Wolverine's son just can't catch a break, now that Marvel's VENOMIZED event has left him infected with an alien symbiote. And just as quickly, put his future as a potential successor to his father in question. Could a role as villain be more likely?
The symbiote now merged with Jimmy Hudson, Jr. may look like the Venom best known to fans, and the apparent rage it's caused is reminiscent of almost every previous host. But the Venom-like alien that's taken over the young mutant is far more frightening. Consider the abilities already possessed by Wolverine's son, and being taken over by a poisonous alien is bad news for more than just his X-Men teammates.
It seems like just yesterday that James Hudson was making his way from a dying universe into Marvel's main reality (formerly an inhabitant of the “Ultimate” Universe, in which Logan passed on his powers to a son). It seemed to be a step towards a happier life for Jimmy, taking the spot once held by Wolverine on a new, younger, classic X-Men team. But the events of X-Men: Blue haven't left room for many happy endings.
So when the troubled, quick-tempered Jimmy finally reveals that he's taken a new name all his own… it's actually the symbiote doing the talking.
To explain what makes this infection so unique requires fans know the villains of the Venomized miniseries. Appearing as a race of Hive Mind-ed symbiotes not all that different from Venom, the villains called themselves the “Poisons.” An accurate name, since their strategy was to infect a planet's entire hero and villain community with symbiotes - not unlike Spider-Man first wearing his black costume - before attaching a parasite that would activate the Hive Mind’s control over the infected. Soon they were physically and mentally consumed, making the collective Poisons stronger as a result.
For readers, it meant a chance to see heroes and villains like Thanos crossed with Venom-like symbiotes. But for Jimmy, it meant a problem even his father never faced. When Jean Grey used her psychic powers to break the Poisons’ control, she also managed to wipe out every invading Poison in Marvel's universe… except for the one attached to Jimmy. Whether that's due to his mutation or his origins in another universe isn't clear. But the symbiote activated Jimmy's most painful memories, only to replace them with its own history of slain heroes in other parallel worlds... and it took a serious toll.
His X-Men teammates manage to track him down in X-Men: Blue #29, and discover their friend no longer identifies as the man he once was. Now, only “Poison” remains. But Jimmy isn't giving up just yet, now that Jean Grey is in his sights (like father, like son).
The most seasoned Marvel fans will probably guess that this issue will be resolved sooner rather than later, once “The Search For Jimmy Hudson” has served its entertaining purposes. And since he does battle with Damen - Wolverine's other son - who refuses to belive Jimmy can be saved, the odds are with him. Jimmy is still partly in control... for now.
But with the original Wolverine secretly back from the dead and sure to emerge from the shadows at some point, anything is possible (the Wolverine roster is jam-packed to the point of confusion at this point). Util then, Marvel fans get to enjoy seeing a new twist on the classic “Venom” formula. Spider-Man and Eddie Brock assumed they had bonded with a one of a kind alien - only to realize later that the symbiote was one of an entire species (known as the Klyntar). This time around, the conquering species announced itself in extreme fashion, leaving the last Poison to merge with a Marvel mutant.
Here's hoping Jimmy can bounce back just as well as Spider-Man and Venom before him. Before the Poison takes total control over his unstoppable body and blades, of course.
X-Men: Blue #30 is available now from Marvel Comics.