The CW’s Charmed reboot is a surprisingly good, culturally-relevant reimagining of the original series that’s exploring timely stories about the evils of the patriarchy while its trio of titular witches are also taking on all kinds of demonic foes. Interestingly, the witches’ first major baddie...is basically a Venom-like symbiote.
Like the original, the new Charmed begins with the sudden death of the Charmed Ones’ mother, a tragedy that leads to the women’s latent magical powers being unbound, which in turn makes them the targets of attacks from otherworldly demons wishing to steal the Power of Three for themselves. In the original Charmed series, the sisters eventually learn about the existence of the Source of All Evil, an incorporeal being that, unbeknownst to them, is actually responsible for all of the demon attacks that take place over the show’s eight seasons.
The reboot makes mention of the Source in the pilot episode, but puts a spin on the evil being this time around by introducing the Harbinger, a kind of demonic emissary whose presence heralds its master’s impending arrival. Like the original source, the Harbinger is responsible for orchestrating demon attacks against the Charmed Ones. But instead of not having a physical form, the Harbinger is instead depicted as a sentient black ooze much like a klyntar symbiote that must bond to a human host in order to transform them into demons.
What’s interesting is that, in addition to having the power to transform its hosts into monsters, the Harbinger also seems to have some degree of pickiness about what kind of people it chooses to bond with. In the second episode of the season, “Let This Mother Out,” there’s a brief scene where the Harbinger (in black blob form) attacks an unsuspecting custodian and, much like Venom does to Eddie Brock, attempts to seep into her skin before ultimately deciding to instead slither away into a nearby ventilation shaft in search of someone else to take control of. Curiously, the demon doesn’t kill the woman it attempts to possess in the episode, which raises questions about whether it decided to leave her alive or whether she managed to do something to drive it away.
Of course, because this is Charmed and not a Marvel/Sony movie, the kinds of monsters the Harbinger turns people into are a far cry from Venom-proper. So far, we’ve seen it become a White Walker-like ice demon that can shoot spiky icicles, and a very The Ring-esque humanoid form that enjoys eating humans—which, when you really think about it, is actually pretty on-point, Venom-wise.