Serpent Society

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Serpent Society
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Captain America #310 (October 1985)
Created by Mark Gruenwald
Paul Neary
In-story information
Base(s) Various

The Serpent Society is a fictional organization of snake-themed supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The society is a continuation of the Serpent Squad group and was later presented as Serpent Solutions. The Serpent Society first appeared in Captain America #310 (October 1985) and was created by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Paul Neary. Serpent Solutions first appeared in Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 by writer Nick Spencer and artist Daniel Acuña.

The Serpent Society was formed by Sidewinder as he gathered a number of villains with snake themed powers. The group was organized more like a supervillain labor union, with the members providing protection for each other, sharing profits etc. The Society took jobs for criminal organizations such as HYDRA, the Maggia, the Kingpin, and A.I.M.. Some of these jobs brought the Serpent Society into conflict with Captain America and his partners. At one point Viper took control of the society, plotting to take control of the United States but was ultimately foiled by Captain America, D-Man, Nomad, Falcon and former members of the Serpent Society. The Society would briefly reform over the years, but never made much impact.

As part of the All-New Marvel NOW! event, a revamped Viper (Jordan Stryke) took control of the Serpent Society. He reorganized it as "Serpent Solutions" and provided their services to various corporations. Serpent Solutions were opposed by the new Captain America, formerly the Falcon.

The Serpent Society has appeared in Marvel's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon series as well as the Toei anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers. The Serpent Society was also part of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier video game.

Concept and creation[edit]

The Serpent Society first appeared in Captain America #310 (October 1985) and was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary. Serpent Solutions first appeared in Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 by writer Nick Spencer and artist Daniel Acuña.

Most of the villains Mark Gruenwald introduced in Captain America were created to symbolize aspects of contemporary American culture and the world political situation. In the case of the Serpent Society, Gruenwald created them to symbolize trade unions.[1]

Fictional team history[edit]

Serpents of the World Unite![edit]

The Serpent Society was founded by Sidewinder, and was a descendant of sorts from the original Serpent Squads. The first squad consisted of the original Viper, his brother the Eel, and the Cobra. The second squad consisted of the second Viper (who was also formerly Madame Hydra), the Eel, Princess Python, Cobra, and the Atlantis Warlord Krang. Sidewinder led the third incarnation of the Squad that included Anaconda, Black Mamba and Death Adder. They were to retrieve the fabled Serpent Crown from its then underwater grave. Sidewinder used his cloak and abandoned his comrades during an underwater mishap, and proceeded to collect the reward for the Crown.[2]

Anaconda, Mamba and Adder survived and confronted Sidewinder. During that time Sidewinder had invested the money and started the groundwork for the Serpent Society. The Society was to provide its members with better access to technology, bigger access to jobs, higher pay, comradeship, safe lodging, and a host of other benefits. Most importantly, with Sidewinder's teleportation cloak, members never had to fear imprisonment again. It was, essentially, a supervillain labor union.[3]

After persuading his former comrades of his true intention to better their lot (and paying their share of the reward plus interest), he had them contact other snake-themed criminals which included the Asp, Diamondback, Constrictor, Cobra, Princess Python, the Viper, the Rattler, Cottonmouth, and Bushmaster. The Viper refused to attend the first initial gathering. Constrictor, unimpressed with the proceedings, walked out and tried to turn the group over to the Avengers.[4]

Sidewinder, Anaconda, Black Mamba, Death Adder, Asp, Diamondback, Cottonmouth, Cobra, Bushmaster, Rattler, and Princess Python became charter members of the Serpent Society. They headquartered at Serpent Citadel, which was an abandoned mental hospital located in upstate New York. Sidewinder sent them out to contact various criminal organizations including HYDRA, the Maggia, the Kingpin, and A.I.M.. From A.I.M. they received their first paying assignment: the elimination of their former leader MODOK.[5] The Society's success in killing MODOK quickly cemented their reputation as criminal talents of the first caliber. Captain America intervened many times during their early years but was never able to put them out of commission.

