As a young girl, Shriek had a miserable childhood that eventually drove her to drugs. Her mother was ashamed of her for being overweight and she was abused by both her parents. She became a groupie for a rock band, and a drug dealer on the side until the vigilantes Cloak and Dagger happened by during one of her deals. Having already suffered enough traumas to make her dangerously unstable, a short stay in Cloak's dark dimension pushed her over the edge into insanity. After that, she was captured and imprisoned in Ravencroft. According to her, she was also shot in the head by police and while gluing the pieces together again, the doctors apparently missed some. However, it is still unclear as to how her powers actually developed. It could be that she already had these powers but they didn’t manifest themselves until she was exposed to Cloak’s darkness, or they could have been a side effect of the drugs she was taking, or it could have been a combination of these events, among others, that caused her powers to develop.
Shreik was created by Tom DeFalco, Mike W. Barr, Terry Kavanagh, Ron Lim, Jerry Bingham, and Mark Bagley and first appeared in Spider-Man Unlimited (volume 1) #1 in May 1993 during the Maximum Carnage event.
Major Story Arcs
When the menace Carnage was imprisoned and escaped from Ravencroft, Shriek talked him into taking her with him. After that, they met with Doppelganger, Demogoblin and Carrion. Shriek's childhood problems of being obsessed with families started to surface, and she adopted Carnage as her husband, Carrion and Demogoblin as their children to which she would teach their evil ways, and Doppelganger became their adopted pet. Carnage, demented in his own right, went along with this dysfunctional family idea of hers. During this episode in Spider-Man’s life now referred to as Maximum Carnage, Shriek used her powers to induce everyone they came across in the city of New York to be evil. Shriek and her adopted family had to battle Spider-Man and several of his allies such asBlack Cat, Iron Fist, and Venom. Doppelganger had become close to Shriek and gave his life to protect her when Carnage attacked her for her rebellious behavior. The fighting within the Carnage Family became too much and with the death of Doppelganger, Carrion seemingly rid of the virus inside him, and Demogoblin wanting to repent for his murderous ways, Shriek thought she too had seen the light. Shriek was returned to Ravencroft after the events of Maximum Carnage.
Shriek attempted to escape twice from Ravencroft. Once, alongside the vigilante Mayhem and a handful of other inmates, she was defeated by Spider-Man and John Jameson before they managed to escape. The second was when Dr. Kafka was treating the seemingly cured Malcolm McBride, and tried to convince him that he was not insane by taking him to Shriek’s cell in order to show him a truly insane person. However, seeing her “son” made her snap yet again, and broke free from her specially designed cell. Using her powers, she reactivated the Carrion virus within McBride, and set out to reunite her “family” only it was too late for Demogoblin had also been killed and Carnage was in a coma.
Spider-Man, after a few trying events in his own life, intercepted and attacked Shriek with a viciousness she hadn’t seen before, but she turned the tables with her sonic powers when she made Spider-Man hesitate by begging him to stop hitting her. Shriek sensing the darkness within Spider-Man growing decided that he would be a suitable "father" for Carrion, therefore taking the place of Carnage in her demented family. With the virus almost completely taken over Malcolm’s mind, Shriek took him to visit his mother because he was still attached to her. Spider-Man tracked them down and was attacked by the confused Carrion while trying to save the life of his real mother, Beatrice McBride. Spider-Man now takes his frustrations out on Carrion and just as he is about to fall Beatrice McBride pleads to Spider-Man’s conscience to stop. It is then that Shriek realizes Spider-Man could never take the place of Carnage and blasts him with a sonic burst, and forces Malcolm to choose who he wants for his mother. Carrion, more confused than ever, turns his power on himself but something inside Shriek changes as she sees Beatrice McBride go to embrace him possibly ending in the death of both of them. Shriek absorbs the Carrion virus and collapses leaving Malcolm free of his curse, and enabling Spider-Man to return her to Ravencroft. After those events, Shriek was treating the virus inside her as an unborn child when the Jackal paid her a visit and removed the virus from her body.
It could be assumed that Shriek was kept undergoing therapy at Ravencroft. However, she has was seen at the “ Bar With No Name” amongst a host of other super villains making bets on what was inside a mysterious chrysalis that appeared overnight in Manhattan. However, Shriek is later revealed to be in Ravencroft again.
The remains of the Carnage symbiote after it was ripped in half by the Sentry years ago, floated in space and crashed into a satellite owned by businessman Micheal Hall, sending it back to Earth's atmosphere. At the same time in Ravencroft, Shriek sensed the symbiotes return and suddenly freaked out, ranting that Carnage is back, forcing the orderlies to both sedate and tase her to calm her down. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Tanis Nieves, didn't appreciate her patient's mistreatment and demanded that Frances is treated properly since this wing is under her authority. However, one of the orderlies informs her that Ravencroft's new management has changed protocols.
Eight months later, while Dr. Nieves was taking a day off, Ravencroft's new owners attempted to transfer Shriek to another facility but Nieves is informed by an orderly of the transfer and she tries to stop them because she sees Francis as a very damaged woman and after years of treatment and progress, she couldn't let them use her for their own ends. As Shriek is being transferred in an armored car, Nieves attempts to run it off the road using her own car. Sensing his mother's presence, Doppelganger chases after the vehicle and attacks it. However the armoured car escapes and Doppelganger is killed. The armored car delivers Shriek to a secret laboratory where she is brought face to face with the Carnage symbiote which is being kept in a containment tank. Shriek's captors intend to have her "feed" the symbiote fear and hatred using her unique powers in order to have it survive. It is revealed that the deranged symbiote is being kept by Hall industries who is using it to form his state of the art prosthetics and the biomass weaponry used by the armored agents. Shriek is being used to help preserve the symbiote so that more of them can be formed.
After the symbiote merges back with Kletus, Shriek finds Nieves in his holding cell along with Doppelganger. Dresses in her former outfit, Shriek demands to know where Carnage is, accusing Nieves of trying to steal him. Suddenly Nieves arm starts mutating, Nieves pleads for Shriek's help, but Shriek merely attacks her, telling her that she tried to do the exact same thing to her as the symbiote is trying to do, trying to change her mind. Shriek continues to taunt Nieves as the arm slowly tries to take over her brain, eventually, Nieves cuts the arm off all together, with the arm detached, Shriek pick it up. As Carnage is fighting with Spider-Man and Iron Man, Shriek uses a sonic blast to blast them away from Kletus, revealing that the arm has merged with her, creating a third arm and merging with part of her face. She merely says, "Hi honey. Did you miss me?"
However, Shriek is denied the wonderful reunion she wanted when Cletus tells her he needs to deal with Spider-Man and Iron Man. In the mean time, he tell her to use her powers to drive the civilians crazy again, which she does, causing civilians to try and destroy a school bus full of children. Grabbing Nieves, she forces her to look at the crazy citizens and that her tampering has caused it. However, Shriek's symbiote arm leaves her and merges with Nieves, turning her into the symbiote hybrid, Scorn. Scorn grabs Shriek's head and hair and forces her to scream at her lover, which allows the two heroes to defeat the symbiote, however, by the time they do, Cletus has left it. Nieves then tells the heroes that she 'put Shriek down'.
Nieves' attack did something to her brain and as a result Shriek is left in a coma, but she'll be charged with double homicide, if she ever wakes up.
Shriek can manipulate sound in different ways. She can use hyper sonic sounds to tap into people's minds and bring out their inner darkness (generating fear, anger, hate), making them act in violent manner. She can harness the sound and shoot destructive sonic energy blasts from her hands. She can also shield herself with a sonic field and fly. With her sonic powers she is also capable of generating a sonic scream with can deafen or disorientate.
Appearance in Other Media
- Shriek appears as a boss character in the 1994 video game Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
- Shriek was a minor villain in the PS2, PSP and Wii versions of the Spider-Man 3 tie-in video game, though she is not present in the actual movie. She is married to Michael Morbius and she gains her powers from a symbiote. She is voiced by Courtney Taylor.
- Shriek was featured as the Build-a-Figure of the Marvel Minimates Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage series from Diamond Select.
- Shriek was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Shriek was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the Armadillo Build-a-Figure wave.