Real Name: Cornell Cottonmouth (?)

Identity/Class: Human (mutate)

Occupation: Criminal, druglord

Group Membership: Rivals

Affiliations: Deadly Nightshade, Flashmob (Chemistro (Calvin Carr), Cheshire Cat, Commanche, Mr. Fish (Bill Norris), Cockroach Hamilton, Spear), Mr. Slick, Mike and Ike (agents);

Enemies: Black Cat, Luke Cage, Falcon (Wilson), Flea, Gargoyle (Christians), the Hand, Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Misty Knight, Bossman Morgan and his gang (rival), Paladin, Power Man (Luke Cage), Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Silver Sable, Willis Stryker (Diamondback, stole from him)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, USA

First Appearance: Power Man#18 (BTS; April, 1974), Power Man#19 (real appearance; June, 1974)

Powers: Cottonmouth appears to have some degree of superhuman strength (comparable to Cage, @ Class 10) and durability. He has some experience in hand-to-hand combat, learned on the streets, although he mostly just relies on his strength. He likes to use his teeth, which have been capped as fangs, to injure or kill his opponents.
He was head of a large drug operation, and has a number of dealers and enforcers serving under him.
Cottonmouth likes to polish off his enemies by sending them a package containing venomous snakes. He also has access to other types of poisons.


Cottonmouth's origins are unknown. The source and nature of his abilities are unknown. He established a large drug operation in New York City.

(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1(fb)-BTS) - When Willis Stryker wanted to frame Carl Lucas, he stole a shipment of heroin from Cottonmouth's organization.

(Power Man#18-BTS) - Lucas, now Luke Cage/Power Man, attempted to track down the origins of the drugs used to frame him (in hopes of clearing his own name). Cage used a number of his informants, including Flea, in that search. Flea succeeded in learning that Cottonmouth had been the source, but his investigations were discovered. Flea was poisoned by agents of Cottonmouth, although he managed to pass Cottonmouth's name on to Cage before dying.

(Power Man#19, 20) - After learning Flea was working for Luke Cage, Cottonmouth got the idea of recruiting him into his own organization. He sent his trademark package of snakes over to Cage's office, "to show him he means business." He then sent two of his enforcers, Mike and Ike, to make the offer. Cage easily took care of the snakes and Mike and Ike, and then forced Mike to tell him Cottonmouth's location. 

    Cage met up with Cottonmouth and after the pre-requisite struggle, agreed to join his organization (obviously hoping to learn where his records were kept). Cottonmouth tested Cage's loyalty by sending him to steal a shipment of heroin from his rival, bossman Morgan, which Cage did successfully. Cage earned Cottonmouth's trust and worked for him for a few days, before being caught attempting to find his records. Cottonmouth attacked Cage, battering him around, until he was distracted by his assistant, Mr. Slick, who was trying to put a bullet in Cage. Cage knocked Cottonmouth into Slick, who fell out the window to his death on the streets below.

    After the death of Slick, the fight seemed to go out of Cottonmouth. Cage demanded his records, but Cottonmouth told him that all of his records had been kept in Slick's mind, and were now lost forever. Furious, Cage picked up Cottonmouth and smashed him into his own oak desk. Cottonmouth was knocked out cold, and Cage called the police to pick him up.

(Shadowland: Power Man#1) - As part of Deadly Nightshade's gang, the Rivals, Cottonmouth established a section of turf where he sold drugs and hired out prostitutes, but was attacked by three of the Hand's ninjas under the command of Daredevil and his Shadowland. However, Power Man suddenly attacked, dispersing the ninjas and smashing Cottonmouth's sharpened teeth.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cottonmouth had new gold-capped sharpened teeth put in.

(Shadowland: Power Man#3) - Later when Power Man was seemingly beaten and defeated by five corrupt policemen, Cottonmouth readied himself to bite off part of the hero for hire's face, but was leashed by Deadly Nightshade. At first surprised that Nightshade offered Power Man to be her enforcer, he became pleased when she challenged and set up Power Man to fight the newly arrived Iron Fist.

(Shadowland: Power Man#4) - Power Man instead sided with Iron Fist, who knocked out Cottonmouth while Deadly Nightshade escaped.

(Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire#1) - Cottonmouth, alongside Deadly Nightshade and the Flashmob, tried to leave spider-infested Manhattan via a bridge, but were stopped in a furious battle with Misty Knight and her Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Falcon, Gargoyle, Paladin, Silver Sable).

Comments: Created by Len Wein (writer) and George Tuska (artist).

Cottonmouth is not dead (not that it would mean anything in the MU if he were), so there's no reason he couldn't make a comeback. He's one of my favorites of all of Cage's goofy villains from the early 1970s.
And now he's back against the new Power Man!

Actually, I'd like to see some goofy story featuring a Serpent Squad featuring all the lesser known characters who never made it into the original groups, or the Serpent Society.
They're all from the mainstream, Earth-616, Marvel Universe (i.e. not the New Universe, not the Ultraverse, not 2099, etc.) I did include a few from the Old West Era, but none from the Hyborian Era, etc.
I'll be covering them all eventually, and I'll link them here as I go.
Copperhead(yes, there are two)
Cottonmouth--that's Cornell, featured in this profile.
Faire de Lain
King Kobra
Rattler (Old West, Rawhide Kid foe)
Rattler (Two-Gun Kid foe)
Rattler (Spider-Man foe)
Silver Sidewinder
Professor Viper
and I wasn't going to include these guys, but they are kind of snakey...
Snake Marston
Morris "The Snake" Diamond
Snake Dance
Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes (yes, there are two of them)
Snakeskin (2 of them)

(I didn't include objects, like the Cobra and Serpent Crowns, or places, like Serpent Valley, or groups/races, like the Serpents, Serpent's Teeth, or the various incarnations of the Serpent Men...)
...and let me know who else I missed.
Thanks, good luck, and, HEY, let's be careful out there.

Cottonmouth has no known connection to:

Mr. Slick has no connection to:

Mike and Ike are named after the tasty candies of the same name, but are otherwise unconnected to them.

Mister Slick




He was an agent of Cottonmouth. He apparently had some degree of photographic memory, and he kept all of Cottonmouth's records in his head. It was Slick's idea to test Cage's loyalty by sending him to steal from Morgan. He ended up as street pizza after getting in the middle of the final fight between Cage and Cottonmouth.

--Power Man#19 (20







Mike and Ike





They were a couple of muscle-men enforcers for Cottonmouth. They tried to coerce Cage into listening to them, and got their butts handed to them by him.

--Power Man#19











Power Man#18 (April, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Power Man#19-20 (June-August, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Shadowland: Power Man#1 (October, 2010) - Fred van Lente (writer), Mahmud Asrar (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Shadowland: Power Man#3 (December, 2010) - Fred van Lente (writer), Mahmud Asrar (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Shadowland: Power Man#4 (January, 2011) - Fred van Lente (writer), Mahmud Asrar & Ray-Anthony Height (pencils), Ketcham, Florea & Huet (inkers), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire#1 (December, 2011) – Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Kyle Hotz (penciler), Bob Almond (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)

First Posted: 06/27/2002
Last updated: 01/01/2012

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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