Venom: Lethal Protector by David Michelinie

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Title: Venom: Lethal Protector.
Writer(s): David Michelinie.
Illustrator(s): Mark Bagley & Ron Lim.
Colourist(s): Marie Javins.
Publisher: Marvel.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: February 13th 2018 (first published July 1995).
Pages: 144.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781302911768.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

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If there’s one foe that comes to mind when you think about Spider-Man, it’s Venom. With his symbiote that allows him to take on a form similar to Spider-Man’s costume but with a much darker, sharper and deadlier edge, Venom has always been seen as an adversary that you simply did not want to go up against unless you were looking to meet Death far sooner than intended. Although the character saw its first live-action adaptation in Spider-Man 3, its reception was far from being as positive as it was for the Green Goblin. It’s only in 2018 that Venom receives its first live-action solo movie in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, although it excludes our favourite friendly neighbourhood webslinger as a quintessential part of Venom’s origin story. With controversy accumulating with each appearance, it is at least a consolation to know that the latest live-action movie gives us a splendid CGI representation of the creepy villain. But the big surprise regarding Venom is that he isn’t just a psychopathic killer like his much more evil counterpart, Carnage. Venom is so much more.

Venom: Lethal Protector is a six-issue comic book limited series that follows Eddie Brock, also known as Venom, as he showcases the world that he can also be a hero. Struggling to belong anywhere in San Francisco and to anyone, Eddie Brock finds himself struggling with his place in the world as the population views him as a menace to society. It’s in his latest actions that he looks to protect the innocent, but things aren’t as easy as he wishes it to be when countless enemies look to put an end to Eddie Brock and Venom. In Lethal Protector, David Michelinie exposes our alien symbiote in a brand-new light that will challenge Spider-Man into acknowledging that the murderous Venom can change and keep his word. As the story explores Eddie Brock and Venom’s internal relationship, weaknesses and strengths, fans can rejoice in some of the most goofy dialogues and colourful action sequences in this classic story arc.

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With this story arc marking Eddie Brock’s first apperance as the main character, David Michelinie offers quite the ride with Venom going from a villain to an anti-hero. His conflicted self trying to find a place he could call home and his new desire to help the innocent who are abused by those who are wealthy, powerful or strong, turns Venom into an unexpectedly zany character that can be quite hard to recognize at first but quickly grows on you. If you thought Spider-Man was the only character that would throw punches as well as punchlines as he effortlessly brings down his rivals within seconds, think again. Eddie Brock and Venom showcases quite a collection of snappy and corny lines to whip you around with. It’s even more funny to go through since they always speak to each other, considering that the alien symbiote has a personality of its own and is in constant interaction with Eddie Brock; the dialogue doesn’t however make it easy for the reader to know who is talking to who. But once you do accustom yourself to their interaction with themselves and with the world, you’ll grow to love the character’s insane and well-intentioned self.

It is however important to mention that it is a story arc that can get very over the top yet so amusing at the same time. While it may be expected from some comic book stories from the 90s, this one is no exception in its ability to jump from one plot twist to another in a spectacular fashion. In fact, each issue ends on a cliffhanger that introduces a new threat that no one will see coming. To top it off, even the dialogue has a tone that is typical of the era, from self-description of their actions to self-announcing their superhero or supervillain names out loud, you will be constantly reminded that this is a comic book story from an era that strives in its ability to be vibrant, eccentric and action-packed. The  artwork is also iconic of its generation and often focuses on dramatic moments, whether it’s action sequences or facial expressions. The colour palette is also mainly primary colours and a heavy usage of the whole array at the colourist’s disposition. While Venom might be a deadly creature, the story arc is still exploding with colours as bright as the sun.

Venom: Lethal Protector is the idiosyncratic transformation of an iconic villain into an anti-hero through colourful and frenzied showdowns.


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Did you know Venom (2018) is partially based on the Venom: Lethal Protector story arc? While a lot of viewers have ridiculed the movie, it has managed to set records in the box office as well! I personally had a good time watching this in theater! Did you see it?

