A. J. was a student at Midtown High School, and a classmate of Peter Parker and Flash Thompson. A.J. was bullied by Flash for being gay, although Flash would later recall that he didn’t have a problem with A.J. being gay–and didn’t even fully understand what that meant at the time–but simply targeted A.J. for being different and weaker than him. A.J. graduated from high school with his arm in a sling since Flash broke his arm during one of his attacks, although A.J. never reported him for it.
After graduation A.J. moved away, but years later he moved back to New York and got in touch with some of his old classmates, including Flash. A.J. was now married to a man named Dan, and working with youth groups and consulting with school boards and parents of troubled teens all over the country. A.J. invited Flash over to his apartment to catch up and show him that he’d turned out just fine, although he repeatedly changed the subject any time Flash attempted to apologize for his actions in high school. Dan was concerned about this, and asked A.J. why he’d invited ‘this monster’ into their home, pointing out that A.J. still sometimes woke up with nightmares from Flash’s attack. A.J. replied that when he looks at Flash he doesn’t see a monster anymore; he sees a broken-down wash-out and feels pity for him.
A.J. Patton was created by Cullen Bunn, and made his first (and only) appearance in Venom vol.2 #27.1