WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Venom #5, available now from Marvel.

Eddie Brock has seen his entire life torn to pieces, only to end up in the midst of some faraway place in an unrecognizable time. Thankfully, he has found something of a kindred spirit out in the wilds of the timestream, and Meridius isn’t the only one. As it turns out, Eddie has landed himself right alongside his successors as the King in Black. Not only has the current god of the symbiotes stumbled upon those who will eventually inherit his kingdom, he is quickly discovering just how twisted they truly are.

While his son Dylan is busy losing a desperate race against the likes of Alchemax and the Life Foundation, Eddie Brock is about as far away as he possibly could be. After what seemed like a fatal attack, Eddie has awoken in a fantastical and frightening alien world. Meridius, the being who greeted Eddie upon his arrival, explains that this place is his Garden of Time, a place composed entirely of symbiote matter. The Garden isn’t just made of symbiotes, however, it is also home to several almost just like Eddie. As he discovers in the pages of Venom #5 (by Al Ewing, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Alex Sinclair, and VC’s Clayton Cowles), these other symbiotes share far more in common with Eddie than a vague resemblance. They also share his title of King in Black.

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Meridius introduces Eddie to Tyro and Wilde, the hulking green and eyeless blue symbiotes who have made a home for themselves in the Garden of Time. While Wilde is more than happy to crack sullen jokes at Eddie’s arrival, Tyro is all too serious, drawing the ire of Meridius in an uncomfortable display of the status quo in the Garden. Before Eddie can come to terms with what he is learning, he is approached by the rambling, near nonsensical gray symbiote Finnegan. Unfortunately, their conversation is cut short by the violent arrival of the massive Bedlam, kick starting a brawl between the three that the others can only watch unfold. Despite the cacophony of violence, Meridius knows none of them will ever really come to harm considering they are all Kings in Black.

By the time the dust has settled, Eddie has more questions than he did when he arrived in the first place. From the few clues given, the Garden of Time is itself where every King in Black will eventually end up once they lose themselves in time. This itself is an ominous concept, though not just for the nature of its existence, but for the timeline its inhabitants create. Wilde is supposedly a successor of Eddie’s throne, with Tyro coming sometime after Wilde’s reign. Presumably the succession of the title of King in Black itself is less destructive than when Eddie completely obliterated Knull. The fact that these various Kings in Black are still alive in the Garden still doesn’t bode well for any of them, however, as they are all effectively trapped inside of it.

No matter how genuinely indestructible they might be as beings of pure symbiote, it is the depths of those same powers which have seemingly doomed them all to an eternity outside of any recognizable time. On the other hand, all of them having ended up in the same place indicates a shared connection beyond their titles or nature. If the Garden of Time exists in the same manner they do, then it would only make sense that it actually resides somewhere in the bounds of the symbiote Hive, or as an extension of it. Should that prove to be the case, then Meridius’ efforts to leave could also be an attempt to take charge of the Garden itself, as well as those who reside within it.

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It’s evident that Meridius has no intentions of remaining in the Garden, yet there is no clear way out for him or any of the others just yet. In fact, it seems as though whatever Meridius is planning will only work out for himself. It’s hard to imagine Eddie will stand by while Meridius’ machinations play out, and any intervention on his part would surely lead to lines being drawn between the two Kings in Black. As devastating as a war between the most powerful symbiotes of their respective eras could be, so long as they aren’t going anywhere, it really doesn’t matter how much damage they do. With any luck, Eddie won’t be among those tearing each other apart in the Garden by the time Meridius has managed to escape it.

KEEP READING: Marvel Teases a New, Even Deadlier Venom



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