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Knull (Earth-616), All-Black (Symbiote) (Earth-616), and Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616) from Silver Surfer Black Vol 1 2 001

Knull creating a symbiote dragon.

At some point early into his crusade against the Light brought into the universe by the Celestials, Knull - through experimenting with his ability to create life out of darkness - learned he could manifest massive wyvern-like monsters out of the living abyss he commanded. Powerful enough to kill most gods, these symbiote-dragons were used as everything from mounts to weapons of mass destruction capable of annihilating entire civilizations; and their constituent living abyss could be used to smother entire planets or infect gods and mortals alike with parasitic symbiote offshoots, turning them into soldiers for Knull's army.[6][7][8]

Attack on Earth[]

A pair of symbiote dragons - one black and one red - arrived on Earth and attacked the Danes during the sixth century,[9] establishing a lair in a cave hidden behind a waterfall in Denmark.[10] In time a cannibalistic cult formed, worshipping the symbiote dragons and dedicating grotesque monuments to them.[10] The black symbiote-dragon - dubbed the "Grendel" by the local Danes - was ultimately struck down by Thor Odinson's divine lightning, the backlash of which severed Knull's connection to his hive-mind. While the Grendel was frozen in ice, most of the other symbiote dragons destabilized and dispersed into individual symbiotes, which sought out hosts to fill the void left by their disconnection from Knull; eventually rebelling against him and imprisoning him in the heart of the Symbiote Throneworld, which they renamed Klyntar.[1] Pieces of the Grendel symbiote fell to Earth and bonded to human hosts, who joined the symbiote-worshiping cult and dedicated it to worshiping Knull and freeing him from his prison.[11] The red symbiote dragon - which had become known as "Grendel's Mother" - went on a vengeful rampage and was eventually defeated by Thor as well, its body plunging into the North Sea.[12]

Centuries later, the Grendel symbiote-dragon was unearthed by S.H.I.E.L.D. and samples of its living abyss were used in several supersoldier programs - beginning with the Sym-Soldier Program. However, the Grendel and its offshoots retained their connection to Knull, causing the Sym-Soldiers to go berserk when deployed in the Vietnam War.[13] Most of the samples were appropriated by Weapon Plus and used to start Weapon V,[14] while the Grendel and the Sym-Soldiers were stored in a top-secret location.[15]

Knull (Earth-616) and Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 5 001

Under Knull's command

Decades later, Knull seized control of the Grendel and sent it on a rampage through Manhattan to reclaim the symbiotes extracted by the Sym-Soldier Program; though he was stopped by the symbiote-augmented antihero Venom and one of the Grendel's offshoots, Tyrannosaurus. The Grendel was immolated in a blast furnace alongside Tyrannosaurus, though a small piece managed to survive.[16] This piece was stolen by the Cult of Knull and bonded to the corpse of serial killer Cletus Kasady - reanimating him and marking him as Knull's apostle.[11] Seeking to restore the Grendel symbiote's deific power and free Knull, Kasady and the cult began hunting everyone who had ever bonded to a symbiote, but he was ultimately killed and stripped of the Carnage-ized Grendel symbiote by Venom.[17]

Return of Knull[]

Awakened by Venom absorbing the Grendel symbiote, Knull destroyed Klyntar and coalesced its constituent symbiotes into a fleet of symbiote dragons, once more embarking on his crusade to annihilate the cosmos.[18][19] While this occurred, Grendel's Mother began amassing an army of her own in preparation for Knull's arrival, coming into conflict with Scream before seemingly being killed, her "corpse" being claimed by the FBI's Anti-Symbiote Task Force.[20]

En-route to Earth, Knull dispatched several symbiote dragons to spread as much destruction across the cosmos as possible, decimating numerous spacefaring empires. One symbiote dragon attacked Spartax, killing two billion people in the span of four hours before being engaged by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Wounded by the apotheosized Star-Lord, it retreated into space to regenerate before attempting to infect him and the other Guardians with its living abyss, but was ultimately destroyed.[21] Several of the remaining symbiote dragons were used by Knull to form a shell of living abyss around the Earth, while others remained separate - hunting down individuals to infect or devour.[22][23]

Of the symbiote-dragons attacking Earth, the horde attacking Shanghai merged to form an avatar of Knull in the shape of the dark god Chiyou in order to claim the cursed Ebony Blade and the holy Sword of Fu Xi, but was vanquished by Black Knight, Sword Master, and Aero.[24] A horde of symbiote-dragons attacked by American Kaiju amalgamated into a colossal two-headed symbiote-dragon before being slain;[25] and a colossal symbiote-dragon attacked the Staten Island ferry before being vanquished by Spider-Man with help from Reptil.[26]

Tony Stark was able to infect a symbiote-dragon with his Extremis virus, merging it with a suit of his Model 70 armor to create what he later dubbed an Extrembiote.[27][28] However, Cletus Kasady was able to hijack control of it and assimilate it into the Carnage symbiote.[29] Flash Thompson's codex was able to bond to a symbiote-dragon that had been severed from Knull's control by Thor Odinson and Dylan Brock, causing it to assume the appearance of his Anti-Venom symbiote. Flash later bonded the symbiote-dragon to his corpse to replicate Cletus Kasady's reanimation,[30] resuming his superhero career as Agent Anti-Venom while also being able to assume a draconic form when angry.[31][32]

With Knull's apparent death, control of the remaining symbiote-dragons fell to Eddie Brock.[33] At some point following Knull's defeat, Alchemax was able to capture a small symbiote-dragon, studying and conducting experiments on it.[34]

Alternate Reality Versions[]


Knull, the dark god who created the symbiotes, is capable of spontaneously creating symbiote-dragons to use as mounts or aid him in combat by regurgitating torrents of living abyss.[35]


Following the death of All-Black, her sisters Scream, Scorn, and Mania used her living abyss to create Venom and a draconic symbiote-monster they called the World-Killer.[36] The World-Killer was awakened by Venom to destroy Earth after numerous failed attempts by the Symbiote Hive to conquer it, consuming Venom's Symbiote Seed to empower itself, but was ultimately slain by Max Modell.[37]


The Symbiote Dragons assisted Knull in his invasion of Earth, until his death at the hands of Carnage.[38]

Unknown Reality[]

In a possible iteration of the Ninth Cosmos, Eddie Brock, under the moniker of the Anti-All, led an armada of arachnid Symbiote Dragons to ravage the universe in an attempt to find a worthy individual to succeed him as the King in Black.[39]

Powers and Abilities


Symbiote dragons are vastly more powerful than lesser symbiotes, to the point of being capable of overpowering and killing gods;[1] and are highly-resistant to the traditional symbiote weaknesses of fire and sonics.[22] The Grendel in particular was described as deific due to its direct link to Knull,[40] though it's unknown if the other symbiote dragons possess this status. Like lesser symbiotes, symbiote-dragons can generate tendrils, blades, and spikes formed of living abyss.[41][42] At least one symbiote dragon possessed the ability to breathe fire and other forms of energy,[43][44] and they could expel torrents of living abyss from their jaws capable of infecting those exposed with symbiotes.[45] Like lesser symbiotes, the symbiote dragons possess fangs, claws, and the ability to create tendrils of living abyss to attack and subdue opponents.[41]

The living abyss comprising symbiote dragons can be used to spawn individual symbiotes, with the Sym-Soldier Program and Weapon V seeking to weaponize this ability to create suits of bio-armor;[6][14] and Carnage, Big Mother, and Knull using this ability to create armies of minions.[40] Even apparently slain symbiote-dragons are still dangerous, as their living abyss can still be controlled by Knull unless they are severed from the Hive-Mind.[2][24][46] When directed by Knull or faced with threats more powerful than themselves, multiple symbiote-dragons could amalgamate into more-powerful forms - including an avatar of Knull in the shape of Chiyou and a colossal two-headed symbiote-dragon.[24][25]


Symbiote dragons are capable of interstellar flight at speeds fast enough to match the likes of the Silver Surfer.[8]


  • Heat: While symbiote dragons are resilient to heat and sonics,[2] they are not completely immune.[22] Two symbiote dragons created by Knull to fight the Silver Surfer were destroyed when he used the Power Cosmic to create stars inside them,[47][8] while the Grendel symbiote was almost completely destroyed by a steel-smelting blast furnace described as feeling as hot as the sun.[48] Approximately one-hundred symbiote dragons were slain by Iron Man's minefield of derelict Kree and Skrull warships,[22] and Star-Lord's Element Gun - in conjunction with the divine power he obtained from the Olympians - was capable of killing a symbiote-dragon.[21]
  • Electricity: Symbiote dragons are extremely vulnerable to high voltages of electricity, which destabilizes them.[49][48]



Hundreds of millions


Type of Government

Monarchy ruled over by Knull

Level of Technology


Cultural Traits

With the apparent sole exception of Big Mother,[50] symbiote-dragons possess no individual consciousness and act based on Knull's overwhelming lust for destruction and bloodshed.[21] The symbiotes they spawn can develop individual personalities,[13] but most are subservient to and worship Knull.



  • Knull's ability to spontaneously create symbiote-dragons is similar to Gorr's ability to create Black Berserkers from the All-Black symbiote.[47][53][54]
  • The Venom symbiote temporarily took on a draconic form while fighting Jhoatun Lau, though this form had four legs and two wings.[55]
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 6) #10 asserts that symbiote dragons have no thoughts or minds of their own, being compelled by ravenous hunger and Knull's hatred of all life, but this is contradicted by Big Mother - who possesses a personality and desires of her own, although in her case it could be because she had been detached from the Hive Mind for a long time.
  • One of the symbiote dragons that participated in Knull's invasion of Earth was erroneously depicted as being an actual extraterrestrial dragon that had been taken over by a symbiote, which it was freed from by Spider-Man.[56]
  • The symbiote-dragons bear a striking resemblance to Anti-All, a primordial dragon-god of darkness and oblivion from the Third Cosmos, who was theorized to be the progenitor of Knull.
  • In a possible outcome for the Ninth Cosmos, as related by the Eventuality to Dylan Brock, if Eddie Brock were to reunite with the Venom symbiote, they would emulate Knull and take the mantle of the Anti-All, rampaging across the universe leading a horde of insectoid symbiotes similar to Symbiote Dragons.[39]


See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Venom (Vol. 4) #4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Venom (Vol. 4) #3
  3. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #29
  4. Venom (Vol. 4) #7
  5. [[Silver Surfer: Black 1 Director's Cut|[[Silver Surfer: Black #1|Silver Surfer: Black 1]] Director's Cut]]
  6. 6.0 6.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #2
  7. Silver Surfer: Black #3
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Silver Surfer: Black #5
  9. Scream: Curse of Carnage #2
  10. 10.0 10.1 Scream: Curse of Carnage #4
  11. 11.0 11.1 Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1
  12. Scream: Curse of Carnage #5
  13. 13.0 13.1 Web of Venom: Ve'Nam #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1
  15. Venom (Vol. 4) #12
  16. Venom (Vol. 4) #37
  17. Absolute Carnage #15
  18. Absolute Carnage #5
  19. Incoming #1
  20. Scream: Curse of Carnage #15
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 6) #10
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 King in Black #1
  23. Venom (Vol. 4) #3132
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 King in Black: Black Knight #1
  25. 25.0 25.1 King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #2
  26. King in Black: Spider-Man #1
  27. 27.0 27.1 King in Black #2
  28. Extreme Carnage Alpha #1
  29. 29.0 29.1 Extreme Carnage Omega #1
  30. 30.0 30.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #34
  31. Venom (Vol. 4) #35
  32. Extreme Carnage: Phage #1
  33. King in Black #5
  34. Extreme Carnage: Scream #1
  35. Marvel Future Fight
  36. The Secret History of Venom
  37. Marvel's Spider-Man S3E06
  38. Death of the Venomverse #45
  39. 39.0 39.1 Free Comic Book Day 2024: Ultimate Universe/Spider-Man #1
  40. 40.0 40.1 Absolute Carnage #1
  41. 41.0 41.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #1
  42. Absolute Carnage: Scream #3
  43. Scream: Curse of Carnage #23
  44. King in Black Handbook #1
  45. King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling #1
  46. S.W.O.R.D. (Vol. 2) #4
  47. 47.0 47.1 Silver Surfer: Black #2
  48. 48.0 48.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #6
  49. Venom (Vol. 4) #34
  50. 50.0 50.1 Scream: Curse of Carnage #25
  51. Venom (Vol. 4) #16
  52. Venom (Vol. 4) #33
  53. Thor: God of Thunder #2
  54. Thor: God of Thunder #5
  55. Savage Avengers #4
  56. Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23