The Host is mysterious and ambiguous in nature - a mutant as well as a self-appointed and proclaimed freedom fighter on behalf of viruses.
She has no qualms about killing humans and does so casually, whom she views as the oppressors of viruses for all they do in order to wipe them out. Her aims and goals center around the liberation and safeguarding of viruses - she claims to give a voice to the voiceless.
Created by writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Michael Ryan, the Host first appeared in 2003's Mystique #7.
Major Story Arcs
Tinker, Tailor, Mutant, Spy
In Johannesburg, South Africa, a deadly mutant strain of smallpox was being engineered, and The Host sets out to liberate the virus and release it into the world because she believes it has as much right to spread, live, and propagate as humans do. This brings her directly to blows with the mutant Mystique, whose goal as tasked by Professor X is to safeguard the virus and prevent it from being released, as it would kill scores of people. This creates a bitter rivalry between the two dangerous femme fatales.
The Host quickly took Mystique down by infecting her with Murray Valley Encephalitis, and absconded with a vial of the smallpox virus. Mystique is able to receive immediate treatment after making it to Shortpack, her field handler, and acquires a biometric shield to protect her against any further viruses. She then tracks down the Host again. Due to the shield, the Host decides to simply kill Mystique with her bare hands this time, and calls back her earlier viruses to keep them from suffering. Mystique then hits the Host with a car however and escapes with the smallpox vial.
After recovering, the Host steals a police car and reaches Mystique's hotel room before her, taking Shortpack hostage. She then shoots the vial Mystique has in order to release the virus, but this vial turns out to be a fake and Mystique takes the Host down with an electrical weapon. Shortpack then called in their mutant cleaner from Germany in order to put the Host in stasis and keep her from doing any more harm.
Powers & Abilities
The Host is a mutant with the power to spread, infect, and inflict disease though the control of, manipulation of, and communication with viruses - although she claims not to control viruses, but instead merely communicates with "her children." When she infects a person, usually by coughing on them, the disease she infects them with will develop rapidly. She herself is immune to the harmful effects of these diseases and viruses, and can cal them back into herself at any time. Using the pathogens within herself, she has also been able to augment her strength and durability to borderline superhuman levels.
She has demonstrated the ability to inflict Murray Valley Encephalitis, a deadly neurological disease otherwise unable to be spread from person to person, onto her victims - merely one of the many viruses at her disposal. S.H.I.E.L.D. Intelligence states that Host can do more than manipulate diseases but also control her own genetic matrix. Essentially, not only is she immune to the pathogens she imbibes upon to fuel her powers. But she's also immune to external manipulation by other afflictions as well due to being able to manipulate her biology at will and because of this. Host is all but physically unaging and undying.