FER-DE-LANCE

Real Name: Teresa Vasquez

Identity/Class: Human, Puero Rican, Mutate

Occupation: Professional criminal mercenary

Group Membership: Serpent Society (Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster (McIver), Coachwhip, Copperhead (Lawfers), Cottonmouth, King Cobra, Puff Adder, Rattler, Rock Python, Sidewinder, Slither, Viper (Madame Hydra) );
formerly Viper's second "Serpent Squad" (Puff Adder, Black Racer, Copperhead)

Affiliations: Ghaur, Llyra, Viper

Enemies: Captain America, D-Man, Diamondback, Diamondback LMD, Falcon, Force Works (Century, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, US Agent), Free Spirit, Jack Flag, Mr. Jip, Nomad, the Nova Corps, Sidewinder (Voelker), Spider-Man.

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Formerly Serpent Society catacombs, New York; Serpent Society headquarters, Sandhaven, Arizona; Serpent Citadel, the Bronx, New York; Serpent Citadel, upstate New York

First Appearance: Captain America I#337 (January, 1988)

Powers/Abilities: Fer-de-Lance possesses enhanced strength and durability. Twin retractable omnium steel razor-edged claws are mounted on her costume's forearms; these can be removed from the costume, as can the omnium steel spikes in her boots (these may be used for scaling walls). On at least one occasion, Fer-de-Lance has armed herself with conventional firearms.

History: (Captain America I#337) - Fer-de-Lance was hired by Viper. With fellow members Puff Adder, Black Racer and Copperhead, she invaded a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and killed a guard during their robbery of the casino's assets. However, guards arrived before they could escape, and they remained sealed inside with hostages. When news of the hold-up reached the outside, the Captain arrived on the scene with his allies -- D-Man, Falcon and Nomad -- to attempt to thwart them. In the course of the battle, Fer-de-Lance was knocked unconscious by the Captain and (with her cohorts) was arrested -- along with the Captain and his allies, who had violated police orders in stopping them.

(Captain America I#338) - Fer-de-Lance and her friends were visited in their cell by Sidewinder of the Serpent Society, who teleported them out one at a time to the Serpent Citadel, having offered them membership in his organization; this is what the Viper had secretly planned on.

(Captain America I#341/3) - Fer-de-Lance and the others were inducted into the Serpent Society, and Fer-de-Lance contacted Viper, permitting her to teleport into the Serpent Citadel. The Viper's "Serpent Squad" was rapidly deployed throughout the Citadel, to capture Society members one at a time.

(Captain America I#341/3) - Diamondback subsequently warned Fer-de-Lance that Mamba wouldn't tolerate competition when her new teammate expressed interest in the group's leader, but recommended Rattler as an alternative option for a "good time."

(Captain America I#342) - Only Diamondback and Sidewinder managed to escape the Squad, sealing themselves in the communications room. Fer-de-Lance tore in, using her claws, and fought Diamondback, but was defeated by her.

(Uncanny X-Men Annual#13 (fb)) - When Sidewinder stepped down as leader of the Serpent Society, leaving the Cobra in command, Fer-de-Lance was among many of the Serpent Squad members admitted back in. She joined Copperhead and Diamondback on a mission to recover a jeweled cro-magnon skull from Mr. Jip, on behalf of Llyra and Ghaur. Upon their arrival at Mr. Jip's home, the three were knocked unconscious, and Mr. Jip teleported Copperhead and Fer-de-Lance away.

(Captain America I#365/2) - Fer-de-Lance attended a Serpent Society meeting hosted by Cobra, who addressed potential security problems.

(Captain America I#367/2) - Later, at another meeting, Cobra appeared before the Society in his new guise as King Cobra for the first time.

(Captain America I#380) - Fer-de-Lance stood alongside the Serpent Society in their trial of Diamondback for having brought Captain America into their base. She sided with the majority, voting against her.

(Captain America I#381) - Before Diamondback could be executed, she was rescued by Sidewinder. King Cobra sent Fer-de-Lance and Cottonmouth to stake out Avengers Headquarters, in case Diamondback went there.

(Captain America I#382) - As the two of them returned to base in their Serpent Saucer (shrouded with an artificial cloud), they were spied by Captain America, who rode atop the Saucer on his skycycle to obtain entry at the Serpent Society headquarters. He attacked Cottonmouth and Fer-de-Lance in the hangar bay, and in the course of battle, shattered the tips of Fer-de-Lance's claws with his shield. She was later sent to the Vault with the rest of the Serpent Society.

