Serpent Society

Serpent Society

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Cobra (Klaus Voorhees), Eel (Leopold Stryke), and the Viper (Jordan Dixon) formed the short-lived Serpent Squad for vengeance against Captain America. The nihilist Madame Hydra killed Viper, usurped his alias, and re-formed the Squad, adding Princess Python. They placed Roxxon Oil president Hugh Jones under the control of the mystical Serpent Crown hoping to raise the lost continent of Lemuria for Viper's ally, Krang, who was in turn acting under the Elder God Set's influence via the Serpent Crown. Though the Squad was defeated, Jones remained under the Crown's influence, using corporate resources to create his own Serpent Squad: Sidewinder (Seth Voelker), Black Mamba, Death Adder, and Anaconda. This project also created solo operative Bushmaster (Quincy McIver), and may have empowered Asp (Cleo Nefertiti), Cottonmouth, and Rattler as well. The new Squad acquired another Serpent Crown for Jones, escaping after his defeat.

Forming the Serpent Society, a snake-themed criminal group built on a business model, Sidewinder invited his fellow Roxxon serpents plus Asp, Cobra, the Constrictor (who declined), Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Princess Python (soon fired for cowardice), Rattler, and Viper (who ignored them). The Society offered its members impressive benefits, notably escape from prison via Sidewinder's teleportation powers. After some initial trials, the group advertised its services to a number of institutions before assassinating M.O.D.O.K. for A.I.M. Shortly thereafter, Death Adder was assassinated by the Scourge of the Underworld.

Viper arranged the public arrest of serpent-criminals Black Racer, Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance, and Puff Adder. Sidewinder took this bait and recruited them, but they turned on the Society and Viper took over the group with the help of Boomslang, Coachwhip, Rock Python, and Slither. Only Black Mamba, Asp, Diamondback, and Bushmaster remained loyal to Sidewinder. Diamondback contacted Captain America, who stopped Viper's scheme, but Viper herself was defeated by Cobra, who betrayed her. Disheartened, Sidewinder left the group. The Society was briefly employed by the Deviant Ghaur to recover certain mystical totems, but when the group was defeated by the X-Men, Sidewinder intervened to complete the mission himself.

Cobra (now King Cobra) assumed leadership, the Society having added Viper's snakes, excepting her and Slither. Diamondback left to pursue a romance with Captain America, and a suspicious Cobra demanded she betray the Captain to prove her loyalty. She refused, and was nearly executed before Black Mamba, Asp, and Sidewinder rescued her. When Cobra went after Mamba and Asp, the Society was defeated by Diamondback, Paladin, and Captain America. Mamba and Asp left briefly to form B.A.D. Girls, Inc. with Diamondback and Impala. Sidewinder also reformed, agreeing to prison time in exchange for Captain America's guarantee of care for his ailing daughter. The Society moved to Arizona but was tracked there by Jack Flag, who defeated them alongside Free Spirit and Force Works.

Using stolen Roxxon technology, the Society equipped new Sidewinders. One such Sidewinder was killed in the employ of Deathsting, trying to steal the Zodiac Key from S.H.I.E.L.D.; another Sidewinder has since been seen in action. With these Sidewinders allowing Cobra to free imprisoned members again, the group resurfaced. The reunited Serpent Society recently fought Captain America to capture a Diamondback who was revealed to be a Life Model Decoy.

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- Marvel Editorial Staff