Real Name: Paul Contoni

Identity/Class: human mutate

Occupation: former hermit

Affiliations: G.A.R.I.D. (Galannan Alternative Research for Immunisation Development; Calvin Falconner, Bill Galannan, Dr. Eric Schwinner, Dr. Monica Staphos (deceased)), Spider-Man

Enemies: Tendril

Known Relatives: Michael (son) and Sheryl (wife) Contoni

Aliases: none

Base of Operations: Deep in the woods north of Portland, Oregon

First Appearance: (BTS, partially hidden picture shown) Spider-Man: The Final Adventure#2 (December 1995);
    (Full appearance) Spider-Man: The Final Adventure#3 (January 1996)

Powers/Abilities: Dryrot's body was composed of a flake-like substance that provided resistance to physical attacks. He could rearrange the shape of his body, and increase his size up to about 9 feet comparing him to a 5'10'' Spider-Man. He had enhanced human strength that likely varied with his size.


History: (Spider-Man: The Final Adventure#2 (fb)) - Dryrot was the original recipient of Dr. Monica Staphos's Synthetic Skin Derivative (SSD), which had been created using an Isotope Genome Accelerator similar to the one that gave Peter Parker his spider-powers.

(Spider-Man: The Final Adventure#2,3,4) - Two years later, when an updated formula of the SSD (combined with Peter Parker's irradiated blood) accidentally created Tendril, G.A.R.I.D. decided to find Dryrot for assistance and to find out how the SSD had changed between Dryrot's case and Tendril's. Calvin Falconer and Peter Parker approached him first to no avail. Peter returned later as Spider-Man and found Contoni battling a bear in the woods. Dryrot was convinced to return to G.A.R.I.D. to be examined. G.A.R.I.D. found a way to revert Dryrot to normal, but they needed to recalibrate the Isotope Genome Accelerator and recapture Tendril for the process to work. Dryrot helped Spider-Man to bring Tendril in, using a genome dampener attuned to Verys's genetic configuration. It had the side effect of making Dryrot half human again. Dryrot and Tendril where taken back to G.A.R.I.D. where Dr. Schwinner and Peter Parker attempted to rid them of their powers and the NF by using the Isotope Genome Accelerator. Tendril struggled and damaged some of the equipment, but Peter Parker leapt in to repair the damage. While Tendril lost his life trying to fight the process, Dryrot reverted to Paul Contoni. see comments

Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza, Darick Robertson and Jeff Albrecht

Every time I typed the words Spider-Man: The Final Adventure while doing this profile I had to groan! It's a bit like old rock bands saying it's their last tour, and of course Peter's since made a comeback. Peter's proximity to the Isotope Genome Accelerator in this story caused him to lose his powers temporarily. When his powers returned, at no point did he get worried that maybe Dryrot and Tendril were maybe getting theirs back too (I know Tendril appeared to die, but if his powers were restored to his dead cells then perhaps he could have reformed. Physically speaking, of course!).

When Paul was rid of his Dryrot form, his body still seemed to have a muscular build, whereas before he had the powers he appeared to have a slender build. I would assume that he retains some superhuman potential and while he lost his enhanced strength, he is quite probably stronger than your average guy. This would seem to me to be a logical side effect of the physiological changes that took place when he became Dryrot. I am only going on the pictures, not by what was stated in the comics, but this sort of thing has happened before with human mutates (I'm thinking of Carol Danvers after she lost her Ms Marvel powers). The family photo (above left) shows Paul with his wife and child before his transformation, and the picture to the right shows him after his reversion.

I asked Snood for some info on the NF bacteria and he also supplied me with an insight as to how Dr Monica Staphos got her name:

Necrotizing Fascitis, NF, "the flesh eating bacteria," is a Beta-hemolytic Streptococcus infection.
A Staphlycoccus (Staph) infection is usually much less serious, but can be similar at onset.
 I would guess her name came from Staphlycoccus, one of the most common bacteria on human skin --- Snood

Clever. It's nice when the sci-fi stuff is at least based on something true to life!

Profile by Changeling


Paul Contoni, AKA Dryrot, has no known connection to:


Last updated: 05/09/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters