Mac Gargan was a private investigator that J. Jonah Jameson hired to keep tabs on Peter Parker and Spider-Man, to see if the two had any connection with one another. But Peter's spider-sense alerts him to evade Gargan. Eventually J. Jonah Jameson paid Mac Gargan to undergo a procedure by Dr. Farley Stillwell in order to defeat Spider-Man. The procedure was designed to endow his human subjects with the powers of a particular animal. J. Jonah Jameson chose Mac to gain the proportionate abilities of a scorpion because it would be the perfect arachnid predator to Spider-Man. Following genetic modifications, Stillwell outfitted Gargan with a mechanical power-suit to give him a durable exoskeleton with cybernetic stinger. He became the Scorpion!
Scorpion was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in a cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man #19 (1964). He appeared full-on as the Scorpion in Amazing Spider-man 20 (1964).
Mayor Story Arcs
A Supervillain is Born
But the experiment later came to affect Mac Gargan's mind, forcing insanity. He blamed J. Jonah Jameson for his destroyed mind and tried to kill him, forcing Spider-Man to intervene. Gargan has attempted numerous times to get Spider-Man and Jameson, but Spider-Man always gets to save both their lives.
When Mac learned of the fact that Jonah Jameson was about to marry a woman named Marla, Scorpion became increasingly angry and decided to kidnap Marla, in hopes of holding her for ransom. Jonah could not do anything about the abduction. Luckily, Spider-man intervened and managed to defeat the Scorpion and save Marla in the process. Mac was then again sentenced to jail and put behind bars.
Some time later Mac escaped prison and had a fight with Ms. Marvel, whom defeated him as well. Scorpion began to believe that his Scorpion suit was stuck to his body, and he started to see himself as a monster in his reflections. Spider-Man later proved this to be a delusion. After experiencing many defeats from Spider-Man, Mac became depressed and decided that he want to redeem himself of his past villainous act. When he met Spider-Man, also experiencing depression, he pleaded to him that he has changed his ways, but Spider-Man beat him bloody. This drove Scorpion's insanity back. Jameson later confessed to the public that he was the one who created the Scorpion when the Hobgoblin blackmailed for his secret.
Roxxon Oil and a New Costume
Scorpion later worked with Roxxon Oil being told that they could help him, but in reality all that he was getting were upgrades on his costume with the promise that he could now defeat his enemies. Spider-Man later convinced him that he was being used by Roxxon just as Jameson did in the past. Scorpion turned on Roxxon defeating them but was then defeated by Spider-Man.
Mac Gargan was present in the Secret War in Latveria , where he was recruited by the Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas of Latveria, who had taken over from Doctor Doom. At this time, Mac was given an upgraded version of his Scorpion armor, leaving behind his more recent costume-change. Although the heroes Mac fought against where outnumbered, they still did not manage to defeat the heroes. Mac escaped and returned to America once more.
After abandoning its previous host the Venom symbiote approached Mac Gargan and offered him additional powers. He agreed and became the next host of the Venom symbiote, which he hoped would give him the advantage he needed in defeating Spider-Man as well as securing a place as apart of the Sinister Twelve. However, with the help of other heroes, he was still defeated by Spider-Man . Even though he was incarcerated, it didn't hinder him as with his new powers he would be respected more as a powerful villain. He was later abducted by Stranger, disguised as the Beyonder, to participate yet again in another Secret War. During the events of the war he had killed Space Phantom believing him to be Spider-Man . All the participants were able to escape from the crumbling planet thanks to Gravity's sacrifice, later he is seen mourning his death.
Gargan later becomes a member of a sub-group of the Thunderbolts, which has been drafted by the Avengers to hunt down the members of the fugitive Secret Avengers and is currently run by the Commission for Superhuman Activities. It is then revealed that he has been outfitted with electrical implants by the government to keep the Symbiote in check. As a Thunderbolt, he is seen as a hero by the general public and has his own action figures. Gargan displays his new raw power as Venom in a battle with Jack Flag, after pummeling Flag for a bit, the hero manages to stab Gargan, who is protected by his Symbiote. Gargan becomes enraged and ferociously manhandles Flag, and is about to feast upon his flesh, when his electrical implants kick in and temporarily subdue him, allowing Flag to live. Gargan expresses fear of the control the Symbiote possesses over him, yet he has become addicted to the raw unearthly power it brings to him, and cannot begin to imagine life without it, similarly to a drug addict. Later, during an attack from Steel Spider, American Eagle and Sepulchre, Gargan loses control again, briefly becoming a huge monster once more, while Moonstone is incapacitated and thus cannot co-ordinate control of his electrical implants. Afterwards, however, he returns to a normal form with no ill effects. Then, he bites off, and devours, Steel Spider's arm during a fight.
After, the Thunderbolts goes after Spider-Man for being an unregistered hero and like everyone else, he has no memory of Spider-Man's true identity, because of One More Day. When Venom and Spider-Man fought, Eddie Brock got into the skirmish and the Symbiote suddenly left Gargan to bond again to Brock, but his skin acted like a corrosive when the Symbiote tried to attached itself. White substance began to appear from Brock's pores and became Anti-Venom. Anti-Venom battled Venom and seemingly cleansed Gargan of the Symbiote but also inadvertently cleansing Spider-Man remaining Symbiote within his body along with his spider powers.
New Ways to Die
During a mission to capture Spider-Man, in this Venom was attacked by Anti-Venom and his symbiote was almost destroyed. Later, Norman Osborn injected the symbiote with a toxin that healed the suit and had the capabilities of hopefully killing him Anti-Venom. However, while the suit was still healing Mac donned his old Scorpion armor as a way to protect himself and to administer the toxin to Anti-Venom. Later on, while Gargan and Brock were battling he injected Anti-Venom with the toxin, almost destroying the Anti-Venom suit. With this the Venom symbiote fully healed, smashing his Scorpion armor to bits, becoming Venom once more. Anti-Venom was able to regrow his own symbiote costume and fled.
Later returning from another mission the Thunderbolts were attacked by Captain Marvel. When Venom tried to stop him he was sent flying through a window and below Thunderbolts Mountain. It was later on discovered that Captain Marvel was a Skrull. Nobody knew what was happening except Osborn. Earth was at war. The Thunderbolts had been sent to protect Washington. When they arrived, Venom thrived in battle, eating as many Skrulls as he could. Later on he was attacked by a super Skrull, and they were both sent flying off they ship that they were on. They both landed among a crowd, and the Skrull quickly changed its shape. Venom, knowing it was hiding then began suffocating people in the crowd with tendrils, trying to find it. When Osborne saw this he reminded the symbiote that while he was all for letting it fulfill its urges, there did have to be guidelines. Venom then continued to do what he was doing before. The Skrull saw all of this and, while changing back into its battle form, called Venom a monster saying that humans would liberate the Skrulls after seeing this. Venom then revealed that it was an act, and that the people had been able to breath the entire time. He said he did this to make the Skrull come out of hiding. Venom then proceeded to attack the Skrull. He badly wounded it with his claws and then started eating it. After Washington, the Thunderbolts continued on to New York, where Thor had summoned all the heroes and Skrulls for a final battle in Central Park. When they arrived, Osborne reminded the Thunderbolts that Skrulls were the target. Venom began to complain, saying that Spider-Man was nearby. He was quickly made quiet. Throughout the battle, Venom continued to kill and eat Skrulls, and was only seen harmed once when he was punched by a Skrull taking on the persona of Giant Man. Venom and the rest of the Thunderbolts made it through the Secret Invasion unharmed, excluding the death of Swordsman's sister.
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man
When Norman Osborn became head of the superhero community, he formed a new team of Avengers called the Dark Avengers, where he recruits Gargan and Venom to be on the team. He first fed Venom with a Skrull impersonating Spider-Man and fed him a medication that turns his monstrous form in to more humane look and named him the Spider-Man of the group. As a member of the Dark Avengers, their first mission was to rescue Doctor Doom who was being attacked by Morgan Le Fey. When Sentry decapitated her, he suddenly disappeared and Morgan seemingly came back from the dead. In her return, Morgan took control of Venom and started attacking his own teammates. After Morgana is defeated Sinister Spider-man returns to normal. Later on Gargan is ambushed by the real Spider-man and captured with the help of Sue Richards. He is then sent is sent to the Negative Zone, but later escapes.
