Jordan Stryke was the brother of Leopold Stryke, who became the notorious costumed criminal known as the original Eel. When Jordan Stryke went into the advertising business, he legally changed his last name to Dixon so as to avoid association with his brother's criminal reputation. Dixon spent years in planning advertising campaigns for children's toys and other products, and eventually he and a man named Quentin Harderman became partners in an advertising agency.
Dixon believed that through his marketing abilities he was making fortunes for his clients, while he himself labored in relative obscurity for far less financial gain. Moreover, Dixon believed that through his advertising projects he was perpetrating lies on behalf of his clients and subverting the nation's moral values. Dixon even took a perverse pleasure in such activities. He prided himself on selling products he regarded as worthless so successfully to the public, and he regarded the American public with contempt, believing them willing to believe any lie spread through the mass media, if it was crafted convincingly enough.
Quentin Harderman and Dixon were apparently both involved in corrupt activities over the years. It is not known when Dixon decided to emulate his brother in becoming a costumed criminal, but he spent years in developing the venoms he intended to use as his weapons while he continued his advertising work.
Finally, Dixon assumed the costumed identity of the original Viper. He first clashed with costumed crimefighters when he became an agent of the criminal mastermind known as the Cowled Commander, for whom his brother the Eel also worked. On the Cowled Commander's behalf, the Viper battled both Captain America and the Falcon, but Captain America ultimately overcame the Viper, who was sent to prison.
Another criminal, the Cobra, helped the Eel and Viper to escape prison, whereupon they joined the new criminal team the Cobra founded, the original Serpent Squad. Seeking vengeance, the Viper telephoned Quentin Harderman and had him start a mass media campaign of character assassination against Captain America. Captain America and the Falcon soon met the Serpent Squad in battle, and Captain America defeated the Viper once more. The Viper returned to prison, but the mass media campaign against Captain America that he initiated continued under the auspices of Harderman, who now served the subversive organization called the Secret Empire.
The Viper was being transported one night by U.S. marshals in Virginia towards Washington, D.C., where he was to testify before grand juries and Congressional subcommittees about his connections with Harderman. On the way, the car in which the Viper was riding was attacked by Madame Hydra, a former leader in the subversive organization Hydra. Madame Hydra killed the marshals, and then told the Viper that she intended to wage a terrorist campaign against society under the name of Viper. Realizing she planned to kill him, the Viper desperately suggested that he change his own alias, but to no avail. Madame Hydra shot the Viper dead and then stripped the corpse of his costume (which, for unknown reasons, the marshals had allowed him to wear). From then on, it was Madame Hydra who was known as the Viper. Later, a soul fragment of the Viper appeared in Mephisto's Hell.
Dixon somehow came back to life, but as a side effect had lost his soul and morals with it, becoming more brutal and ruthless. He retook the reins of the Serpent Society, reinventing them as the "Serpent Solutions," a company involved in dubious dealings with big business. Using bankrolled facilities all over the United States and personnel from both Hydra and A.I.M. to become involved in genetic experiments, initially the cosmetic industry, but with sights on other areas of economy, including the military-industrial complex. Their modus operandi involved getting hired by big companies to do their dirty work, and subsequently sell the work back at a huge profit, while giving their employers plausible deniability of any involvement.
Viper was among several animal-themed super-villains captured by Taskmaster and Black Ant to serve as hunting targets in Central Park for a host of wealthy participants controlling robotic drones, part of a plot Kraven the Hunter and Arcade concocted. Cottonmouth and Black Mamba later questioned Viper's role as leader of the Society. Viper was presumably apprehended alongside the rest of the Serpent Society when the force field keeping the villains inside Central Park went down.
Powers and Abilities
The Viper was quite agile and a good hand-to-hand combatant.
The Viper possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in intensive regular exercise.
- Darts: The Viper hurled darts tipped with lethal poisons.
- Fangs: The Viper wore razor-sharp fangs on his right wrist that were likewise tipped with poison.
- 22 appearance(s) of Jordan Dixon (Earth-616)
- 5 mention(s) of Jordan Dixon (Earth-616)
- 10 image(s) of Jordan Dixon (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Jordan Dixon (Earth-616)
Links and References
- http://www.marveldirectory.com/xoops/modules/wordbook/entry.php?entryID=679 Marvel Directory
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #20