- Thanks, everyone. Time to deliver this evildoer to the police! (Or something.)
Former private investigator Mac Gargan was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out how Peter Parker was able to get incredible pictures of Spider-Man. Gargan's efforts to locate Peter in order to find out the truth triggered Parker's spider sense, making him easily avoidable every time.
Frustrated, Jameson decided to pay $10,000 to Gargan to be the subject of an experiment. The experiment, created by Dr. Farley Stillwell, a researcher in animal mutation, which endowed the subject with the characteristic of another animal. Unfortunately the process resulted in the loss of Gargan's sanity, and the creation of the super-powered criminal menace known as the Scorpion.
Over the years Scorpion fought and was bested by Spider-Man many times. Most of these confrontations were the result of Spider-Man stepping in on an attempt on the life of Jameson, who Gargan hated even more than Spider-Man. With his mechanical tail, speed, and strength, Scorpion was always been more than a match for Spider-Man. Only the skill, experience, and quick wit of the web head helped him defeat Gargan.
Later on, Scorpion was recruited by Norman Osborn, informed of Spider-man's secret identity, and ordered to kidnap Peter's Aunt May if anything should happen to Osborn. In the middle of his task Scorpion was approached by the recently freed Venom Symbiote. Seeking a new host that shared both its hatred of Spider-Man as well as the will and experience of a seasoned criminal, the symbiote bonded with the Scorpion, who eagerly accepted the offer, and was transformed into the monstrous new Venom.
After an elaborate plan paid off and the Green Goblin was out of prison, the Goblin led Spider-Man and the Black Cat into a direct confrontation with the newly formed Sinister Twelve, which included the new, more powerful Venom among its ranks. Venom and the Twelve very nearly defeated Spider-Man before the Fantastic Four and a small faction of the Avengers headed by Captain America joined in, leading to the eventual defeat of the Twelve.
In the midst of the battle Osborn escaped, with the full intention to murder Peter's wife, Mary Jane. Spider-Man soon followed only to be stopped by Venom. The two foes continued to battle high above on New York's rooftops. After catching Gargan off balance Spider-Man dropped a condemned building on the new Venom, ending the battle. Venom was arrested and sent to Ryker's Island. He promised Spider-Man he would never reveal his identity, as that was his only leverage against him.
Gargan became a member of a sub-group of the Thunderbolts, which had been drafted by the Avengers to hunt down the members of the fugitive Secret Avengers and was run by the Commission for Superhuman Activities. He was outfitted with electrical implants by the government to keep the symbiote in check. As a Thunderbolt, he was seen as a hero by the general public and had his own action figures. Gargan displayed his new raw power as Venom in a battle with Jack Flag. After pummeling Flag for a bit, the hero managed to stab Gargan, who was protected by his Symbiote. Gargan became enraged and ferociously man-handled Flag, and was about to feast upon his flesh, when his electrical implants kicked in and temporarily subdued him, allowing Flag to live.
Gargan expressed fear of the control the symbiote possessed over him, yet he became addicted to the raw unearthly power it brought to him, and could not begin to imagine life without it, similar to a drug addict. Later, during an attack from Steel Spider and Sepulchre, Gargan lost control again, briefly becoming a huge monster once more, while Moonstone was incapacitated and thus could not co-ordinate control of his electrical implants. Afterward, however, he returned to a normal form with no ill effects.
Then, he bit off and devoured Steel Spider's arm during a fight. More recently, the Venom symbiote seemed to be reclaiming more and more control, and while Mac showed remorse for his actions, the symbiote started to slowly twist Gargan into a more monstrous character. When Swordsman bombed Thunderbolts mountain, Venom devoured a security team. It is still to be seen whether this behavior was due to the manipulations Mindwave and his crew of recently caught unregistered heroes or the symbiote itself.
Gargan was later ordered by Norman Osborn to hunt down Namor. After shooting him with a Thunderbolts-supplied weapon, Gargan disabled Namor by ripping off his feet-wings. However, the Sub-Mariner managed to render Gargan unconscious and then ripped out the symbiote's tongue, although the symbiote easily made a new one. Gargan began to hallucinate that the symbiote was speaking to him, telling him to "feed (it)." He later attacked and devoured a guard and declared that "the only way out of Thunderbolts Mountain is when I decide to let you die". It was later revealed that the psychic criminal Bluestreak was controlling Gargan's actions, although it is uncertain whether the symbiote was actually speaking to him. Venom went up against the Swordsman, who stabbed Gargan through the chest, using his powers to force the symbiote away from his sword. Gargan was wounded, but still alive. After healing, he retained his monstrous form, rarely returning to his usual size.
New Ways to DieAfter the events of Brand New Day Gargan no longer possessed the knowledge of Spider-Man's secret identity. Gargan and the Thunderbolts are called back to New York to capture Spider-Man. While on a search for the wall-crawler, Gargan's symbiote senses a former host at the F.E.A.S.T center. Gargan suspected that it was Spider-Man and searches the place only to find Eddie Brock. The Venom symbiote attempted to leave Gargan to re-bond with Brock, much to Gargan's (and Brock's) dismay. However, upon making contact with Brock, Brock's skin was shown to be caustic to his former symbiote, and as a white substance seeped out of his pores covering his body, Brock became Anti-Venom and battled Gargan. With some help from Spider-Man, Brock subdued Gargan and nearly destroyed the symbiote. Norman Osborn used a sample of the Anti-Venom's symbiote from Mac Gargan and created a poisonous counter to its healing powers by combining the sample with the immune system of Freak. Mac Gargan was injected with the "cure" and was given a new Scorpion battlesuit, which contained the poison, until the symbiote could recover. Anti-Venom tracked down Gargan at Oscorp. After a grueling battle "Ven-orpion" injected the poison into Anti-Venom and seemingly killed the suit. He then attempted to kill Brock but the symbiote tried holding him back, still caring for its former host. The symbiote gained its strength and broke though the Scorpion suit. Gargan gave up but promised that he would get past this problem and would someday finish Brock.
Gargan was seen being thrown from Thunderbolt Mountain by Captain Marvel. Gargan was later seen with the other Thunderbolts in Washington. The Skrulls attempted to trick him into killing normal humans to find out which of them are Skrulls. Osborn attempted to prevent the symbiote from killing anyone by threatening to kill Mac Gargan and promising to help satisfy his "urges" later, only for Gargan to reveal that the threat he appeared to pose to civilians was a ruse in order to draw out a disguised Skrull. Venom played a huge part in fighting the Skrulls. He was seen slashing and eating the Skrulls all at once. He soon joined the Thunderbolts and the remaining heroes for the final battle against the Skrulls. During the battle, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Venom, along with most of the Thunderbolts team, attempted to kill his partner Songbird on the orders of Osborn. Facing Venom, Songbird was defeated and almost eaten by Venom, but escaped with help from the Swordsman.
Osborn gave Venom a medication that reset the symbiote to the size it was when it originally possessed Spider-Man. However, the symbiote resumed its feral traits whenever Venom attacked an enemy. Norman Osborn formed his Dark Avengers, providing new identities to some of his former Thunderbolts. Norman introduced him as the Amazing Spider-Man in his new Avengers.
During the Dark Avengers first mission against Morgan le Fay, Morgan's magic affected Venom, causing him to lose and gain control of himself randomly. Venom ate Ares and fought Hawkeye. Venom later coughed up Ares and returned to normal. After Morgana was defeated Hawkeye (Bullseye) promised to kill Mac one day for trying to eat him while he was under Morgan's control.
Later, attempting to find out Norman Osborn's plans for his son , the real Spider-Man, with the aid of the Invisible Woman, managed to capture Gargan by using a sonic generator and took his place to infiltrate the Dark Avengers.
Mac defeated a bank robber called General Wolfram who he took to an abandoned roof top and consumed his arm. He then took the money Wolfram stole and spent it on a stripper. After getting reprimanded by Norman Osborn for eating Wolfram's arm, Gargan killed the stripper and placed her dead body in J. Jonah Jameson's bed in order to frame him.
