Warning: contains major spoilers for Extreme Carnage: Omega #1!
When it comes to offspring, Venom has sired many. One of his son’s – Sleeper – has a new host and his way of infecting him is one of the creepiest of all the symbiotes. Like his name suggests, this symbiote is a sneaky operator and Hank, his host, has NO idea that he’s infected.
Sleeper is Venom’s seventh spawn, following Carnage, Phage, Riot, Lasher, Scream, and Agony. Carnage is the most well-known and the following four were created by the Life Foundation, taking on the organization’s name. Sleeper first appeared in 2018 and doesn’t have the same murderous tendencies as many of his symbiote siblings – though his previous host, the Kree soldier Tel-Kar, may disagree based on the fate he suffered due to Sleeper’s actions – and his own. Sleeper has been living with Eddie and Dylan Brock, but now at Eddie’s urging he has found a new host.
Hank is a friend of Eddie’s who was recruited to assist in foiling Carnage’s plan in Marvel’s Extreme Carnage event. Extreme Carnage: Omega has the creative team of Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Manuel Garcia, Guru Efx, and Travis Lanham. Symbiote hysteria is at an all-time high and Hank isn’t too fond of symbiotes. Unfortunately for him, his body is now the host of Sleeper. Even more unfortunate is the fact that he doesn’t know anything about it – Eddie Brock hasn’t told him and it’s already gotten him killed once. His life is taking a turn for the worse, but he isn’t the least bit aware of it – despite having a face-to-face run-in with Riot.
When Hank is attacked by Riot and impaled by his appendage, Sleeper takes over his body – giving it time to heal. Sleeper continues taking control of the body for the duration of his mission to stop Carnage. Eventually, Hank wakes up and is none the wiser. He talks to Eddie about the confrontation, stating that he wasn’t very helpful since he was knocked out immediately. As it turns out, he was very helpful as a symbiote host, but he has no memory of his death or his body being used. He doesn’t have a direct connection with Sleeper, making him completely clueless about being a host at all. This will likely lead to numerous problems in the future, as Eddie’s allies point out. After all, having a symbiote in this new era is incredibly dangerous, particularly given Carnage’s latest schemes and symbiote recruitment.
According to Eddie, bonding Sleeper to Hank was the right move. It protected him during his encounter with Riot, allowing him to leave. He accepted the risks, but Eddie didn’t want to lose his friend so easily knowing what Carnage’s crew is capable of. While he saved Hank, he has also doomed him to a strange new life with a creepy stowaway. Sleeper is portrayed differently from his symbiote siblings when it comes to their relationships with their hosts.
Typically, the symbiotes are seen bonding with their hosts and amplifying their personalities and desires. The symbiotes aid in heroic causes, provide abilities for destructive hosts to cause trouble, and they are often in direct communication with one another. Sleeper isn’t in communication with his host at all. He is literally hiding in Hank’s nervous system, waiting for his next set of instructions from Eddie, while Hank is none the wiser about the brink of death he was placed at. Of all the ways for symbiotes to occupy a host, Venom’s son Sleeper definitely has the creepiest – with no one knowing where he could potentially be at any given time.