At some point early into his crusade against the Light brought into the universe by the Celestials, Knull 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, turning them into soldiers for Knull's army.
Attack on Earth
A pair of symbiote dragons - one black and one red - arrived on Earth and attacked the Danes during the sixth century, establishing a lair in a cave hidden behind a waterfall in Denmark. In time a cannibalistic cult formed, worshipping the symbiote dragons and dedicating grotesque monuments to them. 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. 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. 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.
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. Most of the samples were appropriated by Weapon Plus and used to start Weapon V, while the Grendel and the Sym-Soldiers were stored in a top-secret location.
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. This piece was stolen by the Church of the New Darkness and bonded to the corpse of serial killer Cletus Kasady - reanimating him and marking him as Knull's apostle. 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 Grendel symbiote by Venom.
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. While this occurred, Grendel's Mother began amassing an army of her own in preparation for Knull's arrival, coming into conflict with Scream.
Powers and Abilities
Symbiote dragons are vastly more powerful than lesser symbiotes, to the point of being capable of overpowering and killing gods. The Grendel symbiote in particular was described as deific due to its direct link to Knull, though it's unknown if the other symbiote dragons possess this status. Symbiote dragons are capable of interstellar flight at speeds fast enough to match the likes of the Silver Surfer, and like lesser symbiotes, they can generate tendrils, blades, and spikes formed of living abyss. At least one symbiote dragon possessed the ability to breathe fire.
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; and Carnage and Big Mother using this ability to create an army.
- Heat: While symbiote dragons are resilient to heat and sonics, they are not completely immune: two symbiote dragons created by Knull to fight the Silver Surfer were destroyed when he used the Power Cosmic to create stars inside them, while the Grendel symbiote was almost completely destroyed by a steel-smelting blast furnace described as feeling as hot as the sun.
- Electricity: Symbiote dragons are extremely vulnerable to high voltages of electricity, which destabilizes them.
Transportation: Symbiote dragons possess wings that enable them to fly at speeds rivaling the likes of the Silver Surfer.
Weapons: Like lesser symbiotes, the symbiote dragons possess fangs, claws, and the ability to create tendrils of living abyss to attack and subdue opponents. At least some symbiote dragons, like Big Mother, were capable of breathing fire and other forms of energy.
- Knull's ability to spontaneously create symbiote-dragons is similar to Gorr's ability to create Black Berserkers from the All-Black symbiote.
- The Venom symbiote temporarily took on a draconic form while fighting Jhoatun Lau, though this form had four legs and two wings.
- The dragons bear resemblence to the symbiote creature unleashed by A.I.M.BRELLA in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
- 2 Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616) Members
- 10 Appearances of Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616)
- 6 Minor Appearances of Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616)
- 2 Media Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 29 Images that include Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Silver Surfer: Black #1 Director's Cut
- Venom Vol 4 #4
- Venom Vol 4 #3
- Venom Vol 4 #7
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #2
- Venom Vol 4 #2
- Silver Surfer: Black #3
- Silver Surfer: Black #5
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #4
- Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #5
- Web of Venom: Ve'Nam #1
- Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1
- Venom Vol 4 #1-2
- Venom Vol 4 #3-7
- Absolute Carnage #1-5
- Absolute Carnage #5
- Incoming #1
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #1
- Absolute Carnage #1
- Venom Vol 4 #1
- Absolute Carnage: Scream #3
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #3
- Silver Surfer: Black #2
- Venom Vol 4 #6
- Venom Vol 4 #3-4
- Scream: Curse of Carnage #2-3
- Thor: God of Thunder #2
- Thor: God of Thunder #5
- Savage Avengers #4