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Quote1 Give me a kiss. Quote2
-- Black Mamba src
 

Origin

Tanya Sealy was born in Chicago. She worked as a call girl for some time until she was chosen by the Roxxon Oil Company to partake in a covert operation to retrieve the mystical Serpent Crown. The executives at Roxxon surgically implanted a special component in her brain which enables her slight telepathic abilities. Under unknown circumstances, she also gained the ability to project a cloud of energy known as Darkforce. She most often uses her combined abilities to use the image of her opponent's loved one and suffocate them with the darkforce projection. As part of her first mission, she was assigned to work with other snake-themed villains Sidewinder, Anaconda, and Death Adder as part of the Serpent Squad. Their search for the Serpent Crown put them in conflict with the Thing, Stingray, and Triton. The Serpent Squad found the crown, but Sidewinder accidentally trapped Black Mamba, Anaconda, and Death Adder underwater.[1]

Anaconda managed to free herself and her teammates, and the trio plotted to steal a weapon simply known as the microscanner from Stark Enterprises. Iron Man discovered their plan and defeated the Serpent Squad.[2]

Black Mamba, Anaconda, and Death Adder then targeted Sidewinder as revenge for abandoning them during their first mission.[3] However, when Sidewinder returned home, he gave the trio their earnings from the Serpent Crown mission. He proposed a way for them to earn far more money if they'd put aside their desire for revenge and listen to his pitch. Black Mamba, Anaconda, and Death Adder agreed to attend Sidewinder's gathering of serpent-themed criminals.[4]

Serpent Society

Sidewinder's proposal of a criminal union that provides health care, pensions, camaraderie, and the promise to never face long-term prison time proved appealing to Black Mamba, so she accepted the invitation to join the Serpent Society.[5]

One of her earliest missions partnered Black Mamba with the Rattler as they investigated an underwater A.I.M. facility. Their mission was cut short when Sidewinder ordered them to a shopping mall in New Jersey to hunt down M.O.D.O.K.. At the mall, Captain America ambushed the Serpent Society, with Black Mamba teaming with Asp and Diamondback in attempt to stop him. Black Mamba began creating a darkforce phantom of Captain America's lover Bernie Rosenthal, but was knocked unconscious when Asp blasted the phantom while it was still connected to her. Nevertheless, Death Adder and Cottonmouth managed killing blows on their target.[6] Shortly after, Black Mamba assisted Anaconda, Asp, and Cobra as they retrieved M.O.D.O.K.'s corpse from the morgue and delivered it to A.I.M.[7]

After Death Adder's murder, Black Mamba revealed his death to his parents and asked if their son had any enemies that they knew of.[8]

When the Masters of Evil assaulted the Avengers Mansion, Black Mamba was hired by Baron Helmut Zemo to seduce and drug Hercules.[9]

During this time, Black Mamba began a romantic relationship with Sidewinder. When Viper infiltrated the organization, she shot and stunned Black Mamba. Dressed in Black Mamba's maid disguise, Viper then attempted to poison and kill Sidewinder, though he managed to escape. Black Mamba remained loyal to her lover, so Viper injected poison into her veins. Diamondback, who had contacted Captain America for help, found Mamba, Asp, and Bushmaster, the only members who had stayed loyal to Sidewinder, and administered the anti-toxin to save their lives.[10]

After Cobra became leader of the Serpent Society, the organization was hired to seek out mystical items. Black Mamba was joined by Anaconda, Coachwhip, and Rock Python as they searched for a Native American totem. The X-Men interrupted their mission, and Black Mamba used the illusion of Lorna Dane in attempt to smother Havok. Havok managed to overcome the darkforce phantom and defeat Black Mamba.[11]

Around this time, Black Mamba became close friends with Diamondback and Asp.[12] Along with Anaconda, the women helped Diamondback's date with Captain America (unbeknownst to the other serpents at the time) go smoothly.[13] When the Serpent Society learned that Diamondback had been dating their arch-rival, they held a vote over whether to punish Diamondback for treason. Black Mamba was one of the few members to vote against the death penalty. Diamondback was ultimately sentenced to death. Black Mamba, wishing to save her friend, contacted Sidewinder and had him teleport the captive Diamondback to safety. However, King Cobra learned of this and captured Black Mamba and Asp. They were quickly freed by Captain America and allowed to remain at large.[14]