Venom and the Dark Avengers attacked Asgard on Norman Osborn's authority. He battled the Asgardians and the heroes who came to their aid. He soon realized that defeat and bitter retribution was inevitable and chose to enjoy himself by devouring Asgardians. He was soon confronted by Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel who ripped Gargan from his symbiote. Gargan and the Dark Avengers were arrested.
Return as the Scorpion
Gargan was sent to the Raft where the Venom Symbiote was removed by the military. Since the symbiote was keeping him alive as it was preventing the negative effects of his genetic tampering in check, Gargan began to develop health problems without his Scorpion suit or the symbiote to keep the harmful effects of his mutation from endangering his life. A disguised Alistaire Smythe was able to break him out and provide him with a new Scorpion suit that saved his life and explained his plans for them to work together with the other Spider-Slayers he had to get revenge on Jameson and his associates due to the fact they both suffered because of Jameson's past actions.
In his last act of revenge, Otto Octavius used a mind-swapping Octobot to change bodies with Spider-Man, leaving Peter Parker in his dying body. As Doctor Octopus, Peter used an Octobot to send a message to Ock's allies to help him escape from the Raft. Scorpion, Hydro-Man and the Trapster heeded the call. Peter broke into the Stark Tower along Scorpion in order to find help in Tony Stark. Spider-Man settled a trap, waiting for them alone in the Tower and started fighting Octopus and his allies, when the Scorpion was about to kill Jameson, who was in a safe room along other friends and relatives of Peter, Otto had a flashback of how much Peter loved his Aunt May, and almost unconsciously, attacked Scorpion in order to protect her. Angered, Otto apparently killed Scorpion by breaking his jaw, the only unprotected part of his body. He was later revealed to have survived.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As the Scorpion, MacDonald Gargan possesses all the powers of a scorpion. When he acquired the Venom symbiote, he retained some of his scorpion-like powers due to the removal of his suit, and was granted the additional powers of the Venom symbiote, granting him several abilities similar to Spider-Man. Due to the removal of the symbiote, Gargan now has been reduced to his original Scorpion power.
Current Powers (Scorpion)
- Superhuman Strength: MacDonald Gargan possesses extreme superhuman strength in both his Scorpion and Venom complexes. So with that said, MacDonald, with his strength as the Scorpion, is able to lift approximately 15 tons, and as such, he can easily overpower humans, and can lift extremely heavy objects, uproot trees and use them as weapons. On several occasions, he has proven capable of even overpowering Spiderman himself.
- Superhuman Speed: Gargan can run and or exercise as well as operate at superhuman speeds hence his overall body equilibrium is also heightened although he isn't nearly as fast as speedsters. With his speed, he can outrun vehicles.
- Superhuman Stamina: Gargan's musculature generates considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. Originally, he could exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue began to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: As Scorpion Gargan had superhuman durability. The scorpion suit was capable of shiedling Gargan from bullets from small-arms weapons firing conventional ammunition. Gargan was also able to survive heavy impacts and blunt force trauma without sustaining injury.
- Superhuman Agility: With or without the symbiote, Gargan's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete .
- Superhuman Reflexes: Gargan's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Wall Crawling: Though he typically punches holes in walls to use as hand-and-footholds, Gargan is capable of adhering to solid surfaces much like Spider-Man.
- Scorpion Sense: After Alistaire Smythe provides Gargan with a new Scorpion Suit, he also explains it is designed to tap into his new Scorpion Sense, which allows him to sense any danger similar to Spider-Man.
Former Powers (Venom)
- Black Symbiotic Costume: The alien costume, which has now grafted itself to the nervous system of MacDonald Gargan somehow absorbed the powers of Spider-Man during its brief symbiotic relationship with him. These powers have now been transferred to Gargan, its current host. Due to the separation from the symbiote, Gargan no longer possesses the costume.
- Superhuman Strength: Now bonded with the Venom symbiote, his strength has been increased to allow him to lift about 70 tons in his regular size . This is not his true limit as his strength increases with his variable muscle mass. Venom has been seen trading punches with very strong opponents by increasing his mass.
