WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom #18 by Donny Cates, Iban Coello, Rain Beredo and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
For the past few months, Carnage has been the threat lurking in the shadows, biding his time until he was ready to attack every single person who had ever bonded with a symbiote. Now, as Absolute Carnage unfolds, Cletus Kasady has declared war on the Marvel Universe. The supervillain has wasted no time in going after his targets: he's created a double of himself in Norman Osborn, and he has created an army of followers thanks to his Grendel-powered symbiote.
A legion of Carnage-like symbiotes have been unleashed on the world and Spider-Man and Venom are both busy trying to remain out of their grasps. Now, in the Absolute Carnage tie-in Venom #18, we catch up with Dylan Brock, Eddie's son, who has been left in the care of the Maker, a surprising ally in this war against Cletus Kasady.
While Dylan was left behind to be kept safe, the situation in the issue quickly escalates... and it leads to the creation of a frightening symbiote -- one that could end up being even more terrifying than Carnage himself.
After learning of Cletus Kasady's plan, Peter Parker and Eddie Brock went to the Maker, the villainous Reed Richards from the Ultimate Marvel universe, in order to get his help in creating a machine to safely extract the symbiote codex left behind in anyone who ever bonded with one of the Klyntar. The Maker planned to test the machine on Norman Osborn before using it on young Normie Osborn. However, Eddie and Peter's plan to retrieve Norman was less than successful.
The Maker was then left with Normie and Dylan, but in Venom #17, the three of them were attacked by the Life Foundation symbiotes -- Riot, Phage, Lasher and Agony -- who are now under Carnage's thrall. The fight stretches into Venom #18, as the Maker uses his advanced technology to repel the symbiotes and trap them in containment units. However, the Maker isn't exactly a hero, either. With enough time wasted, he means to use the machine on Normie right away.
However, Dylan is having none of it. He sees the Maker for the dangeroua mad scientist he is, and he tells Normie to wait for Eddie and Peter to get back, as originally planned. Seeing that the Maker has no plans to stop, Dylan sees no other choice: he frees all four Life Foundation symbiotes, who immediately rush to bond with the Maker. The result is the terrifying Hybrid, who is one part evil young Reed Richards, four parts symbiotes and one part Carnage.
This Hybrid has all of the powers of Mr. Fantastic and the Life Foundation symbiotes. While the Hybrid has been a relatively heroic figure in the past, he is an elongated monster with razor-sharp claws spurring out of him here. With his vast intellect, elastic powers and a lack of Reed Richards' compassion, the Maker was already one of the most dangerous villains the Marvel Universe all on his own. Now, he's a downright menace, the likes of which we've rarely seen before.
The Maker's Hybrid could potentially be an even bigger threat than Carnage. Better yet, as the issue comes to a close, Captain America, the Thing, Spider-Man and Wolverine all show up to save Dylan, promising a fight between those and Hybrid. Clearly, the superheroes' work will be cut out for them, but even that selection of Marvel's finest might no tbe enough to stop the new symbiote menace.