Eventually, Venom begins a lone war on crime in the city. During one of his exploits he defeats a bank robber named General Wolfram. After the battle he takes Wolfram to an abandoned building and bites off his arm. Stealing the money from the robbery he leaves for a strip club. Taking one of the strippers home he kills her and places the body in J.J. Jameson’s bed in an attempt to frame him. In another attempt to destabilize Jameson, Venom begins turf war between two rival gangs.
Under guise of a bomb threat Venom is lured into a trap by the Redeemers, a group of villains who had each had limbs bitten off by Gargan, including Wolfram. He easily kills three of them, but the survivors escape and send some incriminating pictures of ''Spider-Man'' to Jameson. J.J. turns to Osborn for help and he sends in Bullseye and Daken to cleanup. In the end Gargan faces off against his teammates, the remaining Redeemers, and the two gangs. Venom is able to defeat all of them with J.J. stopping the brawl. Upon returning to Avengers Tower Osborn states that next time Mac crosses the line, he will personally stop him.
During the Utopia storyline, when the Dark Avengers are sent to quell the mutant riots, Venom faces off against Colossus. With the help of Iceman the Russian escapes. Later, during the final battle Venom laughs off the combined attacks of Trance and Cannonball and after defeating them continues his battle Colossus. However, with the Dark Avengers outnumbered, and the only way to win via killing all the mutant they are forced to retreat.
During the Molecule Man arc, it is shown that the medication he had been taking has affected Mac, making him unstable, and has caused the Venom symbiote to be soft. However, it is revealed that teammate Daken was using his pheromone powers to screw around with Mac's emotions, contributing to his unusual state of mind.
After the Soldier Field incident in Chicago, Osborn assembles his Avengers and tells him of the plan to invade Asgard. Many of them don't like the idea and when Bullseye voices his concerns Venom asks if he is scared to which he replies yes, stating that all of them should be. Osborn tells them that this is an order and if they succeed they are free, to which they agree. During the invasion of Asgard, Venom is seen facing the frontline of immortals, but when Thor appears he joins his teammates in ambushing the God of Thunder. He is also present for Ares’ death at the hands of Sentry.
Later when the real Avengers join the battle Venom faces off against Spider-Man. During the fight Venom is able to gain the upper hand and Spider-Man almost wins, until Ms. Marvel suddenly arrives ripping Mac Gargan out of the symbiote. Separated from its host the Venom symbiote bonds with Ms. Marvel; taking full control of her body. Spider-Man tries to use a bell from a near-by church but finds out the bell had been removed. Ms. Marvel tried to separate herself from the black suit to no avail. Needing more power Spider-Man knocks her onto electric wires allowing Carol to break free from the symbiote. Returning to Mac Gargan, Venom tries to once again attack the heroes, but Spider-Man webs Venom's legs throwing him in the air where Ms. Marvel beats him with car bumper incapacitating him. After the Void is defeated, Mac is captured along with the rest of the Dark Avengers.
Return as Scorpion
During Big Time Mac returns, now separated from the symbiote, in a new scorpion outfit created by Alistair Smythe and is now working with his Insect Army. To get revenge on Mayor J. Jonah Jameson and his astronaut son John once again. They attack the launch site where John is flying the Vertex shuttle into orbit which will meet up with a Horizon Labs space station. Spider-Man appears and weblines to a shuttle that just took off but Smythe has locked down the controls and rigged its booster rockets to explode before it leaves the atmosphere and to make matters worse, the evolved Scorpion appears to kill Spider-Man. With the help of the New Avengers, Spider-Man saves John but Smythe sends his Insect Army after Jonah's loved ones. Spider-Man uses a device that jams all of Smythe's minions' enhanced senses but disables his own Spider-Sense in the process. After Spider-Man defeats the Scorpion, he goes to check on the others but Smythe appears and kills Marla Jameson. Spider-Man then defeats Smythe and for the first time, Jonah refuses to blame Spider-Man and blames himself instead.
After Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man switch bodies, Parker has Scorpion, Hydro-Man and Trapster free himself from the The Raft. They then go after Octavius and in the ensuing battle the phony Spider-Man punches his jaw off.
