Today, Sony Pictures released the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the upcoming sequel to 2018's Spider-Man spinoff movie Venom. The trailer shows Tom Hardy's return as Eddie Brock and Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady transforming into Carnage. Director Andy Serkis also revealed the trailer introduces Detective Peter Mulligan, played by Stephen Graham, who's reading a Daily Bugle newspaper that may connect Venom to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, with a possible hidden Avengers reference on top of that. In the midst of all those easter eggs and references, it could be easy to miss that Mulligan is a symbiote host from the Marvel Comics universe. He goes on to become the host of the Toxin symbiote.
Created by Peter Milligan and Clayton Crain, Toxin is Carnage's symbiote offspring. Toxin is apparently the thousandth symbiote to spawn from Venom and Carnage's genetic line and is potentially powerful and unstable. Knowing this, Carnage hoped to kill the new symbiote as soon as it spawned. Venom hoped to protect it and raise the symbiote to become a hero that would fight alongside him.
Carnage hid the symbiote by bonding it to Mulligan, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, while it was still too young to manifest fully. He planned to kill both Mulligan and Toxin then, but Venom protected the detective and the newborn symbiote.
Toxin eventually matured enough to form a bodysuit like Venom and Carnage's and fought back when Carnage targeted Mulligan's family. Upon realizing that Toxin was a match for its progenitors, Venom allied with Carnage to destroy the new symbiote. Spider-Man came to Toxin's aid. After the rescue, Mulligan spoke with Spider-Man and then decided to leave the police force and his family behind to keep them safe. Toxin went on to help Spider-Man battling villains who escaped from the Raft prison.
Mulligan eventually comes to terms with his symbiote and rejoins his family. He's later killed by the demonic villain Blackheart. Possession of the symbiote changes hands several times until Eddie Brock -- during the era when the Venom symbiote belonged to Flash Thompson - was forcibly bonded to it, becoming the new Toxin. Could this be something we see in the Venom movies?
What do you think of Patrick Mulligan showing up in Venom: Let There Be Carnage? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments section. Venom: Let There Be Carnage opens in theaters on September 24th.