More than any other new series in 2018, Venom truly realizes the potential of Marvel's Fresh Start relaunch. It retains just enough of the core of what made this character so ridiculously popular in the '90s, while also blazing ambitious new ground for the character. No Marvel book has done so much in such a short span of time to help Venom stand independent of the Spider-Man franchise.
Issue #5 continues Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman's ongoing quest to shake up and reinvigorate Eddie Brock's status quo. Reeling from his first encounter with Knull, god of the symbiotes, Eddie now finds his mind reeling and his very connection to his symbiote called into question. This allows Cates to begin crafting a new dynamic between Eddie and his suit. The symbiote is more eloquent following its recent exposure to its master, allowing for more exciting interplay between the two characters. On some level, this status quo change does seem a bit overly reminiscent of that period where the symbiote was "fixed" during the Guardians of the Galaxy days. But on the other hand, that status quo deserved more attention than it received before Venom was so abruptly dragged back to Earth. After a lull period, this character is making real forward progress again.