WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Venom: First Host #4, by Mike Costa, Mark Bagley, Paco Diaz, Ron Lim, Andrew Hennessy, Scott Hanna, Dono Sanchez-Almara and Clayton Cowles, available now.
Everything we know about Marvel's symbiotes keeps changing. While Donny Cates' current run on Venom has been revealing hidden powers and aspects of the character, we're seeing a totally different array of abilities in its offspring in Venom: First Host.
As Eddie wears the "child" in order to rescue his original symbiote from Tel-Kar, a renegade Kree super-soldier, he realizes it really has enormous potential once it fully matures. In First Host #4, we discover Venom's "kid" has yet another ability, one which could make it the ultimate predator, even surpassing its maniacal sibling, Carnage.
The new symbiote is shaping up to be the most dangerous we've ever met, thanks to some unique powers manifesting. When Eddie suits up with it, he can see not only see cloaked objects, he's able to feel things. He can sense what he's looking for, hinting the symbiote has some sort of advanced receptor system. The young symbiote can also secrete pheromones to put people to sleep, create a state of euphoria within them, and even plant thoughts in their mind, convincing them to perform certain actions.
However, Eddie is loyal and wants to get his symbiote back from Tel-Kar, its original owner, who's looking to detonate weapons of mass destruction on Earth and work his way back into the Kree military after being excommunicated. But as Eddie and the Skrull Warbride M’Lanz try to stop the Kree soldier, we discover Eddie can also camouflage.
The offspring can manipulate light and turn invisible, while simultaneously using airborne hormones to confuse the sensory systems of its prey, thereby making it the perfect stalker. It basically operates similar to how the Predator hunts in the Fox film franchise. In fact, Eddie and Venom Jr. form something similar to the Ultimate Predator we recently saw on screen in The Predator, where the hunter could naturally turn invisible when threatened, thanks to genetic manipulation as opposed to using technology like its predecessors.
Carnage was Venom's first offspring and after bonding with Cletus Kasady, it was the embodiment of chaos. Even its other siblings, Agony, Phage, Riot, Lasher and Scream -- which were produced by the Life Foundation -- paled in comparison. Carnage could also implant thoughts and had a symbiote-sense, while displaying vampiric tendencies at times where it fed off its victims. Basically, Carnage was stronger and faster than Venom, and even came off more powerful than Venom and Spider-Man combined, which is why it was always such a chore for the wall-crawler to rein it in.
Here, we see that Venom Jr. has Carnage's traits too, but when you factor in its invisibility ability, well, it jumps ahead of its sibling in the rankings. It's everything a true killer needs to be, as it's swift and flies under the radar.
It's worth noting that Carnage was stronger because it gestated in outer space, not on Earth like its parent. Venom Jr. gestated on Earth, as seen in the run that preceded Cates' Venom, but it was monitored by Liz Allen at Alchemax. While it hasn't been implied yet, it wouldn't be a shock to learn it was experimented on in the name of science. What we do know though is this kid is smart and adapts quickly. Here's hoping it follows the heroic path like Venom's current arc, rather than taking a page from its other siblings.