While in the Raft's infirmary Alistair Smythe's mini Spider-Slayers heal and enhance Gargan along with Boomerang, and Vulture. Smythe offers them the chance to get back at Spider-Man. After a brief battle with Spider-Man, during which Boomerang is taken out, Smythe sends Scorpion after J. Jonah Jameson, who was there to over see Smyhte's execution, and Vulture after civilians that had been trapped in the Raft. Spider-Man ignores this and continues his assault on Alistair. Scorpion is able to locate Jameson, but is prevented from taking his revenge by Lizard, who had escaped during the commotion. When Otto fatefully stabs Smythe; Boomerang, Scorpion, and Vulture's upgrades are disabled.
Mac Gargan was mutated to possess the proportionate abilities of a Scorpion and outfitted with a power-suit to further his new Scorpion persona. Without the suit, Gargan possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift 15 tons, as well as superhuman speed, endurance, and reflexes that exceeded Spider-Man's. His suit provided him with increased durability, pincers on each hand that could tear through Spider-Man's webbing, and an extremely powerful cybernetic tail. Scorpion used his prehensile tail as for both practical purposes and as a deadly weapon. At times, his tail has been given certain additional weapons, such as acidic sprays, electric blasts, or a poison-tipped blade.
After his return as Scorpion, Gargan was fitted with a new much larger suit which is cybernetically wired into him. It is equipped with a more powerful tail, mechanical pincers, and is bulletproof. Gargan's biology was also altered, giving him a "scorpion sense" to match Spider-Man's "spider-sense".
For a time, Norman outfitted Mac with a Scorpion suit while the Venom Symbiote was recovering from injuries sustained in a battle with Anti-Venom. This Scorpion Suit provided added protection from Anti-Venom, allowed Venom to regenerate, and possessed a cybernetic tail/stinger loaded with a super-venom capable of killing Anti-Venom.
Gargan's powers have been enhanced after bonding with the Venom symbiote. He also has a few new abilities, such as a shapeshifting, webbing generation, enhanced durability, regeneration, genetic memory (recalling information from previous hosts), and an immunity to Spider-Man's spider-sense. The natural super strength of Gargan combined with the strength of the symbiote allows him to lift (press) 40 tons. Norman provided Gargan a chemical that allows Gargan to more actively control the symbiote and enables him to alter his appearance with more precision so that Gargan could pose as Spider-Man. The medicine must be taken in between periods of times, or else the symbiote would take over Gargan.
Height: 6'2" (Gargan); 6'11" (Variable)
Weight: 220 lbs (Gargan); 895 lbs (Variable)
Eyes: Brown (Gargan); Variable as Venom
Hair: Brown; Variable as Venom
In the last days of Peter Parker being Spider-Man, Scorpion is a member of the Sinner Six, the latest version of the Sinister Six. He was killed by Spider-Man by being kicked out of the window and falling to his death.
In Earth-A, Gargan is a tourist that has gone through Earth-616, to impersonate the Scorpion in that reality. He was later returned back to his home reality.
In the Marvel Zombieverse, Scorpion is one of the infected by the zombie plague. He is seen collecting food along with Diablo for their leader, Kingpin.
In this reality, Scorpion is one of the superhumans that have been infected by a mutated Legacy Virus combined with Warlock's technarch.
In one reality, Scorpion is one of the founding members of the Heroes For Hire and the Avengers with Black Widow and Black Knight. He was killed by an alternate version of Illyana Rasputin.
In Other Media
The Scorpion was first seen in the Spider-Man game for the Playstation console. He reappeared in the first Spider-Man movie game and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance as the first boss in both. He later appeared in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, and he is the third boss and one of the most powerful friends to use. Gargan also appears in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 as a boss and playable character, sporting the Venom suit.
Scorpion appears in the 1967 Spider-Man series in an episode called "Never Step on a Scorpion" and was voiced by Carl Beans. He later appears in the episode "Sting of the Scorpion".
Scorpion appears in the 1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "Attack of the Arachnoid."
Scorpion first appears in the second episode of Spider-Man "The Sting of Scorpion" voiced by Martin Landau & then later voiced by Richard Moll. He later appears as part of Kingpin's Insidious Six.
Scorpion never appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man though we hear Norman Osborn thanking him over the phone.