Rachel Leighton was born in Austin, Texas. However, she spent her formative years in the Lower East Side of New York City. Rachel had a brother, Danny, also known as Cutthroat. It was Danny and another of her brothers, Ricky, who originally fell in with a gang lead by a man known as "Bing". Yearning to be included, she approached Bing alone. Upon claiming she would do anything to join the gang, Rachel was beaten up and apparently raped by Bing, who years later became the costumed mercenary Crossbones.
Rachel later became a mercenary using the alias "Diamondback" and received training by Anaconda at one of Taskmaster's academies. One of the members of the original Serpent Society, Diamondback was a seductively sly woman with expertise in hand-to-hand combat, gymnastics, and thrown weaponry. Her gimmick was that she diamond shaped projectiles at her enemies, with each weapon being either acid-laced, explosive, or poison-tipped.
After her first confrontation with Captain America while on assignment to find and kill M.O.D.O.K., she was instantly smitten with him. Diamondback was later assigned to take Captain America into custody from the villain the Porcupine. In reality, the hand-over was a set-up so that Captain America could capture the Serpent Society. Realizing they'd been set up, Diamondback threw explosive-filled diamonds at Porcupine, damaging his armored battlesuit. Incensed at the damage to his only valuable possession, the Porcupine attacked Diamondback, but was fatally injured by a quill from his own suit. The Serpent Society escaped, and the Porcupine died.
She later looked into the murder of her teammate, Death Adder, by the Scourge of the Underworld, in the process avoiding assassination by Scourge when he shot at the Serpent Saucer containing herself and her teammate Cobra.
The terrorist Viper later staged a coup of the Serpent Society, causing several of her underlings to infiltrate the group as new members and setting Viper up to take over by force. Diamondback and their then leader, Sidewinder, escaped, recruiting Captain America and his allies to help rescue those members who were still loyal to Sidewinder. After a fierce battle, in which Viper was defeated, Sidewinder abandoned the Serpent Society.
Rachel was later revealed to have resigned from the Serpent Society, and temporarily switched bodies with the X-Man, Dazzler due to the interference of Mister Jip. This led, in part, to a confrontation between the Serpent Society and the X-Men.
Diamondback later alerted Captain America to the Bloodstone Hunt -- the hunt for the fragments of the mystical stone formerly worn by Ulysses Bloodstone. She aided Captain America in combat against Batroc, Machete, Zaran, and their leader Baron Zemo. She also encountered Crossbones for the first time, and was captured by him and imprisoned in a cathouse in Madripoor. Diamondback escaped, however and later accompanied Captain America to the Red Skull's Skull-House.
Diamondback and Captain America eventually went on their first date, aided by Rachel's friends in the Serpent Society, Asp, Black Mamba, and Anaconda, who made sure the date wasn't interrupted by a range of minor villains, including Trump, Gamecock, Poundcakes, and Jackhammer. Diamondback then battled the Avenger Black Widow, who was unaware of Rachel's change in affiliation, and acquired a new costume.
Diamondback was eventually put on trial by the Serpent Society for her consorting with the enemy (most of the Society assuming, incorrectly, that Diamondback had betrayed their secrets to Captain America) and found guilty for her action. This resulted in her near execution, however, she escaped with Captain America and Paladin's help, and later hired Paladin to help get revenge on the Serpent Society.
B.A.D. Girls, Inc.
After a failed kidnapping attempt from Anaconda, Diamondback was taken aboard Superia's ship, and joined her Femizons under duress, along with her friends and teammates Asp and the Black Mamba. While aboard Superia's ship, she was attacked and dumped in the sea to drown by the Femizon Snapdragon, who Diamondback had dishonored in some unspecified way while they were studying at the Taskmaster's academy. Diamondback developed a phobia of her dangerous lifestyle and of Snapdragon in particular, giving up her costumed identity for a time.
When she came into contact with Crossbones again, he kidnapped her, starved her, and abused her until she agreed, with ulterior motive, to steal packages of Captain America's blood from Avengers Mansion. After being used as a test subject by the Red Skull to see if the blood packets Crossbones had brought him really contained Captain America's blood, the now super-soldier serum-enhanced Diamondback became moderately unstable. While on a mission to A.I.M. Island with Cap, Rachel tracked down and confronted her enemy Snapdragon, who Rachel killed in the fight. Later, there was a glitch discovered in the Serum that Cap was suffering and Diamondback went to Superia in hopes for a cure. Using her as a test subject, there was a 50/50 chance that the cure would either work or kill Diamondback, and if it worked, Diamondback would have to serve Superia as the second Snapdragon. The experiment was a success, and Rachel became Snapdragon for a time. After Superia was seemingly killed by the Red Skull, Rachel was apparently free of her obligation.
Sometime later, Diamondback was infected with "mind-control nanoprobes" by Baron Zemo. Diamondback suffered extensive neurological damage from the experience and spent an extended period of time recovering in S.H.I.E.L.D. care. BAD Girls, Inc. later reappeared with the original lineup intact.
Later, a life model decoy of her was created by S.H.I.E.L.D. and used to deceive the Red Skull into thinking she would betray Steve Rogers. The model soon double-crossed the Red Skull and came to Steve's rescue, and thereby almost killed the Red Skull before being neutralized by her commander: Nick Fury. S.H.I.E.L.D. took custody of the life model and revealed to Steve that the real Rachel was in their care. Rachel promptly tried to resume her romance with Steve.
Civil War/The Initiative
Diamondback later turned up along with Asp and Black Mamba during the Civil War as a member of the Secret Avengers. Rachel has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes. Diamondback appeared at Camp Hammond, as an official recruit for the Initiative, along with Ant-Man, Crusader, Melee, Geldoff, Dragon Lord, Geiger, and Red 9. After the Skrull Invasion, Diamondback handed out assignments to the graduates.
When Camp Hammond was shut down by newly appointed Director Norman Osborn, Diamondback joined the staff at the newly established Camp H.A.M.M.E.R.. However, she was in fact an inside agent for the Avengers Resistance, feeding information to them about the corrupt Initiative's moves. Unfortunately, when she became romantically involved with Constrictor, he accidentally found out after Night Thrasher's escape. Rachel attempted to assure Constrictor that her feelings for him were genuine; he decided to keep her secret, fearing that she might be killed.
When Osborn sicced the whole Initiative against Asgard, Diamondback was close to turning the tables on the villains when Maria Hill turned up to rescue Thor. Constrictor grabbed him before her explosive diamonds hit the ground. They then witnessed the Sentry killing Ares before seeing Steve Rogers and his allies arrive.
Following a brief stint working with S.H.I.E.L.D. as a special agent and partner of Dum-Dum Dugan, and disbandment of B.A.D. Girls, Diamondack decided to retire, and leave a peaceful life with her fiancé Constrictor, who had also retired. Their happy life was cut short when Frank died from a terminal illness.
After struggling to even pay the rent, Rachel became a pole dancer. One night she was approached by Viper, who convince her to return to a life of crime and join the new rebranded version of Rachel's old team, now called the Serpent Solutions.
Unaware of her allegiance, the new Captain America went to Rachel for any intel on the Serpent Solutions. During a fight that sparked when some of the members of the Serpent Solutions tried to take Captain America by surprise, Rachel revealed her true allegiance and betrayed Cap, stabbing him with a poisoned dagger that knocked him out. When Captain America was chained and brought to Viper, Rachel opposed the idea of killing him, to no avail. When Captain America's young ally Joaquín Torres arrived to save him, the Serpent Solutions attempted to murder him, with Torres being saved only by his healing factor. Rachel had a change of heart and switched sides, helping Cap and his allies defeat the Serpent Solutions. After the arrest of her former team, Diamondback disappeared and left the city.
Diamondback is an Olympic-level athlete who excels in gymnastics, an accomplished hand-to-hand combatant, and an expert thrower of knives and other sharp objects.
Diamondback wields an undisclosed number of 4-inch long elongated diamond-shaped throwing spikes. She refers to these weapons as "diamonds," even though they are not made of actual diamond (which would be far too expensive for use). Stored in her boots, gloves, earrings and elsewhere on her costume, these diamonds are needle-sharp and sometimes filled with various substances. Known diamonds in her arsenal have contained a lethal fast-acting snake venom-derived poison, an impact-detonated explosive with the concussive force of 10 pounds of TNT, a highly corrosive concentrated hydrochloric acid, tear gas, and a fast-acting sleep-inducing narcotic. At least one set of these diamonds were designed by the Tinkerer.
Formerly Serpent Saucer.
Diamondback was transfused with drug-tainted blood from Captain America that contained the Super-Soldier Serum. This gave her enhanced abilities and an unstable mania for a time. The mania faded in a matter of months, but whether the Serum effects remain is unknown.
- 172 appearance(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 14 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 6 minor appearance(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 49 image(s) of Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)
- 11 quotation(s) by or about Rachel Leighton (Earth-616)