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Sleeper is the name of several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first Sleeper is the name of a series of five destructive robots created by the Red Skull. The second Sleeper is a Symbiote.

Publication history

The first Sleeper first appeared in Tales of Suspense #72 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The second Sleeper was created by writer Mike Costa and artist Mark Bagley and first appeared in Venom #165, while making its first named appearance in Venom: First Host #3.

Fictional character biography


Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceTales of Suspense #72 (December 1965)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Team affiliationsSkeleton Crew
Notable aliasesSL-4, the Fourth Sleeper

The Sleepers were five doomsday robots designed in Berlin by Nazi Germany as agents of destruction. After World War II, the Fourth Sleeper was entombed within a crypt that was sunk into the sea. The first three robots were activated by agents at a certain time in European villages, consisting of a giant human-like robot with blaster rays, a winged robot, and the 'brain', which resembled the Red Skull and was a powerful bomb. Despite Captain America and the personnel of a nearby U.S. Army base's attempts to stop them, the robots combined and flew towards the North Pole. While in pursuit with the military, Captain America surmises that the first Sleeper would use its blasts to dig into the ice, enabling the robot to travel into the Earth and explode, destroying the world, as the Red Skull had vowed that if he could not conquer the world, he would destroy it. To prevent this, Captain America is able to board the combined vehicle in midair and detonate the bomb early with a flamethrower, destroying the three Sleepers.[1] The crypt containing the Fourth Sleeper was retrieved from the sea in modern times, and when the Sleeper reactivated it destroyed a seacoast smelting factory and battled Captain America. The Sleeper was ultimately rendered intangible by a "sonic crystal".[2] Similarly, the Red Skull later activated the Fifth Sleeper, only to have it stopped by Captain America and the Falcon as well.[3]

The Fourth Sleeper was later restored to tangibility by the Machinesmith and used as a "Trojan horse" to gain entrance onto Avengers Island to liberate the various robots incarcerated there. It was thwarted by Captain America, and badly damaged.[4]

The damage done to the Fourth Sleeper was later repaired by the Machinesmith.[5] The Fourth Sleeper was animated by the Machinesmith to join the Skeleton Crew in search of the missing Red Skull. It battled Hellfire Club mercenaries, and the Black Queen.[6] Replicas of the five Sleeper robots were then pitted against Captain America and Diamondback.[7]


When the Venom symbiote found out that it was pregnant again,[8] it wanted to take care of its seventh spawn after being cleansed by the Klyntar.[9] The Symbiote kept this a secret to Eddie Brock, until they were captured by the Symbiote Task Force, led by Claire Dixonbe working alongside the Scorpion, who wanted to rebond with the Venom symbiote.[10] Luckily, Spider-Woman came and saved Eddie along with the symbiote from the Task Force. Then Eddie with Venom went to Alchemax to give birth to the new spawn. However, due to the experimentation it went through, the symbiote had a difficult pregnancy and meanwhile Mac Gargan arrived at their location and changed his plan to kill the Venom symbiote and bond to its more powerful spawn. Fortunately, Eddie knocked out both Mac and agent Claire Dixon. After giving birth to the spawn, Eddie and Venom entrusted Liz Allan to take care of the symbiote.[11]

The spawn was then nurtured and raised by its parent who had been visiting at Alchemax to make it good in contrast to its other offsprings.[12] However, after Venom was taken away by its original host, the Kree soldier Tel-Kar,[13] the offspring bonded to Eddie and allied with the Warbride Skrull, M'Lanz, to save Venom and prevent Tel-Kar from using a deadly Skrull bioweapon.[14] During the ensuing fight, Sleeper bonds to M'Lanz to save her, while Venom after being free from Tel-Kar's control rebonded to Eddie, leaving Tel-Kar to be exploded with the Skrull research base by the Kree military. Then Eddie with Venom and Sleeper returned to Earth as M'Lanz returned to space. However, Tel-Kar had survived the explosion and planned to use the bioweapon on the humans, but Sleeper intervened and bonded to Tel-Kar, lobotomizing him in the process and turning him into a body that Sleeper can pilot. After that, Sleeper bid Eddie farewell and with Tel-Kar's spaceship decided to go explore the universe.[15]

Powers and abilities

The Fourth Sleeper's robotic materials, design, and construction provide it with superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and reflexes. It possesses a limited artificial intelligence, with a capacity for limited self-motivated activity. The Fourth Sleeper is programmed to be moderately proficient at hand-to-hand combat. The Fourth Sleeper has repulsor-ray blasters mounted in its eyesockets. Originally, the Fourth Sleeper could alter its density from its natural tempered steel form to total intangibility. The circuits that controlled this function have burned out and have not been replaced. The vibration of a certain "sonic crystal" caused the Fourth Sleeper's intangibility control to malfunction. The Fourth Sleeper originally could also generate "volcanic" thermal energy and project it through its faceplate. This function has also apparently been eradicated.

The Sleeper symbiote has all powers of the predecessor's first human host Spider-Man. It also possesses limited shapeshifting, camouflage, and a Symbiote's autonomous defense capabilities. In addition, it is undetectable by Spider-Man's spider-sense and possesses chemokinesis.

In other media


Video games


  1. ^ Tales of Suspense #74
  2. ^ Strange Tales #115
  3. ^ Captain America #148
  4. ^ Captain America #354
  5. ^ Captain America #368
  6. ^ Captain America #369
  7. ^ Captain America #370
  8. ^ Venom #161. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 3) #23. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Venom #164. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Venom #165. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Venom: First Host #1. Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Venom: First Host #2. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Venom: First Host #3. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Venom: First Host #4–5. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ "The Sleeper Awakens". Avengers: Secret Wars. Season 4. Episode 3. August 27, 2017. Disney XD.