Identity/Class: Human (possible mutate; see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Maria, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), Ylandris
Enemies: The Eliminators (High Evolutionary-associated), High Evolutionary (Herbert Edgar Wyndham), the Purifiers (High Evolutionary-associated), el Toro Negro (Sergio Torres);
Known Relatives: Cecilia Cardinale (Poison, mother; apparently deceased); Vassily (father)
Base of Operations: Last seen in Manhattan, New York;
formerly Miami, Florida;
born in a south Florida refugee camp
First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4 (1988)
Powers/Abilities: Carlos demonstrated no particular skills or abilities. As a youth, he loved to watch the TV show "G.I. Joe."
He loved his mother and made efforts to ensure her welfare.
(when last seen, perhaps 4'2" - 4'6"; as approximately 3 years have
passed Marvel Time since then, he is almost certainly significantly
Weight: Unrevealed (when last seen, perhaps 60 lbs.; as approximately 3 years have passed Marvel Time since then, he is almost certainly significantly heavier)
Eyes: Brown (see comments)
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb)) - University of Havana student Cecilia Cardinale was impregnated during a romance with Vassily, part of the Russian Embassy’s military attache'.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb) - BTS) - Possibly coerced by his superiors, Vassily issued a statement denouncing Cecilia, accusing her of seducing him and taking money from him and asking for political favors.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb)) - Cecilia was imprisoned. While her captors intended for her to die and to prevent her child from being born, Cecilia survived, and so she and other "undesirables" were shipped off from Mariel Harbor to the USA.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5: Poison) - After arriving in a Florida refugee camp, Cecilia gave birth to her son, Carlos, after which her illness worsened considerably.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5: Poison) - Cecilia was saved from death by merging with extradimensional energy creature that granted her superhuman powers.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5: Poison) - Taking her name from the English translation of Ylandris' name, Cecilia adopted the identity of the costume vigilante "Poison" for a number of years, using powers gained from Ylandris.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb) - BTS) - Cecilia and Carlos moved to Miami, where Cecilia became a hotel chambermaid.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2 (fb) - BTS) - Cecilia hoped to one day tell Carlos the story of his father.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#9: Poison) - After Carlos had reached school age, the High Evolutionary sent his Purifiers and Eliminators to Florida to, among other things, hunt people potentially infected by the Nexus of All Realities within the Citrusville, Florida swamp associated with the Man-Thing.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4 - BTS) - Cecilia accepted Ylandris' instruction to find a babysitter for Carlos to do needed work..
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4) - As Carlos watched "G.I. Joe" in their apartment, Cecilia teased Carlos that a robber could waltz in there and steal all that they owned, and if G.I. Joe was on, he would never know; he countered that he would know if they took the TV.
Although he noted his worry about her tough days and her being tired, she demonstrated her strength by squeezing him between her calves and lifting him into the air, noting, "Everyday is tough...but not as much as Mamacita."; when he asked how she could do that, she reminded him that he always asked that, and that she always answered that it was her special secret. When she told him to go clean up and noted that he was spending the evening with Maria, he asked with disappointment if she was going out again, and she reluctantly admitted that she was.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4 - BTS) - Ylandris warned Poison that the High Evolutionary's Purifiers were coming for her and for Carlos, noting that they knew what she was and feared what her son may be. Poison soon engaged and destroyed a trio of the armored warriors.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4) - When Carlos, drawn by the commotion, recognized his mother as Poison, floating in the air, Maria assured him that it was not and advised him not to point at her or to give the police stupid ideas. Meanwhile, Ylandris instructed Poison to ignore the voice of her son and to take her far away, to the place where their worlds converged.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4 - BTS) - After Spider-Man dispatched the High Evolutionary's Eliminators in the swamps outside Citrusville, home to the Nexus of Reality, Ylandris departed through the nexus, returning to her own realm. As she left, Ylandris noted that she had changed Cecilia's body such that not all of the powers she had granted would vanish with her departure, as well as the fact that Carlos may also have been changed by her presence.
(Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4/2) - After cruising the streets of Miami, Poison returned to her apartment to tuck Carlos in.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#60/2) - Returning to her apartment after observing Joe Trinity (the "Mop Man," bonded to an extradimensional entity in some mays similar to Mrinha), Poison sat down next to and put her hand on the back of the sleeping Carlos, considering that she had to work in the morning, and the enemy would have to wait.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#61/2 (fb) - BTS) - Maria told Carlos that his mother was seeing a man.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#61/2) - At Carlos' query, Cecilia admitted that she had gone out the night before after he fell asleep (and he noted that her eyes were barely open after 3 cups of coffee), but that she was not seeing a man, at least not in the way Maria meant. As his bus approached, she checked that he had everything he needed for school, but she gave him no further information on her nocturnal activities, telling him only that he was not yet ready to know.
When Cecilia returned to their apartment after a work day, Carlos was upset that she was going out again that night, as she could hardly stand up from being so tired. She reminded him that she was stronger than his friends' fathers, but he reminded her that most of those fathers stayed home at night. She told him to stay with Maria and she would be back by midnight; she asked him to try to believe that this is something she had to do.
After taking a nap and dreaming of Carlos, she worried that he deserved a more sane and normal mother. She considered that someday she might be that woman, but not that night.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#63/2) - Having had a bad dream, Carlos went into his mother's room, and she assured him that she was home to stay for the night.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#64/2) - Carlos was sitting in their apartment and reading a newspaper or comic book or something while having a drink and some "Oily Yums" snacks when he heard his mother cry out and rush out of the bathroom in a towel (she had sensed Joe Trinity being gunned down). He asked her what was wrong, but she told him not to ask her now or to say anything, but rather to depart at once for Maria's. When he told her that he could take care of her, she yelled at him to do as she said as she needed to be alone, but she then immediately apologized and regretted allowing her pain to touch Carlos. She asked him to forgive her, but he told her it was OK and that he was going.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#65/2) - After appreciating that Mrinha would heal Trinity by bonding with him, after which she would have to confront the creature, Poison then returned to her apartment, watching over Carlos as she considered that she was mad for looking forward to a potentially lethal conflict.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#66/2) - In preparation of the coming confrontation with Trinity and Mrinha, Cecilia dropped Carlos off with Maria, telling him to not be sad as they would have a good time. When Carlos reluctantly agreed, Maria told Carlos to go find the cookies so she could talk to his mother. Maria subsequently advised Cecilia that she went out too much, and that the boy needed his mama, not some old woman upstairs. She further told Cecilia that Carlos was beginning to feel unwanted, and Cecilia acknowledged this but told Maria that she had work to do, which was almost finished. Maria mistakenly assumed Cecilia was referring to a man she was dating.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#67/2) - After defeating Mrinha and liberating Joe Trinity, Cecilia returned to her apartment with a smile on her face to see Carlos, considering that the hunt was over for a time.
(Spider-Man I#64 (fb) - BTS) - Recruited by Paris Scott to become his agent in the Great Game -- a gambling operation run by a group of wealthy individuals who wager on the outcome of battles between their sponsored super-powered contestants -- Cecilia traveled to Manhattan with Carlos and rented an apartment.
(Spider-Man I#64 (fb) - BTS) <Soon after> - Having sought the position with Scott that Poison had obtained, el Toro Negro (Sergio Torres) apparently learned her identity and location and set a firebomb in her building (see comments). After the bomb went off, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) rushed to the site of the flames engulfing the entire block. Saving dozens of lives, Spider-Man pulled Carlos to safety.
(Spider-Man I#64) - With Carlos not breathing, Spider-Man performed CPR and then handed him off to the EMTs once he was breathing again. From the ambulance, Carlos cried out, insisting that his mother was alive but needed help. When a police officer noted that no one could still be alive in that inferno, Carlos argued that his mother was strong and could not be hurt. As neither Spider-Man nor the police believed anyone could still be alive in "that inferno," he sent Carlos away in an ambulance.
(Spider-Man I#64 (fb) - BTS) - El Toro Negro subsequently assaulted the ambulance and kidnapped Carlos.
(Spider-Man I#64 - BTS) - As a portion of the building collapsed, Cecilia emerged from the flames, levitating in the air and asking about Carlos before collapsing to the ground. Spider-Man assured her Carlos was fine as he had seen him taken to the hospital where she would see him soon, and he further promised to make sure her boy was safe, and she calmed down.
