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Quote1 Behold--the Garden as I see it. A spiral path, around and around--with a long straight road cutting through it. That road--the true north--is the moment of now. The present time. And the spiral path...that is the path of your life, Eddie Brock. Spiraling back and forth in time--but always crossing over with the present. Stand at the center--look north--and you'll see seven junctions. Evidence of seven paths. But it's one path, seven times. Do you understand? Bedlam is Eddie Brock. The infinite rage this knowledge will eventually drive you to. And then Wilde is Eddie Brock. After the anger cools, only a cold cynicism remains--masked with petty jokes. Until even that breaks. Until you're so desperate to escape fate that Tyro is Eddie Brock--my Tyro, my eager student--learning the ways of his own future self. Because I am the road that encircles your world. You cannot escape me--only become me. Meridius is Eddie Brock. The path always led here. Quote2
Meridius (Eddie Brock)[src]

Meridius is a King in Black and a malevolent temporal offshoot of Eddie Brock.[4] Having lived for millennia[5] as Eddie, Finnegan, Bedlam, Wilde, and then Tyro, Meridius is the final incarnation of himself to exist before becoming the Eventuality.[4] However, Meridius rejects the King in Black's true purpose as a cosmic caretaker and desperately seeks a means of averting his fate.[6][7]

From behind the scenes, Meridius commands the organization called the Absent Throne,[8] and through the complete domination of all symbiotes, he created the Garden of Time where he manipulates his past selves.[4] Meridius uses them as pawns to steer the life of the "Chainbreaker" Dylan Brock and the Venom symbiote, believing that, through evolution from pain,[9] they will have the power to sever him from his destiny.[5][10][7]

History

Edward Brock (Earth-616) and Edward Brock (Meridius) (Earth-616) from Venom Vol 5 10 002

The temporal cycle

Preface[]

Meridius is a temporal offshoot of Eddie Brock, who had become unmoored in time following the death of his physical body and was embroiled in a time-loop perpetuated by Meridius himself to ensure his own existence. In this time-loop, Eddie progressed through five additional temporal iterations (Finnegan, Bedlam, Wilde, Tyro, and then Meridius) and was left broken and desperate to escape his fate, leading to him enacting the time loop that led to him becoming Meridius in the first place. However, as noted by Eddie (as Finnegan) himself, there's a seventh iteration of himself,[4] who would later be revealed as the Eventuality.[6]

Edward Brock (Earth-616) and Edward Brock (Meridius) (Earth-616) from Venom Vol 5 1 001

Meridius welcoming Eddie to his Garden of Time

As part of Meridius' plan, Eddie and his son Dylan became the targets of an organization called the Absent Throne, which coerced Alchemax and the Life Foundation to push Dylan and the Venom symbiote to their limits in order to mutate Venom and make the symbiote stronger; while Eddie's physical body died in the process and his codex was unmoored in time, ending up in the Garden of Time where he was greeted by Meridius.[8] Eddie would later become Finnegan,[4] and then Bedlam following his successive attempts to change the past.[11]

Bedlam[]

Venom Vol 5 5 616 Comics Comics Elite and Comic Kingdom Creative Exclusive Virgin Variant

Bedlam

After Eddie -- as the rage-fuelled Bedlam -- was cast into Limbo, where time follows different rules, he was confronted by Darkoth Death-Demon from a point in time where he was still the ruler of Limbo. Bedlam attacked Darkoth, and the clash between the King in Black and King of Limbo caused time to split -- allowing two versions of the same event to play out in the same universe and splitting Eddie's history in two. In one version of events, Bedlam was cut down by Darkoth, his codex ending up in the Un-Beyond. Developing a nascent mind of its own from the dregs of Eddie's rage and bloodlust, Bedlam's symbiote body took over Darkoth and escaped through a portal into Asgard.

Outcome: Bedlam Wins[]

In the other version of events, Bedlam was able to overpower Darkoth and killed him with the broken Soulsword. Afterwards, a time portal opened that led Bedlam — who was unaware that the schism had occurred — back to the Garden of Time to continue the time loop.[1] Upon returning to the Garden, Bedlam encountered his past and future selves when Meridius was showing the newly-arrived Eddie Brock around the Garden and introducing him to the other Kings in Black. Consumed by rage and self-loathing towards his other iterations, Bedlam continued the time loop by attacking his past self "Finnegan" in a murderous rage and fighting Eddie's first iteration, a scene that would repeat itself as part of the time-loop. When Bedlam tried to destroy Finnegan in an attempt to erase himself, Wilde, Tyro, and Meridius from existence, Meridius appeared and convinced Bedlam that going into the past and fighting their son Dylan would help make him strong enough to potentially defeat Meridius in the future.[4]

Bedlam's codex traveled through the timestream via the Symbiote Hive-Mind and manifested using a symbiote Meridius had been indwelling. Before returning to the future, Meridius sicced Bedlam on Venom both in order to continue pushing Dylan and the Venom symbiote past their limits and to further scare Alchemax CEO Liz Allan into falling in line with the Absent Throne's plans.[12] Bedlam tracked Dylan and the Venom symbiote down to the town of Baywater, California, where they had been staying with a retired biker named Jake Yahkin. Bedlam attacked Venom while he was trying to stop a rival biker gang called the Hell Hounds from razing the city, but Venom impaled Bedlam through the head and left him for dead. Bedlam swiftly recovered and ambushed Venom while Dylan was mourning Jake's murder at the hands of the Hell Hounds' leader, impaling him through the chest and revealing he was a King in Black sent to make the Venom symbiote stronger through pain. In order to further scare Dylan, he revealed his true identity as Eddie Brock.[13] Meridius trapped Eddie's time-travelling codex inside Bedlam's mindscape, forcing him to watch Bedlam torture Dylan to the brink of death. Manifesting in his inner world, Bedlam mocked Eddie for being too weak and devoured him, Meridius recalling Eddie to the Garden of Time where he manifested as "Finnegan" and was attacked by Bedlam's past self as part of the time-loop.[4] Bedlam took over Baywater, with the Absent Throne pulling strings to prevent the world at large from realizing what was going on, but he was not confronted by the version of himself who had lost to Darkoth and ventured to the Un-Beyond.[14][15]

Wilde[]

Edward Brock (Meridius) (Earth-616) from Venom Vol 5 13 001

Wilde (the fourth iteration) becomes Tyro (the fifth iteration)

While squatting in the destroyed bar, Bedlam's rage eventually burnt out--leaving him with nothing but sarcasm and bitter cynicism.[9][16] Returning to the Garden of Time, Wilde halfheartedly attempted to warn the earliest iteration of Eddie of what was to come, but was stopped by Meridius. Needling his future self with sarcastic quips, Wilde begrudgingly watched the fight between Bedlam, Finnegan, and Space Venom, mortified by his past self's actions.[5] Meeting with Finnegan after Meridius stopped Bedlam from destroying him, Wilde explained his reasoning for having attacked Dylan as Bedlam and revealed to his past self that he could not only travel through time but between dimensions. When Eddie ignored Wilde's warnings, Wilde gave into despair and became Tyro.[9]

Tyro[]

Deciding to join the winning side, Tyro became a bootlicking toady for Meridius, seeking to learn everything he had to teach so that he could become him. Tyro was regarded with disgust by his past selves,[4][9] and Meridius had little patience for him as well, frequently snapping at him and treating him with contempt.[5] Realizing that Meridius had no intention of teaching him anything, Tyro decided to take command of his own destiny and descended into the Symbiote Hive-Mind--reduced to an astral charnel pit by Meridius. Encountering the Eventuality, Tyro was horrified to learn that he was inescapably destined to become it and that the duty of the King in Black was one of eternal servitude maintaining the universe from the Un-Beyond. Rejecting this fate, Tyro fled through the timestream and sought help from Kang the Conqueror. Kang helped Tyro regain his sense of confidence and remember his human face, training him in combat and strategy, in exchange for Tyro helping him weaponize symbiotes into supersoldiers. Missing his son Dylan, Tyro attempted to use his mastery of time-travel to check on him, but instead bore witness to the Venom symbiote's ultimate form--subsuming the Earth and apotheosizing into a living planet called Venomworld.[16]

Meridius[]

Eddie returned to Kang's flagship changed by the experience, having at long last become Meridius.[16] Repudiating his past selves and everything they cared for, Meridius concluded that in order to break the chains of fate he needed to reclaim the metamorphosed Venom symbiote--and through it All-Black the Necrosword--after bonding to Dylan had augmented it.[17] Betraying Kang by threatening to dismantle his empire, Meridius blackmailed him into helping locate the Final Hive at the end of time, where the surviving symbiotes had gathered to wait out the end of the eight cosmos and beginning of the ninth. Goading Kang into helping weaken it, Meridius committed genocide on the symbiotes--slaughtering their astral forms--and then used their physical remains to create the Garden of Time.[16]

Using his mastery of time-travel, Meridius founded the Absent Throne to set the stage for his trap, recruiting Carlton Drake and others to assist him in bringing about the death of Eddie Brock.[5] Meridius had his agents gather Eddie's charred remains and monitor them for any unusual activity.[8][14] Meeting with Carlton Drake to discuss Dylan's status and plans for the future, as he left he let Bedlam use the symbiote matter making up his body to manifest his own. Traveling to when Eddie first arrived at the Garden, Meridius welcomed him and introduced him to the other iterations, passing them off as individuals who inherited the throne of the King in Black after Eddie's ended. Wilde's jabs irritated him to the point that he ignored Tyro's efforts to remind him of something they had forgotten and jumped into the "George" symbiote to slaughter the refugees Eddie had tried to save to relieve those frustrations, delivering an ominous warning to bait Eddie. Having calmed down, Meridius sculpted chunks of symbiote matter left over from Knull's invasion into a replica of his old body and tried to abduct Dylan. Eddie's time-travelling codex -- indwelling his unconscious body--intervened in an attempt to break the time-loop, but played into Meridius' plans by sending Dylan to the motel where he would see Eddie die.[5]

Meridius later spoke to Kang, who informed him that Eddie had been sent down the path that led him to try to contact Dylan.[18] Meridius then trapped Eddie in Bedlam's body and forced him to watch Bedlam torture Dylan before pulling Eddie back to the Garden, where he manifested as "Finnegan". Revealing his true nature and identity, Meridius explained the nature of the time loop.[4] Meeting Bedlam after an altercation with Dylan -- who had regained his own King in Black-esque powers and transformed into Codex by claiming All-Black -- Meridius regrew Bedlam’s severed hand, told him that he would soon return to the Garden, and inspired him to use a chainsaw arm-blade as a weapon.[19]

At some point in his timeline, he sensed Bedlam's Child's presence in Asgard and went to investigate. Confused by Darkoth's survival and the existance of Bedlam's Child, Meridius impersonated Eddie Brock's King in Black form and temporarily bonded to Thor to take the symbiote down. Meridius tried to claim the demonic Hellnir for himself once Bedlam's Child had been defeated, revealing himself when confronted by Thor, but was stymied when Thor destroyed both the hammer and his avatar.[20]

Personality

Quote1 Children. They're all such...children to me. The other "Kings." Eddie Brock, most of all. And Wilde--forever leaving his bitter barbs under my symbiote skin. He should be fully broken, but he's still capable of causing problems--if only with words. Still, he's merely an irritation. Tyro--his wheedling need, his desperate bootlicking--is a source of rage. What was he trying to remember? I should have listened, I suppose but I can't go back... Damn him, anyway. Damn every King in Black but me. Quote2
Meridius[src]

While Meridius was once Eddie Brock, seeking to atone for his past as a villain and do right by his son and the duties of the King in Black, but being trapped in an overlapping time-loop of his own making left Eddie broken and desperate to escape by any means necessary. Gaslit and tortured by his own future selves, Eddie succumbed to despair as Finnegan before having his memories erased by Chasm. Utterly consumed by his formerly-repressed rage and hatred, Eddie became the monstrous Bedlam before his wrath eventually burnt out--leaving him with nothing but bitter sarcasm as Wilde. Succumbing to despair, Eddie decided that the only way to escape the time-loop was to become the one who had broken him and became Tyro.

Learning of the true nature of the King in Black from the Eventuality, Eddie was horrified and rejected it, becoming desperate to do whatever it took to escape that fate. With help from Kang the Conqueror, Eddie was able to regain his confidence and sense of self, but after witnessing the Venom symbiote's ultimate apotheosis he cast aside his remaining humanity--desiring the Venom symbiote's power as a means to escape his fate--and became Meridius.[16] Callous and hateful towards everyone and everything except himself, Meridius revels in his godhood and utterly hates his past selves--especially Eddie Brock, who he blames for having shackled him with the destiny of becoming the King in Black. Despite having once been human himself, Meridius views his former species with utter contempt, and even the symbiotes under his command are viewed with scorn--Meridius scorning their harmonistic pacifist society and committing genocide on them to use their remains for his own purposes.[5][16]

Attributes

Powers

King in Black Powers: As an offshoot of Eddie Brock, Meridius possesses all the powers of the King in Black. His command over these powers is more sophisticated, having had millennia to master them.[5][16] His mastery of his powers are such that he is capable of preventing his other iterations from using their powers in his presence and forcibly trap them inside a symbiote of his choosing.[18][9]

  • Symbiote Domination: Meridius can project his mind into any symbiote he chooses. Once he is inhabiting a symbiote, he has absolute control over its body.[6] He can expel the virtually irresistible Transmode Virus[1] or will the body to die as he leaves it. He can also command separate symbiotes to combine together into a whole.[5]
    • Mental Time Travel: Meridius is not limited to controlling symbiotes in his present. He can send his consciousness backward and forward through time as well as through space.[5][9] He can also project his consciousness through time without indwelling a symbiote, allowing him to monitor events across the timestream.[16] As a King in Black, he is nonlinear.[6]
Symbiote Physiology: Meridius exists as a codex within the Symbiote Hive-Mind, only able to take physical form by possessing symbiotes. This grants him the ability to use the innate powers all symbiotes possess, predominantly shapeshifting.[5]

Abilities

  • Master Combatant: As Tyro, Meridius was tutored by Kang the Conqueror in swordsmanship and other forms of combat.
  • Master Strategist: As Tyro, Meridius was tutored by Kang the Conqueror in strategy, later using these lessons against Kang to turn him into his underling. This enabled Meridius to develop a complex plan to ensure his own existence, torture his past selves, and escape his destiny of becoming the Eventuality.[16]

Weaknesses

  • Temporal Paradoxes: Due to being Eddie Brock's future self, Meridius believes his existence is dependant on a series of events he has gone to great lengths to ensure the occurrence of;[9] and fears that any major deviation from these events could result in himself being erased from existence -- warning his past self Bedlam to avoid causing paradoxes.[19]
  • Arrogance: Having let his divine powers consume him, Meridius believes himself to be unstoppable.[16]

Paraphernalia

Weapons

Transportation

Meridius can project his mind into any symbiote matter at any point in time or space.

See Also

Links and References

References

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