The sinister Life Foundation a organization that was preparing for the M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) fallout of the Cold War or in the event of world chaos, sought to provide a comfortable life for their wealthy clients after the impending holocaust. Needing a superhuman police force to protect this Utopian future, the Foundation's leader Carlton Drake, upon seeing these future guardians in the unborn offspring of Venom, had him captured.
Once the Foundation captured Venom, who was in San Francisco at the time, they brought him to their lab in Mojave Desert California. There through a procedure they forcibly extracted five “seeds” from Venom and hatched them. Since he was too young to control a host he was merged with Carl Mach a security force officer of the Life Foundation's security that was comprised of cops, soldiers, and mercenaries. Together he and Mach, along with the other four, would become the Foundation's Guardian Symbiotes.
When Spider-Man followed his “sister” Strike Agent Four, Donna Diego, he and the other Guardian Symbiotes all attacked the wall crawler. But before they could kill him, Eddie, who had gotten free once they removed the Venom symbiote, appeared. But in order to beat them, Eddie became Venom once again, and with Spider-Man's help, defeated him and the others using a metabolic accelerator, which aged the symbiotes to the point of turning them into dust and seemingly killing them off when Venom decided to turn up the power. His host as well as the other symbiotes also appeared to die in the ensuing explosion.
As it turned out, not only had the symbiote survived along with his siblings due to efforts by the Life Foundation, but so had their hosts as well. But he and the others began to gain influence over their hosts. As a result, the hosts, wanting to keep control over the symbiotes, planned to seek out Eddie Brock for help.
When Carl Mach and the others suddenly left the Life Foundation facility to get Eddie Brock's help, Donna went alone to talk to Brock/Venom but failed in her two attempts. He and the rest of the former Guardian Symbiotes joined her shortly after in her third attempt to get Brock's help. Together they broke Brock, who had lost the Venom symbiote, out of a New Mexico facility and brought him to an abandoned factory in a small city near Chicago to make him help them.
Unfortunately yet again Brock refused, due to his belief that all of the Venom symbiote's “children” become psychopathic killers like Carnage. Later Brock managed to escape and shortly after Phage's sister, the largely dark purple and dark pink mix symbiote, along with her host Leslie Gesneria was found dead. At the time, however, they believed it was Eddie Brock who killed them and wanted to make him pay.
Due to his host's affection for Leslie, Phage broke off from the others to kill Brock himself but instead he and his host were murdered by an unknown assailant. The others, still thinking it was Brock, along with his sister/Donna tried to attack him if it wasn't for their brother, the green with a light aqua green mixed symbiote’s host Roman Hernandez stopping her in the hopes that Brock will help them. Unbeknownst to his brothers, it was actually Donna, who had snapped back to her schizophrenia and from his sister's influence back, when she first reached out to Brock. But by the time they realized this she had picked up the sonic blade that she had stolen from the facility that held Brock and killed their brother, the dark blue symbiote along with his host Trevor Cole.
His sister and her host would go on to kill their brother and his host Hernandez before turning the sonic blade on Brock. But when the Venom symbiote, who had been looking for Brock, rejoined with him, they easily beat her. After Venom escaped the team that had been tracking the Venom symbiote and they contained the other symbiotes, it was revealed that they had survived though this time their hosts did not.
The symbiote and his four siblings were taken to the Vault, a prison for superhuman criminals. Once there they were sent to Facility #12 for scientists to both study and painfully experiment on them.
One day during the Symbiote invasion, Venom and Brock sent a worldwide psychic shriek that seemingly wiped out the invading symbiotes. Due to this along with the pain they were already experiencing, “he” and the others broke free and merged into one creature… a "Hybrid".
After some time as the vigilante Hybrid they were once again believed to be dead when Eddie Brock took it upon himself to kill all symbiotes. But again they survived and when their host did not, they were presumably found by the U.S. Army and got defused into four separate creatures again, while being named Phage, Agony, Riot and Lasher.
