Cottonmouth

COTTONMOUTH

Real Name: Burchell Clemens

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: Serpent Society (Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster (McIver), Coachwhip, Copperhead (Lawfers), Death Adder (Burroughs), Diamondback (Leighton), Fer-de-Lance, King Cobra, Princess Python, Puff Adder, Rattler, Rock Python, Sidewinder (Voelker), Sidewinder, Slither, Viper (Madame Hydra));
formerly Chain Gang 421-011 (Hawkeye (Barton), Plantman, Headlok, Mentallo)

Affiliations:  Brothers Grimm, "Cockroach" Hamilton, Leviathan (especially Orion/Viktor Uvarov), Morgan, Nightshade, Stiletto, Unicorn;
Former hireling to Erik Killmonger

Enemies: American Eagle, Avengers (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Red Hulk/Thaddeus Ross, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Wolverine/James Howlett), Black Panther (T'Challa), Black Goliath, Brother Voodoo, Luke Cage, Deadpool, Diamondback, Diamondback LMD, Falcon, Force Works (Century, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Spider-Woman/Rachel Carpenter, US Agent), Free Spirit, Jack Flag, Nick Fury Jr., Iron Fist, MODOK, Porcupine, Hope Summers, Taskmaster, X-Men (Dazzler (with Diamondback's mind), Longshot, Psylocke, Storm)

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: Quincy McIver, Quincy McLever

Base of Operations: Various Serpent Society headquarters and Serpent Citadels

First Appearance: Captain America I#310 (October, 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Cottonmouth's neck and jaw have been bionically enhanced. His teeth are now steel, and his jaw can enlarge like a real snake's can, to a size larger than a human head. His neck muscles are bionically enhanced to given him superhuman strength in his jaw and neck muscles. He also has a small transceiver implanted in his skull which allowed Sidewinder to track him; it is unclear if he or any other Society members are aware of this.

unmasked Height: 6'0"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History:

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition#3 / Master Edition) - Cottonmouth was born in Mobile, Alabama. After becoming Cottonmouth he was an active criminal in the U.S. south.

(Code of Honor#3) - Having come to New York City, Cottonmouth ended up battling Iron Fist and Luke Cage beside the Brothers Grimm and Unicorn while most of the city's big-name heroes were away fighting in the Beyonder's "Secret Wars."

(Captain America I#310) - At a posh midtown Manhattan hotel, Sidewinder (Seth Voelker) had invited several serpent-themed mercenaries to attend the organizational meeting for the Serpent Society. Those present were Sidewinder, Black Mamba, Death Adder, Princess Python, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, Constrictor, Bushmaster, Cobra (later King Cobra), Asp, Rattler, and Anaconda. Sidewinder's pitch was to mimic the heroes and to band together as a united group. He'd spent the previous nine months laying the groundwork for his new group, and promised a guaranteed pay scale, insurance, medical plans, pensions, greater access to tools and data, and, thanks to Sidewinder's teleportational abilities, no fear of long-term imprisonment. All but one attendee agreed to join; Constrictor refused and left.

(Captain America I#310) - To test their ability to be team players, Sidewinder split the group into three sections, and set each group out in a van to retrieve objects that would be of use to the Society. While Anaconda, Cobra, and Rattler went to retrieve mutagenics equipment from Brand, it is not known what the other groups were not what they retrieved.

(Captain America I#311) - Following the successful completion of all three tasks, the group reconvened in their new headquarters, the Serpent Citadel. Seeking to advertise the group, Sidewinder broke them into teams of two and sent them to contact all the major criminal and subversive organizations in America. Among the potential contactees were the Maggia, Zodiac, Secret Empire, Kingpin, AIM, and Hydra. Asp and Cottonmouth made contact with the Kingpin in a Manhattan skyscraper, knocking out many of his guards in the process; another team convinced AIM to hire them to assassinate MODOK.

(Captain America I#313) - Asp and Cottonmouth were investigating an abandoned AIM facility when another team located MODOK in New Jersey and Sidewinder ordered the pair there. Diamondback took charge of the Society members and they headed in to a mall that MODOK was hiding in. After a "gas leak" announcement (arranged by Captain America) emptied the mall, the team cornered MODOK but Captain America intervened; Cottonmouth ordered Asp, Diamondback, and Black Mamba to take out Cap while the rest attacked MODOK. Death Adder and Cottonmouth were the last Serpents standing and delivered the killing blows to MODOK, though Captain America attacked them from surprise, knocking out both, but too late as MODOK died in front of him.

(Captain America I#315 - BTS) - Sidewinder freed from jail those serpents that had been imprisoned.

distended jaw

(Captain America I#315) - AIM's payment was distributed to the team, with commendations and bonuses going to Death Adder and Cottonmouth for inflicting the killing blows. When Porcupine called the Society, claiming to have captured Captain America, Sidewinder sent Death Adder, Rattler, Cottonmouth, and Diamondback to investigate. It proved to be a trap arranged by Captain America, who captured three of the four (Diamondback escaped). Sidewinder soon freed them all from jail.

(Captain America I#319) - All the Serpents were looking for the missing Death Adder and were present when Sidewinder teleported in with Death Adder's body, having found it in the local morgue. Sidewinder ordered everyone to drop all missions and concentrate on finding the killer. Rattler and Cottonmouth sought information from some of the Kingpin's underlings.

(Captain America I#341/2) - Sidewinder introduced four new Serpents to the charter members, and appointed them as probationary members of the team. The foursome quickly betrayed the team to Viper (Madame Hydra).

(Captain America I#342) - With Bushmaster, Black Mamba, and Asp, Cottonmouth refused to join Viper, so she injected them with a poison which would leave them dead in an hour. Cottonmouth eventually did agree to join the Viper, and when Diamondback (with aid from the Captain) succeeded in freeing Cottonmouth during an ongoing battle, Cottonmouth attacked her. The Captain defeated Cottonmouth and left him unconscious and tied up.

(Uncanny X-Men Annual#13) - Cobra accepted a commission from Ghaur (Deviant leader) and Llyra (Atlantean) to retrieve items of arcane mystic power; he split the Society into squads. Cottonmouth, Rattler, Bushmaster, and Black Racer went to the Icelandic coast, seeking a mystic rock. They encountered several X-Men there and battled them as a team, with Storm defeating Cottonmouth with a lightning bolt as he was about to attack Psylocke from behind. The X-Men retrieved the item and the serpents returned home.

(Captain America I#365/2) - Cottonmouth was present at a Serpent Society meeting when Cobra announced that a mystery man (Loki) had teleported into the Society's Bronx headquarters. Cobra asked the group to keep an ear out for information about the stranger.

(Captain America I#367/2) - Cottonmouth was present at a noon meeting of the Society where Cobra announced that he felt that he'd been underperforming as their leader and now intended to correct that and lead them to new heights as King Cobra.

(Captain America I#380) - When Diamondback was tried by the Society for treason, Cottonmouth was part of the majority which voted for her death.

(Captain America I#381) - After Sidewinder rescued Diamondback, King Cobra ordered Diamondback and Sidewinder's execution, with a doubled annual bonus to anyone who brought in their corpses. He ordered Cottonmouth and Fer-de-Lance to watch Avengers' Mansion.

(Captain America I#382) - Cottomouth and Fer-de-Lance returned to the Society's headquarters, feeling a bump as they landed their Serpent Saucer. Cottonmouth ordered mechanic Hallsy to check on it, but then realized that Captain America had landed on the ship; he quickly took both down and trussed them with plastic hose. With many other Society members, Cottonmouth was hauled away by Guardsmen.

(Captain America I#434) - In a small town in Arizona, Fer-de-Lance and Rock Python were robbing a bank when they were stopped by Jack Flag. King Cobra interrupted, with Anaconda, Coachwhip, Cottonmouth, and Puff Adder. Flag announced he wanted to join the Society; Anaconda knocked him unconscious.

(Captain America I#435) - King Cobra auditioned Jack as his eventual replacement as King Cobra, forcing him to run a gauntlet of the Society serpents, including Cottonmouth. The fracas was interrupted when Captain America (secretly summoned by Flag) showed up and faked his own defeat at the hands of Jack Flag/King Cobra and Bushmaster, Fer-de-Lance, Cottonmouth, Rock Python, and Rattler; they took him to the real King Cobra. When Coachwhip was revealed to be a disguised Free Spirit and Jack Flag revealed himself to be an enemy of the Society, Cottonmouth was one of those left to attack the pair after King Cobra and Mr. Hyde went after Captain America.

(Captain America I#436) - Cottonmouth pursued Jack Flag and Free Spirit when they tried to escape.

(Captain America I#437) - Cottonmouth and the Society had Jack Flag and Free Spirit cornered when Force Works (an Avengers' offshoot) came to the pair's aid; within four minutes the Serpent Society was defeated. They were taken into custody by the team.

