If you’ve seen Venom, you know there’s a pretty memorable scene involving a sweet little puppy — but if you haven’t read many Venom comics, you might not know that that scene is totally within the realm of possibility for Marvel Comics’ infamous symbiotic goo monster. The alien’s bonded with a dog ... and so much more.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Venom.]
At one point in Venom, Eddie and the Symbiote have a major breach of trust just as they are forced apart by a sonic assault. Eddie dashes off to confront evil billionaire Carlton Drake on his own, and in the meantime, the Symbiote has to escape from a hospital’s MRI imaging room and find a way back to its host.
That way presents itself in the form of another, temporary host, shown earlier in the movie: The cute, yappy dog of one of the hospital patients. The Symbiote takes over a dog. Then it takes over Eddie’s ex-fiancée.
But for a fleeting moment, it becomes a dog-biote. And yes, this has precedence in Marvel Comics canon.
The first time that Venom notably bonded with an earth dog was in the character’s first solo ongoing series, Venom, which opened with a six-issue story that was essentially John Carpenter’s The Thing, but with Venom. The symbiote terrorizes a remote arctic outpost, slowly killing and consuming the crew within it, and eventually escapes the wilderness by bonding with the group’s lead sled dog, Ivan, seen at the top of this post.
Ivan, despite the tell tale tongue, was Venom going incognito — but there are other, wilder examples of a Venom-dog.
2011’s Carnage, U.S.A., features an American special forces team made up of soldiers equipped with symbiote-fueled weapons. And among those weapons is a trained German shepherd who has bonded with a symbiote known as Lasher, and she can smell a target within five hundred miles.
Lasher is ... definitely not a stealth doggo. But could be worse.
It could be the Old Man Logan universe.