Patrick Mulligan worked for the New York Police Department, building a family with his wife and infant son. Bonded to the alien offspring of the Carnage symbiote, Mulligan operated as the vigilante Toxin.
Patrick Mulligan was created by Peter Milligan and Clayton Crain. His first appearance was in Venom vs. Carnage #1 (September 2004).
Major Story Arcs
Venom vs. Carnage
Patrick Mulligan worked the streets of New York as a police officer, stressing over both monetary problems and his pregnant wife Gina. His life changed forever after encountering the villain Carnage preparing to birth a new symbiote.
Weakened by the spawning, Carnage bonded the newborn lifeform to the nearby Mulligan - and promised to return later to destroy it. Unbeknownst to Pat, he was now host to the 1000th symbiote from the alien lineage. This made him a prime target for Venom (Eddie Brock), who was seeking to raise the alien as its partner and ally. During Carnage's initial attempt to slay Mulligan, Venom intervened and battled the mass murderer to a standstill; it was during this battle that Venom christened the symbiote Toxin.
Still being stalked by Carnage, Patrick began interacting with the maturing Toxin. The developing alien was able to manifest itself as a costume just in time, helping stave off a home invasion by Carnage. Things went from bad to worse as Venom, realizing that Mulligan was a police officer and therefore would tread the path of heroism, entered into a pact with Carnage to eliminate their mutual threat.
In a final face-off between the symbiotes, Toxin gained a pivotal ally in Spider-Man. After defeating their foes, the web-slinger offered advice and encouragement to Mulligan on how to handle his newfound powers. Determined to keep Gina and baby Edward safe, Pat left his family and the NYPD in order to better learn how to control Toxin.
Following the super-villain breakout on the Raft, Toxin offered his assistance in rounding up escaped convicts. Mulligan and Toxin worked together to bring down King Cobra, the Answer, and Wrecking Crew members Wrecker and Piledriver. During this period Pat and Toxin warred over the symbiote's violent nature - pushed to the brink by their murder of a cop-killing criminal. Feeling that he may never gain control, Mulligan attempts suicide; Toxin intervenes at the last minute, worried that it would perish without Patrick as its host. In an attempt to help its host, Toxin shifts into a middle-aged man's form. This guise of "Larry" allows the former officer to interact with his wife and son, and helps establish a deal for control. Toxin is given two hours of "playtime" to explore the city, provided larceny, arson, and homicide are avoided.
During this training period, the assassin Razor-Fist becomes Toxin's last target. Determined to get the vigilante off his back, Razor-Fist seeks out Mulligan former partner Paul Meadows. He tortures Meadows until he gets Pat's address. Attempting to kill Toxin at home, the villain instead murdered Jim Mulligan, Patrick's father. After another round of advice from Spider-Man, Toxin sets out to bring down his foe. Mulligan soundly defeats Razor-Fist by removing the assassin's blades, and returns the villain to incarceration. Having demonstrated control over his heroic life, Pat gets back together with Gina and reveals his symbiotic relationship.
Death and Legacy
Toxin is listed as a potential Initiative recruit, but is unable to fulfill his potential. It would be revealed that the demonic Blackheart murdered Patrick Mulligan in order to gain possession of the symbiote. Toxin was to be duplicated and forcibly bonded to clones of the mutant X-23, used in Blackheart's bid to corrupt human souls. The alien would later be kept in a Las Vegas lab until being stolen by Jack O'Lantern. The new Crime-Master, in a bid to control the New York underworld, bonded Toxin to Eddie Brock and set his Savage Six against the latest Venom host, Flash Thompson.
In Other Media
- Toy Biz released a 6-inch figure of Toxin for the Spider-Man Classics line.