The last time Venom got an entire crossover for symbiote shenanigans, he walked away with a seriously big upgrade: Eddie Brock is now the god of all symbiotes, with the power to flit through their minds at will, no matter where they are in the universe.
This week’s Venom #1 revealed a new power: Eddie can also piggyback on the minds of all symbitoes throughout time, resulting in some pretty freaky visions — and an easy way for writers Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Ram V (Swamp Thing) to tease what’s coming up in the new series.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
Don’t worry, there’s still street-level Venom adventures to follow, as Eddie’s son Dylan partners with the Venom symbiote for bad guy beat ‘em ups. But for Eddie’s god-sized powers, there are god-sized problems, like this symbiote-inhabiting entity who may or may not call itself Bedlam.
All I know is I hate his eyes.
Robin & Batman #1 is Sweet Tooth’s Jeff Lemire taking a swing at Dick Grayson’s early days as Robin with the help of Dustin Nguyen’s moody watercolors. The thing I liked best about it was the end of issue tease, where it seems like Killer Croc is going to become a player in the narrative because of an unexpected connection: He used to be among the “oddities” displayed by the circus that employed the Graysons.
What’s the Furthest Place From Here? #1 is set in a strange world where life ends the moment you turn 18, strange wraiths patrol the streets, and gangs of teenagers tribalize around decaying retail establishments, building their own culture around artifacts they don’t even understand, Mad Max style. If that didn’t seem weird enough, one of the main characters is pregnant and none of them even know what that is. I’ll definitely be reading more issues.
Oh! Thanos is president of the Eternals now! That sentence totally makes sense!
If there’s one thing that back up stories — a classic superhero tradition that DC has revived across many of its biggest titles this year — is the opportunity to world build in ways you can’t in the main title. And Vita Ayala continues a trend of adding more cultural tradition to Wonder Woman canon with this short story about how women are inducted into the Bana-Mighdall. (That is, the warlike, not immortal offshoot of the Amazons who rejected the Greek gods to form their own secret warrior society in Man’s World.)
It is a goddamn tragedy that Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton is over and I can only post one more panel from it that made me fully belly laugh and is still making me laugh as I look at it now. His little arm!
Walter Mosley and Tom Reilly’s The Thing is a true throwback to early Fantastic Four in that it’s a supremely weird comic where anything and everything can happen without seeming repercussions. But also, Ben Grimm is there to ground it all emotionally.
I’m confident enough to say that James Tynion IV’s Joker has absolutely exceeded my expectations and just keeps peeling off more and more layers of a “rotten rich” onion, as with this final revelation of why the Joker has such a mad-on for the invisible hyper-rich of the world: They’re trying to clone him. Why? So they can have their own designer mind-controlled supervillains to protect and obfuscate their interests. This is bonkers and yet, for a superhero universe, feels like it makes total sense.