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43 thoughts on “Venom: Lethal Protector by David Michelinie

  1. Was Venom the character Topher Grace played in one of the Superman movies? I thought that left a lot to be desired…. While the newer movie still doesn’t look like my cup of tea, I thought it did look much more interesting. I’m glad you enjoyed this, despite the over-the-top moments. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A venture into Marvel territory! How refreshing 😀 And the rating got better, I see 😉 But on a more serious note, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and that Venom’s over-the-top journey toward becoming a very controversial anti-hero, or even straightforward hero is so interesting :).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahah it’s something I plan on doing in 2019, a Marvel review per month, at least. And the rating doesn’t mean anything!!! 😜 This could’ve easily been a 3 stars if I didn’t love the Spider-Man universe so much! 😁 And yes, it’s pretty stunning to find out Venom is an anti-hero and not just straight-up a villain. It helps understand the tone of the movie a lot more too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually own the foil chase volume 1 of this miniseries from back in the day. It is a vibrant, foil’y red with venom in black. Very eye catching. Of course, my teen self thought it was going to be a huge investment opportunity. Hahahahaa. Well, not so much 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, that is pretty awesome though! Is it really not worth anything? You’d have to have it officially graded, especially if you kept it in perfect condition! And if it’s a first printing, it is then clearly worth more than the dollar or two you put in to get it! 😱 Did you actually enjoy the story back on the day or you don’t recall? 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was about $4 I believe.
        I didn’t read any further beyond the first comic because I couldn’t afford it and I wasn’t a huge Venom fan. I think I was buying more into the “collectable craze” more than anything.
        So it’s been sitting in its little mylar baggy with the cardboard back for about 20+ years. I’d be lucky to get a “Fine” out of it at this point I think. Comic boxes only keep the comics straight if its full, otherwise they bend and torque 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep, 30 years of Spiderman was sweeping the comic world and issue 1 was commanding huge prices and so all the teens thought that EVERY #1 of every series would command that price, in a year or two mind you, because 30 years is WAY too long.

        Hahahahaa, those were the fun days…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great overview mon frere! As you’re aware I enjoyed the Venom movie (flaws and all) and I often heard “Lethal Protector” being cited as an influence as it was in development. It’s a title that’s definitely on the list for me to check out along with some other classic 90s Venom stuff – I first started reading Spider-Man comics in the early 90s (during the height of the blockbuster “Maximum Carnage” event which blew my young mind at the time) and always have a soft spot and undying appreciation for that era – it doesn’t all completely stand up today but Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and Batman where all at creative peaks (plus Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman had amazing animated shows as well).

    I’ll have to dig into some Morbius too with the Jared Leto film coming out next summer. So much to read and not enough time as ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! I enjoyed the movie as well and I just wanted to check out what the “original” stories were like to see how much change was made… and of course… a lot was changed. And I don’t think this story arc could have ever been adapted for the first live-action Venom movie too hahahah If you ever get the chance to read this, you’ll understand why. I do have to check out Maximum Carnage, especially before a sequel to Venom is made. Or at least something with Carnage. Amen to the animated shows for all three! Definitely what got me into everything superhero-related as a kid.

      Ahhh Morbius is going to be quite particular. I still look forward to it, especially since Leto didn’t get the chance to fully shine as the Joker.

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    1. KARINA!! So happy to hear from you!!! 😀 Hope you’ve been doing well lately; probably exploring all kinds of uncharted lands across the worlds, huh?

      It must’ve been a surprise for people indeed. Venom was first a villain and then an anti-hero. The movie almost sold him as a hero, however. I do wish they’d make Tom Holland’s Spider-Man crossover with Tom Hardy’s Venom someday, but I feel like company issues would make it a bit hard… maybe impossible now. Maybe Sony and Disney will find a way to make it work someday…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Howaya, howaya? The many lands I’ve traveled are just home to work, work to home, repeat. So ding dang busy! But I am trying to find time again.

        It’ll be a long time yet for the Venom and Spiderman to cross paths in film, that is. Prove me wrong, Mr. Big Producer out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Life has been busy on this side of the world as well. But at least summer is just around the corner!

        Ahhh I do hope they pull off a miracle and maybe get Tom Hardy’s Venom in the 3rd Spider-Man movie to come. It would make so much $$$$$$ for them too. After all, it’s all that matters for most of them! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. True. Now that Marvel’s latest Avengers movie, which i have not seen yet, but I hear kind of ends this series of storyline, there might be that crossing of paths between Hardy and Holland. Or, perhaps another Spiderman . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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