Life Foundation

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Life Foundation
LifeFoundationBoard.jpg
The Life Foundation's Board of Directors in The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #298 (March 1988)
Art by Todd McFarlane
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #298 (March 1988)
Created by David Michelinie
Todd McFarlane
In-story information
Type of organization Survivalist
Base(s) New Jersey
New York City
Mojave Desert
Washington, D.C.
Leader(s) Carlton Drake
Agent(s) Scream
Roster
See: Membership

The Life Foundation is a fictional survivalist group appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Primarily an enemy of Spider-Man, the organization exists within Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe. Created by writer David Michelinie and artist Todd McFarlane, it first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #298 (March 1988).

Publication history[edit]

The Life Foundation was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #298-299 and went on to appear in Issues #320-321, #324, and #351-352, as well as the "Hero Killers" storyline that ran through The Amazing Spider-Man Annual Vol. 1, #26, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual Vol. 1, #12, Web of Spider-Man Annual Vol. 1, #8 and The New Warriors Annual Vol. 1, #2. The organization was subsequently featured in Venom: Lethal Protector #3-5 and Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #1-6, and made its last appearance to date in a flashback sequence in Venom: Separation Anxiety #2.

Fictional organization history[edit]

A sophisticated and unscrupulous corporate survivalist group, the Life Foundation was founded in response to Cold War paranoia, and is dedicated to constructing doomsday-proof communities for both its own members and society's elite, who can reserve a spot in these facilities for a minimum payment of $5,000,000.[1]

The Life Foundation hires Chance to steal European armaments being shipped to Manhattan, offering the mercenary $25,000. When Chance reports back to the Life Foundation after the heist, he is knocked out and taken prisoner by the group's leader, Carlton Drake.[2] Drake has Chance brought to a facility in New Jersey, and orders that he be tortured into revealing how his powered exoskeleton works so that it can be mass-produced for the Life Foundation's benefit. Spider-Man, who had been tracking Chance, discovers and releases him, and together the two destroy the Life Foundation's base.[1]

Months later, the Life Foundation gains a new client named Chakane, a man involved in a plot to assassinate the king of Symkaria. If the plan succeeds, Chakane and his associates will evade the authorities by taking up residence in a Life Foundation shelter, one guarded by mindless superhuman "Protectors". Silver Sable gets wind of the caper, and acquires more information pertaining to it by interrogating Chakane and Drake after she has Spider-Man and Paladin help her break into the new underground city that the Life Foundation has built in New Jersey.[3][4] Spider-Man and Solo afterward capture Toler Weil, an ally of Chakane who the Life Foundation had hidden in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[5]

After the Tri-Sentinel is destroyed at the conclusion of the Acts of Vengeance event, it is rebuilt and reprogrammed by the Life Foundation, which loses control of the machine when the directives originally given to it by Loki reassert themselves over the new ones programmed into it by the Foundation.[6] Spider-Man and Nova are able to obliterate the Tri-Sentinel using a piece of Antarctic vibranium, but in the process they lose a disc containing incriminating information about the Life Foundation's illegal activities.[7]

The Life Foundation subsequently appears as one of the corporations involved in the Sphinx's attempt at finding a way to lucratively duplicate the powers of captured superhumans, a plot foiled by Spider-Man and the New Warriors.[8][9][10][11]

The Five Symbiotes (Scream, Riot, Agony, Lasher, and Phage) in Venom: Lethal Protector #4 (May 1993). Art by Ron Lim.

Roland Treece, a member of the Life Foundation's Board of Directors, later has the company assist him in dealing with Venom, who had begun to interfere with Treece's search for a lost stockpile of gold supposedly buried somewhere beneath a park in San Francisco.[12] The Life Foundation captures Venom and extracts from him five additional symbiotes that it gives to a quintet of its soldiers, creating Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony. The new symbiotes commit random acts of violence throughout San Francisco to test their capabilities, drawing the attention of Spider-Man, who follows Scream back to a Life Foundation installation situated in the Mojave Desert.[13] Spider-Man and an escaped Venom team-up to combat the symbiotes, seemingly killing the creatures and depowering their hosts, a development that prompts the Life Foundation into abandoning and destroying the Mojave facility.[14][15]

The five symbiotes and their hosts somehow survive the explosion and are recovered by the Life Foundation, who they rebel against before fleeing to New York City.[16]

The Life Foundation sets up anew in Washington, D.C., hires the Jury and a mercenary named Spoiler to replace the symbiote warriors, and begins stealing artifacts and other valuables to stockpile in their doomsday bunkers, still believing in the imminence of World War III. When Carlton Drake is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he has the Life Foundation pose as a government branch and offer funding to Toshiro Mikashi, an entomology professor working on an arachnid-based cure for cancer and other ailments called "the Arachnis Project". Mikashi eventually realizes who his backers really are and that they intend to exploit his work by using it to create a new race of Homo Arachnis, so the Life Foundation keeps him compliant by threatening his daughter, Miho.

