The Xenophage is but one representative of its entire alien species, a race that is surprisingly advanced despite the rather feral attitude they exhibit while hunting for symbiotes, their favorite delicacy. What the Xenophage particularly like to eat is the brain of a symbiote's host, which will have a considerable increase in dopamine levels within the substantia nigra part of the brain. The longer the host has been bonded with a symbiote, the higher these levels, and the more delicious they will be for the Xenophage. A person like Eddie Brock would therefore be the finest and rarest of delicacies given the amount of time he hosted the Venom symbiote. Regular brains will apparently also do however if a Xenophage is particularly hungry.
While the Xenophage are advanced enough to master the technology for space travel, they utilize no weaponry while hunting, as they are specially adapted to tracking, stalking, battling, and eating symbiotes.
The Xenophage first appeared as the primary antagonist in 1996's Venom: The Hunted mini-series. It was present in the first issue, lurking in the shadows, but didn't make a fully-fledged appearance until the following issue. It was created by writer Larry Hama and artist Duncan Rouleau.
Major Story Arcs
Venom: The Hunted
Following "Planet of the Symbiotes," a large number of New Yorkers had been taken over by symbiotes, and some had even managed to retain them even after the supposed mass-suicide of the race. This attracted the attention of one of the Xenophage, who traveled to Earth for this smorgasbord of delicacies, and especially Eddie Brock. The Xenophage gorged itself by devouring several people and their symbiotes, which caught the attention of the NYPD, but what little evidence there was of who had killed these people seemed to lead to Venom, who the police had assumed had indulged into his demented desire to eat human brains. The police therefore engaged in a man-hunt for the wrongfully-accused Eddie Brock.
The Xenophage meanwhile tracked down its next meals, namely the symbiotes of Scream and George, a man who'd retained his symbiote after the invasion. Disguised as a China cabinet, the Xenophage lay in wait and then attacked Scream and George while they were fighting in a panic over the deaths of so many other symbiote hosts. It then ate George to take the edge off its hunger, while it saved the incapacitated Scream for dessert after it finally fed on Venom.
When Venom was surrounded by the NYPD, the Xenophage saw its chance and paralyzed him with its fiery breath. It then escaped from the pursuing police by slipping into a subway tunnel. Eddie tried to fight back, but the Xenophage was simply too strong for him. A group of skateboarders that had befriended Eddie tried to help, but the Xenophage simply looked forward to dining on them as well, likening them to veal. Horrified, both Scream and Venom tried to fight off the alien to keep it away from the kids. As the subway train they were on barreled past its station, an over-zealous officer tried to throw a white phosphorous grenade at Venom. Eddie used his symbiote to pocket the grenade before it went off however, and then tricked the Xenophage into eating it by hiding the grenade in an extension of his symbiote shaped like his head. The grenade went off, and the Xenophage exploded into a fiery inferno, leaving it a charred and noxious mess on top of the subway.
To date, this was the only Xenophage to come to Earth, but should more of its kind still be out there, they will no doubt be hungry...
Powers & Abilities
Xenophage have metamorphic abilities; much like the symbiotes, they can change their shape, size, and texture. The Xenophage that stalked Venom was able to convincingly disguise itself as a China cabinet, complete with dishes and glass. Moreover, it was able to hide the entire mass of an incapacitated Scream within its bulk. They posses an armored exoskeleton as well that has no pain receptors, offering them considerable defense against most conventional weaponry. Besides their huge size and superior strength, Xenophages also have the ability to breathe a certain kind of fiery neurotoxin chemical which causes symbiotes to become paralyzed, as well as "enhancing the flavor" of them.