(Black Panther III#17 (fb) - BTS) - Erik Killmonger arranged a teaming of several villains to create a distraction for the Black Panther.

(Black Panther III#16) - In Harlem (NYC), Cottonmouth was part of that villain alliance, which included Nightshade, Morgan, Stiletto, and Cockroach Hamilton; they were confronted by the Falcon, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage.

(Black Panther III#17) - Cottonmouth attacked Luke Cage, but was unable to bite through his steel hard skin. He withstood several blows from Cage until the Black Panther appeared and blindsided him, disorienting him. He rejoined the others, and the fight was momentarily disrupted when Brother Voodoo appeared (as did Giant-Man (Bill Foster)) soon thereafter; the Panther soon knocked Cottonmouth out of the battle, however.

(Thunderbolts I#55) - Under the name Quincy McIver, Cottonmouth was held in Seagate Federal Penitentiary, off the Georgia coast. As part of a regular rotation, he was prepared for moving to another prison with three others: Hawkeye, Plantman, and Headlok.

(Thunderbolts I#56) - In West Virginia, an earthquake caused the van transporting the four prisoners to go off the road and tumble down a slope.

(Thunderbolts I#57) - Cottonmouth attempted to flee, not realizing that the security manacles which held them would deliver an incapacitating jolt if they got too far from each other; they were all zapped.

(Thunderbolts I#58) - Learning that his security manacles would deliver a neuroshock if they were separated by more than about 10 yards or if they attempted to use their powers, the foursome decided to work together to get free of the manacles - they decided to seek out criminal financier Justin Hammer, who could certainly remove the manacles.

(Thunderbolts I#60) - After braking into an ATM, the foursome purchased groceries near Pittsburgh, PA and were assaulted by a Guardsman.

(Thunderbolts I#61) - Attempting to stop the Guardsman, Plant-Man accidentally killed him. In the following five days the group traveled into Ohio (spending a night in Columbus), Iowa (spending a night in Avoca), and then Nebraska. Losing his patience, Cottonmouth decided to remove their manacles by gnawing through the others' arms, starting with Plant-Man; he was stopped by Hawkeye.

(Thunderbolts I#63) - Continuing west, the group traveled through Omaha (NB), Little Springs (?), Denver (CO), Cheyenne (WY), Billings (MT), Butte (MT), Kalispell (MT), Portland (OR), Tacoma (WA), and Bellingham (WA). In Bellingham, they stopped at Rogues Gallery Costumes (a criminal underground costuming shop), where Cottonmouth got a fake beard. They continued from there to Vancouver, B.C., where Hammer employee Carpenter reprogrammed, but did not remove, their manacles, giving Cottonmouth access to his powers and a free range of motion. However, they were then attacked by Cyclone, and Songbird took advantage of the confusion to knock them all out, containing Cottonmouth in a sonic containment field.

(Captain America IV#30) - Cottonmouth 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 Cottonmouth was one of many to respond; he was knocked out by the Diamondback LMD. S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently took Cottonmouth and the rest of the Society into custody.

(Daughters of the Dragon#3) - Cottonmouth, out of costume, was at a Greenwich Village villain hangout known as the Rascal Tavern when Colleen Wing and Misty Knight burst in and started a fight; he hit Misty with a chair and then she hit him with a table.

(American Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice#1) - Cottonmouth robbed a bank in Phoenix, putting half a dozen guards into the hospital, and drove into the desert, ending up on Navajo land. He snatched young Susie Palmer as a hostage, and killed all three of her family's dogs. Jason Strongbow (American Eagle) tracked him down; under Eagle's covert coaching the girl elbowed Cottonmouth in the genitals and then Eagle took him down. Eagle forced Cottonmouth to dig regulation graves for all three dogs before presumably turning him over to national authorities.

(Wolverine III#73/1) - On a Monday, several Serpent Society members (Anaconda, Black Mamba, Bushmaster, Cottonmouth), fought members of the New Avengers (Captain America/Barnes, Luke Cage, Ronin/Barton, Spider-Woman/Drew, Wolverine) in a semi-tropical locale (palm trees were nearby). Cottonmouth took on Wolverine during the fight.

(Avengers vs. X-Men#0) - Cottonmouth teamed up with Serpent Society teammates Anaconda, Bushmaster, Cottonmouth and Asp, robbing a bank and holding hostages. Hope Summers attacked them and violently knocked the villains out.