- Superhuman Stamina: Now that the Venom symbiote has bonded itself to him, he is capable of exerting himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours.
- Superhuman Durability: The Venom symbiote grants him superhuman durability. When distributed at a typical thickness over Gargan's body, the Symbiote is capable of absorbing bullets from small-arms weapons firing conventional ammunition. Gargan is also capable of surviving in harmful areas for long periods of time such as underwater or in toxic gases, the symbiote filtering breathable air for him.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Additionally, the symbiote is capable of healing injuries in the host at a faster rate than normal human healing allows. The symbiote is even capable of healing injuries and illness that current human medical care cannot such as cancer.
- Wall-Crawling: The alien costume also replicates Spider-Man’s ability to cling to walls by controlling the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers. Gargan could originally climb walls as the Scorpion, but achieved this by either punching handholds into the sides of walls or using his pincer-like fingers.
- Symbiote-Generated Tail: Recently, he was granted his most advanced and powerful upgrade in the form of the Venom symbiote, who was able to replicate the Scorpion's powers and his tail. His new tail possesses all the power of his original tail, as well as the ability to project organic webbing and deadly venom.
- Webbing Generation: With the Venom symbiote, Gargan can shoot strands of the alien’s substance in the form of "webbing" at high pressure up to a distance of 70 feet. The alien’s substance seems to be composed of tough, flexible fibers of organic polymers, which regenerate swiftly after "shedding". The strands have extraordinary adhesive properties, which diminish rapidly once they abandon their living source. After about three hours, with no source to nourish them, the strands dry up like dead skin and dissolve into a powder. The strands possess a tensile strength of 125 pounds per square millimeter of cross section. Gargan is able to project this webbing through both his wrists (like the original Venom) and/or his symbiotic tail.
- Genetic Memory: The symbiote possesses some limited psychic ability, making it capable of obtaining information from its hosts and even other people and symbiotes simply by touch. It can, however, be forced to forget information if the symbiote is inflicted with heavy trauma.
- ESP (Spider-Sense): Gargan is also granted an extrasensory ability similar to Spider-Man’s spider-sense. This response is not as complicated as Spider-Man’s inherent sense since the alien costume can detect danger from every direction and conduct Gargan in plenty of time. It's a lot more efficient than Spider-Man’s spider-sense because it takes less time to sense the danger, and Gargan's reflexes are faster than Spider-Man's, because they are enhanced by the alien costume for instance Venom can dodge a gunshot or a barrage of bullets.
- Immunity to Spider-Man's Spider Sense: Due to Spider-Man being a host to the symbiote, Gargan is able to bypass Spider-Man's spider-sense. As such, Gargan is capable of attacking Spider-Man without alerting him, making him a deadly opponent.
- Constituent-Matter Generation: Venom can also use the same substance comprising the symbiote in the form of constituent black matter or he can generate tentacle-like appendages from various parts of his body, which he often uses either in combat situations or to restrain someone.
- Camouflage Capabilities: The symbiote is capable of mimicking the appearance of any form of clothing, camouflaging with its surroundings, and even mimicking other people.
- Stretching and deforming: Although it's wide known that the Symbiote can stretch and deform itself, recently it was able to perform this ability during bonded with a human host.
- Poisonous Fangs: An ability developed by Eddie Brock when he bonded with the symbiote. Venom's fangs not only intimidate foes but deliver a powerful, venomous bite. As the third incarnation of Venom, Gargan inherited this ability.
Investigative Prowess: Before he became the Scorpion or the third Venom, MacDonald Gargan was a detective with some investigative skills.Formidable Opponent: Gargan's powers make him a formidable combatant, even though he has had little formal training.
Strength levelClass 70; Gargan as Venom at his regular size is strong enough to lift 70 tons, but it seems his strength is however varaible depending on his size and amount of muscle mass. As scorpion Gargan possessed class 25 strength sufficent to lift 15 tons.
- Genetic Defects: Due to his genetic mutation being unstable, without his Scorpion suit or the Venom symbiote to stabilize it, Gargan would die.
