Captain America is one of the longest-running comics to exist, and with that comes an absolutely awesome rogues gallery of villains. He’s fought since World War II when he started fighting Nazis and Hydra, but since then, he’s been brought into the modern day, where he’s fought some of the most terrifying forces the world has ever seen.
While he’s clashed with the likes of Thanos, most of the time, Cap is dealing with other humans gone wrong, and the best example is the Serpent Society. They might not be the most well-known villains on the block, but the Serpent Society has completely owned Captain America on many occasions. They are a devastating team of snake-themed villains, and while that might sound dumb, their combat prowess is anything but.
The Captain America Serpent Society is one of the most prevalent groups in the Marvel Universe. They are a part of several different comics and have caused trouble for some of the most powerful heroes in the universe.
A Quick Overview
The Serpent Society is an interesting group because they aren’t really part of any larger organization. They are really their own thing, and it’s kind of like a gang. They have a strict code and each other’s backs while sharing the profits of their numerous evil deeds. Are they evil? They can be, but mostly, the Serpent Society is just in it for the money, so they are no worse than your typical mercenary.
Of course, the Serpent Society gets rented out all the time by the worst that the Marvel universe has to offer, including HYDRA and Kingpin, but to them, it’s just another job. When it comes to facing Captain America, they are among the most difficult villains he’s ever faced, so let’s get to know the members of this deadly and efficient group.
Members of the Serpent Society
The creator of the Serpent Society is named Sidewinder. A few different people have taken over the mantle over the years, but the original was an enemy of SHIELD and was actually killed while trying to infiltrate their headquarters.
Before his demise, Sidewinder was Seth Voelker, a professor of Economics before he was chemically mutated to the point that he was disfigured and also gained the power to teleport. This set him on the crime path, and shortly after, he organized the first iteration of the Serpent Society. Each of them took on a snake-like appearance which he became partial to due to his horrible disfigurement.
Sidewinder might look ridiculous depending on what iteration you find him in, but don’t be fooled; this guy is the Kingpin of the Serpent Society. Sure, he’s not the most powerful member, but he has their trust, and usually, only the worst of the society tries to overthrow him.
Another victim of a horrible chemical experiment, Blanche Sitznski, became the villain known as Anaconda after she received adamantium-enhanced arms. While she wasn’t disfigured in quite the horrific way Sidewinder was, her arms take on a monstrous appearance, and she’s devastating in hand-to-hand combat because of them.
She can also elongate them, using her strength to construct her enemies to death. She can breathe underwater and can regenerate wounds at an exceedingly fast rate. She can maintain the appearance of a normal human if she wants because she can change the size of her arms and legs at will.
Her unassuming appearance makes her a tough foe as you’re never sure when she’s near or not. She is known for training some women in the Serpent Society and is one of the original members alongside Sidewinder. She’s a core group member and has been there for each iteration.
Anaconda is probably the scariest member of the serpent society if you ask me. Her ability to grow and crush people with her adamantium arms makes her one of the most devastating villains imaginable. She has some truly horrifying scenes in the comics where she nearly constricts people to death.
The Eel has had quite the notable run-ins with members of the Marvel world. He first appears to battle the Human Torch and has been part of several villain teams before, such as the Fellowship of Fear. He became known as one of the original Serpent Society members and battled Captain America during one of its early iterations.
He’s also had fights with Namor, the Sub-Mariner as well. His powers allow him to conduct electricity through his very touch. He can also fire blasts of electric current as well, making him a devastating enemy to deal with. Multiple men have taken on the mantle of the Eel. Still, the original was Leopold Stryke, also known as Viper.
The eel should be much cooler than he is, but his electric powers just feel kind of tame. He also feels out of place as he’s an Eel, not a snake. I don’t know of any snakes with electric powers, and I’m glad for that, but Eel feels like he jumped in from another team.
Originally known as Klaus Vorhees, Cobra is one of the founding members of the Serpent Society back when it was known as the Serpent Squad. Cobra is a name that has been taken by many as well, which led the original one to take the name King Cobra to stand out.
He actually sided with Captain America at one point when Viper attempted to overthrow Sidewinder’s leadership in the group. His powers are a bit more interesting than the others. He is actually spliced with venom from a radioactive cobra, much like Spider-Man. Because of this, his body acts like a cobra, giving him full control over it and being able to dislocate himself at will.
He also has super strength, enhanced reactions, and nearly unbreakable bones. Much like Spider-Man, he also has wrist shooters that deliver poison projectiles or poisonous darts filled with toxic gas. He is definitely on the more dangerous ends of members of the Serpent Society and has been one of the core members holding it together from the start.
Ripoff anyone? I mean, Cobra is pretty much Spider-Man down to a T, just a very messed up version of him. He’s also one of the hardest to control members of the society and has tried to lead the group and overthrow Sidewinder multiple times.
Black Mamba’s real name is Tanya Sealy, and she was a former call girl before Roxxon Oil Company chose her to perform a heist. During this time, she was implanted with a device in her brain that granted her superhuman abilities.
She is a telepath and can read the minds of anyone near her. She can also project images in their minds, making them completely unguarded. Her other notable ability is to generate a cloud of Darkforce energy that she can use to coil her enemies with. She can use this to strangle her opponents to death, all while the victim is in a trance.
She can also disguise herself using that energy and use it on others to change their appearance. She’s a very powerful villain in her own right and, when combined with other members of the Serpent Society, nearly unbeatable.
Black Mamba is just an awesome character, even though her name doesn’t exactly fit her skills. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still crazy-powerful with her ability to constrict people with Darkforce energy, but I’d expect a character with her name to be just the embodiment of death. She’s actually much more mystical than that, and her powers go beyond that of a snake and venture into the magical realm.
As far as the Serpent Society goes, Death Adder is easily one of the crew’s weirdest and most disturbing looking. He has surgically given gills, has a bionic tail to go along with poisonous claws, and is creepy to look at. To go along with that, he’s covered in body armor and can swim at superhuman speeds.
He’s also super strong and has enhanced durability, agility, and reflexes. If you’re in the water with this guy, you’re in big trouble, but out of the water, he’s still a tough foe due to all his bizarre enhancements, namely a bionic tail that he can control like a fifth limb.
He’s a later member of the Serpent Squad, becoming part of the third iteration, but he’s also one of the most accomplished members. He actually kills MODOK at one point through poison. MODOK was far from a hero but rather a grey character, and that’s just what the Serpent Society is as well.
Death Adder has the big kills and the bizarre suit, but one thing he lacks is any real character worth caring about. I mean, he’s a villain, so there’s that, but as far as personality goes, this guy is pretty much an aim-and-shoot weapon that doesn’t offer a ton else in between.
Diamondback might be the most well-known of the Serpent Society. The reason? Well, she actually dated Captain America for a time after initially feuding with him as part of the Serpent Society. The group wanted to kill her for her actions, but her friends in the Serpent Society overturned the vote to execute her.
She started out as one of the original members of the Serpent Society and was trained by Anaconda. Unlike most of her teammates, she has no actual powers. She’s a great fighter and has some gymnastic skills and deadly accuracy with throwing weapons. Because of that, she throws razor-sharp diamonds as her weapon of choice that either explodes or exudes poisonous gas.
Diamondback is just awesome. I love me a grey area character, and she fits that bill perfectly, essentially playing the Catwoman role in the Captain America comics. Her flings with Cap are quite entertaining, but she’s also an engaging character whose motivations are never quite clear and is always on the verge of dipping back into the evil ends of things. That complexity makes her easily the most intriguing character in the serpent society.
Where is the Serpent Society Headquarters?
With a name like the Serpent Society, you need somewhere cool to call your home base, right? Well, how about an abandoned mental hospital in upstate New York? Because that’s exactly where they created their haven, known as the Serpent Citadel. It wasn’t the best-looking place in the world, but it certainly gave them an easy and sketchy place to do business with some of the most notorious crime organizations in existence.
How The Serpent Society Got Popular
Initially, they were doing some pretty small-scale jobs and fighting with Captain America occasionally, but it wasn’t until their first big kill that they really got the respect from big-time villains. Death Adder managed to kill MODOK after an AIM hit was put out on their former leader. The result was death by poison, and suddenly, the Serpent Society was the number one mercenary team out there.
During one of their most nefarious plots, they poisoned the water supply of Washington DC to turn the citizens into literal snake people. Diamondback escaped with Sidewinder, and the two turned to Captain America for help.
At this point, Viper was acting on her own pretty much, and the rest of the society was not cool with that, so they actually made a deal with Captain America to turn her over to him in exchange for the rest of their immunity. He, of course, said no, but Cobra turned Viper in regardless. Cobra actually took over following this event, as Sidewinder, the group’s original creator, called it quits.
Fights With Captain America
Soon after their formation, the Serpent Society almost constantly buts heads with Captain America. He fails to ever really defeat the team, though, due to their growing number of members and formidable powers. On several occasions, the Serpent Society defeats Captain America, nearly killing him in the process.
They would constantly fight because the Serpent Society is one of the main groups that HYDRA would hire to carry out their dirty work. Whenever Captain America would show up at some abandoned facility or sketchy seeming warehouse, you could be certain that the Serpent Squad was around every corner.
Some of the most notable showdowns happened due to Captain America’s relationship with Diamondback. She would constantly be on the verge of being kicked out of the group entirely or even executed for his ways. On one occasion, Captain America and Paladin had to team up to free her and her friends from captivity. During this mission, Captain America easily takes out two of the Serpents, which shows that he can take them down in small groups but has trouble when they’re all together.
Captain America is often thought to be like Batman when it comes to sparing his enemies, but against the Serpent Society, these fights are brutal, and Cap has little care for whether these enemies live or die. That’s the case, except when it comes to Diamondback.
The Downfall of the Serpent Society
The downfall of the Serpent Society was brought on by none other than the Serpents themselves. After the Diamondback incidents split the group down the middle loyalty-wise, they became constantly infighting over who was calling the shots in the group. The woman Serpents seemed to take each other’s side while the men were constantly at each other’s throats. Diamondback eventually teams up with Black Mamba and Asp to form BAD Girls, Inc.
They attempted to reform again after they were imprisoned following a massive fight where Diamondback fought alongside Captain America and Paladin against the remaining group members.
The Serpent Society used to be one of the more feared groups in Marvel, but lately? They’re kind of treated like a joke. I think they need a comeback story in the biggest way, as they had some of the more interesting villains in their group. Plus, they used to ragdoll Captain America weekly, and I think a little bit of humility is good for Mr. stars and stripes.
Parts in Big Storylines
The Serpent Society might’ve disbanded, but its individual members certainly have been active in the years since. One particular instance had King cobra, Rattler, and Bushmaster fighting with the Thunderbolts during the famous Civil War storyline. In this same story, Diamondback also teamed up with Captain America’s side of the war, although at this point, their relationship was far in the past.
The Serpent Society temporarily reformed during the Secret Invasion storyline in 2008, and it’s here where they took several people hostage under the guise of saving them from the Skrulls. Nova appeared and completely destroyed them in seconds, showing the old group had quite a bit of rust in them.
All Different Marvel Initiative
In this storyline, the Serpent Society returns and is headed by Viper. Viper had tried to perform a mutiny years earlier and failed, but here, it appears he succeeded. Along with leading the group, he also changes the name to Serpent Solutions, making it an entity of his own.
The problem is that they caught the attention of the new Captain America, Sam Wilson, and old friend Diamondback, who took them down in short order. They ended up arrested again following yet another failed plan.
Kraven The Hunter Catches a Snake
Funnily enough, Kraven the Hunter sets his sights on the Serpent Society and captures each of them. This places the Serpent Society in sympathetic shoes as they are forced to participate in a most dangerous game-style event where they must fight for their lives. The Serpents eventually escape and are getting ready to kill Kraven the Hunter when the Avengers and the Fantastic Four both show up to defeat them.
Who Else Does The Serpent Society Fight?
The Serpent Society finds themselves on the wrong end of punches from so many marvel heroes it’s tough to count. They used to be seen as a serious force to reckon with, and they’ve clashed with the X-Men and had individual battles with incredibly strong heroes like Colossusus.
Does The Serpent Society Exist in any Videogames?
There was a huge controversy when Captain America: Civil War initially released its title as Captain America: Serpent Society. It seemed they were intentionally trying to throw people off on the storyline. Though the Serpent Society isn’t in any of the MCU movies yet, they did appear as several bosses you could fight in the Captain America: Winter Soldier video game. Sadly, the game was not great, so they didn’t get an extended appearance.
There is a game out there currently that could really use the Serpent Society, and that is Marvel’s Avengers. That game is so bereft of villains that the Serpent Society would immediately go to the top of the food chain. It won’t happen most likely, but hey, I can dream. You can get it on your phone for those looking to check it out. It’s got a kind of X-Men: Legends vibe to it, so if that’s your deal, definitely give it a try.
Serpent Society Legacy
Of all the teams in the Marvel universe, the Serpent Society has always stood out to me because they manage to be both goofy and intimidating all at once. They have some of the most dangerous villains in the comics, but their name, mixed with their costumes and infighting, makes them seem way more of a joke than they should be.
Regardless of how you feel about the Serpent Society, one thing you can’t argue is that they’ve taken down Captain America. I don’t care if they lose almost every battle after that; if you took Captain America down just once, that makes you a legendary villain group. They definitely aren’t nearly as tough to defeat on their own, but combined? They make for one of the most formidable forces out there.
Question: Is the Serpent Society still around?
Answer: They are, but they’re now called Serpent Solutions, a considerably worse name. They still have some original members, but those who really were the best of the bunch, like Diamondback, have moved on to better things.
Question: Are the Serpent Society actually snake people?
Answer: No, at least not all of them. Most are just genetically enhanced humans who have been experimented on. Still, Cobra actually has been bitten by a radioactive snake and retains plenty of snake-like abilities because of it.
Question: Is Serpent Society the only Marvel mercenary group?
Answer: There are a handful of killers for hire in Marvel, but none approach the Serpent Society’s fame and success. The Thunderbolts are in a similar vein, but they actually try to be heroes, so I wouldn’t consider them in the same boat.
The Serpent Society is a staple in the Marvel world. They have exceeded the expectations of a group of snake-like villains and have instead ingrained themselves into just about any Marvel comic out there. Whenever your favorite hero infiltrates some strange facility or stronghold, you can be sure that the Serpent Society will be there to greet them. They might not be as high profile as the Sinister 6, but the Serpent Society reigns supreme when it comes to longevity and overall effectiveness as villains. Hopefully, it will get their time to shine in the comics again one day.