Real Name: Tai Chen
Identity/Class: Human (Chinese)
Occupation: Military officer, dictator, Supreme Serpent
Group Membership: Sons of the Serpent
Enemies: Avengers (Captain America, Goliath, Hawkeye, Wasp), Black Widow, Senator Harrington Byrd
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Supreme Serpent
Base of Operations: An unnamed Asian country
The Serpent Den, a cave in New York; the Sons of the Serpents' airship
First Appearance: Avengers I#32 (September, 1966)
Powers/Abilities: As the Supreme Serpent, Chen wielded a "snake stick" which could fire blasts of energy.
History: (Avengers I#32) - General Chen was the dictator of an unnamed country which was hostile towards the United States. During a visit to the United Nations, Chen started up the Sons of the Serpent, a radical hate group determined to drive all foreigners from America, unaware that their Supreme Serpent was himself a foreigner. Chen arranged to have the Sons of the Serpent attack him during his visit to maintain his secret. Needing more public support, the Supreme Serpent engineered the capture of Captain America, then demanded that the other members of the Avengers join the Serpents or they would kill Captain America.
(Avengers I#33) - Chen attended a U.N. meeting with Senator Byrd and other notables in which he accused America of supporting the Sons of the Serpent's activities, and that the Avengers supported the Serpents as well. The Supreme Serpent prepared for a public appearance of the Serpents at an auditorium, and had one of his men disguised as Captain America to make it appear that he was on their side. The Supreme Serpent ordered the Avengers to promote the Serpents' cause to their audience, but the Avengers refused, and instead spoke out against them. The Avengers fought the Sons of the Serpent, and were joined by the real Captain America, set free by the Black Widow. The Supreme Serpent tried to escape by taking Hawkeye as a hostage, but the Black Widow disarmed him from behind, and the Wasp knocked him down. The Supreme Serpent was then unmasked before the public as General Chen, who revealed that his plan all along had been to divide America so that it would have been easier for his country to conquer them.
(Avengers I#73 (fb) - BTS) - General Chen was deported back to his home country.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
General Chen was likely meant to be a representative of Vietnam when the story was first published; luckily, the lack of topical references keep his story from needing retcons.
The Appendix of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#11 claimed that General Chen was from China; he may well have been, but since he was described as the dictator of another country, he surely wasn't representing China in the original stories, was he?
I had to scan Chen's unmasking just for the Scooby-Dooesque dialogue.
His first name and Chinese nationality were revealed in the Sons of the Serpent profile in OHotMU A-Z HC#10.
by Prime Eternal
General Chen should not be confused with:
Images taken from:
Avengers I#33, page 1
Avengers I#33, page 20, panel 5
Last updated: 09/05/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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