B.A.D. Girls

With Diamondback ousted from the Serpent Society and the majority of its members in prison, Black Mamba joined her friends in forming B.A.D. Girls, Inc.. They acquired new costumes and planned to work as freelance mercenaries. Soon after, Anaconda, Rock Python, and Puff Adder, who had avoided imprisonment, found and attacked the trio by crashing their Serpent Saucer into Paladin's apartment. Black Mamba was buried under the rubble of the building. Her unconscious body, along with Asp and Diamondback, were taken aboard the Serpent Saucer. While flying away, M.O.D.A.M. appeared and threw Puff Adder and Rock Python from the saucer. She invited Black Mamba, Asp, Diamondback, and Anaconda to join Superia's all-female band of criminals, the Femizons. Black Mamba and her allies reluctantly agreed to join the group.[15]

While aboard Superia's cruise ship, the B.A.D. Girls befriended Impala. When a fight broke out between Anaconda and Quicksand, Black Mamba cheered on Anaconda. While distracted, Black Mamba didn't notice a figure grabbing Diamondback.[16]

Black Mamba and Asp later found Diamondback in the infirmary, having been thrown overboard and left for dead. Traumatized, Diamondback told her teammates that she planned to retire.[17] Soon after, Black Mamba and Asp discovered that Captain America and Paladin had slipped aboard the S.S. Superia.[18]

After discovering Superia's plans to transform all male human life into women, Black Mamba realized they needed to free Captain America as she didn't want to live in a world without men. She and Asp rescued Captain America and Paladin and disguised themselves as guards, while the two men donned Mamba's and Asp's B.A.D. Girls costumes. Black Mamba joined Captain America as they searched for Superia. In the ensuing battle, Mamba attempted to use her darkforce on the villainess, but Superia quickly knocked her out.[19] When she recovered, she found Captain America outmatched by a group of Femizons. She assisted him against Arclight, and later joined Captain America, Asp, Diamondback, and Paladin at the docks as they were rescued by the Avengers.[20]

Modeling Career

For a brief period of time, Black Mamba lived in Hollywood and worked as a fashion model. When Puff Adder approached her and asked for her to return to the Serpent Society, she refused and told him she made more money as a model.[21]

Masters of Evil VII

Under unknown circumstances, Black Mamba abandoned her modeling career and served in Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil as they battled the Thunderbolts.[22]

Returning to B.A.D. Girls

She eventually went back to the Serpent Society for a very short time, and then left to be with Diamondback and Asp and continue to undertake missions as the B.A.D. Girls. During one mission, to find the "Dominus Objective," Black Mamba severely embarrassed Deadpool when she revealed his darkest fantasy -- to be given a back massage by his partner in crime, Cable (although her power similarly affected everyone she used it on in this appearance). She also fought Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and was shocked to realize her group had been hired by Cable himself. It is presumed that Black Mamba continues to serve with the B.A.D. Girls.[23]

Civil War

Black Mamba appears along with her friends Diamondback and Asp as a member of Captain America's anti-registration group, the Secret Avengers.[24]

Dark Reign

She later joined the Women Warriors, a female team part of the Initiative as the Delaware team.[25]

In that team and along Constrictor, she confronted the R.A.I.D.,[26] and later participated to Osborn's attack on Asgard.[27]

Assassin

Following the Dark Reign, Black Mamba apparently became an independent assassin, being hired by the Assassins Guild in their battle with X-Force. She fought against Domino, who shot her in the shoulder. Later, she attacked X-23 who stabbed her in the chest, seemingly fatally wounding her. Despite being on the brink of death, she was healed by Elixir.[28]

The Assassin's Guild later hired Black Mamba, alongside her former Serpent Squad teammates (with Theodore Scott replacing Roland Burroughs as Death Adder), to hunt down and kill Elektra, Cape Crow, Kento Roe, and Matchmaker.[29]

