WARNING: This article contains spoilers for X-Men Blue #22 by Cullen Bunn, Jacopo Camagni, Matt Milla and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
This year marks Venom's 30th anniversary, and Marvel Comics is going all out for the momentous occasion. Not only is the symbiote's original host, Eddie Brock, back as Venom, the antihero is also headlining a trilogy of Venom-based events for the publisher.
Venomverse took Eddie to an alternate universe, where we were first introduced to a new alien race called the Poisons, who make their living off of feeding on symbiotes. Venom managed to return back home, where he was "kidnapped" by the members of X-Men Blue for a space mission in the "Poison-X" crossover, involving the rescue of Cyclops' father, Corsair, and the Starjammers from Killer Thrill's group of symbiote-wearing pirates.
All this is leading to April's Venomized miniseries, with the Poisons invading the Marvel Universe-proper, lead by an alternate reality Thanos. However, their infiltration has already begun, as revealed during the X-Men Blue/Venom crossover.
One Last Hunt
An arms dealer by the name of Haze Mancer is the one who provided Killer Thrill and her team with symbiotes. During their battle with Venom and the X-Men, Haze Mancer alluded to being quite familiar with the Venom symbiote, possibly being one of its former owners.
Of course, this new bit of information wasn't enough to distract Venom from subduing the villain, allowing the Nova Corps to arrest him. The prison holding Haze Mancer was breached by an unknown intruder, who killed the Nova Corps guardsmen on duty. Once freed, the mysterious figure recruited Haze Mancer for one last hunt, revealing himself to be the Kraven the Hunter, the first victim of the Poison's invasion.
Somehow, someway, the Poisons have come for the heroes and villains of the Marvel Prime Universe. There are two ways to tell a Poison from a regular symbiote host; one is by the color of their faces. Poisons will always have a white face that looks similar to a hockey mask. The second is that their speech balloons will have an all-white background to them.
Kraven the Poison Hunter caught up with Jean Grey and Killer Thrill, offering both the chance to peacefully join their ranks, or taken by force. With Cyclops and Jean sharing a psychic bond, Scott Summers was the first to be alerted that something had happened to Jean. As Venom and the rest of the X-Men (who themselves became symbiote hosts) began to investigate, Jean and Killer Thrill reappeared as Poisons.
The Poisons now have Kraven, Jean Grey and Killer Thrill as their slaves, with the X-Men and Venom as their next targets. The Lethal Protector has already faced this threat once, so he knows what to expect out of them. Poisons will use deception to lure their prey into a false sense of security, before attacking and taking over a body. The X-Men are still getting adjusted to their symbiotes, so it could be harder for them to resist temptation when faced with a Poison.
Unfortunately for our heroes, they will still be stuck in space while the Poisons assault Earth in Venomized #1, setting their sites on the members of X-Men Gold. The only question is will the events of Venomized be taking place at the same time as "Poison-X," or after? If it's the latter, then it possibly means the X-Men and Venom failed to stop the Poisons, allowing them to reach Earth. And if that's true, then will they become Poisons as well?
We should get those answers, and more, as "Poison-X" continues in Venom #163 on March 7, and when Venomized #1 arrives on April 4.