Puff Adder (comics)

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Puff Adder
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCaptain America #337 (January 1988)
Created byMark Gruenwald
Tom Morgan
In-story information
Alter egoGordon "Gordo" Fraley
SpeciesHuman Mutant
Team affiliationsSerpent Society
Serpent Squad
Masters of Evil
AbilitiesExperienced aircraft pilot and street fighter
Slight superhuman strength and stamina
Noxious gas projection via costume's cowl
Ability to enlarge, or "puff up," body

Puff Adder (Gordon Fraley) is fictional character, a mutant supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He made his debut in Captain America #337 (January 1988), created by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Tom Morgan. The character is depicted primarily as a member of the Serpent Society.

Fraley made his debut as Puff Adder as part of the fourth version of the Serpent Squad alongside Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance and Black Racer, robbing a casino in Las Vegas. The heist was a ploy to gain acceptance into the Serpent Society by Society leader Sidewinder. Once part of the Society they help Viper take control of the Serpent Society and support her in a plot to take control of the President of the United States. The plot is eventually foiled by Captain America and several members of the Serpent Society who remained loyal to Sidewinder. After Viper is defeated the Serpent Society is reformed and Puff Adder becomes a regular member of the group. He later becomes a member of Serpent Solutions as the Serpent Society was reorganized.

Publication history[edit]

Puff Adder first appeared in Captain America #337 (January 1988), and was created by Mark Gruenwald and Tom Morgan.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Gordon "Gordo" Fraley was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Large and strong but not very bright, Puff Adder is a mutant with the ability to inflate, or "puff," his body mass, enhancing his strength greatly, and making him a dangerous adversary for superheroes.

As a member of the fourth Serpent Squad, Puff Adder attempted to rob a Las Vegas casino, and battled Captain America, the Falcon, Nomad, and D-Man.[1] With the Serpent Squad, he was freed from jail by Sidewinder.[2] Puff Adder was inducted into the second incarnation of the Serpent Society as a double agent of the Viper during her invasion of the group. Puff Adder and the Viper's agents then betrayed Sidewinder, and encountered Captain America again.[3] With Coachwhip and Rock Python, Puff Adder was sent to steal the Falcon's uniform in order to regain admission into the Serpent Society, and he battled Battle Star and the Falcon.[4]

Alongside Anaconda, Puff Adder served as bailiff at the Serpent Society's trial of Diamondback. With Anaconda and Rock Python, Puff Adder was sent to Diamondback's apartment to apprehend her. He battled Captain America and seemingly overpowered him.[5] Puff Adder crash-landed a Serpent Saucer on Diamondback's apartment. He abducted Diamondback, Asp, and Black Mamba. Rock Python and Puff Adder were thrown from the Serpent Saucer by MODAM, and Puff Adder was injured in the fall. He was interrogated by Captain America and Paladin about the abduction of Diamondback and her friends.[6]

As a member of the Serpent Society, he developed a romantic relationship with Anaconda.[volume & issue needed] He also served briefly with Doctor Octopus' Masters of Evil. He participated in the attempted takeover of the Avengers Mansion while the other heroes were distracted by the events of the Infinity War. There, the team encounters the Guardians of the Galaxy. Puff Adder is given permission to 'play with' Yellowjacket and Nikki but is stopped by Major Victory before he could touch them.[7]

After a brief fight, both teams are overwhelmed with alien doubles of absolutely everyone involved. Out of necessity, the two teams work together to destroy wave after wave of doubles. After the last wave, Doctor Octopus wants his team to continue fighting but Puff Adder, along with the rest, turn on him. They do not want to hurt the others who just helped save their lives. The team chases Doctor Octopus out of the mansion.[8]

He has been seen as member of the Serpent Society under Cobra's leadership. After the group had captured and chained Captain America and Diamondback (really an L.M.D.) in this underground New York headquarters the pair escaped. S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently took Rattler and the rest of the Society into custody.[9]

He appeared in "Brand New Day" as one of the villains in the "Bar With No Name". He is one of many to get in on the super-hero related gambling action headed by the man known only as 'The Bookie'.[10]

He is once again a member of the Serpent Society, who are engaged in a bank robbery. He is instantly defeated by Hope Summers after she copies his powers and knocks him out with a single blow.[11]

As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding, Puff Adder appears as a member of Viper's Serpent Society under its new name of Serpent Solutions.[12]

Puff Adder appears in the 2017 "Secret Empire" storyline, Puff Adder was with Serpent Solutions at the time when they are recruited by Baron Helmut Zemo to join his Army of Evil.[13]

In a prelude to the "Hunted" storyline, several members of the Serpent Society were captured by Kraven the Hunter, Taskmaster, and Black Ant and forced to participate in a murderous hunt set up by Arcade. Black Mamba, Cottonmouth, Bushmaster, Black Racer, Puff Adder, Rock Python, and Fer-de-Lance were placed in electric cages to wait for the hunt to commence.[14]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Puff Adder has the mutant ability to cause the epidermis of his entire body to engorge with blood and thus swell his body to a more intimidating size, upwards of approximately 10 feet (3.0 m). In Guardians of the Galaxy #29 Charlie-27 states that Puff Adder can increase his mass to over five tons, the limit of what Charlie-27 can lift on Earth. Puff Adder can only remain fully inflated for approximately fifteen minutes at a time. Puff Adder also possesses a slight degree of superhuman strength and stamina.[volume & issue needed]

Fraley is a competent hand-to-hand fighter, with extensive experience in street-fighting techniques. He is experienced in the piloting of certain aircraft.[volume & issue needed]

The cowl of Puff Adder's costume contains a pressurized container of noxious gas which can be released from his mouth area. It is activated by a specific motion made with his jaw muscles.[volume & issue needed]

Race variation[edit]

His race varies from artist to artist. In his first appearance, he was depicted as Caucasian, but a few issues later, he is depicted as African American.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Captain America #337. Marvel Comics.
  2. ^ Captain America #338. Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ Captain America #341-342. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ Captain America #355. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Captain America #380-382. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Captain America #385-387. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #28-29. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #29. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Captain America vol. 4 #30-31. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #562-563. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Avengers vs X-Men #0. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #4. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Captain America: Steve Rogers #16. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #16. Marvel Comics.

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