Two charter members soon left the Society. Princess Python fled during the MODOK assignment and was soon after expelled from their ranks. Death Adder was killed by Scourge of the Underworld when he was sent to ransom the Princess to her Circus of Crime cohorts.

Serpent War[edit]

Later, the Viper sent a fourth Serpent Squad (though not named as such) consisting of Copperhead, Black Racer, Fer-de-Lance and Puff Adder to infiltrate the Society with the intention of assassinating Sidewinder and putting herself as the rightful leader. When the four were taken to Serpent Citadel by Sidewinder, it was easy for the rest of the Viper's allies (Coachwhip, Boomslang, Slither, and Rock Python), to assault the place. Many of the charter members turncoat and supported the Viper whereas the Asp, Black Mamba, Bushmaster, and Diamondback remained loyal to Sidewinder.

The Viper used the Society and its resources to poison the water supply of Washington DC, which turned its citizens into snake-men. The ensuing chaos nearly destroyed the capital. Diamondback managed to escape with Sidewinder and solicited help from Captain America (who then was known as "The Captain" while another man donned the Captain America costume and identity) and his allies D-Man, Nomad, the Falcon, and Vagabond. The team stormed Serpent Citadel, rescued the Society members that were loyal to Sidewinder, and captured many others. The Viper, however managed to escape.

In the end, Cobra subdued the Viper and turned her over to the Captain on the condition that he allowed the Serpent Society 24 hours to evacuate from their headquarters. When the Captain refused the deal the Cobra turned Viper over anyway.

Bitter over the betrayal, Sidewinder left the Society and Cobra became its new leader, eventually calling himself King Cobra. With the exception of Slither and the Viper herself, all of the Viper's agents remained with the Society. The Society re-located to a new secret headquarters in the Bronx.

The Trial[edit]

Shortly afterwards, Diamondback became romantically involved with Captain America and tried to leave the Society altogether to be with him. Despite the fact that she was a member of a criminal organization that he desperately wanted to put out of commission, Captain America did not force her to betray her companions. The Society, however, had Diamondback under surveillance and when they realized she had been seeing Captain America socially, certain members demanded that she should be put on trial for treason.

Diamondback was found guilty... every member voted for her death except for Asp, Black Mamba, Bushmaster and Rock Python. Penalty was death by injection, but King Cobra said he would commute the sentence if she would cooperate with them by revealing the true identity of Captain America. Diamondback refused but Black Mamba secretly alerted Sidewinder, who teleported in to save Diamondback at the last moment.

Diamondback, seeking revenge against the Society, sought out the Paladin when Captain America could not guarantee that Black Mamba and Asp be given immunity from arrest. The two infiltrated the Society's headquarters only to be captured along with Mamba and Asp. Captain America on the other hand, from his sky cycle, spotted a Serpent Saucer piloted by Cottonmouth and Fer-de-Lance, which was heading back to the Society's hideout. Cap entered the hideout along with the saucer and quickly subdued the two serpents. He quickly freed Diamondback, Paladin, Mamba and Asp and together they brought down the Society. All members were taken to prison with the exception of Diamondback, Asp, and Mamba (Asp and Mamba eventually were given immunity from arrest due to their help defeating their former colleagues). Anaconda, Puff Adder and Rock Python escaped capture as they were not at the headquarters at the time. Boomslang was in the hospital after being shot by thugs around this period. Puff Adder and Rock Python were eventually imprisoned after being thrown out of their Serpent Saucer by MODAM. Anaconda, Black Mamba, Asp, and Diamondback were all invited by MODAM to join the Femizons. Afterwards, Mamba, Asp, and Diamondback formed a new team called BAD Girls, Inc. with fellow Femizons Impala.

After spending time in prison, the Society re-formed again, going back to their old ways. Another encounter with Captain America and the now defunct team called Force Works seemed to have permanently put them out of commission; both Puff Adder and Mamba later said that the Society had disbanded.

Disassembled[edit]

However, the Society re-formed yet again in the Captain America/Avengers Disassembled tie-ins. More recently, King Cobra, Rattler, Bushmaster, and a new Death Adder had aided the Thunderbolts during the Civil War storyline. After that the four villains have been identified as members of the 142 registered superheroes who appear on the cover of the comic book Avengers: The Initiative #1. Anaconda served with the Six Pack and was later defeated by the New Warriors; Diamondback, Black Mamba, and Asp have reformed BAD Girls, Inc.; Cottonmouth hadn't been seen since he broke free from prison with Hawkeye, but was later taken back into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Secret Invasion[edit]

Nova and his Nova Corps deputees helped federal authorities take several members of the Society into custody shortly after the Skrull's Secret Invasion. The Serpent Society (consisting of Sidewinder, Black Mamba, Anaconda, Death Adder II, Fer-de-Lance, and Copperhead) held a number of civilians (including their own families) hostage in a compound in the American Mid-West claiming they were protecting themselves from the Skrulls. Nova and his deputees defeated them in literally seconds. The Society never even had a chance to defend themselves.[6]

Later, several Serpent Society members including Anaconda, Black Mamba, Bushmaster and Cottonmouth, fought members of the New Avengers in a semi-tropical locale. They were seen defeated.[7] Society members King Cobra, Bushmaster, Anaconda, Rattler, and the second Death Adder were then hired by Mister Negative to battle the young X-Men Anole and Rockslide. They were unable to defeat the young heroes, even with the aid of Mister Negative, and thus retreated.[8]

Avengers vs. X-Men[edit]

A more recent incarnation of the Society appeared in the Avengers vs. X-Men event. The new group consisted of Asp, Anaconda, Puff Adder, Cottonmouth and Bushmaster. The Society attempted to rob a bank and took a number of employees hostage only to be defeated by Hope Summers. Cyclops and Emma Frost arrived where they stopped Hope from beating Cottonmouth to death.[9] They were next seen battling Taskmaster and Deadpool after they were contracted by Leviathan to capture Marcus Johnson.[10]

Leaving retirement, Sidewinder returned to lead the Serpent Society. He, Black Mamba, Anaconda, and the second Death Adder ambushed Elektra, Cape Crow, Matchmaker, and Kento Roe in the Himalayan Mountains. The Assassin's Guild had hired numerous mercenaries and criminals (including Crossbones, Blizzard, and Tiger Shark) to kill Cape Crow and his son Kento, but Elektra agreed to protect them. Having studied the Serpent Society and its members while working for S.H.I.E.L.D., Elektra was able to defeat Sidewinder, Anaconda, and Death Adder while Matchmaker defeated Black Mamba and the others escaped.[11]

Serpent Solutions[edit]

After Sam Wilson took over the Captain America mantle, Jordan Stryke (also known as Viper) returned from the dead and became leader of the Serpent Society as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event. Branding the organization as Serpent Solutions, he began contacting various corporations and offering the group's service with a promise of profit as well as using the personnel of both A.I.M. and HYDRA for genetic experiments. Captain America caught on to Viper's plans and visited Diamondback (who had retired from mercenary work) in order to find out more information on the group. Their meeting was interrupted by Cottonmouth, Black Racer, and Copperhead. During the ensuing battle, Black Racer stabbed Diamondback in the gut. After Captain America defeated the three villains, he rushed to Diamondback's aid. Diamondback immediately betrayed Captain America revealing herself to be a member of the Serpent Society once again. Captain America awoke in the Serpent Society's lair, greeted by Viper and the entire Serpent Society members King Cobra, Puff Adder, Cottonmouth, Black Racer, Princess Python, Anaconda, Copperhead, Rattler, Rock Python, Black Mamba, Eel, Death Adder, Coachwhip, Fer-de-Lance, Boomslang, and Sidewinder.[12] Although not seen at the end of the last issue, Asp and Bushmaster were also seen as members of Serpent Solutions. While at Serpent Tower, Captain America was kept paralyzed by Asp's venom bolt. After giving Captain America a speech on the supposedly righteous nature of his business that would save the economy and make America marvelous again, Viper threw Captain America out of the window only for Captain America to be saved from falling to his death by Joaquin Torres.[13] The Serpent Society caught up to Captain America and Joaquin Torres. While Captain America recovered from the paralysis, Joaquin held off the Serpent Society until Misty Knight and D-Man arrived. Diamondback later turned against Viper and helped to defeat the Serpent Solutions. After their business was shut down, the Serpent Society were arrested by the SWAT Team.[14]

Membership[edit]

The membership of the Serpent Society has included:

Member First appearance Description
Anaconda Marvel Two-in-One #64 (June 1980) Blanche Sitznski is a former steelworker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who received cybernetic surgery from the Roxxon Corporation that gave her superhumanly strong tentacle-like arms and legs that she uses to constrict her foes. They also implanted gills that allowed her to breathe underwater. She had spent many years working as a calisthenics instructor at Taskmaster's Academy. Anaconda was one of the original eleven members of the Serpent Society, though during their initiation test, she was knocked unconscious by Captain America and taken into custody. Sidewinder freed her that night, and she has been one of the most prominent members since. While not working with the Society, she has been known to work as a mercenary for hire with several other teams, such as the Femizons, Six Pack, and the Doom Maidens. She was most recently seen back with the Serpent Society as Jordan Stryke, the Viper, took over the group and renamed it Serpent Solutions.

Her snake motif is based on the anaconda.

Asp Captain America #310 (October 1985) Cleo Nefertiti is a mutant who generates a paralytic energy which is fatal to those who remained in close contact with her for prolonged periods of time. She can channel this energy into electrical blasts, which she called her "venom bursts" or "venom bolts" that can stun or paralyze living beings. An exotic dancer by profession, she found that physical exertion increased how quickly her body recharged its store of bio-energy. When Diamondback left the Serpent Society, Asp and Black Mamba followed. They teamed with the African huntress Impala to form the mercenary group called "BAD Girls, Inc." The group has since disbanded, with Asp rejoining the Serpent Society.

Her snake motif is based on the asp.

Black Mamba Marvel Two-in-One #64 (June 1980) Tanya Sealy is a former call girl. She has a limited form of telepathy that enables her to scan the thoughts of nearby individuals, usually to find an image of someone that the person holds dear. She then manifests the Darkforce into the image of that cherished person, which in turn, almost hypnotically seduces its target into embracing it. Once physical contact is established, Mamba then lets the Darkforce constrict her victims to death, or at the very least, to unconsciousness. Often the victim is in too deep a state of ecstasy or euphoria to even notice. One or both of these powers (telepathy and darkforce control) is due to a chip implanted in her forebrain, provided by the Roxxon Corporation. When Diamondback left the Society, Asp and Black Mamba followed, and they teamed with the African huntress named Impala to form the mercenary group called "BAD Girls, Inc." Black Mamba later joined the Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil, but currently alternates between working with the Serpent Society and BAD Girls, Inc.

Her snake motif is based on the black mamba.

Black Racer Captain America #337 (January 1988) Ariana Siddiqi can run and move at superhuman speed. She was a member of the fourth Serpent Squad along with Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance, and Puff Adder. She continued on with the Serpent Society, though appearing sparsely throughout the team's later appearances. Like Puff Adder, there are some contradictions with her ethnicity, as she has been seen both as a Caucasian woman and an African-American woman.

Her snake motif is based on the black racer snake.

Boomslang Captain America #341 (May 1988) Marc Riemer is an Australian criminal who uses snake-shaped boomerangs which he called his "serpent rangs". He is also a skilled unarmed combatant. He joined the Serpent Society during Madame Hydra's takeover. After he was shot by gang members while spying on Diamondback, Boomslang left the Serpent Society for several years. He recently rejoined the group under its new name of Serpent Solutions.

His name is an odd choice, since a boomslang is not indigenous to Australia and is actually only found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Bushmaster Captain America #310 (October 1985) Quincy McIver is a quadriplegic who possesses cybernetic limbs: two arms and a tail in the place of the lower half of his body. He lost his arms and legs in a boating accident while trying to evade the police underwater. Shortly later, the Roxxon Oil Company equipped him with bionic arms and a snake-like tail. He took the name "Bushmaster" from his fallen brother (who used the same name where he died in battle against Luke Cage). Years later, Sidewinder enlisted Bushmaster to join the criminal trade union known as the Serpent Society. Bushmaster was grateful for the unity and the steady employment; he considered himself to be a freak, and the Society was his best chance in life. He made a friend in Diamondback, a fellow Society member who saved him after MODOK severed his artificial appendages. After the Viper took over the Society, Bushmaster remained loyal to Sidewinder. However, Sidewinder, disillusioned by the betrayals of some of the Serpents, turned over control of the guild to the Cobra, and Bushmaster served him next as his second-in-command. At Diamondback's trial, he voted to spare her life from a death sentence. After the trial, Bushmaster fought Diamondback, and next, Captain America. He was finally taken into custody. Bushmaster remains with the Serpent Society.

His snake motif is based on the Bushmaster.

Coachwhip Captain America #341 (May 1988) Beatrix Keener is a woman who wields metal-linked whips with the ability to generate electricity. She, along with Boomslang and Rock Python, infiltrated the Serpent Society during Madame Hydra's takeover. She stayed with the organization after Madame Hydra's defeat, and began a relationship with King Cobra when he became the new leader. She constantly wore sunglasses, and it was implied that she wears a long, white wig.

Her snake motif is based on the Coachwhip.

Cobra Journey into Mystery #98 (November 1963) Klaus Voorhees is a longtime Thor foe and partner of Mister Hyde. He possesses superhuman speed and a great degree of flexibility, can contort his body into almost any shape, and is a skilled wrestler. He also supplements these abilities with an array of weaponry, mainly his wrist launchers that fire anything from knockout gas to poisoned darts. After Sidewinder retired, the Cobra became King Cobra and led the group.

His nephew Peit Voorhees became the second Cobra, though he has never worked with the Serpent Society.

Klaus' snake motif was based on the cobra, but later based his motif on the king cobra.

Copperhead Captain America #337 (January 1988) Davis Lawfers is the leader of the so-called fourth Serpent Squad (consisting also of Fer-de-Lance, Black Racer, and Puff Adder), and one of Madame Hydra's most loyal minions. On a mission for her, he helped to contaminate Washington D.C.'s water supply with a chemical that could transform people into human/snake hybrids. During this assignment, friction existed between the Cobra and himself. When the Cobra became the new leader of the Society, Copperhead left the group for many years. He has since returned with the Serpent Society under new leadership. Copperhead has no superhuman powers but is equipped with a pair of gauntlets which fire power blasts and poisoned darts. For protection he wears a suit of copper-colored scale mail.

His motif is based on the copperhead snake.

Cottonmouth Captain America #310 (October 1985) Burchell Clemens is a supervillain with bionic jaws and steel teeth. He can extend his lower jaw up to a foot from his upper jaw. His jaws possess superhuman strength and extremely sharp fangs. He was part of the eleven original members of the Serpent Society, and in their first mission as a team, he and Death Adder killed their target, MODOK. He continued working with the Serpent Society as one of the more prominent members. For a brief time, for reasons never explained, Cottonmouth assumed Bushmaster's real identity of Quincy McIver.

His motif is based on the cottonmouth or water moccasin.

Death Adder Marvel Two-in-One #64 (June 1980) Roland Burroughs is a mute killer. He possessed extended talons which contained deadly venom, he was bioengineered with a poison-spiked bionic tail, and was totally amphibious. As a member of the third Serpent Squad, he fought the Thing, Stingray and Iron Man. As a member of the Serpent Society, he battled Captain America. On the Society's first paying assignment, Death Adder (along with Cottonmouth) viciously murdered MODOK. He was soon after slain by the Scourge of the Underworld, but was later somehow revived by Hood. Roland was later killed again by Venom when he was a member of Crime Master's Savage Six.
Nova #19 (January 2009) Theodore Scott is the second criminal to take the Death Adder mantle. Unlike Roland Burroughs, the surgery to transform him into Death Adder did not cause muteness. He was first seen working as part of the Thunderbolts with Serpent Society members King Cobra, Rattler, and Bushmaster. He has since been a permanent member of the Serpent Society, and later Serpent Solutions, though very little is known about him.

Both Death Adders' motif is based on the death adder.

Diamondback Captain America #310 (October 1985) Rachel Leighton is an acrobat who uses diamond-shaped throwing blades, many of which are equipped with anything from poison, explosives, narcotics, and acid. She defected from the team and eventually became the partner and lover of Captain America. Asp, Black Mamba, Diamondback, and the African huntress named Impala formed a mercenary group called "BAD Girls, Inc." After BAD Girls, Inc. disbanded, Diamondback returned to the Serpent Society.

A since-destroyed Diamondback look-a-like android was recently seen as an ally of the Red Skull. Diamondback herself has returned to mercenary work as both a member of the BAD Girls and as a freelancer.

Her motif is based on the diamondback rattlesnake.

Eel Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (April 1983) Edward Lavell is the second person to assume the role of Eel. He worked alongside Cobra in the fifth Serpent Squad, and later appeared as a member of Serpent Solutions.

Even though he is a member of Serpent Solutions, the eel is actually a type of fish.

Fer-de-Lance Captain America #337 (January 1988) Teresa Vasquez is a professional assassin hailing from Puerto Rico. Fer-de-lance has a pair of retractable "fangs" similar to that of Bushmaster's. She has no qualms about killing when it comes to completing an assignment. Along with Copperhead, Black Racer, and Puff Adder, Fer-de-Lance worked for Madame Hydra as part of the fourth Serpent Squad. When Sidewinder invited the quartet to join the Serpent Society, Madame Hydra began her takeover, but it failed. Despite this, Fer-de-Lance continued working for the Serpent Society.

Her motif is based on the fer-de-lance.

Princess Python The Amazing Spider-Man #22 (March 1965) Zelda DuBois is a professional criminal and snake charmer. She is a member of the Circus of Crime who has control over a large python. Sidewinder invited her to become a member of the Serpent Society, and she accepted. When the Society was hired to kill MODOK, the Princess lost her nerve and abandoned her peers during the assignment to track him down. Eventually, the Society caught up with her, and Sidewinder (most disappointed in her performance) had her mind-wiped and expelled from the Society's ranks despite her explanations. Sidewinder tried to ransom her off to the Circus of Crime, but the Scourge of the Underworld stepped in, slaying Death Adder (the one handling the transaction). Princess Python survived, and returned to the Circus of Crime. Several years later, she rejoined the Serpent Society under the new leadership and title of Serpent Solutions.
Puff Adder Captain America #337 (January 1988) Gordon "Gordo" Fraley is a mutant with the power to breathe various debilitative gases (in one instance the gas was able to eat away a metal lock) and inflate his body mass to a certain extent. He also has superhuman strength and increased physical durability. There seems to be a confusion of what race he is, he has been depicted as Caucasian as often as he has been depicted as Black. Puff Adder was hired by Madame Hydra to work as part of the fourth Serpent Squad in order to catch the attention of the Serpent Society and eventually being infiltrate the group. He has since been a prominent member of the Society. Although he was believed to have been depowered on M-Day, he has since appeared with his powers intact.

His motif is based on the puff adder.

Rattler Captain America #310 (October 1985) Gustav Krueger is a Polish criminal with a bionic tail that can generate vibrations. Perhaps as a result of his powers, he is 85% deaf in both ears and requires a hearing aid. A ruthless villain, he was among the eleven original members of the Serpent Society. Rattler tried to kill Captain America on several alongside his fellow Serpents. He even betrayed Sidewinder to support the Viper's power bid to seize control over the Society. He was killed by the new Scourge of the Underworld, though what appears to be a new Rattler has since reappeared with the Serpent Solutions.

His motif is based on the rattlesnake.

Rock Python Captain America #341 (May 1988) M'Gula is a metallurgist from South Africa that served the terrorist known as the Viper. His body is as hard as his namesake and he throws "snake eggs" that burst upon impact, sending out entangling strands of metallic tendrils. He also seems to have a small measure of superhuman strength: he once hung Captain America over the edge of a building by his ankle with only one hand; his body has the density of rock. He assisted the Viper in taking over the Society. After her defeat, Rock Python (along with Puff Adder and Coachwhip) tried to steal the Falcon's costume, seemingly on behalf of the Society, but they failed. However, the trio were allowed the continue serving with the Serpent Society. At one point, Rock Python attempted to retire from villainy and work as a security guard, but he has since returned to the Serpent Society when they were taken over by Jordan Stryke and renamed Serpent Solutions.

His snake motif is based on the African rock python.

Sidewinder Marvel Two-in-One #64 (June 1980) Seth Voelker is the founder of the Serpent Society who possessed a cloak that allowed him to teleport himself and a companion. Later, Sidewinder displayed an offensive capability which he called his "side effects": tentacle-like constructs that he cybernetically controlled which shoots charges of electricity. He was the group's leader until the Viper's Serpent Squad infiltrated the Society, after which he retired and left leadership to the Cobra. Sidewinder turned himself in and cooperated in his own prosecution in order to secure medical treatment for his ill daughter. Having served his term and gained parole, Sidewinder has shown up having reformed when he was seen in an interview. However, years later, he donned the Sidewinder costume once again and took leadership of the Serpent Society as they were hired by the Assassin's Guild to track down the mercenary Elektra.
Iron Fist #1 (July 1998) A second, unnamed Sidewinder was employed by the Serpent Society, but was killed on a mission working for Death-Sting.
Captain America #31 (November 2004) Gregory Bryan was the third man to take the codename Sidewinder, and has the same abilities as the original. He has been seen working for King Cobra, though when Seth Voelkner, the original Sidewinder, returned to a life of crime, it is unknown if Gregory Bryan continued with the Serpent Society.

The motifs of each of the Sidewinders is based on the sidewinder.

Slither Captain America Annual #4 (1977) Aaron Salomon is a mutant who had previously been a member of Mutant Force. He has the head of a snake, while the rest of his body is humanoid. He briefly worked alongside the Serpent Society when Madame Hydra infiltrated the group. After his defeat, he left the Society to rejoin Mutant Force, and hasn't been seen with the organization since.
Viper Captain America #110 (1969) Ophelia Sarkissian, otherwise known as Madame Hydra, is the second person to use the codename of Viper. She began using the codename after she killed the original Viper, Jordan Stryke. Some time after Sidewinder had formed the Serpent Society, Viper caught wind of it and used her own criminals (Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance, Puff Adder, and Black Racer) to infiltrate the group. She caused dissension among the Serpents, with several of the original members joining Viper's side. Together, they ousted Sidewinder and those loyal to him. However, Viper's leadership of the Serpent Society was short-lived, as Captain America thwarted her plans. It was Cobra who eventually defeated Viper, which prompted him to take over the organization. She has since abandoned the idea of leading the group, and hasn't been seen with them since.
Viper Captain America #157 (1973) Jordan Stryke is the brother of Leopold Stryke, the first Eel, and leader of the original Serpent Squad. He was killed by Madame Hydra, who began using the Viper moniker. He has since returned under unknown circumstances, taking leadership of the Serpent Society and re-branding it as Serpent Solutions.

Both Vipers' snake motif is based on the viper.

Other versions[edit]

Exiles[edit]

Another alternate version of the Serpent Society appeared in Exiles #89. The Exiles team had to restore Earth #27537. The Exiles had a hard time defeating the Society, which consisted of Cobra, Anaconda, Bushmaster, Death Adder, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Rattler, Sidewinder, and an unnamed woman, but eventually the Exiles did manage to win and moved over to another reality. What the Serpent Society was doing on this Earth exactly was not revealed, though it was revealed they had previously killed the Spider-Man of their reality.

Marvel Adventures[edit]

The Marvel Adventures features the Sons of the Serpents as the Serpent Society. However, the actual group eventually appeared, consisting of Sidewinder, Cobra, Anaconda, and Cottonmouth, and battled Spider-Man. They plotted to turn the civilians of the city into snake-like creatures by poisoning the water supply. However, Spider-Man's interference led to the Lizard drinking the poison himself, becoming a giant reptilian creature. The Serpent Society, satisfied with their success, teleported away, leaving Spider-Man to battle the Lizard.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate universe, the Serpent Society is instead a gang known as the Serpent Skulls.[15] Led by Crossbones, the group consisted of second-in-command Diamondback and lieutenants Black Racer, Sidewinder, Death Adder, King Cobra, Bushmaster, and Anaconda. Each member had his or her own underlings thematic to that character: Sidewinder had several men dressed as chauffeurs, Black Racer had a gang of ninjas, Death Adder led a group of punks, and Anaconda was leader of biker girls. The Skulls took over a Roxxon facility and began distributing super-powered drugs in Hell's Kitchen. Bushmaster was murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld, a masked vigilante who had targeted gang members. The Serpent Skulls clashed with the New Ultimates on several occasions. In the final showdown, Death Adder was murdered by the Scourge; Diamondback fled alongside Sidewinder, as the Ultimates member Bombshell wanted revenge for the murder of her boyfriend, Poey; The rest of the Serpent Skulls were presumably arrested and taken into custody.[16]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Serpent Society appears in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In the series, its members were King Cobra, Anaconda, Bushmaster, Death Adder, Rattler, Constrictor, and Viper. In the episode "Ultron-5", the Serpent Society are confronted by the Avengers and are about to attack. However, Hank Pym's pacifism allows the Serpent Society to gain the upper hand against the Avengers and they get away. In the episode "Along Came a Spider...", King Cobra and Viper are apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. to be taken to Prison 42. The Serpent Society (who now have Constrictor in their ranks) attacks S.H.I.E.L.D. and rescued King Cobra and Viper enabling them to escape despite the interference of Captain America and Spider-Man. In the episode "Yellowjacket", the Serpent Society were attacked and shrinking into the new Big House by Hank Pym (who had gone insane) in his Yellowjacket alias. However, the new Big House was unstable and the Serpent Society are returned to their normal size and defeated by the Avengers.
  • The Serpent Society appears in the Toei anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers. Membership of the group includes King Cobra, Diamondback, Cottonmouth, and a female Death Adder.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

  • In the video game adaption of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Serpent Society appears as major antagonists. King Cobra leads the team, and Diamondback and Puff Adder also appear in the game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (January 1988). "Mark Gruenwald". Comics Interview (54) (Fictioneer Books). p. 15. 
  2. ^ Captain America #307 (1985)
  3. ^ Captain America #308 (1985)
  4. ^ Captain America #310 (1985)
  5. ^ Captain America #313 (1986)
  6. ^ Nova vol.4 #19
  7. ^ Wolverine vol.3 #73
  8. ^ X-Men: To Serve and Protect #2-4
  9. ^ Avengers vs. X-Men #0
  10. ^ Battle Scars #3-4
  11. ^ Elektra vol. 3 #6
  12. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #4
  13. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #5
  14. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #6
  15. ^ All-New Ultimates #1
  16. ^ All-New Ultimates #6

External links[edit]