At the age of 19, Rex Strickland served as a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. When pinned down by a Viet Cong sniper in 1966, Rex chose to sacrifice himself for his squad and was riddled with bullets and burnt by napalm as a result. Awakening in a field hospital, he was approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. and offered the chance to become a super-soldier by bonding to a piece of an ancient alien symbiote they had unearthed.
Rex - codenamed Tyrannosaurus - and his comrades were dispatched to destroy a Việt Cộng military depot, but quickly lost control of their symbiotes and began devouring anyone they encountered. For four months, Rex and the other Sym-Soldiers would black out only to awaken surrounded by half-eaten corpses, their symbiotes screaming at them in an eldritch language. When a Nick Fury Life-Model Decoy and Logan were dispatched to subdue them, the Tyrannosaurus symbiote separated from Rex and disguised itself as him in an attempt to catch Fury and Logan off-guard. Rex alerted them to the deception and helped fend off his former comrades, even separating Logan from his symbiote when it took him over. When the Nick Fury Life-Model Decoy was about to self-destruct in an attempt to leave no witnesses, the Tyrannosaurus symbiote rebonded to Rex - conveying remorse for its actions - and threw Logan to safety. The symbiote tried to shield Rex from the ensuing explosion, but it was seared off him and he was immolated.
Following Rex's death, his consciousness was stored in the Symbiote Hive-Mind as a codex, letting the Tyrannosaurus symbiote assume his identity, personality, and appearance. His symbiote showed great appreciation for what its species called the "Light". Touched by his nobility, several years later, it would try to free his ex-colleagues from the Grendel's offshots with the help of Venom, though their efforts would be in vain as the Grendel would reconstitute itself. Venom and Tyrannosaurus fused with each other and immolated the Grendel in a steel-smelting blast furnace, killing both the Grendel and Tyrannosaurus, though a piece survived.
With Knull's awakening imminent, Rex - reunited with the Tyrannosaurus symbiote in the symbiote afterlife - began assembling a team of benevolent symbiotes and their hosts' codices - among them Agent Anti-Venom - to oppose him. After Eddie Brock's death, his consciousness was also trapped in the Hive-Mind, where Rex saved him from being taken by Knull's minions and recruited him into this team, volunteering to help him reclaim the Venom symbiote from Knull.
|* Enhanced strength and durability while bonded with the Tyrannosaurus symbiote.|
- Rex Strickland is based on Danny Glover's character Lieutenant Michael Harrigan from Predator 2, and his last name—originally Harrigan—is a reference to Strickland Propane from King of the Hill.
- 6 Appearances of Rex Strickland (Earth-616)
- 2 Minor Appearances of Rex Strickland (Earth-616)
- Media Rex Strickland (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 8 Images featuring Rex Strickland (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Rex Strickland (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Rex Strickland (Earth-616)
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