Black Mamba (comics)
|First appearance||Marvel Two-in-One #64 (June 1980)|
|Created by||Mark Gruenwald
|Alter ego||Tanya Sealy|
|Team affiliations||BAD Girls, Inc.
Masters of Evil
|Notable aliases||Tanya Sweet|
|Abilities||Darkforce energy control
Black Mamba first appeared in Marvel Two-in-One #64-65 (June–July 1980), and was created by Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio. Black Mamba received an entry in the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2, and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #2.
Fictional character biography
Tanya Sealy was born in Chicago. A former call girl, she was chosen under unknown circumstances by Roxxon Oil Company to partake in a covert operation to retrieve the mystical Serpent Crown. The executives at Roxxon had a device surgically implanted in Sealy's brain which granted her superhuman abilities. Working together with three other snake-themed villains, Sidewinder, Anaconda, and Death Adder, she became a founding member of the Serpent Squad. During her first mission, Black Mamba nearly overcame the Fantastic Four's Thing, but was defeated. She also encountered Iron Man while searching for a powerful weapon known as the microscanner.
Invited by Sidewinder to join his criminal organization, the Serpent Society, Black Mamba accepted. Before working with Roxxon, she was a call-girl, and while the money was satisfying, it was not a steady income, so she jumped at the opportunity to earn vast amounts of money with Sidewinder. While in the Serpent Society, Black Mamba gained great friendships in Diamondback and the Asp, and also became romantically involved with Sidewinder. During Viper's infiltration of the group, Black Mamba stood loyally with Sidewinder, which Viper was ready to kill her for. When Diamondback turned over a new leaf, it sparked something in Black Mamba. She joined her friends Diamondback and Asp in forming BAD Girls, Inc. and worked several mercenary-for-hire missions. She also briefly served in Superia's all-female group, the Femizons, but betrayed the group to aid Captain America and Paladin.
For some time, Black Mamba served in Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil in hopes of a large profit, battling the Thunderbolts. She eventually went back to the Serpent Society. She also fought Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and was shocked to realize her group had been hired by Cable himself.
During the Civil War storyline, Black Mamba appears along with her friends Diamondback and Asp as a member of Captain America's anti-registration group. She took part in the final battle of the "war", but did not accept the offer of amnesty that came with Captain America's surrender.
Later Black Mamba and the other BAD Girls were captured by The Mighty Avengers in a New York City street mall. She escaped captivity and was later seen with several other villains in "The Bar With No Name".
In Secret Invasion, Black Mamba rejoined the Serpent Society. The Society held a number of civilians hostage in a compound in the American Midwest claiming they were protecting themselves from the Skrulls. However, they were easily defeated by Nova and his new Nova Corps.
Later, several Serpent Society members including Anaconda, Black Mamba, Bushmaster and Cottonmouth, fought members of the New Avengers in a semi-tropical locale. She was defeated by Captain America.
Black Mamba is one of the assassins tasked by the Assassins Guild to collect the bounty on Domino's head. She attempts to use her powers on Wolverine, causing him to perceive Mariko. She is later stabbed in the chest by X-23, but ultimately healed by Elixir, albeit to Wolverine's chagrin.
Powers and abilities
Black Mamba possesses two separate superhuman abilities which she most often uses in tandem for a unique result. Her powers are both presumably the result of a cranial implant given to her by Roxxon.
Black Mamba has limited telepathic abilities that allow her to scan the minds of others nearby. The extent of her telepathy is unrevealed; it is unknown if she possesses other abilities possessed by most telepaths, such as mental communication. She uses this power to extract and project illusions of loved ones into her victims' minds while placing her target in a sedated trance-like state in which they are fixated upon the mental image she has created.
Mamba's second ability allows her to generate a cloud of tangible Darkforce energy that she uses to ensnare her victim, constricting them with potentially fatal force. The victim, however, is unaware, and views the Darkforce energy as the loved one she has projected into their mind. Trapped in Mamba's ecstatic trance, the victim is completely unaware that they are being strangled and can die in minutes. Mamba can generate Darkforce without first using her telepathic power on an opponent, but with much less efficiency as the target is aware and can avoid the relatively slow-moving Darkforce cloud easier. The full extent of Mamba's control over Darkforce energy has not been revealed. She can also use her Darkforce to surround herself, disguising herself as whomever she wishes to look like. She can use this ability on others, though the field begins to dissipate when it leaves her sight.
Beings with sufficient willpower can break free of Mamba's telepathic grasp, and physical attacks of sufficient force can dispel her Darkforce manifestations. Because of this, Black Mamba usually employs her powers on those who are unaware of her presence.
Black Mamba appears in the Ultimate Marvel Universe as a member of the Serpent Squad, a group of female mercenaries. After having the Serpent Crown stolen from them, they battle the Fantastic Four. Black Mamba was knocked out of the fight by the Thing early on, and was taken into custody. After the Thing called the Serpent Squad "freaks" in passing, Black Mamba retaliated in anger by saying he would die alone because he is so sickening. Black Mamba's Ultimate design closely resembles her Earth-616 design, but it is unknown if she commands the darkforce in this alternate universe. Oddly enough, her real name seems to have been changed to "Janis."
- Marvel Two-in-One #65
- Iron Man #160
- Captain America #308
- Captain America #385
- Captain America #386-395
- Thunderbolts #64-69
- Captain America vol.4 #30-31
- Cable/Deadpool #20-23
- Civil War #5
- Civil War #7
- Civil War: Battle Damage Report #1
- Giant-Size Avengers #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #522
- Nova vol. 4 #19
- Wolverine vol.3 #73
- Avengers: The Initiative #26
- X-Force: Sex + Violence #3 of 3
- Ultimate Power #1
- Black Mamba at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe