SCREAM

Real Name: Donna Diego

Identity/Class: Human bonded to alien symbiote

Occupation: None

Group Membership: None;
   formerly Life Foundation

AffiliationsZeena Hodges, Jerry, Rocky, Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly), George Strickland, Venom (Eddie Brock);
   formerly Trevor Cole, Leslie Gesneria, Ramon Hernandez, Carl Mach

EnemiesChimera, Trevor Cole, Dirt Nap, Ken Ellis, Leslie Gesneria, Ramon Hernandez, Carl Mach, Phage, Spider-Man (Peter Parker);
   formerly Venom (Eddie Brock)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Strike Agent Four

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
   formerly an apartment in New York City;
   formerly a warehouse outside Chicago;
   formerly a Life Foundation base in the Mojave Desert

First Appearance: Venom: Lethal Protector#4 (May, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Donna's symbiote provides her with superhuman strength, endurance, and agility. It is bulletproof, and can shapeshift to appear to be any type of clothing, disguise Donna's appearance, or blend in with the background, becoming essentially invisible. She can also use her prehensile hair to entangle and strangle her foes. Her symbiote can be weakened by sonics or fire.

History: (Venom: Separation Anxiety#4 (fb) ) - The schizophrenic Donna Diego had heard voices all her life.

(Venom: Lethal Protector#4 (fb) ) - One of the survivalist Life Foundation's top security officers, Donna was chosen to receive one of the five artificially-aged symbiote "seeds" extracted from Eddie Brock's Venom symbiote. Bonded with the symbiote, Donna was intended to guard the Life Foundation's wealthy clientele after the apocalypse they believed was imminent. To test her powers, she was sent out to attack various public gathering places in California.

(Venom: Lethal Protector#4) - While attacking a mall in Salinas, Donna was attacked by Spider-Man. Pleased to have a true test of her new powers, Donna initially thought she was getting the upper hand on Spider-Man, but he executed a feint and knocked her for a loop. Donna called for an evacuation vehicle, then threw a bystander towards a window with her prehensile hair, giving her time to escape on a Life Foundation hovercraft while Spider-Man saved him.

(Venom: Lethal Protector#5) - Donna and her fellow symbiote hosts Trevor Cole, Leslie Gesneria, Ramon Hernandez, and Carl Mach were sent to kill Spider-Man, who had hitched a ride aboard the fleeing hovercraft and infiltrated the Life Foundation's Mojave Desert base. Donna and Ramon entangled Spider-Man while Carl prepared to impale him, but Spider-Man slammed Donna and Ramon into Carl, instead. Eddie Brock, who had escaped from his cell, then approached his "children", offering to fight evil with them. Donna and her teammates replied by punching Brock in the face. Brock joined Spider-Man in fighting the symbiotes, first hitting them with a sonic blast, then (over Spider-Man's objections) blasting them with the device that had artificially-aged the symbiotes. Donna's symbiote, and those of her teammates, crumbled into dust.

(Venom: Separation Anxiety#2 (fb) ) - Donna and her fellow Life Foundation agents were evacuated from the self-destructing base. Soon afterwards, the Life Foundation regenerated their symbiotes, but Donna and her comrades were troubled by the Life Foundation's tactics, and fled.

(Spider-Man I#52) - Donna came to New York City, looking for Venom. She found him battling the Scarlet Spider, and exhorted him to escape with her. Venom refused, instead attacking her. They battled atop a cable car until the Scarlet Spider intervened, pushing Venom off the edge into the river. As he fell, he grabbed Donna's ankle, pulling her down with him. When Venom emerged, however, she had escaped.

(Web of Spider-Man I#119) - Donna followed Daily Bugle reporter Ken Ellis' cab, as she suspected he would lead her to the Scarlet Spider, who would then lead her to Venom. She followed him to a walk-in clinic, where the Spider had had the wounds incurred in his battle with Venom treated. She found him atop the clinic, but he refused to help her and fled. Enraged, she smashed the building's ledge, forcing the Spider to save passers-by below. Giving herself over to her symbiote's urges, she attacked Times Square, but Venom found her there. He beat her, then began to separate her from her symbiote until the Scarlet Spider arrived, drawing Venom's attention.

(Spider-Man I#53) - As Venom battled the Scarlet Spider, Donna fled.

(Venom: Separation Anxiety#1) - In the guise of a civilian, Donna approached the guards at the New Mexico research facility where Brock was being held after his defeat by the Scarlet Spider. She momentarily distracted them while her teammates took them down. Disguised as the fallen guards, they penetrated the base and defeated the base's remaining security personnel. Leslie, overwhelmed by bloodlust, tried to kill a guard, but Donna knocked her away. Brock escaped his holding chamber and tried to flee, but Ramon and Leslie restrained him. Ken Ellis, who had infiltrated the base in the guise of a doctor, offered to help them learn more about Brock, but Donna recognized him and took him as a hostage.

(Venom: Separation Anxiety#2) - Donna explained her plight to Brock, but he was uncooperative. Carl then became violent with him, but Donna talked him down. Brock goaded her into violence again; she clawed a section of the wall above him and left. Later, talking with her comrades, she was pessimistic about their chances of success, and left to get some sleep.

(Venom: Separation Anxiety#3) - Donna stabbed Leslie to death with a sonic knife. When her teammates discovered Leslie's body, they blamed it on Brock, who had escaped. They combed the streets of Chicago looking for him; while they searched, Donna attempted to calm Carl, who had gone into a homicidal rage. They tracked him and Ellis to a warehouse; Ramon found Brock first, but before he could reach him, Donna stabbed Ramon in the back, killing him. Brock found the body and pulled out the knife; the three remaining symbiotes found him with it in his hand, fingering him as the murderer.

(Venom: Separation Anxiety#4) - Donna attacked Brock, strangling him with her hair, until Carl stopped her. They tied Brock up, and while Carl pleaded with Brock to help them, Donna picked up the discarded sonic knife. As Brock agreed to help, Donna stabbed Trevor in the heart, then slashed Carl across the chest, killing them both. She lunged at Brock, but at that moment, Brock's symbiote, which had followed him from the Adirondack Mountains facility at which it had been imprisoned, rejoined him. As Venom, he overwhelmed her, but before he could finish her off, federal agents arrived on the scene. Brock escaped, but they took Donna and the symbiotes of her fallen comrades into custody.

(Venom: The Hunted#1 (fb) ) - Donna somehow escaped captivity, and began allying herself with the hosts of symbiotes which had survived a symbiote invasion of Earth, including George Strickland and Zeena Hodges, the latter of whom became Donna's roommate. The alien Phage soon decimated the symbiote community, however.

(Venom: The Hunted#1) - Donna set out at night to search for other symbiotes.

(Venom: The Hunted#2) - Donna and George returned to her apartment to find that Zeena had been murdered. While George thought they should run, Donna wanted to stay, prompting them both to tussle in their symbiote forms. As they fought, Donna realized that the china cabinet in the apartment wasn't hers - as it was actually the shapeshifting Phage. It killed George, eating his brain and his symbiote, and doused Donna with a symbiote-paralyzing neurotoxin and stored her within him to eat later.

(Venom: The Hunted#3) - As the Phage pursued Venom, the neurotoxin wore off, but the Phage soon gave her a second dose. As the battle moved atop a speeding subway train, Donna awoke, and defended two skateboarders, Rocky and Jerry, from the Phage. Venom eventually killed the creature with a white phosphorus grenade, injuring Donna in the process.

(Venom: Tooth and Claw#1) - Donna, having recovered from her injuries, sought out the Phage's tracking device in order to find more survivors of the symbiote invasion. She followed its scent to a subway utility closet, where she found its ship (which had already been found by Jerry and Rocky). Jerry accidentally activated the ship's symbiote tracker. The ship compressed around them and sped to Venom's location, following him, Wolverine, Landau Luckman & Lake agent Emmett, and Dirt Nap through a warp chamber.

