SNAKE DANCE

Real Name: Littletrees (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human, magic user, Native American (Apache)

Occupation: Medicine man?; former leader of Apache tribe in Arizona, @ the Grand Canyon

Group Membership: Apache tribe (those who fought for him were called his Serpent-Men)

Affiliations: Sam Silvercloud (ally), Daimon Hellstrom (Hellstorm/Son of Satan, rough alliance)

Enemies: Ghost Rider III/Johnny Blaze, Satan/Mephisto, Roxanne Simpson

Known Relatives: Linda Littletrees (Witch Woman)

Aliases: Witch-Man (cover of Marvel Spotlight#8 only)

Base of Operations: Copperhead Canyon, Arizona(?)

Powers: Snake Dance's may have possessed impressive magical powers, or more likely, he could distort and influence the perceptions of others. He was immune to snake venom, and frequently had his serpents bite him to demonstrate his power to others. He could control snakes, either all of them, or a select group he had trained. Many, if not all, of these snakes possessed lethal venom. He may have been able to effect transformations into a giant serpent, or this may have been illusion. He preyed on the superstition and desperation of his tribesman to gain their following.

History: (Marvel Spotlight I#11(fb)) - Mr. Littletrees, along with Sam Silvercloud, said goodbye to his daughter Linda as she left for college.

(Marvel Spotlight I#8-10) - Johnny Blaze traveled to the deserts of Arizona for a publicity stunt involving jumping Copperhead Canyon. This plan angered several members of a tribe of Apache lviing on a reservation by the Canyon, who feared that the publicity of the stunt would make the land too valuable to ever allow the Apache to purchase for their own. Sam Silvercloud picked Blaze up in alleged preparation for the stunt, but then left him in the desert, when he refused to cancel the jump. Blaze made it back and fought Silvercloud, but was then confronted by Snake Dance who broke up the fight and warned Blaze to stay away from the Canyon. Silvercloud sabotaged Blaze's cycle, and Snake Dance and his "Serpent-Men" ambushed him as he traveled back to town that evening, as the Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider easily fought off the men, but Snake Dance sent a bunch of large serpents to bind him. Again the Ghost Rider broke free, and Snake dance suddenly appeared to transform into a large serpent to attack him. Ghost Rdier fled, and tried to use his cycle to escape by jumping the Canyon. However, the engine blew up (as a result of Silvercloud's sabotage) in mid-leap and Ghost Rider fell towards "Certain Death."

Satan, not wanting to lose his rights to Blaze's soul, which would happen if her were killed by a mortal, protected Ghost Rider from dying from the fall. Thinking Blaze to be dead and wishing to cover up loose ends, Silvercloud kidnapped Blaze's girlfriend, Roxanne Simpson, and brought her to Snake Dance. Snake Dance prepared to offer her to the "Serpent God" he worshipped, but really sought only to kill her outright. After allowing his venomous snakes to bite himself without harm, be directed them to bite Roxanne. He claimed that the "Serpent God" was not pleased with Roxanne, and was rejecting her when she began to collapse from the venom of the multiple snake bites. Ghost Rider then arrived, easily overpowered Snake Dance and his allies, set their ritual site on fire, and took Roxanne to get help.

After Snake Dance's defeat by Ghost Rider, his followers quicly lost faith in him. Led by Silvercloud, they stripped him of his ceremonial guard and prepared to string him up for leading them astray. Only the timely arrival of his daughter, Linda, saved his life. She forced (at gunpoint) the others to let him go. However, she then chided them for dragging their people back into fear and superstition, and accused him of being senile. Linda brought some antivenom to the hospital to save Roxanne's life.

(Ghost Rider II#1-2, Marvel Spotlight I#12) - Linda had revealed herself as the Witch Woman, an agent of "Satan." She was nearly comatose after being forced to use her own soulfire powers against herself by "Satan" as punishment for allow ign Ghost Rider to escape from her. Snake Dance, now a broken man, recognized the signs of possession and explained it to Silvercloud, who used an advertisment to contact Daimon Hellstrom to exorcise the demon from her.

Hellstrom arrived, but had them bind his wrists in a chain of ankhs and lock him in a room to prevent his "evil" Son of Satan form from getting loose at night. Silvercloud fell for the Son of Satan's deception, and released him from his restraints. The Son of Satan bullied Silvercloud and Snake Dance into telling him where Linda had gone, and Snake Dance collapsed from the stress, possibly having a heart attack.

Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog.

Snake Dance's primary motivation was to improve the lot of his Apache tribe, and sought to kill Blaze and anyone else necessary to stop him from jumping the canyon. Once he was overpowered by Ghost Rider, his followers lost faith in him, and he quickly degenerated into a weak and helpless man, trying to save his daughter.

I'm not sure who the Serpent God was that Snake Dance worshipped. Set's the most powerful and best known, but there's a boatload of others, too.

I'm aware that all of the Apaches would be referred to as the Apache nation, but this was a small group on one reservation, so I called them a tribe. No offense intended, its just hard to be PC. I'm part Cherokee, myself.

Silvercloud will get a sub-profile under Witch Woman, when I get around to it.

Clarifications: Satan (although the line becomes more blurry when both Hellstrom and Ghost Rider are invovled in it)

Snake Dance's "Serpent-Men" were warriors of the Apache tribe who fell under his sway and fought for him. After his defeat, they turned against him as well. They presumably had some fighting skills, and used an assortment of spears, hatchets, etc.--MarvSpot#8 (9, 10

They have no known connection to :

Serpent Men, the original offspring of Set, active back in pre-cataclysmic Atlantis, most wiped out by Kull, and later Conan and his son Conan (Conn), @ Kull the Conqueror I#1

Serpent Men, human followers of Set, servants of Sligguth, Ebora, N'Gabtoth and others, who took on reptillian characteristics, and some even became hosts for the spirits of the original Serpent Men, @ Marvel Premiere#4

Serpent Men, humans mutated by a chemical from Tyrannus, that mutated them into semi-reptillian form, under the control of himself, Ghaur, Llyra, and the other major players in Atlantis Attacks. A prototype of this serum was used by Viper against Washington, DC, and temporarily mutated Ronald Reagan, @ Captain America I#344, Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9


Appearances:
Marvel Spotlight I#8 (February, 1973) - by Gary Friedrich (writer), Mike Ploog (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#9 (April, 1973) - by Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#10 (June, 1973) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ghost Rider II#1-2 (September-October, 1973) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (#1) & Jim Mooney (#2) (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#12 (October, 1973) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)


Last updated: 08/01/02

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