Review by Frank Plowright
For Agent of the Cosmos it’s Flash Thompson bonded with the Venom symbiote following his time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the symbiote now no longer an uncontrollable raging beast.
Robbie Thompson (no relation!) wastes no time with the niceties, assuming we’ll all know the basics of what Venom is, and throws him into an adventure taking on space pirates after hearing a voice in his head appointing him an Agent of the Cosmos. Seeing as he wants to be a hero, doing that on the edge of known space suits him fine. By the end of the opening chapter he’s acquired both a robot helper and a spacecraft, and we gradually learn more about what he’s doing.
This is all digitally drawn by Ariel Olivetti in a 3D style that adds a sense of wonder to the aliens he designs, all looking better for the method of the art. Olivetti doesn’t just settle into a pattern either. Having created some amazing aliens, he turns his attention to technological creatures in the final chapter, and the detail on the machinery is amazing.
The art and the fast pace distract from the familiarity of the man and sardonic robot combination, which by 2016 was hardly groundbreaking. Halfway through Thompson does pull a surprise, altering the relationship between Flash and the symbiote, and he maintains a genial personality between Flash and whoever he encounters, with Flash prioritising talking before fighting. There’s also a sense of humour underlying everything, both in the sitcom dialogue and in what Olivetti has to draw.
By the final chapter it’s apparent that Thompson (the writer) isn’t an introduce them and dump them kind of guy, and he’s built up quite the supporting cast on the sly. How that plays out is seen in Enemies and Allies.
Anyone who loved the old, vicious Venom may find this version considerably neutered and not to their taste, but conversely anyone who considered the old Venom a one trick pony with limited appeal might themselves enjoying Venom: Space Knight. It’s fun.