When one of Mikashi's students stumbles upon the professor's research, the Life Foundation has him murdered, an act that draws a suspicious Spider-Man (who, as Peter Parker, was one of Mikashi's students) to Washington. After Mikashi reveals his involvement with the Life Foundation to Parker, the organization abducts the professor and his daughter, spurring Spider-Man into allowing himself to be captured by the Jury in order to discern the Mikashis whereabouts.

Mikashi reluctantly completes the Arachnis Project formula by using a sample of the captive Spider-Man's DNA, and gives it Roland Treece, who injects Drake with it, intending for it to kill him (as it was meant to be ingested) and thus allow him to usurp control of the Life Foundation. The concoction instead successfully transforms Drake into Homo Arachnis, which goes on rampage, devouring Life Foundation personnel while combating Spider-Man, the mutinying Jury, and the recently arrived Venom. After Venom traps Drake and evacuates with everyone else in the installation, Mikashi sacrifices himself by sabotaging the base's nuclear reactor in order to cause an explosion that will eliminate all traces of the Arachnis Project.

The blast is contained by the facility's shielding, preventing it from affecting Washington. The unfazed Homo Arachnis afterward digs itself out of the base's remains and sheds its exoskeleton to reveal a youthful and healthy Drake, who swears revenge on Spider-Man, the Jury, and Venom.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

The Life Foundation at some point declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had one of their abandoned shelters raided by Mendel Stromm, who unearthed and reactivated the Tri-Sentinel.[23]

Membership[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

Staff[edit]

  • Agent #55 – Field Agent[18]
  • Agent #68 – Field Agent[18]
  • Agent #77 – Field Agent[21]
  • Collins - Scientist[7]
  • Emerson - Scientist[13]
  • Five Symbiotes - Guards[13]
    • Agony (Leslie Gesneria)
    • Lasher (Ramon Hernandez)
    • Phage (Carl Mach)
    • Riot (Trevor Cole)
    • Scream (Donna Diego)
  • Gomez - Guard[14]
  • Julio – A submarine operator who worked alongside Chance.[2]
  • Pauly - Guard[14]
  • "Protectors" - Mercenaries mutated into mindless, monstrous guardians for a facility in New Jersey.[4]
  • Ricardo - Guard[13]
  • Tac Squad - Guards[7]

Associates[edit]

  • Chance - A mercenary hired to steal European armaments.[2]
  • The Jury - Mercenaries employed by a facility in Washington, D.C.[17]
    • Orwell Taylor - Leader, and Life Foundation shareholder.
    • Bomblast (Parmenter)
    • Firearm
    • Ramshot (Samuel Caulkin)
    • Screech (Maxwell Taylor)
    • Sentry (Curtis Elkins)
  • Sneak Thief - A superhuman burglar hired to steal artifacts in and around Washington, D.C.[17]
  • Spoiler - A superhuman mercenary employed by a facility in Washington, D.C.[17]
  • Toshiro Mikashi – An entomology professor blackmailed into working on the Arachnis Project.[17]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

The Life Foundation appears in the 2018 film Venom.[24] This version is a genetics corporation that encounters the symbiote and performs illegal experiments on people (mostly homeless ones). By the end of the film, it can be assumed that Life Foundation was shut down after Eddie Brock left evidence of Drake's crimes for his former boss.

Video games[edit]

The Life Foundation appeared in Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety as employers of the five symbiotes and the Jury. At the end of the game, Spider-Man and Venom discover that the Life Foundation had also experimented on Carnage.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d David Michelinie (w), Todd McFarlane (p), Bob McLeod (i), Bob Sharen (col), Rick Parker (let), Jim Salicrup (ed). "Survival of the Hittist!" The Amazing Spider-Man #299 (April 1988), United States: Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b c d e f g David Michelinie (w), Todd McFarlane (p), Bob McLeod (i), Janet Jackson (col), Rick Parker and Ken Lopez (let), Jim Salicrup (ed). "Chance Encounter!" The Amazing Spider-Man #298 (March 1988), United States: Marvel Comics
  3. ^ David Michelinie (w), Todd McFarlane (p), Todd McFarlane (i), Bob Sharen and Gregory Wright (col), Rick Parker (let), Jim Salicrup (ed). "The Assassin Nation Plot Part One: Licence Invoked" The Amazing Spider-Man #320 (September 1989), United States: Marvel Comics
  4. ^ a b David Michelinie (w), Todd McFarlane (p), Todd McFarlane (i), Chiarello, Sharen, Wilcox and Wright (col), Rick Parker (let), Jim Salicrup (ed). "The Assassin Nation Plot Part Two: Under War!" The Amazing Spider-Man #321 (October 1989), United States: Marvel Comics
  5. ^ David Michelinie (w), Erik Larsen (p), Al Gordon (i), Bob Sharen (col), Rick Parker (let), Jim Salicrup (ed). "The Assassin Nation Plot Part Five: Twos Day" The Amazing Spider-Man #324 (November 1989), United States: Marvel Comics
  6. ^ David Michelinie (w), Mark Bagley (p), Randy Emberlin (i), Bob Sharen (col), Rick Parker (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "The Three Faces of Evil!" The Amazing Spider-Man #351 (September 1991), United States: Marvel Comics
  7. ^ a b c David Michelinie (w), Mark Bagley (p), S. Delarosa (i), Bob Sharen (col), Rick Parker (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "Death Walk!" The Amazing Spider-Man #352 (October 1991), United States: Marvel Comics
  8. ^ David Michelinie (w), Scott McDaniel (p), Keith Williams (i), Bob Sharen (col), Steve Dutro (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "The Hero Killers, Part One: Fortune and Steel" The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26 (June 1992), United States: Marvel Comics
  9. ^ David Michelinie (w), Scott McDaniel (p), Keith Williams (i), Bob Sharen (col), Steve Dutro (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "The Hero Killers, Part Two: Down & Downer" The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12 (June 1992), United States: Marvel Comics
  10. ^ David Michelinie (w), Scott McDaniel (p), Keith Williams (i), Bob Sharen (col), Steve Dutro (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "The Hero Killers, Part Three: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel" Web of Spider-Man Annual #8 (June 1992), United States: Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Fabian Nicieza (w), Brandon Peterson (p), Keith Williams, Mark Stegbauer, Al Milgrom, and Jimmy Palmiotti (i), Marie Javins and Sarra Mossoff (col), Steve Dutro (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "The Hero Killers Part 4: Questions of Power" The New Warriors #2 (June 1992), United States: Marvel Comics
  12. ^ David Michelinie (w), Mark Bagley (p), De la Rosa and Milgrom (i), Marie Javins (col), Richard Starkings (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "A Verdict of Violence" Venom: Lethal Protector #3 (April 1993), United States: Marvel Comics
  13. ^ a b c d David Michelinie (w), Ron Lim (p), Sam de la Rosa and Al Milgrom (i), Marie Javins (col), Richard Starkings (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "Deadly Birth!" Venom: Lethal Protector #4 (May 1993), United States: Marvel Comics
  14. ^ a b c David Michelinie (w), Ron Lim (p), Sam de la Rosa (i), Marie Javins (col), Parker and Starkings (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "Symbiocide" Venom: Lethal Protector #5 (June 1993), United States: Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Edward Gross (2002). Spider-Man Confidential: From Comic Icon to Hollywood Hero. Hyperion Books. p. 226. ISBN 9780756793722.
  16. ^ Howard Mackie (w), Ron Randall (p), Sam de la Rosa (i), Tom Smith (col), Ken Lopez (let), Danny Fingeroth (ed). "Separation Anxiety, Part II: Lost Souls" Venom: Separation Anxiety #2 (January 1995), United States: Marvel Comics
  17. ^ a b c d e Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Jade Moede (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part One: Ties That Bind!" Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #1 (August 1994), United States: Marvel Comics
  18. ^ a b c Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Jade Moede (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part Two: Bringing Down the House!" Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #2 (September 1994), United States: Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Jade Moede (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part Three: Jury Rigged!" Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #3 (October 1994), United States: Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Joe Rosen (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part Four: Stick a Fork in Him..." Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #4 (November 1994), United States: Marvel Comics
  21. ^ a b Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Jade Moede (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part Five: Hittin' the Fan!" Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #5 (December 1994), United States: Marvel Comics
  22. ^ Mike Lackey (w), Andrew Wildman (p), Stephen Baskerville (i), Chia-Chi Wang (col), Jade Moede (let), Eric Fein (ed). "The Arachnis Project, Part Six: Battle Royal!" Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #6 (January 1995), United States: Marvel Comics
  23. ^ Nick Spencer (w), Ryan Ottley (p), Cliff Rathburn (i), Laura Martin (col), Vc's Joe Caramagna (let), Nick Lowe (ed). "Back to Basics Part Four" The Amazing Spider-Man v5, #4 (22 August 2018), United States: Marvel Comics
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 23, 2018). "As Tom Hardy Promised, A New 'Venom' Trailer Drops At CinemaCon – Watch". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  25. ^ Software Creations (November 1995). Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety. PC, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Acclaim Entertainment.

External links[edit]