River Verys has a difficult childhood, raised in foster homes after his mother committed suicide and his father suffered mental problems. Arrested for armed robbery as an adult, he contracted necrotizing fascitis (NF), the flesh-eating bacteria. Failed surgical treatments led NF specialist Dr. Monica Staphos of GARID (Galannan Alternative Research for Immunization Development) to develop a synthetic skin derivative (SSD) using an Isotope Genome Accelerator (IGA). Staphos had little success with Verys until co-worker Peter Parker - who had coincidentally been empowered as Spider-Man by a similar IGA from GARID's parent company, General Techtronics - recognized the related radiation and, curious, mixed his own blood with the SSD. Before Parker could analyze and destroy the sample, Staphos used it on Verys, mutating him into the monstrous Tendril, who slew her as well as two security guards and escaped. Tendril went on a killing spree, escaping Spider-Man, who sought aid from Dryrot (Paul Contoni), who had been mutated into dense but flaky form by Staphos' earlier SSD. Aided by Dryrot and a makeshift genome dampener, Spider-Man subdued Verys and reset the IGA to cure Verys and Contoni. Verys fought the reversion and disintegrated; Contoni was apparently cured, and Parker was temporarily de-powered.
Powers and Abilities
Tendril's body was composed of incredibly strong web-like material, rendering him immune to conventional physical injury. He had superhuman strength, speed, agility and endurance, and could adhere to surfaces and alter his shape, grow extra limbs, and project webbing.