As Absolute Carnage has proven, Venom might be one of Marvel's most iconic symbiotes around, but he's far from the most powerful. In the vast array of symbiotes in the Marvel Universe, Venom is often out-gunned by his progeny. The villainous Carnage is the most memorable of all -- especially since he started stripping spines out of all who have ever prior bonded with a symbiote.
But Venom has an even stronger spawn, Sleeper. It's so absurdly overpowered that it boggles the mind how anyone can even hope to emerge victorious against them. With untapped power and potential, Sleeper seems to have potentially unlimited abilities and, more intriguingly, uncertain loyalties.
Who is Sleeper?
Created by Mike Costa and Mark Bagley, Sleeper is Venom's seventh spawn. The Klyntar symbiote was birthed at Alchemax's lab. While initially the alien would've been bonded to the Scorpion, it was raised privately because both Eddie and Venom feared that a potential merger with someone as unstable as Scorpion could prove to be a dangerous influence on its development.
Sleeper has the unique ability to generate substances from its body -- in particular, any liquid and gaseous chemicals. This is due to its unique anatomy and upbringing altering and augmenting its abilities.
However, when Alchemax elected to use the symbiote and its unique abilities for their own purposes, Eddie broke it free. Things became complicated when the Kree Tel-Karr, Venom's original host, came to reclaim the alien symbiote. This required Eddie to merge with Sleeper to rescue Venom. Sleeper, showing his noble sense of honor and respect toward those who love him, then took hold of Tel-Karr's body, lobotomized him, and took over his body.
We later learned that Sleeper's host eventually died, and Sleeper's own abilities kept the Kree warrior walking and moving like his own personal, rotting puppet. But Sleeper soon returned home when he learned of Knull and the threat the symbiote God posed to Eddie, Venom, and the others living on Earth.
Sleeper's New "Host"
Dylan Brock is Eddie Brock's "son," though the nature of his birth is more than a little irregular. Dylan was born from Anne Weying, Eddie's ex-wife, after Weying took command of the Venom symbiote, becoming She-Venom. However, the symbiote, as is the case with all symbiotes, left its codex in Anne's spine. Unlike most people, however, the codex manifested differently. It impregnated Anne, making her give birth to a boy: Dylan, the physical incarnation of Venom's symbiote.
In a way, Dylan is less Eddie's son and more like the Venom symbiote's offspring who was genetically altered due to the irregular nature of his birth. He possesses the ability to control any and all symbiotes, which makes him incredibly dangerous. However, being something of a symbiote himself, it's hard for him to actually merge with a symbiote himself. But, due in part to Dylan's hesitation with merging with another being's consciousness, he rarely wants to engage with symbiote son that level.
Eddie, however, doesn't seem to understand this, and instead sees Dylan as his own flesh and blood. In fact, Eddie was kept unaware that his son even existed for years, as Dylan was raised by his grandfather. However, now that Carnage is on the loose, Dylan has become almost a magnet for the symbiote, being himself the very thing Carnage is ripping out spines to retrieve: a codex.
Sleeper and Dylan
Sleeper and Dylan crossed paths very quickly, with the two rescuing one another as the symbiotes under Carnage's control started to unleash pure pandemonium. The Life Foundation symbiotes -- all under Knull and Carnage's manipulation -- blended into Hybrid, blending with the Maker -- the villainous Ultimate Reed Richards. With Maker tearing through the ranks of the Avengers, Dylan went to merge with Sleeper, who couldn't merge with Dylan because of his unique anatomy. Instead, Dylan decided to use his ability to control symbiotes and Maker's ability to create substances to subdue the Maker.
Dylan manipulated Sleeper to take on the form of a colossal wolf, who then pounced and clawed at Maker. The villain at first thought the symbiote was slobbering on him, but didn't take into account that Sleeper has the ability to create any substance from its body. After he made napalm, Hawkeye ignited the napalm, commenting how metal the whole thing was. While Maker survived, it was certainly enough to cause some lasting damage.
While it might seem like a somewhat antiquated weapon in the real world, napalm might be one of the most dangerous substances a symbiote can generate. Given their natural weakness to fire and sonics, this particular substance can create arguably the most dangerous weapon against both Knull and Carnage alike: their weakness. While Maker does escape with his life, one can only ask the potential ways this power can be applied.
A Unique Form of Symbiosis
Sleeper expressed interest in merging with Dylan from the moment they met, since he seems to long for a host of his own. This naturally draws him to Dylan, who reminds him of his father. Ironically, the two are essentially siblings, since they're both spawns of Venom.
Even more interesting is that, while Sleeper isn't exactly merged with Dylan in the traditional sense, the symbiote physically behaves as if it has a host, meaning that, for whatever reason, Dylan and the symbiote can remain separate yet in symbiosis at once, which means the two can, theoretically, tag-team any opponent they face.
Sleeper and Dylan have an odd relationship that allows both to be able to live in true symbiosis without ever really needing to merge. It remains to be seen how their unique union can continue to evolve, but one thing is for certain: Sleeper might have the potential to be the most overpowered symbiote in the Marvel Universe.