Malcolm McBride was an Empire State University science graduate student. He applied for a research grant that went to Peter Parker instead. Resentful and feeling his rival was not a serious student, Malcolm followed Peter into the bowels of ESU's science building, to the wrecked secret lab formerly used by the Professor Miles Warren (the insane criminal known as the Jackal) and the original Carrion (a clone of Professor Warren). Peter, searching for the truth about the clones created by Warren, came away with a research journal apparently written by the Professor himself. Malcolm slipped in after and left with a vial containing the Carrion Virus. Unbeknownst to Peter and Malcolm, both items had been planted there by the High Evolutionary; one in order to make it seem like Warren had never cloned a person at all, and the other to produce a new Carrion with false memories to corroborate that lie.
Back at his dorm, Malcolm studied the virus and determined that it "was created by recombinant DNA technology". It also grew rapidly when exposed to air, slipped off the microscope slide, and attacked Malcolm's face. This exposure turned Malcolm into the second Carrion, not only giving him the knowledge of Spider-Man's identity but also all the powers of the first Carrion. Initially, Malcolm was so absorbed by the virus that he thought himself to be a clone of Professor Miles Warren, created to avenge Gwen Stacy's death. He also believed that the original Miles Warren was still alive, so when Spider-Man led him to Warren's grave (it actually pertained to a clone of Warren), Carrion was so startled that the web-slinger defeated him easily and had him shipped off to the prison known as the Vault.
On his way back to the Vault from a court appearance, Carrion was freed by the Hobgoblin, at the time under demonic possession. The two villains established a base in the New York sewer system, where the Hobgoblin teased Carrion about his life prior to being infected with the Carrion Virus, all in an effort to know more about his new ally. Carrion seemed to have forgotten Spider-Man's secret identity, but at least remembered enough of being Malcolm to go to Astoria, Queens, and seek out his mother Beatrice. Spider-Man intervened, but he was, in turn, ambushed by Hobgoblin. The two villains dragged the web-slinger down into the sewers.
While Hobgoblin went to Hammerhead to try to get money for killing Spider-Man, the web-spinner taunted Carrion into accidentally releasing him. Later, when Hobgoblin returned, the battle then moved above ground. Hobby tried to kill Martha McBride and Mary Jane, who had tracked Martha down, only to be stopped by Carrion protecting his mother. Carrion later jumped in front of a Pumpkin Bomb the Hobgoblin threw at Spider-Man, causing both villains to go up in flames and fall back into the sewer system.
Neither one died, of course. Carrion rose from the sewers in Manhattan during the Maximum Carnage incident, drawn by the death and destruction wrought by Carnage, Shriek, Doppelganger, and Demogoblin. He hung out with the group, buying into Shriek's claim that she was his surrogate mother and fighting Deathlok, Cloak, Morbius, and other heroes. The Maximum Carnage gang was finally stopped by the Alpha Magni-Illuminizor, a machine capable of firing waves of "positive" energy. The flow of "inner light" from this device was so great that it seemed to eradicate the Carrion Virus from Malcolm McBride, restoring him to normal.
But the virus wasn't dead, just dormant. Though apparently normal, Malcolm was placed in Ravencroft Institute, where he was treated by Dr. Ashley Kafka. She showed Malcolm to Shriek, who (still thinking of Carrion as her son) broke free, abducted Malcolm, and used her powers to reinvigorate the virus, turning Malcolm back into Carrion. Eventually, in an emotional tug-of-war between Shriek and Martha McBride, Malcolm was driven to despair and tried to turn the deadly Carrion touch on himself. In a rare moment of compassion, Shriek used her powers to send the Carrion Virus inside Malcolm into remission again and ended up being infected by it.
Though he didn't become Carrion again after the incident with Shriek, Malcolm remained an inmate at Ravencroft. In the trial of Spider-Man led by the mysterious Traveller, Malcolm was a witness for the prosecution. He revealed that he became Carrion because of his jealousy of Peter Parker. Spider-Man was then unmasked to show his identity as Peter Parker. Later, Malcolm was seemingly transformed into Carrion again by Traveller, only to be changed back to normal at the end of the proceedings. His memory of Peter Parker as Spider-Man was wiped by Traveller along with the memories of all the other participants.
After his mother died as consequence of a stroke, a grief-stricken Malcolm let Carrion out to make the pain go away. Carrion escaped from Ravencroft and came into conflict with the police at the Unity Cemetery in Queens, where he was eventually confronted by Spider-Man (Ben Reilly). With Spider-Man's help, Malcolm was able to deal with his pain and returned to Ravencroft soon afterwards. Dr. Kafka adjusted his medications to prevent emotional stimulus from causing the Carrion Virus to resurface again.
- It's unknown what became of Malcolm McBride following his mother's demise. His apparent absence in Ravencroft at the time Dark Carnage took it over indicates he may have either died or been rehabilitated.
- 19 appearance(s) of Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 6 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 6 minor appearance(s) of Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 6 mention(s) of Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 19 image(s) of Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Malcolm McBride (Earth-616)