- Sonic and Heat: Despite the great resistance to physical injury afforded him by the Venom symbiote, the symbiote itself is extremely vulnerable to heat and sonics and can be affected by attacks based on those two weaknesses. He no longer possesses this weakness due to the removal of the Venom symbiote.
- Transparent Membrane: When the Scorpion was employed by Justin Hammer, Mac Gargan's eye holes were covered by a transparent membrane rigged to dissolve Spider-Man's webbing, should Spider-Man try to blind him as he did in past battles. It is unclear if his later costumes retained this.
- Electro-Mechanical Tail: The Scorpion's battle suit was originally equipped with a superhumanly powerful tail that he could whip at speeds up to over 90 miles per hour. The tail varied in length with each design - from an original 4' version, up to 20' in other implementations. His most recent tail before gaining the Venom symbiote was approximately 10' in length. His tail was powered by a self-contained power pack mounted on the back of his battle suit. The tail was connected via a cybernetic link to the fine muscles of his spinal column when he dons his suit, enabling him to direct the tail by involuntary nerve impulses and activated by his mental commands. Internally, the tail consisted of a series of separated circular plates connected by a matrix of steel cables. Solenoids contract the cables and manipulate the tail, allowing it to whip at speeds of over 150 feet per second. The tail was also armored, and was tipped with a spike, making it deadly in combat. He had mastered the use of his tail to the point that he could use it as both a bludgeon, projectile launcher, or as a fifth limb (he had also upgraded its flexibility several times, making it much more efficient in combat). By coiling his tail behind him and using it as a spring, the Scorpion could propel himself over thirty feet into the air. Over the years, he had modified and enhanced it countless times, acquiring upgrades from the likes of Justin Hammer and the Tinkerer, who equipped it with a poisonous barb with venom installed or a form of hypnogen, electrical blasts (he could also channel electricity through it to shock anyone who tried to grab him by the tail or short-circuit electrical equipment), laser blasts, acid blasts, and mace gas.
- Pincers: The Scorpion's gloves on his costume granted him miniature pincers on each hand that enabled him to literally rip through Spider-Man's webbing.
- Scorpion Armored Suit: As the Scorpion, Mac Gargan wore a full-body battle suit, which had undergone several major revisions in his long criminal career. These were always courtesy of third party suppliers - since Gargan himself possesses no aptitude for engineering. Dr. Farley Stillwell created his original suit, with funding provided by J. Jonah Jameson. Later versions were provided by Justin Hammer, and other large corporations and governments seeking to maximize the lethality of their hired assassin. The most recent design consisted of an inner woven Kevlar layer, covered with a thick layer of insulation/padding, and topped with a high-tech composite armor plating, making him impervious to small firearms.
Scorpion Armored Suit equipped with Electro-Mechanical Tail.
- MacDonald Gargan first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #19, as Scorpion in Amazing Spider-Man #20, as Venom in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9, and as Spider-Man in Dark Avengers #1, returning to his Scorpion identity in Amazing Spider-Man #651.
- Mac Gargan appeared in the character's first own limited series, Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man. The comic came out in June 2009, was written by Brian Reeds and followed Gargan as a member of the Dark Avengers while he killed and ate a group created by The Redeemer whose main objective was to teach the new Spider-Man a lesson.
- This character appears in TSR Inc.'s RPG adventure The Weird, Weird West. In the plot, he had been hired by Doctor Doom in 1968 to travel back in time to 1871 Dodge City. Alongside with other super-villains (including Sandman, Black Knight and Mysterio), he was to provide support to Doom while he analysed a time anomaly and tried to obtain profit from it. Doom took his lackeys (no name was provided for the team) to a Krozzar camp to deal with the Krozzars. Doom eventually found the origin of the anomaly, a chronovore, but he and his lackeys were also found by time-traveling heroes from 1989, and defeated.
- 287 Appearances of MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)
- 78 Images featuring MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)
- 4 Quotations by or about MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)
- MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616) at Wikipedia.org
- Characters killed by Scorpion
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #11
- Venom 3 page at Spiderfan.org
- Gargan's Profile at Spiderfan.org
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