This page contains some of the same content as the Marvel Database article. A more complete and current article is at the Marvel Comics Database Serpent Society (Earth-616).
The Serpent Society is a criminal business enterprise whose members all have costumed identities based on snakes. The Serpent Society was the brainchild of Seth Voelker, alias the Sidewinder, who was inspired by three previous coalitions of criminals styling their identities after snakes; each named the Serpent Squad. The first Serpent Squad consisted of the original Viper, his brother, the original Eel (although an eel is a fish, not a snake), and Cobra, and was organized for the purpose of destroying Captain America. The second Serpent Squad was organized by the second Viper (originally Madame Hydra) and consisted of the Cobra, the original Eel, and Princess Python. This Serpent Squad aided the Viper and the renegade Atlantean Warlord Krang in their use of the Serpent Crown, an ancient artifact of immense power, and was defeated by Captain America (in his short-lived guise as the original Nomad) and the Sub-Mariner. Hugh Jones, president of Roxxon Oil Company, organized the third Serpent Squad, comprised of Sidewinder, Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder, to retrieve the Serpent Crown, which had been lost in the Pacific Ocean. In the process of recovering the Crown, three of the four Squad members were trapped in an underwater rockslide. Sidewinder managed to complete the assignment and collect the fee from Roxxon. With that money in the bank gaining interest, Sidewinder began to formulate plans for the ultimate squad of serpents.
Learning that Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder had survived the undersea mishap, Sidewinder convinced them of the sincerity of his intention to help them better their lot. He then sent them to contact other snake-motic criminals to invite them to an organizational meeting at a posh Manhattan hotel. The second Viper is the only individual invited who outright refused to attend. The Constrictor walked out of the meeting unimpressed by the proceedings and attempted to subvert the group by informing on them to the Avengers. Sidewinder gave those interested in joining his new team initiation tasks to test their abilities to work together as well as to acquire certain technology needed by the organization. The tasks successfully completed, Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Bushmaster, Cobra, Cottonmouth, Death Adder, Diamondback, Princess Python, and the Rattler became charter members of the Serpent Society. Sidewinder escorted them to the group's headquarters,
Serpent Citadel, which was in an abandoned mental hospital he had purchased from the state of New York.
In the course of the group's early activities, Captain America frequently intervened but was never able to deal the organization a crippling blow. The Serpent Society's first paying assignment was a contract on the life of the original Modok, the renegade former leader of the Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), taken out by AIM's new leaders. The Society's success in killing Modok established their reputation as hired criminal talent of the first caliber.
The membership of the Society has changed considerably over time. Princess Python deserted the group during the Modok affair. She was captured and brainwashed to forget Society secrets, and was expelled from their ranks. Death Adder was slain by one of the vigilantes known as Scourge. The Viper plotted to take over the Serpent Society and enlist its members in her scheme to introduce a mutagenic chemical into Washington, D.C.'s water supply that would turn its citizens into insane reptilian creatures. Four of her operatives, Black Racer, Copperhead, Fer De-Lance, and Puff Adder, infiltrated the Society, and the Viper then led a takeover of the Serpent Citadel, aided by her operatives Boomslang, Coachwhip, Rock Python, and Slither. Viper poisoned Sidewinder, but Diamondback managed to escape with him and enlist the aid of Captain America, who was then using the identity known simply as "the Captain." Anaconda, the Cobra, Rattler, and Cottonmouth decided to support the Viper, who imprisoned and poisoned those Serpent Society members who would not serve her. The Captain, Diamondback, and their allies Nomad and D-Man succeeded in saving the captive Society members and defeating those serving the Viper. Disillusioned with the Viper and her plan to mutate innocent people, the Cobra himself defeated the Viper and turned her over to the Captain.
With the Viper's takeover thwarted, the Serpent Society reorganized at a new secret headquarters. Bitter over his betrayal by certain Society members, Sidewinder resigned from the Serpent Society. The Cobra became the Society's new leader, and a number of the Viper's operatives joined the Society. Hence, the current membership of the Society consists of Anaconda, the Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster, the Cobra, Coachwhip, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Puff Adder, the Rattler, and Rock Python.
The Deviant priest-lord Ghaur and the former Lemurian empress Llyra contacted Sidewinder, thinking he still headed the Serpent Society, to hire them to find certain mystical objects they needed to reconstruct the Serpent Crown. Sidewinder had then turned the contract over to the Cobra, but when the X-Men thwarted the Serpent Society, Sidewinder stepped in to complete the assignment. He turned over a fraction of the reward money to the Society.
The Serpent Society advertises its services through underworld channels, claiming no job is too large. When a contract is accepted, the leader decides how many operatives the assignment requires, selects certain operatives and dispatches them. Part of the fees for each contract goes to the organization for operating costs, while the others part goes to the operatives involved. Society members are not prevented from seeking out their own outside assignments, but they must pay a percentage of their outside earnings to the group. In exchange for each member's services and financial support, the Society offers increased job opportunities, health insurance benefits, safe lodging, and comradeship. Moreover, when Sidewinder led the group, no member needed to fear imprisonment by legal authorities, for Sidewinder would use his teleportation abilities to rescue any captured Society member.
The Serpent Society remains one of the best-organized, most successful coalitions of superhuman criminals in operation today.
Additional History by Unofficial Handbook Website
The Serpent Society is a business enterprise of criminals and mercenaries whose costumed identities are based on snakes. The Society remains one of the best-organized, most successful coalitions of criminals in operation today.
The society is the brainchild of Seth Voelker, alias the Sidewinder, who was inspired by three previous coalitions of snake-criminals, each named the Serpent Squad.
The first Serpent Squad consisted of the original Viper, his brother, the original Eel (an eel is actually a fish, not a snake), and the Cobra. It was organized for the purpose of destroying the hero Captain America. The second Serpent Squad was organized by the current Viper (the former Madame Hydra) and consisted of the Eel, Princess Python, the Cobra, and Warlord Krang of Atlantis. It was made up of agents of the Serpent Crown, an ancient artifact of immense power, and was defeated by Captain America, in his one-time guise as Nomad, and his ally the Sub-Mariner.
The third Serpent Squad, comprised of Sidewinder, Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder, was organized by Roxxon Oil Company to retrieve the Serpent Crown, which had been lost at sea. In the process of recovering the Crown, three of the four villains were trapped in an underwater rock slide. Sidewinder completed the assignment and collected the fee from Roxxon. Learning that Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder had survived the undersea mishap, Sidewinder used them as the basis for another new organization of snake-motif criminals. Eventually, Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Bushmaster, Cobra, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Death Adder, Princess Python, and the Rattler became charter members of the Serpent Society.
The Serpent Society advertised its services through underworld channels, claiming no job too large. When a contract was accepted, the leader decided how many operatives the assignment required, selected certain operatives and dispatched them. Part of the fees for each contract went to the organization for operating costs, while the other part went to the operatives involved. Society members were not prevented from seeking out their own outside assignments, but they were required to pay a percentage of their outside earnings to the group. In exchange for each member's services and financial support, the Society offered increased job opportunities, health insurance benefits, safe lodging, and comradeship. Moreover, when Sidewinder led the group, no member needed to fear imprisonment by legal authorities, for Sidewinder would use his teleportation abilities to rescue any captured Society member. Sidewinder never participated in assignments himself except to rescue members who are jailed. The group's headquarters was the Serpent Citadel, an abandoned mental hospital the Sidewinder had purchased from the state of New York.
The Serpent Society's first paying assignment was a contract on the life of Modok, the renegade one-time leader of the criminal scientific organization Advanced Idea Mechanics, who was taken out by AIM's current leaders. The Society's success in killing Modok established their reputation as hired criminal talent of the first caliber.
The membership of the Society has changed considerably over time. Princess Python deserted the group during the Modok affair. She was captured and brainwashed to forget Society secrets, and was expelled from their ranks. Death Adder was slain by an agent of the vigilante group known as Scourge. On a personal assignment, the member Diamondback encountered Captain America and quit the Society in order to reform from her criminal past.
More recently the Society accepted four new members-- Black Racer, Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance, and Puff Adder-- unaware that they were infiltrators employed by the Viper. These four villains provided Viper with the location of the Society Citadel, allowing her to teleport in with four other agents, Boomslang, Coachwhip, Rock Python, and Slither. . Viper also had Sidewinder poisoned, although he later recovered. Diamondback and Sidewinder escaped, while Anaconda, Cobra, Cottonmouth, and Rattler joined forces with Viper. Diamondback was able to summon Captain America (in his guise as the Captain) along with his allies Demolition Man, Falcon, Nomad, and Vagabond, who helped defeat Viper's scheme to contaminate Washington D.C.'s water supply thereby mutate its citizens into insane reptilian creatures. Ultimately, it was the Cobra, disillusioned with the Viper and her plan to mutate innocent people, who himself defeated the Viper and turned her over to the Captain.
Bitter over his betrayal, Sidewinder resigned, leaving the leadership of the Society to Cobra (who then renamed himself King Cobra). The Serpent Society reorganized at a new secret headquarters, and a number of the Viper's operatives joined the Society. The membership of the Society rested with Anaconda, the Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster, the Cobra, Coachwhip, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Puff Adder, the Rattler, and Rock Python.
Months later, Black Mamba and Asp left the Serpent Society to strike out on their own, attempting to reform as their close friend Diamondback had done. The three formed a detective agency called BAD Girls, Inc. (a play off the acronym their names created.) The team was short lived, and the members parted company soon afterwards.
Still more recently, many of the Serpent Society were taken into custody after their defeat in Las Vegas by Captain America.
- King Cobra - (Klaus Voorhees), was mutagenically altered via radiated snake venom.Very flexible and slithery body, Superhuman athletic abilities and Wall crawling.
- Anaconda - (Blanche Sitznski), was bioengineered by Roxxon's Mutagenics Division to have various permanent serpentine features. Her skeleton was laced with an artificial adamantium, giving her the ability to elongate her arms and legs, which she uses to constrict her enemies. She has also been surgically provided gills so she can breathe underwater.
- Asp - (Cleo Nefertiti), earned her reputation as an exotic dancer, being able to charm snakes with her sensual movements. Her ability to generate blasts of energy that caused paralysis intrigued the leader of the Serpent Society, Sidewinder, and he invited her to join the group.
- Black Mamba - (Tanya Sealy), was an ex-call girl, chosen by the Roxxon Oil Company to partake in a covert operation to retrieve the mystical Serpent Crown. Roxxon surgically implanted a special component in her brain which enables her slight telepathic abilities. She also projects a cloud of energy known as darkforce.
- Black Racer - (Ariana Saddiqi),has the power of super speed, Black Racer first joined the fourth Serpent Squad, robbing a casino in Las Vegas.
- Bushmaster - (Quincy McIver), became a quadruple amputee when 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 in the place of the lower half of his body.
- Coachwhip - (Beatrix Keener),Coachwhip invaded the Serpent Society with several colleagues in a plot to overthrow its leader Sidewinder and have Viper assume leadership. Coachwhip is highly skilled in the use of whips in combat.
- Cottonmouth - (Burchell Clemens), Cottonmouth's bionic jaw can dislocate far enough to fit a human head, and possesses sufficient strength to deform soft iron and crush cinderblock.
- Fer-de-Lance - (Teresa Vasquez),Fer-de-Lance is skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and the use of sharp weapons, including her talons.
- Puff Adder - (Gordon Fraley), is a mutant with Puffadder like powers, depowered after M-Day, repowered under unknown circumstances.
- Rattler - (Gustav Krueger),was given a bionic tail which he uses to create shockwaves and vibrations.
- Rock Python - (M'Gula), is citizen of Rudyarda in Arica probably a mutant, and that he worked as a mercenary. His skin, muscular tissue, and bones are superhumanly durable. His body is sufficiently durable to resist the impacts of high calibre firearms.
- Boomslang - (Marc Riemer), Australian criminal Boomslang was ordered by the Viper to infiltrate the Serpent Society. Boomslang throws snake-shaped sickles he calls his "serpent-rangs".
- Copperhead - (Davis Lawfers), wears a suit of armor that is equipped with weaponry and affords him some degree of protection. Copperhead was ordered by the Viper to infiltrate the Serpent Society.
- Death Adder - (Roland Burroughs), underwent surgery thanks to the Roxxon Oil company, giving him gills, claws, and a bionic tail, as well as certain other physiological changes. As a result of a mistake during the surgery to give him gills, Burroughs was rendered mute.
- Diamondback - (Rachel Leighton), was a seductively sly woman with expertise in hand-to-hand combat and thrown weapons. Her gimmick was that she threw acid-laced or poison-tipped diamonds at her enemies.
- Princess Python - (Zelda DuBois)
- Sidewinder - (Seth Voelker),was an economics professor. He failed to make tenure and was hired by the Roxxon Oil Company as an economic analyst. He discovered their criminal schemes and they permitted him to apply for mutagenic alteration. Sidewinder was hired by Roxxon to retrieve the Serpent Crown.
- Slither - (Aaron Salomon) is a mutant with snake like powers,depowered after M-Day.
- Viper - (Ophelia Sarkissian)
Equipment: In Captain America #345, Diamondback says that all members of the society had a "special homing device surgically implanted in their heads" (in order for their former leader Sidewinder to spring them from jail if they were ever apprehended).
Transportation: Serpent Saucer
Weapons: None known.
- The Serpent Society's leader King Cobra was one of the villains who escaped during the Raft prison breakout. He was captured by Toxin and handed in to the authorities. The rest of the Serpent Society's whereabouts remain unknown.
- No trivia.
- 49 Appearances of Serpent Society (Earth-616)
- Images that include Serpent Society (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Serpent Society (Earth-616)
Links and References
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
- Marvel Directory