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MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)

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Quote1 You don't have to ask, Smythe. Killing the Spider's always been my idea of fun. But after what he did to me--to us--we won't leave enough of him to bury. Quote2
-- Scorpion src
 

Early Life

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. [1]

Scorpion

Scorpion (MacDonald Gargan) 1

Mac Gargan as Scorpion.

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.[5] 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.[6] Scorpion attacked Jameson on his wedding day, but failed thanks to Spider-Man.[7]

Captain America

Gargan was hired follow Agent Sharon Carter of S.H.I.E.L.D.. But this lead to a confrontation with Captain America and was easily defeated.[8] Teaming up with Mister Hyde they launched a campaign of attacks against S.H.I.E.L.D., but Falcon and Cap tracked them down and took them out.[9]

Jewel

When robbing a laundromat a young wannabe superhero named Jewel crashed landed on his head. This was enough to stun him so he could be apprehended.[10]

Jackal

Gargan was freed again asked for help from the Jackal sent him to Midtown Hospital in which Spider-Man's Aunt May was being cared for. Gargan went to the room but only found Peter and May, not realizing he was Spider-Man. He threatened them to tell him the location of Spider-Man. This angered Peter putting on his costume he put and end to the Scorpion rampage through the hospital. After his beat down Spider-Man forced him to apologize to Aunt May.[11]

Ms. Marvel

A.I.M. had upgraded his suit giving enhancing his tail to expel acid. Gargan attempted to get revenge on the man who had caused the most misery in his life J Jonah Jameson. But this lead to a confrontation with Ms. Marvel who was working at the Daily Bugle. [12] After being treated by A.I.M. he escaped and sort revenge on Ms Marvel, even though she was weakened, she was able to defeat the Scorpion.[13]

Masters of Evil

Egghead recruited Scorpion into his Masters of Evil, but when Whirlwind jumped the gun and attacked the Avengers early, the Masters were all recaptured. When the Masters reformed, Egghead didn't bother recruiting Scorpion again.[14]

Hammer Industries

Justin Hammer had his people improve the weaponry in Scorpion's tail before sending him on a mission. However, Gargan proved too unstable to follow orders and bungled the mission. Hammer sent Blacklash and Rhino to punish Scorpion for botching the job.[15]

Alpha Flight

The forces of Llan the Sorcerer once lured Scorpion into attacking Canada, where he brawled with Alpha Flight.[16]

Tinkerer

Gargan had the Tinkerer perform further upgrades on his tail. As the Scorpion, he got in the middle of a fight between Spider-Man and the Spider-Slayers. Gargan inadvertently defeated himself by electro-shocking an amoeboid robot and got caught in the feedback.[17]

In his borderline demented state, Gargan took to living in the sewers for a time.[18]

Hiring out to Roxxon Oil, Gargan was given a new tail with heavily upgraded weaponry. Once again, he kidnapped J. Jonah Jameson but was eventually stopped by Spider-Man with the help of Luke Cage and Iron Fist.[19]

Gargan was next recruited by a mysterious corporation who upgraded his tail and armor. He fought Spider-Man while attacking the Tri-Corp research facility.[20]

For some reason, Scorpion went back to using his older costume.[21] He tried to kill Jameson again when JJJ was on trial for defamation against Spider-Man.[22]

Venom Thunderbolts

Mac Gargan as Venom.

Venom

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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

Gargan escaped Ryker's Island. He journeyed to Battleworld along with a ragtag group including the likes of Henry Pym, Gravity, the Hood, and others, in order to enter a contest of champions.[26]

Thunderbolts

Mac 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 on 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.[27]

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. [28]

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, partly due to the manipulations Mindwave and his crew of recently caught unregistered heroes or the symbiote itself.

Venom swordsman mike deodato01

Venom is gonna eat you!

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.[29]

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.[30]

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 570 Textless Second Printing Variant

Venom vs. Anti-Venom.

New Ways to Die

After the events of Brand New Day, Mac 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 original Venom. 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.
Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 572 Textless Variant 2nd Printing

Mac Gargan as Scorpion with the Venom Symbiote.

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.[31]

Gargan was seen being thrown from Thunderbolts 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.[32][23]

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.[33]

MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)

Posing as Spider-Man.

Dark Avengers

Norman 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. 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.[3]

747575-venom spidey

Venom vs. Spider-Man.

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 bit Ares and fought Hawkeye (Bullseye). After Morgana was defeated Hawkeye promised to kill Mac one day for trying to eat him while he was under Morgan's control. [34]

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.[35]

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.[36]

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.[36][37]

Return as the Scorpion

Newscorp 2

Testing out his new Scorpion powers.

Mac 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 Mayor Jameson and his friends and family due to the fact they both suffered because of Jameson's past actions. In the following attacks the Slayers were defeated thanks to the intervation of Spider-Man and the New Avengers and both him and Alistaire were arested. But not before Smythe was able to kill Jameson's wife Marla.[38]

Dying Wish

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.[39]

Mac was revealed to have survived and was outfitted in a newer armor. Along with the Boomerang and Vulture, Mac was incarcerated and treated in the Raft's infirmary. Alistair Smythe's mini Spider-Slayers healed and enhanced them, and the villain later gave them the offer to kill Spider-Man.[40]

Confronting Spider-Man 2099

When the temporally-relocated Miguel O'Hara is roped into accompanying Tiberus Stone to sell Spider-Slayers to a foreign country. While investigating the Spider-Slayers after Stone is captured by local rebels, Miguel encounters the Scorpion, his having been hired by Alchemax to further test the Spider-Slayers.[41] Thinking that Miguel is the present Spider-Man in a new costume, the Scorpion attacks him with the aid of the Spider-Slayers, but Miguel manages to defeat him by using his holographic assistant to project the image of the present Spider-Man's costume over the Scorpion, causing the Spider-Slayers to attack him until he manages to turn them off.[42]

Powers

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: Mac 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.

Abilities

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 level

Class 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.

Weaknesses

  • Genetic Defects: Due to his genetic mutation being unstable, without his Scorpion suit or the Venom symbiote to stabilize it, Gargan would die.
  • Missing Lower Jaw: Otto Octavius (who at the time was impersonating Spider-Man) punched Mac so hard, it broke his jaw clean off of his head, apparently killing him. Consequently, Mac can no longer speak properly or eat without a special apparatus.


Equipment

  • Scorpion's 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Weapons

Scorpion Armored Suit equipped with Electro-Mechanical Tail.

  • While being part of H.A.M.M.E.R., he was granted Security Clearance Level 5.[43]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Amazing Spider-Man #19
  2. 2.0 2.1 Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dark Avengers #1
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #573
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #20
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #29
  7. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18
  8. Captain America #122
  9. Captain America #150-152
  10. Alias #23
  11. Amazing Spider-Man #145-146
  12. Ms. Marvel #1
  13. Ms. Marvel #2
  14. Avengers #222
  15. Amazing Spider-Man #318-319
  16. Alpha Flight #79-80
  17. Amazing Spider-Man #370
  18. The Spectacular Spider-Man #215-216
  19. Spider-Man Unlimited #14
  20. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #1
  21. Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol 2 #55
  22. She-Hulk #5
  23. 23.0 23.1 Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1-8
  24. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9-10
  25. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #11-12
  26. Beyond #1-6
  27. Thunderbolts #110-112
  28. Thunderbolts #113-115
  29. Thunderbolts #116-121
  30. Sub-Mariner Vol 2 #4
  31. Amazing Spider-Man #568-573
  32. Thunderbolts #122-125
  33. Thunderbolts #126-127
  34. Dark Avengers #2-5
  35. Amazing Spider-Man #595-599
  36. 36.0 36.1 Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1-4
  37. Dark Avengers #16
  38. Amazing Spider-Man #652-654
  39. Amazing Spider-Man #700
  40. Superior Spider-Man #11
  41. Spider-Man 2099 Vol 2 #3
  42. Spider-Man 2099 Vol 2 #4
  43. Siege #1
  44. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12
  45. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12



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