THE SERPENT SQUAD

Membership: Cobra, Eel, Princess Python, Viper

Purpose: World domination

Affiliations: Hugh Jones, Warlord Krang, Set (manipulating the Serpent Squad through the Serpent Crown)

Enemies: Nomad (Captain America)

Base of Operations: An abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Georgetown

First Appearance: Captain America I#180 (December 1974)

History: (Captain America I#181 (fb) - BTS) - Krang used the Serpent Crown to get in contact with Madame Hydra, and the two of them decided to form a partnership.

(Captain America I#180 (fb) - BTS) - Viper met with Princess Python to form the new Serpent Squad.

(Captain America I#180) - On a road in Virginia, Madame Hydra stopped a car carrying three US Marshals and the original Viper.  She killed the Marshals, told Viper that she was now claiming the Viper name, and then gunned him down, as well. 

Meanwhile at a nearby prison, Princess Python and her python attacked the police station, and freed Eel and Cobra, announcing that the Serpent Squad had been reborn.  Eel told her that he knew his brother would work something out, but Princess Python told him that his brother, the original Viper, had nothing to do with the escape and that she worked with another one, who was about to liberate him.  

Soon after, the new Serpent Squad held their first "official" meeting.  Eel asked Viper why she was wearing his brother's costume, whereto Viper answered that Viper was killed in a battle with the forces of the order.  Eel was devastated with the loss of his only brother, but Viper told him to control himself; he would get his revenge soon.  Cobra listened to Viper's tale and then challenged her leadership of the team by attacking her.  Viper fought him off, telling him that he was lucky that she didn't have her fangs, because then he would be dead.  She then shot him with a dart dipped in paralyzing venom.  Cobra was defeated, and Viper asked the other two if they wanted to challenge her leadership, as well.  

Later in Washington D.C., the first part of their plan began when the Serpent Squad kidnapped a man in front of a cinema.  Nomad arrived and fought the Serpent Squad, but he accidentally stepped on his own cape and fell, giving the Serpent Squad time to escape.  

Afterwards in their secret headquarters, Viper told her teammates that the man they had kidnapped was none other than the president of Roxxon Oil, Hugh Jones.  She also introduced their silent partner, the Atlantean Warlord Krang, who came in through the door with the Serpent Crown of Lemuria in his hands.

(Captain America I#181) - Viper told Warlord Krang about their run-in with Nomad, and that it didn't stop them from getting the president of Roxxon.  Krang told Hugh Jones and the others that he would soon be a willing pawn of the Serpent Squad. Hugh Jones cried to Viper that, as she was a woman, she couldn't let that happen, whereto Viper answered, "Pig!  You think my sex makes me soft?  You are wrong, Mr. Executive!  I am the hardest person you will ever encounter!"  Krang told the others how he got the Serpent Crown and how he joined forces with Viper, and when his tale ended, he put the Serpent Crown on Jones' head.  They then drove around Roxxon Oil with the hypnotized president, telling his employees that he would not be harmed if they didn't take any actions against the Serpent Squad.  Nearby, Namor and Nomad were listening to the speaker, and Namor told Nomad that the president was under the spell of the Serpent Crown.

(Captain America I#181) - The Serpent Squad and Hugh Jones used an aircraft to get to an offshore drill in the middle of the pacific. They got off the aircraft, and Eel blasted one of the Roxxon workers.  This was done without seriously harming the man, and the Squad announced to the workers that they would not be harmed, in turn.  The workers told the Squad that it was only a drilling rig and oil wasn't that big of a deal since the end of the oil crisis, whereto Krang answered, "It's not the oil we want, fools--!  We want the entire lost continent of Lemuria," and then the Squad began to raise Lemuria.  Suddenly, Nomad attacked the Squad from behind.  He easily defeated Eel and Princess Python, using Princess Python's enormous snake as a weapon.  Warlord Krang was also knocked down, but suddenly Viper arrived in a helicopter and shot at the people on the drilling rig.  Warlord Krang took the Serpent Crown off of Hugh Jones' head and threw the crown to Viper. Before leaving in the helicopter, Viper received company from Cobra, who managed to jump onboard.  The two of them escaped, while Nomad defeated Warlord Krang.

(Avengers I#131 - BTS) - Cobra and Viper landed in the USA again, and they began a shoot-out with the police.

(Captain America I#182) - Nomad arrived at the shoot-out between the cops, Viper, and Cobra.  Cobra told Viper that they were surrounded and that they were going to die.  Viper told him that it was a price she was willing to pay.  Cobra told her that his intention was to get rich but that she and Krang prevented it with their terrorism.  She told him to cease his sniveling while she asked the Serpent Crown what to do.  Cobra realized he was trapped between the law and a madwoman.  Viper put on the Serpent Crown, and when the police tried to storm their hideout, Cobra and Viper gunned down three officers. Swiftly, the hideout began to go up in flames.  Cobra became scared and hallucinated, seeing his former partner Mr. Hyde in the smoke.  Viper knocked him down, telling him to shut up, but was herself attacked by Nomad.  Cobra joined the fight, trying to defeat the hero, but was himself defeated.  When Nomad told Cobra and Viper that the only way they would survive was to come with him, Viper told him that she and Cobra would be martyrs to the cause.  Cobra changed his mind and told Nomad that he wanted out.  He tried to escape, but Viper shot him in the back.  Rapidly, the roof came down on them, separating Viper and Nomad.  Nomad saw Cobra, who was still alive, and rescued the villain, but Viper seemingly died in the flames.  Cobra was taken to a hospital, and the second Serpent Squad was informally disbanded.

(Marvel Team-Up I#84 (fb)) When the building collapsed in flames, the Viper plunged through the floor, and the Serpent Crown fell from her head. A falling brick knocked her out, and then the fire ignited a ruptured gas main and the house blew apart. She was protected by collapsing bricks and masonry that formed a cocoon around her while she was out cold. She then found a drainpipe (a secret exit of the Cobra's) and entered a sewer that took her beyond the police lines around the house. A member of the Japanese Red Army (Ishiro Tagara) then found her and gave her a ride.

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta.

It should at least be mentioned that an eel is not a snake... Neither is a Krang (that's an ant, of course).--Snood

But these discrepancies can easily be reconciled as described by Kyle:

Eel was associated with the original Viper, a snake-themed moniker, via blood relation and was tricked into joining the Squad for vengeance over his brother's death through the deceit of his sibling's true killer the second Viper, the former Madame Hydra.  (Coincidentally, like his brother Viper, Eel was also killed by a super-villain, the Daredevil foe Gladiator.  He was slain after being sliced-up by his killer's wrist-mounted buzz- saw blades, once again illustrating the point that freelance super-villainy can be a cut-throat career.)

As for Krang, he was manipulated by the serpentine Elder God Set through the Serpent Crown (Is that serpent-y enough for ya'?).  (Plus, I'm sure that the word "Krang" doesn't mean the same thing in the warlord's native Atlantean dialect as it does in the English language).  
    Right. Krang doesn't mean ant, either, it was a tongue in cheek reference to the pre-modern era monster Krang, a giant ant--Snood.

by The Beetle

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Serpent Squad shouldn't be confused with:

Cobra shouldn't be confused with:

The Eel, Leopold Stryke, shouldn't be confused with

The Viper, formerly known as Madame Hydra, shouldn't be confused with:

Nomad, Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, shouldn't be confused with:

Warlord Krang is not to be confused with:


Appearances:
Captain America I#180-181 (December, 1974 - January, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#131 (January, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Staton (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#182 (February, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Joe Giella (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Marvel Team-Up I#84 (August, 1979) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)


Last updated: 11/11/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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