Venom: The Enemy Within

venom the enemy within cover trade paperback tpb
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

Unabashed 1990s comic books

Questionable art and stories at points

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Venom:  Funeral Pyre/Venom:  The Madness/Venom:  The Enemy Within/Incredible Hulk & Venom

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer:  Carl Potts/Ann Nocenti/Bruce Jones/Peter David

Artist:  Tom Lyle/Kelley Jones/Bob McLeod/Jim Craig

# of Issues: 10

Release Date: 2013

venom funeral pyre #1 cover holographic foil

Venom: Funeral Pyre #1

Reprints Venom:  Funeral Pyre #1-3, Venom:  The Madness #1-3, Venom:  The Enemy Within #1-3, and Incredible Hulk & Venom #1 (August 1993-April 1994).  Venom continues to try to protect San Francisco from the legions of evil, but Venom is quickly discovering that where he goes, trouble follows.  Teaming up with the Punisher, facing off against the Juggernaut, battling goblins with Morbius, and going one-on-one with the Hulk, Venom takes his unique brand of justice to the next level.

Written by Carl Potts, Ann Nocenti, Bruce Jones, and Peter David, Venom:  The Enemy Within is a collection of Venom limited series released in the 1990s by Marvel Comics.  Following Venom:  Lethal Protector, the comic features art by Tom Lyle, Kelley Jones, Bob McLeon, and Jim Craig and collects Venom:  Funeral Pyre, Venom:  The Madness, Venom:  The Enemy Within and the one-shot Incredible Hulk vs Venom.  Issues in this collection were also include in Venomnibus—Volume 1.

Venom was about as 1990s as you could get.  The character exploded in the 1990s, and like Wolverine and the Punisher, Venom guest-starred in multiple series.  Venom:  The Enemy Within revels in its totally unabashed comic book world.

venom the madness #1 cover vs juggernaut

Venom: The Madness #1

To be straight, Venom isn’t that great of a comic.  The stories are rather typical comic book stories and the limited series largely revolves around having other big guest-stars show up.  The first limited series Venom:  Funeral Pyre takes the popularity of Venom and adds the equally popular Punisher wrapped in a foil cover.  It is like a 1990s comic book orgy.

The comic also suffers from so-so art.  Comics were really booming when Venom came out and Marvel and DC were pushing out lots of titles to rival the new threat from Image (and lesser extent Valiant and Dark Horse).  Many of the hot artists had moved to other companies and keeping up with deadlines had to be challenging.  I always felt like the art suffered as a result.

Venom:  The Enemy Within is a good example of where comics were in the 1990s in general.  It feels like it was trying to capture the grittiness of the 1980s series like The Punisher and The Dark Knight Returns, but it didn’t seem to know how to do that.  Instead you ended up with characters and storylines that feel they could largely be swapped between vigilante superheroes.  It was this numbers-over-substance style that ended up leading to the comic book bust. Venom:  The Enemy Within was followed by Venom:  Separation Anxiety.

Related Links:

Venom:  The Lethal Protector

Venom:  Separation Anxiety

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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