Viper (Marvel Comics)

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Viper is the name of four fictional characters, supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first Viper, Jordan Stryke, first appeared in Captain America #157 (January 1973), created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema and John Verpoorten. He was killed by the second Viper who took his name, but Stryke later reappeared alive without explanation. A third Viper, was part of Sin's Serpent Squad, but was later killed by the Scourge of the Underworld.

Jordan Stryke, originally known as Jordan Dixon, began his criminal career alongside his brother Leopold, known as the Eel. The two initially worked for the Cowled Commander but were stopped by Captain America and Falcon. Later on Viper, Eel and Cobra formed the first version of the Serpent Squad. While in custody Jordan Stryke is attacked by Madame Hydra who kills Stryke and takes the name "Viper". Years later Jordan Stryke reappears alive without any explanation of how and takes control of the Serpent Society. Stryke reorganizes the Society into Serpent Solutions.

Publication history[edit]

The first known Viper (Jordan Stryke, also known as Jordan Dixon) was created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema and John Verpoorten and first appeared in Captain America #157 (January 1973).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Jordan Stryke[edit]

Viper
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Captain America vol.1 #157 (January, 1973)
Created by Steve Englehart
Steve Gerber
Sal Buscema
John Verpoorten
In-story information
Alter ego Jordan Stryke
Team affiliations Serpent Squad
Secret Empire
Notable aliases Jordan Dixon
Abilities Skilled advertiser, chemist and debater
Venom-tipped claws and darts

Jordan Stryke (aka Jordan Dixon) was the brother of Leopold Stryke, also known as the costumed criminal Eel. They each formed costumed identities without the other realizing this fact. Viper concealed this fact by using the alias of "Dixon" as his everyday last name. Together they joined the Crime Wave of the Cowled Commander, and the Viper battled the Falcon and Captain America. During the course of the fight, Viper managed to poison his opponents with darts and escaped. Later, the Falcon discovered the Viper in his home after tracking his alias (through an offhand comment made by the Viper indicating that he was involved in advertising) and captured him. Escaping in an ensuing battle with Plantman and the rest of the Crime Wave, Viper’s identity was discovered by his brother Eel. Soon after, the Crime Wave was defeated by Captain America and the Falcon, and they were sent to prison.[volume & issue needed]

Later escaping prison with his brother and the help of the Cobra, the trio formed the original Serpent Squad and attacked Captain America at his girlfriend's home in Virginia. Despite new weapons added to his arsenal, including the Venom-Firer and prosthetic fangs, the Viper and his partners were returned to jail. While in custody, he was being taken to appear before a grand jury by U.S. Marshals. The van he was transported in was attacked by Madame Hydra, and his guards were killed. Believing himself rescued by his Serpent Squad, Viper rushed out of the van, only to be told by Madame Hydra that she wanted a new name – his name. Despite offering to change his moniker, the Viper was gunned down and killed,[1] and Madame Hydra assumed the name and leadership of the Serpent Squad. Later, his soul fragment was discovered by Hell’s Angel and the X-Men in Mephisto’s realm and, with Jordan Stryke’s usual luck, even this was destroyed.[volume & issue needed]

As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event, Viper somehow turned up alive and has assembled the other snake-themed villains to join the Serpent Society under its new name of Serpent Solutions.[2]

Viper appears in the 2017 "Secret Empire" storyline where he and the rest of the Serpent Society are among the villains recruited by Baron Helmut Zemo to join the Army of Evil.[3][4]

Viper (Madame Hydra)[edit]

Viper (Serpent Squad)[edit]

A new Viper appeared along with Sin's new Serpent Squad in the pages of Captain America. His true identity has yet to be revealed. He breaks Crossbones out of jail and later attacked the White House, but he was stopped by the new Captain America.[volume & issue needed] Following that, he and the rest of the Squad took part in a plot to use madbombs to cause rioting in New York City.[volume & issue needed] After being captured, Viper asked to go into the Witness Protection Program in exchange for information. He had only been in the program for less than a month when he was targeted by the villain killer Scourge and killed after being shot twice in the head.[volume & issue needed]

Hobgoblin's Viper[edit]

While regaining his franchises, Roderick Kingsley sold the costume of one of the Vipers to an unnamed criminal in order to become his version of Viper.[5]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Viper has no superhuman abilities, and relies upon his mind and trained fighting skills to win battles. Very intelligent, he is a skilled debater and advertiser, and he is skilled enough in chemistry to create his own special form of venom. He wears venom-tipped claws and employs venom-tipped darts.[volume & issue needed]

The third Viper possessed great physical strength but was lacking in hand-to-hand combat skills. In battles with both the Steve Rogers and Bucky versions of Captain America, he was taken out easily by a kick to the head. He used a wrist blaster that could fire poison darts.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

During the 2017 "Secret Wars" storyline, the Battleworld domain of the Hydra Empire has a group called the Vipers who work for Hydra. They are a group of female assassins that wear Hydra's version of the Symbiotes on their bodies and are led by Venom who sports the same type of Symbiote as the Vipers. The Vipers first appeared with Venom where they attacked the Resistance. While most of the Resistance was killed in the ensuing battle, Venom managed to infect Captain America and Sharon Carter's daughter Ellie Rogers with a Symbiote which slowly started to turn her into a Viper.[6]

In other media[edit]

  • Sandra Hess was cast as Viper in the 1998 TV-movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[citation needed] It was stated in the film that her real name is Andrea von Strucker, one of Baron Strucker's children.
  • Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova was cast as the mutant-powered Viper in The Wolverine.[7][8] This version is portrayed as a mutant immune to all toxins on Earth, able to shed her skin if she is ever infected, as well as being a master of creating toxins. Viper is also a brilliant scientist under the alias of Dr. Green and helped build the Silver Samurai armor out of adamantium for Ichiro Yashida (who was the father of Shingen Yashida and the grandfather of Mariko Yashida). She devises a means to negate Wolverine's healing factor using a micro-robot attached to his heart until it was later removed by Wolverine. She is killed in the final battle with Yukio when a cable is tied around her neck and she is hauled into an elevator shaft with her neck being broken by the descending counterweight.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Captain America #180. Marvel Comics.
  2. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #4. Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
  4. ^ Secret Empire #2. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #13. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Hail Hydra #2. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ http://www.aintitcool.com/node/56995
  8. ^ http://www.twitchfilm.com/news/2012/07/breaking-20th-century-fox-in-talk-with-svetlana-khodchenkova-for-viper-in-the-wolverine.php

External links[edit]

  • Viper I at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  • Viper II at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  • Viper III at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe