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Venom leaps across a double page spread, wielding a giant two-handed axe made from Mjolnir and the Silver Surfer’s board in King in Black #5, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman/Marvel Comics

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So, Venom is a god now

Your move, Tom Hardy

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman aren’t quite done with Eddie Brock and his symbiote — their run will wrap up in June, with the release of Venom #200. But this week did mark the end of King in Black, the Venom crossover that brought the entire Marvel universe together to defeat Knull, the god of the Symbiotes.

And what a defeat it was, with Eddie Brock coming back from the dead thanks to one of the Marvel Universe’s supreme cosmic powers, the Silver Surfer punching through a symbiote bubble surrounding the entire earth, and a few symbiote-infested Celestials.

Oh, also, Eddie Brock is god of all the symbiotes now.

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.)

King in Black #5

Eddie Brock, as Venom but with massive red and black dragon wings, takes a pose over a liberated New York City as symbiotes and symbiote dragons swarm around him worshipfully in King in Black #5, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman/Marvel Comics

Cates has said that Eddie Brock’s characteristic fear is of being alone, and now he never will be, because he shares a hive mind with every symbiote everywhere.

Also he got to use an axe made out of Mjolnir and the Silver Surfer’s board, so that’s cool too.

Batman #107

Ghost-Maker, wearing only tight underwear and a blindfold, toasts to his recent sexual companions — a man and a woman, both still in bed. “You’ll be pleased to know that I solved six crimes in the last two hours of carnal bliss [...] remember, the Ghost-Maker is not a man, he is a legend. So, please feel free to embellish the story of our brief time together, add some ninjas,” in Batman #107, DC Comics (2021). Image: James Tynion IV, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz/DC Comics

James Tynion IV has been introducing a lot of new characters in his Batman run, and I admit I was a little lukewarm on Ghost-Maker. He’s a fellow student of Bruce from back in his “traveling around the world learning to be the best at everything” days, who thinks he can do a better job than Batman — i.e., by killing people — but Bruce convinced him stop killing people at least for now as he becomes one of Batman’s allies in Gotham.

But now that I know, thanks to the Ghost-Maker backup story in Batman, that he’s a slightly-tongue-in-cheek, bisexual, international, vigilante James Bond, like a blurry and exaggerated idea of Batman himself, well. I’m all in on this idiot.

Excalibur #20

Captain Britain and Psylocke discuss the fate of Malice with Professor X and Magento. The two men think the body-stealing mutant should be thrown in Krakoa’s “prison,” the two women think she should be given her own body and a chance, in Excalibur #20, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Tini Howard, Marcus To/Marvel Comics

It’s almost a cliche right now to point out that having so many concurrent X-books means that there’s lots of space to examine the new Krakoan paradigm on a micro level, but this week’s Excalibur is quintessential example of the form. Captain Britain and Psylocke, who were long defined by only having one body to share between them, so to speak, defy the Quiet Council to try and rehabilitate (or rescue, really) the mutant Malice.

Malice’s mutation is that she is a disembodied psychic creature who can body-snatch anyone at will, and the Captain and Psylocke fight for her right to reap the benefits of Krakoa just like any other mutant. It’s good.

Silver Coin #1

A man catches an old coin as it is tossed to him. “I wanted more,” he says in narration. “Winners want more. I was tired of being a loser. We’re too young to feel like relics.” in Silver Coin #1, Image Comics (2021). Image: Chip Zdarsky, Michael Walsh/Image Comics

The Silver Coin is a new anthology horror miniseries. The twist? The writer changes each issue, artist Michael Walsh draws them all, and every issue has to be a new story about someone who comes across this cursed coin. The first issue, featuring Chip Zdarsky writing, was lovely, future issues promise Kelly Thompson and Ed Brisson’s take, with five issues total. Consider it recommended.

Avengers #44

Maya Lopez, the Native American mutant known as Echo, accepts the power of the Phoenix, wreathed in a swarming flock of flames shaped like birds in Avengers #44, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Jason Aaron, Javier Garrón/Marvel Comics

This week, one new god was not enough for the Marvel Universe, so we also have a brand new bearer of the Phoenix Force. In a nutshell, the Phoenix came back to Earth looking for a new host and kidnapped a rather diverse crew of Marvel superheroes to battle in a forced tournament until one showed their mettle. That one turned out to be Maya Lopez, the deaf and Native American superhero known as Echo, who’ll make her MCU debut in the upcoming Hawkeye series in Disney Plus.

Also, the Phoenix told Thor that she was really his mom, from back when she and Odin used to get all hot and bothered at the dawn of human civilization. Complicated!


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