Reviewer: Andy Campbell
Story Title: Venom
Written by: Joe Kelly
Art by: Ariel Olivetti
Lettered by: Richard Starkings
Cover by: Alex Ross
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
Okay, I’ll skip the usual introduction; if you want to know my initial thoughts about Space Ghost and about this series, check out my review of issue #3 in my archives.
I’ll start with the art for this issue. I said in my previous review that the art in Space Ghost was amazing, and that each page was breathtaking to behold. Well, never fear…the same is true for this issue. Ariel Olivetti has a very unique style, and it is an absolute joy to look at. Never before has Space Ghost looked so cool.
Also in my last review, I mentioned the oft-overlooked work of the letterer, in this case one Mr. Richard Starkings. For those who may not know it, Richard Starkings is a veteran in the industry, and is the creator of Comicraft, a premier lettering company. He often likes to brag about how he lettered Batman: The Killing Joke by hand. Anyway, when paging through Space Ghost, you can tell the lettering was done by a veteran. The dialogue really comes alive, whether it’s in the cool rendering of the bugs’ speech, or even just the standard font used by the human characters. The sound effects are also very well-rendered. Lettering is not something most people notice, but I felt that Starkings’s exceptional work on this series was too good to go without mention.
Now, for the story itself. In my opinion, this was the weakest issue so far. It seemed to be all over the place. Now, granted, this is the penultimate issue of this miniseries, so it’s probably setting up some huge event in the final issue. But either way, it still felt a bit lacking to me. However, in defense of Joe Kelly, his work is often best read in it’s entirety. His plots tend to be very complex, which is really cool when you are reading a trade paperback, but can be kinda confusing when reading the monthly issues. I loved his work on JLA, and I love his work on Justice League Elite. That said, I read those books en masse, so I got the whole plot. Perhaps if I sit down and read all of the issues of Space Ghost in a row, it’ll be the same way. Regardless, count me in for the final issue next month.