The Serpent Society is a business enterprise of criminals and mercenaries whose costumed identities are based on snakes. The Society remains one of the best-organized, most successful coalitions of criminals in operation today. The society is the brainchild of Seth Voelker, alias the Sidewinder, who was inspired by three previous coalitions of snake-themed criminals, each named the Serpent Squad.
Sidewinder convinced Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder of the sincerity of his intention to help them better their lot, and sent them to contact Asp, Bushmaster, Cobra, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Princess Python, and the Rattler. At an introductory meeting at a Manhattan hotel, which Viper refused to attend, Sidewinder laid out his plan: the various snake-criminals would band together as a single society. This society would function not unlike a labor union in that it's members would receive a guaranteed pay, better access to technology, and insurance and health benefits.
The Serpent Society's first paying assignment was a contract on the life of the original M.O.D.O.K., the renegade former leader of AIM, taken out by AIM's new leaders. The Society's success in killing M.O.D.O.K. established their reputation as hired criminal talent of the first caliber.
The membership of the Society has changed considerably over time. Princess Python deserted the group during the M.O.D.O.K. affair. She was captured and brainwashed to forget Society secrets, and was expelled from their ranks.  Death Adder was slain by one of the vigilantes known as Scourge.
The Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian) plotted to take over the Serpent Society and enlist its members in her scheme to introduce a mutagenic chemical into Washington, D.C.'s water supply that would turn its citizens into insane reptilian creatures. Four of her operatives, Black Racer, Copperhead, Fer De-Lance , and Puff Adder, infiltrated the Society.
The Viper then led a takeover of the Society's headquarters, the Serpent Citadel, aided by her operatives Boomslang, Coachwhip, Rock Python, and Slither. Viper poisoned Sidewinder, but Diamondback managed to escape with him and enlist the aid of Captain America, who was then using the identity known simply as "the Captain." Anaconda, the Cobra, Rattler, and Cottonmouth decided to support the Viper, who imprisoned and poisoned those Serpent Society members who would not serve her. The Captain, Diamondback, and their allies Nomad and D-Man succeeded in saving the captive Society members and defeating those serving the Viper. Disillusioned with the Viper and her plan to mutate innocent people, the Cobra himself defeated the Viper and turned her over to the Captain.
With the Viper's takeover thwarted, the Serpent Society reorganized at a new secret headquarters. Bitter over his betrayal by certain Society members, Sidewinder resigned from the Serpent Society. The Cobra became the Society's new leader, and a number of the Viper's operatives joined the Society. Hence, the current membership of the Society consists of Anaconda, the Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster, the Cobra, Coachwhip, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Puff Adder, the Rattler, and Rock Python.
The Deviant priest-lord Ghaur and the former Lemurian empress Llyra contacted Sidewinder, thinking he still headed the Serpent Society, to hire them to find certain mystical objects they needed to reconstruct the Serpent Crown. Sidewinder had then turned the contract over to the Cobra, but when the X-Men thwarted the Serpent Society, Sidewinder stepped in to complete the assignment. He turned over a fraction of the reward money to the Society.
On a personal assignment, the member Diamondback encountered Captain America and quit the Society in order to reform from her criminal past.
Months later, Black Mamba and Asp left the Serpent Society to strike out on their own, attempting to reform as their close friend Diamondback had done. The three formed a detective agency called B.A.D. Girls, Inc.. (a play off the acronym their names created.) The team was short lived, and the members parted company soon afterwards.
Viper (Jordan Dixon) took the reins of the Serpent Society and reinvented 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.
When he was trying to gather info on the Serpent Solutions with Diamondback, Captain America (Sam Wilson) was attacked by Puff Ader, Black Racer and Cottonmouth. During the fight, Cap unfortunately discovered that Diamondback was working with the Serpent Society, after being stabbed by her with a poisoned dagger that knocked him down.
The Serpent Society brought Cap to their Serpent Tower in Wall Street, and kept him paralysed using Asp's venom-bolt. After giving Captain America a speech on the supposedly righteous nature of his business that would save the economy and make America marvelous again, Viper threw Sam out of the window. However, Sam was rescued from falling to his death by his most recent ally, the winged mutate Joaquín Torres.
The Serpent Society soon caught up to the two heroes, and Joaquin held his own against the villains until Captain America could recover from the paralysis and more reinforcements could arrive, in the form of Misty Knight and D-Man. Additionally, after Viper's attempts to kill Sam and young Joaquín, Diamondback had a change of heart and helped the heroes. In the end, the Serpent Society was defeated, their business was shut down, and they were arrested by a S.W.A.T. team.
The members of the Serpent Society were 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 concocted by Kraven the Hunter and Arcade.
While fleeing from the indestructible drones, Cottonmouth and Black Mamba revealed they did not believe Viper was a suitable leader for the Serpent Society. Later, most of the villains looked to Vulture to lead them in rebelling against the drones.
When the force field keeping the criminals inside Central Park dissipated, several superheroes ambushed and apprehended members of the Serpent Society alongside the other escaped villains.
Equipment: All members of the society had a "special homing device surgically implanted in their heads" (on order of their former leader Sidewinder to spring them from jail if they were ever apprehended).
Transportation: Serpent Saucer
- 32 Serpent Society (Earth-616) Members
- 69 Appearances of Serpent Society (Earth-616)
- 1 Minor Appearances of Serpent Society (Earth-616)
- 11 Media Serpent Society (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 15 Images that include Serpent Society (Earth-616)
- Organization Gallery: Serpent Society (Earth-616)
Links and References
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
- Marvel Directory
- Captain America #310
- Captain America #311-313
- Captain America #313
- Captain America #380
- Captain America #318
- Captain America #342
- Captain America #341-344
- Uncanny X-Men Annual #1989
- Captain America #380-382
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #4
- Avengers vs. X-Men #0
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #5
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #6
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #16-23
- Captain America #345