(Venom: Tooth and Claw#2) - The ship disgorged Donna and the two skateboarders in the ether between realities, where they were attacked by Dirt Nap. Donna transformed and attacked the Dark Rider, but was consumed for her troubles (although Dirt Nap found her somewhat indigestible). This allowed Dirt Nap to shapeshift into Donna's form, taking on her powers and abilities.

(Venom: Tooth and Claw#3) - When Dirt Nap shape-shifted into Donna's form, he lost control of his own body (owing to Donna's indigestible symbiotic nature), giving Venom an opening to attack him, forcing him to regurgitate her. Once freed, she throttled him with her hair, prompting him to regurgitate his previous victims (small boy Algernon, NSA agent Daryll Smith, and a rat). While Dirt Nap and his ally Chimera were sucked into a vortex, Donna and the others escaped in the Phage ship, eventually returning to Earth by setting the symbiote detectors to home in on Carnage.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Having adopted the alias "Scream", Donna was designated an enemy combatant by SHIELD director Tony Stark.

Comments: Created by David Michelinie, Ron Lim, Sam DeLaRosa & Al Milgrom.

Originally unnamed, she was given the name "Donna" in Venom: Separation Anxiety, and the last name Diego in the appendix of the Civil War: Battle Damage Report.

Scream derives from Donna's action figure, which was sold in 1996's Venom: Planet of the Symbiotes line. It was "officialized" by the Battle Damage Report.

Donna also appears as a member of the Sinister Syndicate in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, a Spider-Man-themed theme park ride at the Universal Islands of Adventure, alongside Dr. Octopus, Hydro-Man, Electro, and the Hobgoblin. I'm not sure this counts as far as Earth-616 due to the problematic inclusion of the Hobgoblin - by 1999 (when the ride opened, and thus when we can surmise it to have "taken place"), Jason Macendale was dead, and Roderick Kingsley was retired, leaving no extant Hobgoblin. I suppose it could have been this Hobgoblin, though...

The Islands of Adventure ride has a wanted poster identifying the Hobgoblin as Edward Leeds. Since Leeds was outed as the Hobgoblin by that point, Macendale was dead, and Kingsley was abroad, if you really wanted to make it fit with 616 continuity you could say it was an impostor (possibly the still-unidentified Secret War Hobgoblin) posing as Leeds, playing off his notoriety in the role (while failing to factor in his full exoneration).
  Not that "Edward Leeds" was mentioned in the souvenir comic featuring this version of the Sinister Syndicate though, which is about as close to canon as they'd get I suppose. It was the first place to name "Scream" on panel though, so it's got that going for it. Plus some decent Chris Bachalo artwork.
--G Morrow

Profile by Minor Irritant.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Donna Diego, alias Scream, should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Web of Spider-Man I#119, p8 pan1 (main image)
Venom: Separation Anxiety#1, p13, pan4 ("unmasked", old haircut)
Venom: Lethal Protector#4, p18, pan2 (using prehensile hair)
Venom: Tooth and Claw#3, p21, pan6 ("unmasked", current haircut)


Appearances:
Venom: Lethal Protector#4-5 (May-June, 1993) - David Michelinie (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa & Al Milgrom (inkers), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Spider-Man I#52 (November, 1994) - Howard Mackie (writer), Tom Lyle (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Web of Spider-Man I#119 (December, 1994) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Steven Butler (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Spider-Man I#53 (December, 1994) - Howard Mackie (writer), Tom Lyle (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Venom: Separation Anxiety#1-4 (December, 1994-March, 1995) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Randall (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Venom: The Hunted#1/1-3/1 (May-July 1996) - Larry Hama (writer), Duncan Rouleau (pencils), John Strangeland (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Venom: Tooth and Claw#1-3 (December, 1996-February, 1997) - Larry Hama (writer), Joe St. Pierre (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 03/01/10

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