“He” and the others, though apparently due to being defusioned had become catatonic and unable to totally bond with a host, were given to each member of the Mercury Team, which was a Contingency B team who had been training with Phage and the others for the sole purpose of eliminating Carnage. Phage was partly bonded to the left arm of Lieutenant Rico Axelson.
When Carnage began taking over the people of Doverton Colorado and the Aveners (Captain America, The Thing, Hawkeye, Wolverine) say for Spider-Man, the team was sent in while being aided by Scorn. The team took on a large number of Carnage possessed towns people but ran into big trouble when Carnage and the Symbiote Avengers joined the fight. But even with Spider-Man, the sheriff Eric Morrell, a few townies and the arrival of Agent Venom the fight didn’t look good.
But the battle seemed to turn when Scorn, driving a souped up tractor, caught Carnage and Agent Venom, who were fighting at the time, and drove them to Ralsby Meat Packing Plant where she had made a device that separated the symbiotes from Thompson and Kasady, thus freeing the Carnage possessed townies. But things only continued to get bad as without Kasady’s control the Carnage symbiotes ran wild and took over the local zoo life. As Phage and the others fought a losing battle, the team leader Marcus Simms ordered the go ahead to torch the area and thanks to Captain America, kept the blast localized.
With the Carnage symbiotes destroyed, Thompson, having rejoined with the Venom symbiote, captured and handed Kasady over to the Avengers. Phage and “his” siblings were put back in their containers after Simms and the team left for the others to clean up.
Deadpool vs. Carnage
When Carnage began a seemingly random killing spree throughout Oklahoma Deadpool tried to stop him and his girlfriend Shriek. But as the body count raised it was revealed that Kasady was after Mercury Team and Phage as well as his siblings. When Kasady found the team in an underground base in an abandoned town, he killed them all but the German Shepherd war dog, who managed to get to Lasher and save Phage and the other symbiotes. When Deadpool showed up to find the dead soldiers and empty symbiote containers, he was cut to pieces by Kasady and left like that until Lasher, along with Phage and the others that were attached to the dog, saved him when he and the other two bonded to Deadpool, pulling him together.
Instead of becoming one like they did before, Phage and the other two symbiotes, having partly bonded with Deadpool, became a Frankenstein like monster but also kept Deadpool in full control, in spite of the extra voice in his head. Together they went after Carnage who was at Carrington Cottage Psychiatric Hospital torturing staff and patients with Shriek. They sent a leashed Lasher to attack Carnage, while they tricked Shriek to get Carnage alone, and then managed to trick Carnage into taking out Shriek which drove Carnage to give himself up.
In the end Deadpool gave Phage and his two siblings up to their brother Lasher and asked him to bring them back to the government in hopes they’ll be able to take care of them.
Following Knull's awakening, Lasher and the other Life Foundation symbiotes succumbed to his control. When the German Shepherd was found by a young girl named Sadie - whose family was falling apart - Phage and its brethren separated from each other and took over Sadie's family to grant her wish that they be able to stay together, with Phage bonding to Sadie's little brother Billy. Following this, the family set out for Manhattan in order to assist in Knull's reawakening.
They arrived at a warehouse where Dylan Brock - son of Eddie Brock - and Normie Osborn - former host of the Carnage Symbiote - hid alongside the Maker. The Maker distracted the symbiotes while Dylan and Normie hid, however, Riot ordered Phage to go after them. About to kill Dylan, Sleeper appeared just in time to save them, incapacitating Phage but the Maker managed to put it along with the other symbiotes under containment.
However, Normie and Dylan decided to flee, afraid of what the Maker could do to them. They tried to use firearms on him but it ended up freeing the symbiotes, except for Sleeper. They fused itself into the Maker and tried to get Dylan's codex. Fortunately, The Thing, Wolverine, Captain America and Spider-Man arrived and kept Hybrid occupied. Dylan freed Sleeper and used his powers to control the symbiote, enter the Maker's body and alter his chemicals, so Hawkeye shot a flaming arrow at him, seemingly killing the symbiotes.
When Knull invaded Earth, the four Life Foundation symbiotes were sent to hunt down Dylan Brock and came into conflict with their estranged sister Scream, who had bonded to Andi Benton. They merged into Hybrid and - remote-piloted by Knull - attempted to assimilate the Scream symbiote, but were blown apart by hellfire conjured by Andi's Hell-Mark. With Andi assuming them deceased, the four symbiotes regrouped and escaped into the sewers.
After being freed from Knull's control, the Phage symbiote decided it wanted a simple life free of complications and bonded to Buck Cashman's dog Mitch. For a time, Phage was content being a hunter, but when Carnage reached out to it through the Symbiote Hive-Mind Phage succumbed to his corruption and viciously attacked Buck, partially devouring him before separated from Mitch and bonding to him. While Phage initially lamented doing so, Carnage convinced it that both of them were simply living up to their names, and that nothing was simpler than following Carnage's orders.
Controlling Buck, Phage infiltrated the Friends of Humanity and became Senator Peter Krane's head of security. When Andi Benton foiled Carnage's attempt to corrupt the Scream symbiote - nearly killing it in the process, Phage was sent to assassinate her after she'd been arrested by Alchemax's Guardsmen. Declaring its intent to slowly devour Andi alive as revenge for what she'd done to Scream, Phage overpowered Andi despite her Hell-Mark letting her conjure hellfire, throwing her through a wall and impaling her through the chest on an arm-blade as Agent Anti-Venom arrived to save her.
After severely wounding Andi, Alchemax's guards interrupt him and Agent Anti-Venom only to be gleefully slaughtered by Phage, while having fun killing the guards, Flash took Andi to Doctor Steven's lab to find a way to save her life. While brutalizing the guards he was interrupted by Silence - a symbiote created from the remains of Scream combined with Anti-Venom serum - who had bonded with Andi, Phage was stopped by Silence when she used her cleansing touch on him - severing the symbiote's connection to the Hive-Mind - and threw him out the window, where he fell to the pavement. As Mitch approached his body, Phage proceeded to abandon Cashman's mangled body to re-bond with Mitch, then returned to Washington DC to take part in Carnage's coup.
Powers and Abilities
Symbiote Biology: The Phage symbiote covers its host with orange or yellow biomass and increases its natural abilities to a superhuman level. Possibly due to Earth's environment it has the ability to manipulate its biomass in a variety of ways. When attached to a host it manifests several blades around its body.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Durability
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Senses: Phage's government mods augmented the hosts sensory awareness, making shooting a target from miles off with a high powered firearm easier than using a butter churn.
- Accelerated Healing Factor
- ESP (Spider-Sense)
- Immunity to Spider-Man's Spider Sense
- Webbing Generation
- Superhuman Sight
- Camouflage Capabilities
- Constituent-Matter Generation
- Constituent-Matter Manipulation (Bladed Weapons): His primary method of attack was to form his symbiotic costume into long serrated blades and slash or stab his opponents. This ability was also possessed by his brother, Carnage.
Sonic and Heat: Like all symbiotes, Phage can be severely injured by sonic and thermal attacks which makes him vulnerable even if he is fused with his Hybrid siblings. Phage appears to have gained a resistance to Andi's Hellfire.
Anti-Venom: Like his father Venom and his brother Carnage, he is sensitive to the cleansing touch of Anti-Venom, who in this case was Silence who used a derivative of it.
- Both Phage and Rampage were fan names for this symbiote and its host Carl Mach. Phage was actually the nickname for the Xenophage, a giant predatory alien-monster that preyed upon symbiotes, but the name Phage stuck in the symbiote mythos.
- 27 appearance(s) of Phage (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 13 minor appearance(s) of Phage (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 4 mentions of Phage (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 63 image(s) of Phage (Symbiote) (Earth-616)