Toxin (Patrick Mulligan) is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. He is the third major Symbiote of the Spider-Man series, and the eighth known to have appeared in the comics outside of the Planet of the Symbiotes storyline.
Toxins Life and powersMuch like his father Venom, Carnage produced offspring: a third Symbiote. Carnage felt only dislike and hatred towards his new spawn, even before he "gave birth" to it, both fearing that it could become much stronger than himself, and being generally disgusted at the thought of giving birth. At the same time, Carnage's rival and "father" Venom became aware that Carnage was "pregnant" and sought out Carnage to talk about this new symbiote. Carnage had resolved to kill his spawn as soon as it was born. Venom was doing his best to protect the new symbiote, with the intention of raising it to become his new partner. Venom was also concerned that, as the 1000th symbiote of their line, the new symbiote could potentially become psychotic because of genetic breakdown.
After the birth of his "son", Carnage felt too weak to kill his newborn (due in no small part to his attempt to repress the birth after burying himself). Since he could not kill his newborn, he implanted it into Patrick Mulligan and fled, intending to kill him later and destroy the new symbiote when he was up to strength.
Prior to being implanted with the alien symbiote, Patrick Mulligan was one of New York City's finest cops, yet he was also troubled with various personal problems. His stressful job, along with the strain of his new family (his wife, Gina, was pregnant with their first son, Edward) were taking their toll on him. One night, while on duty, he came across the site where Carnage was giving birth and the newborn symbiote. Carnage, needing a host to hide the symbiote on to keep it from Venom, bonded it to Patrick. Carnage resolved to kill both Pat and the symbiote currently hiding in his body (Toxin wasn't yet strong enough to manifest in a superpowered costume like the Venom and Carnage symbiotes.) Venom was still hopeful that he'd be able to use this new Symbiote as a partner, and fought Carnage to a standstill to protect Pat and the symbiote, who he christened Toxin, after himself.
At first, Patrick didn't realize quite what had happened to him, but before long, the Toxin symbiote had matured enough to gain both conscious thought, and the strength to form a symbiote costume on Pat's body. After Carnage attacked Gina and Edward at his home, he realized the symbiote was a danger to both himself and his family. During a future confrontation between Venom, Carnage, and Toxin, Venom realized Patrick was dedicated to a life of virtue, or as close as he could come bearing the demon of the symbiote in him. Venom and Carnage formed a temporary pact to destroy Toxin, as it was clear by now that he was easily as strong as either of his predecessors, and was still growing.
Spider-Man stumbled into the final confrontation between the symbiote trio, and helped Toxin. After they fended off Venom and Carnage, Toxin had a conversation with Spider-Man, filling him in on what had happened to him. Spider-Man gave him a kind of superhero heart-to-heart, and passed on his Uncle Ben's message: "With great power comes great responsibility." Toxin resigned himself to a life of battling his base symbiote urges to indulge in violence and destruction, while trying to harness his power for good. He walked out on his wife and child, and left the police force to try and come to terms with his new life.
Image:Toxin5.jpg Toxin vs. Carnage. Art by Clayton Crain.In 2005, after Spider-Man joined the Avengers, Marvel started a six-issue Toxin limited series, which charts Toxin's battles with various supervillains who had escaped from the Raft as a result of the events beginning The New Avengers series, as well as his constant battle to keep the Toxin symbiote under control, as unlike Venom and Carnage, the host and symbiote minds stayed separate in Toxin, and they even had conversations and arguments with each other; unlike his "grandfather" Venom, Toxin does not refer to himself as "we". Throughout the course of the mini-series, he battled King Cobra, The Wrecker, Piledriver, and Razor Fist.
At one point, trying to live with Toxin becomes too much for Pat, and he attempts to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. Toxin interferes at the last moment, saving Pat and claiming that deep down, Pat didn't really want to die. When Pat presses the issue, however, it becomes clear that, unlike the Venom and Carnage symbiotes, Toxin is not sure it could survive on its own and find a new host. (Both Venom and Carnage have left their original hosts, Peter Parker, Eddie Brock and Cletus Kasady, to bond with others.) It was in this limited series that Razor Fist murders Patrick Mulligan's father, but we see Pat/Toxin begin to show true signs of a hero; he tracks Razor Fist down, but instead of slaughtering him as both the symbiote and Razor Fist himself urge, he controls himself and turns Razor Fist over to the police.
At the end of the limited series, we see Pat reconcile with his estranged wife Gina, by 'introducing' her to the Toxin symbiote as way of explaining why he walked out on his family.
Toxin is seen with his grandfather, Venom, on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative #1, as part of the fifty-state hero Initiative.
Toxin is considered as a "potential recruit" for the Initiative program, according to Civil War: Battle Damage Report.
Toxin possesses the "unique" special abilities of his two symbiote predecessors; He can stick to walls, can change his identity to that of a completely different person and also has unlimited webbing, which takes on a shape of a steel chain in his case. Toxin can also blend in with its surroundings and become undetectably camouflaged, an ability he gained from his grandfather, and he can form solid weapons from his limbs, an ability first seen in his father. Toxin also seems to have some sort of quick-healing ability like his predecessors, as his wounds from his first battle with Razor Fist healed remarkably quickly. Unlike the others, Toxin can track anyone, not just other symbiotes or symbiote hosts, as long as he has something to begin from, within the entire city of New York and possibly further.
Unlike the other symbiotes, Toxin does not try to take over the mind of his human host. Instead, the symbiote actually thinks and voices its opinions to the human host (as evidenced in Toxin's Cut to the Chase storyline). The symbiote usually speaks when the host is in his "human form". In addition, he seems to have a stronger resistance to sonics and intense heat compared to Carnage, though this does not mean that Toxin is more resistant to violent urges: it can get carried away with violence and fighting crime, even if it's a petty crime. When he's not angry or fighting, Toxin is slim and smooth-lined, although still well muscled, closely resembling Carnage or Spider-Man in his Symbiote costume. When he becomes upset or aggressive, he grows into his much bigger and stronger form (like Venom), with vicious fangs and long curving claws.
To add to his strength, it is revealed that, shortly after Toxin's birth, he is easily as strong as Venom and Carnage combined, which is why the two had previously attempted to kill the spawn. In the end, Toxin soon becomes stronger than them.