Review – Ms. Marvel & Venom #1 (Marvel Comics)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jody Houser
Artwork: Dave Wachter
Colours: by Erick Arciniega
Release Date: 14th September 2022

Featuring an initially tense collaboration between its titular characters followed by a pulse-pounding team-up with arguably some of Marvel’s hottest current properties, Jody Houser’s storyline for this thirty-page “concluding movement of the super hero symphony of the summer” certainly seems to strike all the high-notes a reader might expect from so enthusiastically hyped a comic book event. Sure, the decidedly feel-good atmosphere of this publication’s ending doesn’t allow its script to delve too deep into the disconcertingly dark background of its main antagonist, the mutant-hating Man with the Peacock Tattoo. But there’s still plenty of gruesome mutilation, body horror and desperate last minute acts of bravado to intimate just how truly despicable XENO’s world aims actually are.

Furthermore, Houser does a great job in demonstrating just how far Kamala Khan has grown since becoming the newest holder of the Ms. Marvel identit”, by repeatedly comparing the teenager’s laudable actions with those of the much more inexperienced, and frankly petulant, Dylan Brock. These differences show an intriguing maturity in “Giant Girl” and definitely adds some credibility to her later ‘leading’ the likes of Wolverine and Moon Knight into battle against a small army of massively-mutated grotesques; “You realise they were targeted because of how hard it is to kill them, right?”

By far this comic’s greatest hook though, lies in its sense-shattering set-pieces. Houser does a first-rate job in giving both her central leads plenty to do within the investigation-heavy narrative, as well as showcasing their amazing special powers. In addition, the tension between the two contrasting personalities provides some memorable moments of dialogue, especially when Brock acts like “a real jerk” and unsuccessfully attempts to take the credit for them locating the underground lair of X-Force’s lethal adversaries.

Also nobly contributing to this book’s triumph has to be Dave Wachter’s eye-catching artwork. The illustrator does a particularly good job in pencilling the sheer chaos surrounding Khan early on in this story, when she is firmly focused upon saving a large number of residents from their fast-collapsing block of flats. However, it is arguably the artist’s incredibly repugnant flesh monsters, and their evident physical pain at being so tragically transformed, which will linger longest in the memory of this issue’s audience.


The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: