A group of villains published by Marvel Comics
. The Serpent Society
first appeared in Captain America #310
After the last defeat of the Serpent Squad, the villain Sidewinder began to realize that he and villains like him were stuck in a general cycle of attempted crimes and then serving time in prison when they were defeated by some hero. Seeing the benefit of a group of villains who operated like a business, Sidewinder created a plan to create such an organization.
Gathering a group of villains all of whom had a snake motiff, Sidewinder pitched the idea of the Serpent Society to them. Members of the group would work together on particular contracts, each getting a part of the proceeds. They would be able to afford to take on larger contracts as a group than they could individually. The group members would also be given access to a wider range of equipment and support materials, would have a retirement plan and insurance, and ultimately would never have to fear jail, because Sidewinder would use his teleportation abilities to free them should they become captured.
Of those invited, only the Viper refused to attend the pitch, though she would later figure into the group's activites. The villain the Constrictor attended but ultimately refused to be a part of the group. He went to the Avengers with news of the new group and was put into the hospital by members of the Serpent Society for his trouble.
The original members of the Serpent Society were:
- Sidewinder: Leader of the group whose costume allowed him to teleport, but only sideways. This ability is useful although how the device determined what sideways was is still a bit of mystery.
- Anaconda: Superstrong woman whose abilities were the result of experiments performed on her by the Roxxon Corporation. Her arms were replaced with ones that extended and allowed her to entwine her victims and constrict them.
- Cobra: Villain whose possessed the ability to move quickly and to squeeze into tight spaces. His costume made him extremely slippery and was armed with a number of venom based weapons.
- Death Adder: Another victim of experments by Roxxon. Death Adder was given razor sharp claws and a spiked tail as offensive weapons. He was also given the ability to breathe under water, but lost the use of his mouth.
- Black Mamba: The result of another Roxxon experiment, Black Mamba possessed the ability to dance in such a way to create dark matter that would take on the form of someone who was trusted by the victim and then absorb their life energy.
- Princess Python: Former member of the Circus of Crime, Princess Python had two large trained pythons that she could order to entwine and crush their victims.
- Diamondback: Diamondback had no super-powers, but was armed with diamond-shaped throwing devices, that had different properties. Some of them were explosive. Some had acid in them. Others contained tear-gas. Still others just really, really hurt when you got hit with them. (Diamondback's diamonds were rather similar to Hawkeye or the Green Arrow's trick arrows, though to date no boxing glove diamond has been used.)
- Asp: The Asp possessed the ability to shoot bolts that paralyzed their targets. If the Asp expended all of her energy, it would require some time to regenerate the energy, which could be shortened if she did a dance. Oddly enough, this didn't raise any eyebrows from the other members of the Serpent Society when the Asp started to do the Monkey in the middle of a battle with Captain America.
- Bushmaster: The Bushmaster is one of the worst examples of the work of the Roxxon Corporation. Injured during a crime gone bad, Bushmaster found himself quadraplegic. He agreed to undergo experimental surgery from the Roxxon Corporation and awoke to find himself with new mechanical arms and a six foot tail for legs. He possesses two six inch fangs on the back of each hand containing poison.
- Cottonmouth: Cottonmouth possesses a bionic jaw that allows him to open his mouth really wide and bite with a force that can bend steel. Not a really cool power, but let's see any of the Avengers put an entire watermelon in their mouth.
- Rattler: The Rattler was given a cybernetic tail that would project vibrating blasts and could also be used to deflect objects.
The Serpent Society took a number of high profile contracts including a contract to kill MODOK
. They were opposed on a number of occasions by Captain America
, but he was never able to bring them to justice. Eventually, the Serpent Society began to see some attrition. Princess Python
attempted to leave the group and was brainwashed to forget about it and then released. Death Adder
was killed by the villain slayer, the Scourge
The Viper decided to take over the Serpent Society to use it for her own twisted ends. She got a number of new members into the Society: Black Racer, Coachwhip, Puff Adder, Rock Python, Copperhead and Fleur-de-Lance who then betrayed their fellow members and attempted to kill Sidewinder. The Viper then set about to try and poison the water supply of New York with a substance that would turn all who drank it into crazed lizard people. They were opposed by Captain America and some of his associates. The Viper was defeated and leadership of the Serpent Society was turned over to the Cobra when Sidewinder declined to return. In keeping with his new position, Cobra changed his name to King Cobra.