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MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616): Misc


Marvel Database

Up to date as of February 09, 2010

From Marvel Database

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Real Name
Current Alias

"Mac", Scorpion, Venom





Base Of Operations


6' 2" (Variable with Symbiote)

220 lbs (100 kg) (Variable with Symbiote; Typically 245 lbs)

Brown(Variable with Symbiote)

Brown, (shaved bald; Variable with Symbiote)


Marital Status

Adventurer, Field agent for the U.S. government, professional criminal; former private detective

High school

Mac Gargan underwent superhuman augmentation to become the Scorpion.


First appearance

Amazing Spider-Man #19
(December, 1964)





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.

Frustrated, Jameson decided to pay $10,000 to Gargan as the subject of an experiment. An 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. [2]


Mac Gargan as 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.

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 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.


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-handles 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 couldn't begin to imagine life without it, similarly 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 couldn't 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.

Becoming Spider-Man

Venom, along with most of the Thunderbolts team, attempted to kill partner Songbird on the orders of Osborn. Facing Venom, Songbird was defeated and almost eaten by Venom, but escaped with help from the Swordsman.

Dark Avengers

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 the two 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.[3] and fought Hawkeye.[4] 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.

Powers and Abilities


Gargan as Scorpion with Venom symbiote
As the Scorpion, MacDonald Gargan possesses all the powers of a scorpion. When he acquires the Venom symbiote, he still retains his scorpion-like powers and is granted the additional powers of the Venom symbiote, granting him several abilities similar to Spider-Man.


  • Superhuman Strength: MacDonald Gargan, in both his Scorpion and Venom forms possesses superhuman strength. Originally, as the Scorpion, Gargan was able to lift approximately 15 tons under standard conditions. He is known as being one of the first opponents of Spider-Man who truly possessed greater strength than that of Spider-Man himself. His leg muscles are so developed that he is easily capable of leaping onto the rooftop of a single story building in a single bound. He is strong enough that he is able to punch his own handholds in concrete in order to climb up sheer surfaces.
  • Superhuman Speed: Gargan is capable of running and moving at speeds superior to those of the finest human athlete and was stated to be as fast as Spiderman if not faster in his original appearance , whether this physical attribute has been carried forward with the symbiote is yet to be seen , as Gargan as Venom appears much slower than Spiderman.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Stamina: As scorpion Gagan was capable of exerting himself at peak capacity for several hours.


  • 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, so long as he wears the costume.
  • Superhuman Strength: Now bonded with the Venom symbiote, his strength has been increased to allow him to lift about 40 tons [5]. 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 is not as efficient as Spider-Man’s spider-sense because it takes longer to communicate the danger, and Gargan’s reflexes are not as fast as Spider-Man’s, even though they are enhanced by the alien costume. It is unknown whether Gargan could 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.
  • Camouflage Capabilities: The symbiote is capable of mimicking the appearance of any form of clothing, camouflaging with its surroundings, and even mimicking other people.
  • 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.
Power Grid [6]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills


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 50; Gargan as Venom at his regular size is strong enough to lift 40 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.


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.



  • Webbing Dissolver: As the Scorpion, in more recent times, Mac Gargan's eye holes on his mask were covered in a transparent membrane rigged to dissolve Spider-Man's webbing, should Spider-Man try to blind him as he did in past battles.
  • 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 30 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.


Electro-Mechanical Tail & Scorpion Armored Suit


MacDonald Gargan first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man # 19, as Scorpion in Amazing Spider-Man # 20, as Venom in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man # 9 (Feb, 2005), and as Spider-Man in Dark Avengers #1

  • Mac Gargan is set to appear in the character's first own limited series, Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man. The comic comes out in June and is written by Brian Reeds.


  • 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-travelling heroes from 1989, and defeated.


Discover and Discuss

  1. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12
  2. Comics:Marvel Knights: Spider-Man Vol 1 8
  3. Dark Avengers #2
  4. Dark Avengers #3
  6. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12

This article uses material from the "MacDonald Gargan (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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