WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom #19 by Donny Cates, Iban Coello, Rain Beredo and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
For the past few months, Cletus Kasady has been going after every person who has ever bonded with a symbiote. His goal is to rip out the codex left behind in all of his targets, and collect them in order to connect to the Klyntar hive mind and awaken the alien race's dark god, Knull. While Venom has been dealing with Carnage in the main Absolute Carnage series, Captain America, the Thing, Spider-Man and Wolverine are fighting another dangerous threat in the Venom series.
In Venom #18, the Maker, an evil alternate reality Reed Richards who was an uneasy ally in the fight against Carnage, was taken over by the Life Foundation symbiotes. The result was a frightening new addition to Carnage's army that the combined superheroes had lot of trouble containing in Venom #19. Luckily for them, Eddie Brock's young son Dylan is around, and he hatches a plan to get them some backup by releasing the Sleeper symbiote, Venom's latest offspring. In the ensuing chaos, Sleeper ends up taking on a new role and gaining a new, adorable form as well.
Sleeper is a fairly new addition to the Marvel Universe. The character debuted in 2018's Venom #165, by Mike Costa and Mark Bagley, as the latest symbiote to be Venom's latest spawn, who was born in an Alchemax Laboratory. Like Venom, Sleeper is a heroic symbiote, and he joined the fight against Carnage after recently returning to Earth. The symbiote came to the rescue of Eddie Brock's son, Dylan, seeing the young boy as a member of his family. However, Sleeper was eventually subdued and locked away by the Maker.
Now, as the symbiote-controlled Maker rampages through the streets and the Avengers struggle to defeat him, Dylan rushes back to the Maker’s lab. There, he finds and frees Sleeper. To help in the fight, Sleeper attempts to bond with Dylan, but the mystery surrounding Eddie's son only deepens when the boy somehow manages to take full control of the symbiote as a separate entity.
Inspired by the Venom symbiote's previous canine form, Dylan gives Sleeper the shape of a wolf, and guides it into battle against the Maker. His intervention helps the Avengers in their battle, and the villain is eventually defeated.
After the battle, Sleeper, now free of Dylan's control, tells the young boy it's unethical to take control of someone else. Then, after Eddie's son explains he has no idea what is going on with him and apologizes, the kinship between both characters becomes apparent. Sleeper remains at Dylan's side, and tells him he used the symbiote's powers well. What's more, he explains that he will remain at the boy's side until they figure out who -- or what -- Dylan is.
Then, when Eddie's son reveals that he isn't much of a dog person, Sleeper takes on a more comforting form for the boy. Discarding his wolf form, the symbiote takes on the shape of an adorable, four-eyed cat.
Sleeper's new feline form is bound to appeal to cat lovers everywhere. He now joins Captain Marvel's Chewie (or Goose in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) as a cute-but-deadly feline companion. Now, Sleeper has officially joined the Venom family as its newest lethal protector. Considering that Dylan's symbiote-controlling power could end up playing a major role in Absolute Carnage's finale, he couldn't have come at a better time.