnt expect much from them. Imagine my surprise when I got to the second page of this issue.
A Cosmic Venom doing an Extradimensional Annihilation Slash to combat The Godmind’s Final Advance?!?! Definetly not what I expected, but oh wow I am fully on board for The Glorious Last Stand Of Team Biolife, whatever it is!
I just love when comic books LEAN IN on being comic books. No gritty realism. No explaining what an S on Superman’s costume means in ancient Kryptonian lore – just straight insane, wonderful, only can be done in the insane world of comics comic book. Thats what I want as a fan. And boy does this one deliver.
Warren really throws as much insane comic book science as he can at us serving up a plot all about the Symbiote remaining well after all the human life in the Universe dies out. Its main antagonist, the Artifical Superintelligences, spacefaring A.I.s absorbing everything in the galaxy into their digitally encoded archives.
Warren lays out all this futuristic weird technobabble in a very easy to understand, entertaining way that doesnt hurt your brain too much.
Eventually, Venom, alone after so long and missing its main host Eddie Brock, attempts to unify itself with the rest of the Symbiotes unsuccessfully in the Symbiote War of (Failed) Unification. It doesnt woork out but Venom realizes it has its solution in its own codex.
It’s here things start to get really crazy in a very big X-Men fanservice way. The Symbiote “from the vast genetic codex woven throughout the extradimensional spaces folded away within its tesseract structure” brings up Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man’s mutant ability to duplicate. Its here the era of “Venom the Meatgardener” starts with Venom repopulating the galaxy with biolife from its genetic codex. If the batshit craziness of that sentence doesnt make you love comics, then I cant help you.
Venom uses the powers of Elixir(Elixir of all characters!!) to biologically manipulate a perfectly constructed army of Venomized super humanoids to fill the Galaxy. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how Chamba makes this whole page extremely fun, especially with DJ Venom remixing DNA. The reason all of this stuff works is because its presented in such a tongue in cheek fun way. It knows its a silly comic book and isnt trying to be a textbook.
Unfortunately for Venom, the warring A.S.I.s have now all merged together into a single hivemind intent on transforming the entire Universe and a bunch of Venom made humanoids arent going to stand in their way. A Tony Stark programmed A.I. meets with Venom to tell it of their plans and convince it of their cyber supremacy, to which Venom replies:
Perfect!! Eddie would be proud! This of course, embroils the Venom army into a long war against the A.S.I.’s where the Symbiote learns to open up its own extradimensional structure to unleash devastating attacks. “Metal” indeed.
From here we get yet another ludicrous and delightful moment. We find out Venom bonded with everyone who has ever lived. How, you ask? Accessing & amplifying the mutant powers of Tempus & Magik from the X-Men and Timeslip from the New Warriors, Venom sends his Madrox’ed dupes back and forth through time to bond with every sentient being to ever exist!!
This is easily one of the GREATEST things I have ever seen published in a comic and its only two pages of the issue. It all makes stupid sense within the constraints of the universe while also being so damn AWESOME!! Again its not enough as we approach the final climax between the A.S.I. and Venom., reducing all the biolife down to a single last host. In a last ditch effort, Venom tears into itself unleashing its extradimensional tesseract into this reality creating a new Venomverse filled with every life stored in its codex. Venom dies, but all of the biolife it ever loved remains.
After this we see the Stark led Godmind refuses to tamper with the newly created Venomverse as it is the single greatest collection of biolife ever assembled in one place. We also get one last fun jab at Eddie Brock.
PHEW!! And thats how it ends. 30 pages of JAMPACKED insanity any Marvel Universe fan can find something to love in. So why does this comic matter? It never stops trying to be amazing! Each page is a batty escalation from the next. Theres so much bizarre comic book science happening here, but it all works!! This is what comics should be – Fully embracing the creative, imaginative medium that has no limits. It also fully lives up to being a The End title. This doesnt just do a same old same old story with a grey haired version of our present day character, this one goes above and beyond telling a story that could only work in this specific setting. This comic checks all the boxes. I find just so much to love about it. even now, I cant stop thinking about it with a big toothy Venomesque grin on my face. Superb stuff!