(Spider-Man I#64 - BTS) - After arriving at the hospital and finding that Carlos was not there, Cecilia became irate and struggled fiercely before being sedated.
(Spider-Man I#64) - Cecilia received a call from el Toro Negro, and she agreed to meet him, promising to do whatever he wanted, as long as he did not hurt Carlos.
At the import/export warehouse el Toro Negro had specified, Poison demanded her son and then tried to calm the frightened Carlos, after which el Toro Negro revealed he had covered Carlos with explosives and had a dead man's switch in his hand that would cause the explosives to detonate if he let go of it. Complying with el Toro Negro's demands, Poison called Scott and told him she had decided not to accept his offer. When Spider-Man subsequently arrived, el Toro Negro demanded Poison kill him.
Poison then tackled and began strangling Spider-Man, but Carlos told her how Spider-Man had saved him from the fire and begged her not to kill him. Unleashing a powerful energy burst that seemingly destroyed Spider-Man -- but actually teleported him closer to el Toro Negro -- Poison was left weakened. Promising not to move against him, she asked el Toro Negro to give her Carlos back. When he refused, planning to kill Carlos and her as well, Spider-Man webbed el Toro Negro's hand to the detonator and then punched him out and webbed him up.
Cecilia told Spider-Man that if she could follow his example, she and Carlos would do quite well.
(Wolverine III#26 (fb) - BTS) - When Hydra and the Hand joined forces to kill, resurrect and brainwash superhumans into their service, Poison became one of the few heroes (most were super-villains) subjected to the process.
(Wolverine III#27-28 - BTS) - Poison apparently perished.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber and Cynthia Martin.
Carlos and Cecilia's surname ("last name") wasn't revealed in her Web of Spider-Man Annual#4 appearances, and so it was listed as "unknown" in her Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5: Poison profile. It was revealed in Marvel Comics Presents I#60/2
At the time Web of Spider-Man Annual#4 was published, Vassily would have been part of the USSR, but the USSR collapsed/broke apart in 1991, and Marvel's sliding timescale means that the Fantastic Four's mutation took place only 12-15 years before the current year (and sliding forward every year), so the USSR broke up close to 20 years before FF#1, meaning that Vassily would have been associated with Russia, not the USSR.
In Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4, Ylandris told Cecilia that the High Evolutionary's Eliminators knew what she was and feared what her son may be.
Even more convincingly, as Ylandris separated from Cecilia, she noted that she had changed Cecilia, and perhaps Carlos, as well...
In Spider-Man I#64, he looked to be at least 12-16 inches shorter than
his 5'6" mother (her previous costume had high heels, but her feet were
not clearly seen in this issue). Assuming he was 4'4" and average
height for his age, that would put him around 8 years old, which seems
about right. Maybe he was shorter than average, and closer to 10 years
Carlos last appeared in 1996; with the sliding timescale, he would be over 3 years older Marvel Time as of 2022.
His eyes looked blue in Spider-Man I#64, presumably art error, but possibly he wore blue contact lenses.
I would consider Carlos Cardinale a great candidate for the Legion of Night. Maybe both he and Joe Trinity (aka the Mop Man), joined.
Profile by Snood.
Carlos Cardinale should be distinguished from:
Web of Spider-Man I Annual#4 (1988) - Steve Gerber (writer), Cynthia Martin (artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Annual#4/2 - Steve Gerber (writer), Alex Saviuk (artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5 (November, 1989): Poison entry - Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Kelly P. Corvese (penciler/assistant editor), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Gregory Wood (editorial assistant), Terry Kavanaugh (editor), Mark Gruenwald (executive editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#60/2-61/2 (October, 1990) - Steve Gerber (writer), Cindy Martin (artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#62/2-63/2 (November, 1990) - Steve Gerber (writer), Cindy Martin (artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#64/2-67/2 (December, 1990) - Steve Gerber (writer), Cindy Martin (artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Spider-Man I#64 (January, 1996) - Howard Mackie (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciler), Al Williamson, Dick Giordano & Al Milgrom (inkers), Eric Fein (editor)
First posted: 07/31/2022
Last updated: 07/31/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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