The Carrion Virus is a disease that originates in the later stages of cellular degradation that afflicts those brought back to life by the Jackal though his New U procedure, eventually evolving into a contagious plague. The decay results from the reaction of the clones' cells to a natural vibration frequency.
Several Earths in numerous alternate universes succumbed to the spread of this disease, as observed by the Master Weaver from Loomworld through the Web of Life and Destiny. When Kaine Parker, the Scarlet Spider, came back to life following the sacrifice of his Other form at the hands of the Inheritors, the cellular degradation he suffered for being one of the earliest clones of Spider-Man returned. Fearing that Kaine's condition was symptom of the Carrion Virus, the Master Weaver informed him of the existence of this disease.
Kaine decided to use the fact that he already suffered from cellular degeneration to travel to these universes and investigate the plague in order to find a cure. It was eventually discovered that in each of these worlds, the outbreak originated soon after Parker Industries teamed-up with New U Technologies to make worldwide their technique that involved organ transplants with cloned body parts.
After discovering that he wasn't a carrier of the Carrion Virus as expected, because the plague only affected those cloned by New U, Scarlet Spider and his ally Spider-Woman, the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65, travelled to Kaine's home universe when they were informed by the Master Weaver that a new cycle of the plague was going to begin, marked by the emergence of New U Technologies in this universe.
In Kaine's home reality, dozens of people brought back to life by the Jackal became potential carriers of the virus. The only thing that prevented them from decaying and eventually becoming Carrions was the daily ingestion of a special pill designed to halt this condition.
With the aid of other scientists such as the Lizard and Dr. Octopus, work began on preventing the clones from decaying. Later on, Anna Maria Marconi, having been captured by the Jackal and forced to work for him, found out the origin of the decay and a way to stop it.
The Carrion Virus outbreak began after the Jackal unwittingly insulted Anna Maria, prompting Doctor Octopus to set out to destroy his enterprise by broadcasting an amplified version of the frequency that caused the decay throughout the Jackal's base, causing all of New U's clones to break down. On the face of defeat, the Jackal decided to broadcast the frequency on a global level, with the intention of causing the collapse of society and bring humanity back as clones. Spider-Man thwarted the Jackal's plan by making the counter-frequency found by Marconi circulate the Earth through the use of the global network of Parker Industries' Webware, saving the lives of all the clones and infected humans who hadn't yet succumbed to the decay.
The Carrion Virus is a type of necrosis that affects the entire body of a given victim, similar to the condition suffered by the supervillain Carrion, a clone of the original Miles Warren. It results from a flaw in the cloning process used by New U Technologies.
The resulting effect turns its victims into zombie-like mindless brutes with yellow skin that eventually die once the cellular break-down reaches a point it prevents their body from properly functioning. While the disease originates in people with cloned bodies or body parts, it's contagious by contact and can affect anyone.
There is no known cure for the cellular degeneration once it reaches the stage of Carrion Virus, so it can only be prevented. To this end, the Jackal synthesized a pill that keeps the cellular degradation at bay, and it needs to be ingested daily.
- 12 Appearances of Carrion Virus (Disease)
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