There aren’t many things scarier than Venom in the Marvel universe, but artist Kyle Hotz just gave fans the most frightening symbiote. A variant of the Avengers #54 cover shows Blade hunting vampires in the image of Carnage. With his new symbiotic appearance, the daywalker has become more terrifying than ever.
Back in March, Marvel began turning some of its most iconic heroes into symbiote variants to mark Carnage’s 30th anniversary. In February, the publisher released Carnage Forever, a one-shot film about a bloodthirsty villain. Since then, everyone from Black Panther to Captain America and the Hulk Woman has undergone symbiotic treatment, and each one has been more frightening than the last. Now, with the release of this new Blade cover, Marvel has arguably created one of the most intimidating symbiotes ever to grace a comic book page.
Avengers #54 showcases the talented work of Jason Aaron, Juan Frigeri, David Curiel, Cory Petit and Carlos Lao, but the Hotz Carnage Forever cover version is a real treat. Blade transforms into his most monstrous form. At first, because of the demonic appearance, it’s hard to tell who is depicted, but it becomes more obvious with the creature’s visible fangs and the hero’s iconic sword clutched in his clawed hands. The Daytime vampire is already a determined and impressive hunter, but with this new form, vampires and villains will have nowhere to run.
The Carnage symbiote takes Blade’s classic costume and passes on his traditional red skin, claws and tentacles, leaving him with vampire fangs surrounded by dripping red maw. The appearance of the traditional Blade cloak imitates a purple-red hood with claws descending from the neck. The coat element also gives this variant of the Blade a more amorphous appearance compared to some other previous symbiotes. It looks like this new symbiote may disappear into the fog.
Although the cover version is not an official character in the story, this does not detract from the fact that he is one of the scariest symbiotes ever created by Marvel. The fog-like appearance suggests that it can strike from the shadows when it is least expected. Carnage took on many new forms, but Blade’s skill, speed, and intensity combined with the ferocity and power of the symbiote would be enough to make any hero or villain fear the dark. Venom and Carnage are formidable on their own, but an insatiable thirst for blood is added to their abilities, and anyone with a pulse should beware of this impressive and terrifying cover of the Blade variant from Marvel Comics.