WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Edge of Venomverse #1
It's not enough for Marvel to give Venom a comic reboot, they had to go and combine the alien symbiote with Wolverine - and add in a cliffhanger ending no fan thought possible. Shocking as the combination of alien symbiote and adamantium claws may be, it's only the first chapter of what Marvel is calling the biggest Venom story ever published on the comic book page. We're sure that the newly-announced Venom movie starring Tom Hardy is simply fortuitous timing.
Fans of the black-suited villain are in for a treat in the coming months, as this Venom-verine hybrid is just the first of many to come. The Edge of Venomverse has officially begun, with famous 'extreme' Marvel characters set to follow in Wolverine's footsteps in the next four issues. What happens when the likes of Ghost Rider, Deadpool, Gwenpool, and even Old Man Logan embrace the villainous Venom... but all that's simply an appetizer to the official Venomverse kicking off in September.
And if the cliffhanger ending to this opening issue is a sign of just what the "Venomverse" actually is, fans will NOT want to miss this one.
All-New Wolverine, Meet The Venom Symbiote
The time will come for James Howlett a.k.a. Logan to don the Venom symbiote, but with X-23 fresh off her big screen debut in the acclaimed Logan, it's Laura Kinney who earns the spotlight. She's claimed the current title of Marvel's All-New Wolverine in the main Marvel continuity, but that's not the case on the Edge of Venomverse. The combination of her skills with that of the famous villain requires a new origin story for X-23. One that we're betting most Marvel fans would kill to see in live-action (pun intended).
In this new origin story, Laura begins her life in much the same way as her typical beginnings. She's still a test subject held prisoner against her will by a shadowy organization. And yes, she's still making a habit of slicing and dicing her captors whenever she gets the chance. But as Edge of Venomverse #1 reveals, one of these strained attempts leaves Laura cornered, gassed, and with no way out. No way out except for the glass containment cell she's found herself pressed up against in the same test facility.
A containment cell that just happens to be the home of a particular well known alien symbiote attracted to rage and hate like nothing else.
In a predictable twist on her usual origin, this version sees Laura escape all by herself - having one of the most limitless and brutal Marvel villains flowing through her blood will do that. But instead of going on a world-ending feast of carnage, Laura sticks to the shadows and lives a solitary life. Until a gang of kids stumble upon her hiding place. Only a hardened person like Laura could keep Venom's requests for murder and hunger under control - meaning her solitary existence soon becomes one shared by her family.
And as a found family, they really do share everything... even Venom. It says a lot that while Wolverine's DNA is being mixed with the Hulk to create a perfect killing machine, his actual clone is lending her powers to her friends in the name of teamwork. Still, the first issue only gives a glimpse of Laura's gang of Venom friends before the military men hunting her down have her surrounded. Pulling the entirety of Venom back into her body, she's ready to fight.
Until a strange force suddenly pulls her completely out of existence, and into what looks to be an alternate universe... or should we say Venomverse?
That's right, Laura Kinney is pulled out of her life into an alternate place or time, landing her face to face with Captain America... a version of Captain America that seems to have also been merged with the Venom symbiote, judging by his uniform's texture. Readers are free to decide which of the Venom-ified costumes they prefer more - X-23's yellow-striped Wolverine threads, or Cap's black-and-white design with a Venom-emblazoned shield - but whatever "War" he's referring to may be the more important question going forward.
We don't expect that situation to be laid out in plain terms just yet, since Marvel's all-new Wolverine will be handing the spotlight over to Gwenpool, followed soon after by the Ghost Rider in July. Starring roles for Logan and Deadpool round out the five issue series in August, paving the way for the Venomverse proper to hit shelves in September. And while it's true that plenty of heroes and villains have been transformed into alternate versions of Venom over the years, the artwork alone - not to mention Venom-Cap - promises a more substantial event.
The real question is: if every hero is infected with Venom... who becomes the villain?
Edge of Venomverse #1 is available now.