Venom: Lethal Protector

venom lethal protector cover trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

Venom is a fun character

Venom worked better as a limited series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Venom:  Lethal Protector

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  David Michelinie

Artist:  Mark Bagley/Ron Lim

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2011

venom lethal protector #1 cover

Venom: Lethal Protector #1

Reprints Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6 (February 1993-July 1993). Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote living inside of him known as Venom are trying to start a new life in San Francisco. When Venom finds a group of people living under the streets of the city, he becomes a target of the Life Foundation. Venom’s actions have attracted the attention of Spider-Man who has come to the city to see if his old enemy has really changed…is Venom the hero that San Francisco needs?

Written by David Michelinie, Venom: Lethal Protector is the first limited series for the popular Marvel Comics character. The six-issue series features art by Mark Bagley and Ron Lim.

Venom was a hot commodity in 1993. The “gritty” ’80s were over but gave rise to antiheroes like the Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and Venom that seemed to appear in every issue of every Marvel series at some point. While Wolverine, Punisher, and Ghost Rider were more established character, Venom was a villain that “becoming a hero” due to his popularity…which is too bad because he made a great villain.

Venom couldn’t be a true and sadistic villain and be the lead of this series though attempting to do that would have been interesting. It is a much more toned-down Venom from his very early appearances and the “evil” Venom seemed to be filled by Carnage after his creation. This Venom tries to do what’s right and is criticized for it…much like his nemesis Spider-Man.

venom lethal protector #4 cover 1st scream

Venom: Lethal Protector #4

The story for the collection is filled with generic villains which doesn’t help it. The Jury led by Orwell Taylor and the Life Foundation led by Roland Treece aren’t very interesting. The Jury comes off as generic Iron Man characters and Treece’s organization just feels like corporate set-up. I wish that the symbiotes created in this volume had been the thrust or that a major supervillain (or superhero) had been the foil for the series.

Venom’s character was always Spider-Man’s mortal enemy and to have them “play nice” together seems like a bit of anti-character. Venom always had a real rage toward Spider-Man, and I wish that the treaty they pounded out was a little less solid. While Spider-Man does add some spark to the story, it feels like Venom probably really should have flown solo on this outing.

Venom: Lethal Protector was the start of a series of limited series that ran for a years and though it was always limited series, you can see bigger seeds being planted here (like Eddie’s family and the underground society he is assigned to protect). In general, Venom feels out of sorts here though, and it feels like a ploy to market the character to a bigger audience (which of course it was). Like the Punisher, I prefer Venom in small doses and wish he had remained a guest-star. Venom: Lethal Protector was followed by Venom: Funeral Pyre which was collected as part of Venom: The Enemy Within.

Related Links:

Venom:  The Enemy Within

Venom:  Separation Anxiety

Venom (2018)

Spider-Man:  Maximum Carnage

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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