In the pages of the five-part miniseries Venom: First Host, we’ve been introduced to the Kree warrior Tel-Kar, who, it’s revealed, was the first being to bond with the Klyntar symbiote we know as Venom. In Issue #1, Tel-Kar’s backstory was revealed, but in this week’s Issue #2 we witness the reunion between the Kree soldier and the symbiote, and it brought out some surprising emotions in Venom.
The Venom symbiote was first introduced in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man as Peter Parker’s then-new black costume, but it’s during 1985’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars where we find out exactly how he acquired it. The first comic book event of its kind, Secret Wars sees dozens of heroes and villains abducted by the alien Beyonder and forced to fight on his Battleworld. In Issue #8, Spider-Man comes across the symbiote and it instantly bonds to him, enhancing his powerset in the process.
Ever since then, we’ve assumed that Peter was the original host of the costume (aside from the canonically questionable Deadpool miniseries Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars, in which the Merc With a Mouth gets there first), but now, thanks to First Host, we know the truth.
Years ago, during the Kree’s war against the Skrulls, the former was looking for ways to effectively combat the shapeshifting abilities of the latter. When the Kree stumbled upon the Klyntar race, they discovered that they were able to mimic the shape-changing skills of their enemies, as well as receive a range of other combat enhancements native to the symbiotes. One Kree soldier -- Tel-Kar -- infiltrated a Skrull squad and was able to rescue a Kree civilian transport and its crew. In the escape, Tel-Kar separated from the symbiote in order to remain behind and aid their safe exit.
Tel-Kar is next seen saving the life of Eddie Brock -- the current host of the Venom symbiote -- from a Skrull warrior in an alleyway on Earth. After recovering from his wounds, Tel-Kar sits down with Eddie and tells him his story, explaining that he was made a prisoner of war under the Skrulls for years before he could escape, and had been on the run ever since. Quite how the Venom symbiote ended up on the Beyonder’s Battleworld is yet to be revealed, but Tel-Kar tells Eddie that he had heard about a human with a Klyntar symbiote back when Flash Thompson was its host in the series Venom: Spaceknight. This rumor drew him to Earth.
The biggest question Venom has for his first host is why he can’t remember any of this happening, as events this significant would surely be remembered by the symbiote. Tel-Kar states that the Kree underwent intense training in order to become effective hosts for the symbiotes, and part of that training involved powerful hypnotic locks that protected both symbiote and host in the event of capture. The memories, he claims, are just suppressed, and all it takes is a conscious choice to remember them.
It’s at this point that everything comes flooding back to the symbiote, and Eddie Brock experiences all of the newly regained memories of the Klyntar’s life before it was discovered by Peter Parker on Battleworld. Whether due to the intensity of the memories returning or the weight of this reunion truly being realized, the symbiote does something it’s never done before: It cries tears of joy.
This touching moment is short-lived, however, when Tel-Kar attempts to steal the symbiote from Brock, threatening the life of Liz Allen and the newly spawned symbiote child (created by the Klyntar over in the Venom ongoing series) in the process. What happens next will be revealed in the next issue of Venom: First Host, but for now it’s already clear that this series isn’t afraid to open the Venom symbiote up to emotions no one knew it was capable of.