WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom #18 by Donny Cates, Iban Coello, Rain Beredo and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale Wednesday, Sept. 11.
The Marvel Comics event Absolute Carnage may be in its opening stage, but it already has reintroduced many of the various alien symbiotes and the hosts who have bonded with them. Of course, the sadistic symbiote Carnage is the catalyst for the event series, as a resurrected Cletus Kasady attempts to bring back the god of symbiotes, Knull.
Absolute Carnage makes for strange bedfellows, with Venom and the Amazing Spider-Man working together to stop Carnage from completing his godly resurrection. Carnage's plan calls for the stockpiling of codices taken from anyone who has ever bonded with a symbiote in the Marvel Universe. Now, if you know anything about the history of Marvel symbiotes, then you understand how many hosts this is going to end up being.
This new volume of Venom has set the stage for Absolute Carnage, with one of the key pieces being the introduction of Eddie Brock's son, Dylan. We've been led to believe Dylan is Eddie's son with Anne Weying, but Venom #17 threw in a new wrinkle with the possibility that Dylan is actually the offspring of the Venom symbiote and Anne. Now, before you use up valuable energy trying to wrap your head around that reproduction, we should remind you that Venom has many children throughout the Marvel Universe. For example, Carnage was the very first offspring of Venom, but another forgotten child has recently returned as well.
Sleeper rescued Dylan and Normie Osborn from a pack of Life Foundation symbiotes in Venom #17, and as a preview of this week's Venom #18 reveals, the long-lost son is eyeing Dylan as its new host.
Sleeper tells Dylan and Normie how he encountered Knull on the planet of symbiotes, and how he immediately recognized the threat and headed to Earth to find Venom. Thankfully, Sleeper arrives just in time to save the two young boys. When Dylan asks who Sleeper's host is, we discover its a deceased Kree soldier named Tel-Kar. Whereas the host is normally in control, Sleeper is the one piloting a Kree corpse.
This makes Sleeper wonder if he wouldn't be of greater use with an actual living, breathing host. The final page of the preview teases Sleeper and Dylan bonding, which makes us wonder what that type of union would look like. Would we call them Kid Sleeper or Kid Venom? Or is an entirely new codename appropriate?
More than likely, something will happen to interrupt the connection before its ever made. Either The Maker will intervene, or another threat will show its face. But now that the seed has been planted, it's something we'll keep an eye on as Absolute Carnage continues.