(Battle Scars#3 (fb) - BTS) - Orion hired the Serpent Society to capture Marcus Johnson (Nick Fury Jr.) alive because Orion wanted his blood to regain his youth.

(Battle Scars#3) - Anaconda, Bushmaster, Cottonmouth, Death Adder and Rattler hunted down Johnson and found him alongside Taskmaster.

(Battle Scars#4) - Johnson and Taskmaster fought the Society members. They escaped them when Deadpool entered the fray to save or rather capture Johnson himself.

(Avenging Spider-Man#5 - BTS) - Chemicals used to create Copperhead's snake gas were bought by the Serpent Society. The Avengers learned about it.

(Avenging Spider-Man#5) - The Avengers intercepted the delivery and Cottonmouth and Anaconda got caught by Red Hulk, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman and Wolverine.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Dennis Janke (inker), Mike Carlin (editor).

   In Captain America I#379/2, as part of the Society's tracking of Diamondback, a silhouetted man observed her with binoculars from a high window before passing observation of her on to "street-walker." Based on the shape of the silhouette this was probably Cottonmouth, though it is not certain.

   The name game... In Thunderbolts I#55, the federal government knew him as Quincy McIver. In Black Panther III#17, he's referred to as Quincy McLever. In The Serpent Society entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2005: Teams, his name is listed as unknown - the assumption is that his Quincy identities were both false, with him passing himself off as his teammate, Bushmaster (Quincy McIver), for reason as-of-yet unexplained.

   Cottonmouth has had entries in the Deluxe Edition OHOTMU (issue 3) and the Master Edition, though neither gave him any real history.

Thanks go to Markus Raymond for noting Code of Honor#3. The Brothers Grimm in this appearance couldn't have been the Grimes brothers as they were not active yet during the Secret Wars.

They were the Grimes brothers accordingly to their entry in OHotMU A-Z Hardcover#2.
--Markus Raymond

Cottonmouth received a real name in OHOTMU A-Z HC#10 in the Serpent Society entry.

Profile by SQUEAK

CLARIFICATIONS:
COTTONMOUTH should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #3, pg 18 (main image & distended jaw)
Thunderbolts #63, pg14, p4 (headshot)


Appearances:
Captain America I#310-311 (October-November, 1985) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Dennis Janke (inker), Mike Carlin (editor)
Captain America I#313 (January, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Mike Carlin (editor)
Captain America I#315 (March, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Dennis Janke (inker), Mike Carlin (editor)
Captain America I#341-342 (May-June, 1988) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Kieron Dwyer (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Uncanny X-Men Annual#13 (1989) - Terry Austin (writer), Mike Vosburg (penciler/inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Captain America I#365 (December, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bright (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#367 (February, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#379/2 (November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#380-382 (December, 1990-February, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (penciler), Dan Bulanadi (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#434-437 (December, 1994-March, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (penciler), Dan Bulanadi (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Code of Honor#3 (April, 1997) - Chuck Dixon (writer), Bob Wakelin, Derick Gross & Paul Lee (artists), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Black Panther II#I16 (March, 2000) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (penciler), Bob Almond (inker), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Black Panther III#17 (April, 2000) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (penciler), Bob Almond (inker), Ruben Diaz & Tom Brevoort (editors)
Thunderbolts I#55-57 (October-November, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#58 (December, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciler), Vey & Adams & Perotta (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#60-61, 63 (January-February, March, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Captain America IV#30-31 (October-November, 2004) - Robert Kirkman (writer), Scot Eaton (penciler), Drew Geraci (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Daughters of the Dragon#3 (May, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Khari Evans (penciler), Jimmy Palmiotti (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
American Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice#1 (digital: November 12, 2008) - Jason Aaron (writer), Richard Isanove (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Wolverine III#73/1 (July, 2009) - Jason Aaron (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Alan Fine (editor)
Avengers vs. X-Men#0 (May, 2012) - Jason Aaron (writer), Frank Cho (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Battle Scars#3 (March, 2012) - Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn & Matt Fraction (story), Chris Yost (script), Scot Eaton (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)
Battle Scars#4 (April, 2012) - Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn & Matt Fraction (story), Chris Yost (script), Scot Eaton (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Tom Brennan & Alejandro Arbona (editor)
Avenging Spider-Man#5 (May, 2012) - Zeb Wells (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)


Last updated: 05/02/12

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