(Captain America I#434) - Some time later, the Society (having escaped prison and begun their business anew) sent Fer-de-Lance with Rock Python to rob a bank, using conventional firearms. As they headed for their get-away car, they were confronted by the super-hero Jack Flag, who defeated them both. Jack brought down Fer-de-Lance with a muscle-relaxing gas and was about to interrogate her when the rest of the Serpent Society appeared. He then switched tactics, pretending he wanted to become a member of the Serpent Society himself.

(Captain America I#435-436) - After Jack Flag passed his first initiation test, King Cobra gave him his costume, and had him run the gauntlet through the rest of the Serpent Society to prove himself. Fer-de-Lance participated, but Jack managed to escape their grasp.

Later, Jack seemingly captured Captain America, and Fer-de-Lance assisted in presenting him to King Cobra. When Jack suddenly switched sides, presenting his true colors, and was joined by Cap's sidekick Free Spirit, Fer-de-Lance joined with the rest of the Society in attacking Jack Flag and Free Spirit.

(Captain America I#437) - Although Jack Flag and Free Spirit managed to hold their own, they were unable to defeat the Society, until the arrival of the Force Works team. With their aid, the Society were defeated and captured.

(Captain America IV#30) - Fer-de-Lance was present in the Society's underground New York-area headquarters when Captain America and Diamondback (really an LMD) awoke, chained to a pillar, after having been captured by other members of the Serpent Society.

(Captain America IV#31) - Sixteen hours later, Cap escaped. King Cobra summoned the rest of the Society and Fer-de-Lance was one of many to respond; she was knocked out by the Diamondback LMD. S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently took Fer-de-Lance and the rest of the Society into custody.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#563) - With several of her fellow serpents (Coachwhip, Puff Adder, Rattler, Rock Python) and some other criminals, Fer-de-Lance was at the Bar With No Name following a televised Spider-Man/Basher fight when Spider-Man arrived there. Fer-de-Lance and the other supervillains in attendance battled Spider-Man, but stopped when the bartender (Deke) reminded them that the Bar was a sanctuary for those being hunted by the law - which currently included Spider-Man. Deke gave Spider-Man some information, and the vigilante left.

(Nova IV#19) - Fer-de-Lance joined members of the Serpent Society in taking hostages at a compound in Danzig, Ohio, caught up in the frenzy of the recent Skrull invasion. Members of the Nova Corps arrived to quickly defeat them and Fer-de-Lance was blasted by the Centurion Qubit.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald and Tom Morgan.

Fer-de-Lance's razors look exactly like her teammate Bushmaster's. Perhaps she obtained them from Roxxon Oil?

Its Fer-de-Lance, not Fer-De-Lance. Lower case 'd' in the middle, please.

Fer-de-Lance's use of a gun in Captain America I#434 was pretty unimaginative. But then, that's true of the way Dave Hoover portrayed all of the Serpent Society members in "Fighting Chance", barely making use of their powers/weapons at all.

And hey, as long as I'm complaining about the hold-up scene, why were King Cobra and the rest of the Society just standing around nearby during the robbery? And why did they stand around in broad daylight conversing with Jack Flag when the police were undoubtedly on their way?

Thanks to SQUEAK for adding the summaries of Captain America IV#30-31.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Fer-de-Lance should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
OHotMU Master Edition (main image)
Captain America I#337, p5, pan5 (Fer-de-Lance in Las Vegas)
  #342, p8, pan5 (Fer-de-Lance attacks)


Other appearances:
Captain America I#338 (February, 1988) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Kieron Dwyer (pencils), Tom Morgan (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#341-342 (May-June, 1988) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Kieron Dwyer (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Uncanny X-Men Annual#13 (1989) - Terry Austin (writer), Mike Vosburg (pencils/inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Captain America I#365 (December, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bright (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#367 (February, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#380-382 (December, 1990 - February, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#434-437 (December, 1994 - March, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Captain America IV#30-31 (October-November, 2004) - Robert Kirkman(writer), Scot Eaton(penciler), Drew Geraci(inker), Tom Brevoort(editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#563 (August, 2008) - Bob Gale (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Marlo Alquiza (inker), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Nova IV#19 (January, 2009) - Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Wellington Alves, Geraldo Borges (pencilers), Scott Hanna, Nelson Pereira (inkers), Bill Rosemann (editor)


Last updated: 04/23/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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