Serpent Solutions

When Viper took over leadership of the Serpent Society and rebranded it as Serpent Solutions, Black Mamba once again rejoined the organization.[30]

Alongside Anaconda, Asp, Princess Python, Fer-de-Lance, and Black Racer, Black Mamba burst from a giant cake during the Thing's bachelor party. The female members of Serpent Solutions battled the superheroes in attendance, but were eventually defeated and taken into custody.[31]

Hunted

Black Mamba 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.[32] Banded together with the other super-villains, Black Mamba supported the idea of Vulture leading them to battle the drones.[33] The group soon ambushed several drones, revealing that damaging them injures the user, which Kraven had planned for all along.[34]

When the force field keeping the criminals inside Central Park dissipated, several superheroes attacked and apprehended Black Mamba and the other escaped villains.[35]

Powers

  • Darkforce Manipulation: Black Mamba possesses the ability to project an inky cloud of extradimensional energy known as the Darkforce. This energy is manifested by Black Mamba as a limited quantity of viscous semi-solid matter. It is not known how far Black Mamba can project this energy manifestation, but her control over it seems limited by her line of sight. It is also not known how much of it she can manipulate at once: so far she has not been observed using it against more than one person at a time. Black Mamba uses the Darkforce (a process she refers to as "shedding her skin") to surround, constrict, and suffocate her opponents. The maximum amount of pressure she can generate through her Darkforce-projection is not known. However, the superhumanly strong Thing seemed unable to break its grip when he was encompassed by it. During the Superia crisis, after a suggestion by Captain America, Black Mamba discovered that she could surround herself (or someone else if they remained within her line of sight) with a cloud of darkforce, she could alter its appearance to disguise herself as someone else.
  • Hypnosis: Black Mamba also possesses some form of hypnotic ability, enabling her to mesmerize her opponents into perceiving her Darkforce projection in the image of someone they love or trust. It is not known how irresistible this ability is, but the Thing, Iron Man, and Captain America have proven susceptible to it. As part of the hypnotic illusion, her opponent imagines him or herself in the embrace of his or her self-chosen loved one, and the implausibility of the loved one's sudden materialization and provocative behavior is overwhelmed by the sensation of euphoria she triggers in most human brains, if one remains in the grip of her illusory Darkforce projection for too long, he or she will succumb to suffocation. The amount of time this takes varies according to the stamina and breath control of her opponent. The victim dies, however, overwhelmed by ecstasy. Black Mamba may need to be within line of sight of her opponent not to direct the Darkforce, but to use it in conjunction with her hypnotic power.

Abilities

She is capable aircraft pilot and a decent hand to hand combatant. It's also shown that she can breathe underwater.

Strength level

Black Mamba possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Weaknesses

Besides those limits to her power described above, Black Mamba needs to concentrate in order to project her "snake-skin." Also, if her Darkforce projection is bombarded with certain powerful energies she will feel the force of that disruption against her body. This feedback effect may cause her pain or the loss of consciousness.


Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Marvel Two-In-One #64-65
  2. Iron Man #160
  3. Captain America #307
  4. Captain America #308
  5. Captain America #310
  6. Captain America #313
  7. Captain America #315
  8. Captain America #319
  9. Avengers #274
  10. Captain America #341-344
  11. Uncanny X-Men Annual #1989
  12. Captain America #368
  13. Captain America #371
  14. Captain America #380-382
  15. Captain America #385-387
  16. Captain America #388
  17. Captain America #389
  18. Captain America #390
  19. Captain America #391
  20. Captain America #392
  21. Deathlok Vol 2 #7
  22. Thunderbolts #64-71
  23. Cable & Deadpool #20-22
  24. Civil War #5
  25. Avengers: The Initiative #26
  26. Avengers: The Initiative #29
  27. Siege #1
  28. X-Force: Sex and Violence #3
  29. Elektra Vol 3 #6
  30. Captain America: Sam Wilson #4
  31. Fantastic Four Vol 6 #5
  32. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #16-17
  33. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #19
  34. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #20
  35. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #23
  36. Deadpool Corps: Rank and Foul #1



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