Rattler

RATTLER

Real Name: Gustav Krueger

Identity/Class: Human technology user; naturalized U.S. citizen; former German citizen

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: Serpent Society (Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster (McIver), Coachwhip, Copperhead (Lawfers), Cottonmouth, Death Adder (Burroughs), Death Adder (Scott), Diamondback (Leighton), Fer-de-Lance, King Cobra, Princess Python, Puff Adder, Rock Python, Sidewinder (Voelker), Sidewinder, Slither, Viper (Madame Hydra) );
   formerly Thunderbolts Army

Affiliations: Leviathan (especially Orion/Viktor Uvarov), Mr. Negative, Geoffrey Wilder

Enemies: Anole, Captain America (Steve Rogers), D-Man/Scourge (Dennis Dunphy), Deadpool, Diamondback, Diamondback LMD, Falcon, Free Spirit, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Jack Flag, Nick Fury Jr., MODOK, Nomad, Paladin, Porcupine, Henry Pym, Rockslide, Spider-Man, Taskmaster, X-Men (Dazzler (with Diamondback's mind), Longshot, Psylocke, Storm)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Various Serpent Society headquarters and Serpent Citadels

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

Powers/Abilities:  Rattler can create ultrasonic vibrations with his bionic tail, to numerous ends. He has used this in the past to knock Captain America's shield out of the air; with sufficient warning he can deflect bullets. He can also create sonic blasts. The tail's vibrations can induce vertigo, unconsciousness, internal hemorrhaging, and even death in humans. The prehensile tail is grafted to Gustav's nervous system and manipulated mentally; it possesses sufficient strength to punch through two-inch steel plate. Gustav's insulated suit prevents him from the effects of his own vibrations, though his hearing is 85% lost and he requires hearing aids to fully hear.

headshot

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Grey

History:

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#10) - Gustav was born in Breslau, Germany. He acquired a bionic tail and began a criminal career as Rattler.

(Iron Man Legacy#7) - Geoffrey Wilder hired Sidewinder and hist first attempt at an Serpent Society including Anaconda, Cobra, Diamondback, Puff and Rattler to kill Tony Stark in Los Angeles. They attacked him at a scrapyard, but Stark escaped their first attack and quickly put together some weapons.

(Iron Man Legacy#8) - The Serpent Society surrounded the hut Stark was hiding in and were surprised when Stark blew it up, knocking out all but Anaconda and Sidewinder. The latter threatened Stark while the former tried to crush him only to get knocked out by an electrical charge released from Stark's chestplate.

(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 complete a different project. Anaconda, Rattler, and Cobra went to the abandoned Brand Long Island complex (410 Gannon Avenue, Long Island City) where Brand's mutagenics department had created Sidewinder and his original Serpent Squad. Captain America and, on Anaconda's orders, Rattler and Cobra escaped with the equipment while she engaged the Captain. When Captain America threw his shield at the pair as they escaped, Rattler used his tail's ultrasonic vibration-creating ability to knock the shield out of the air before it could reach them.

(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 Manhattan, while Diamondback and Bushmaster made contact with AIM's inner council. The make-up of the other groups and who each contacted is unrevealed.

(Captain America I#313) - Black Mamba and the Rattler were investigating an underwater AIM facility when Sidewinder ordered them to New Jersey, where another team had located him. Mamba and Rattler found two freight loaders dead near a local mall where MODOK had taken refuge, and contacted the rest of the Society before proceeding inside. 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. Rattler was knocked out while fighting MODOK.

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

(Captain America I#315) - AIM's payment was distributed to the Society members. 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) - When Death Adder went missing, Rattler and Cobra combed the wreckage of Death Adder's Serpent Saucer, but could find no clues to his disappearance. All the Serpents (except Diamondback, who was out on a solo mission) began looking for him 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#341/3 (fb) - BTS) - Diamondback apparently had a brief fling with Rattler, whose vibrating tail allegedly had erotic applications.

(Captain America I#341/3) - Sidewinder introduced four new Serpents to the charter members, and appointed them as probationary members of the team. They were actually agents of Viper, and she very quickly invaded the Citadel with her own team of Serpents.

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

tail blast

(Captain America I#342) - Given the choice of death or joining Viper, Rattler quickly joined her. He, Cobra, Anaconda, Black Racer, Rock Python, Boomslang, and Copperhead were set to loading canisters of something into Serpent Saucers, despite not knowing what was in those canisters. The Captain, Nomad, D-Man, Falcon, and Diamondback invaded the Citadel and the Falcon took down Rattler, leaving him tied up by those Saucers.

(Captain America I#343) - The Viper fled into a Serpent Saucer, running past and ignoring the tied-up Rattler. Too late, the Rattler concluded that he'd made a big mistake and that Sidewinder would never have left him.

(Uncanny X-Men AnnualI#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 the Rattler burying himself in a landslide which he caused with a poorly placed sonic blast. The X-Men retrieved the item and the serpents returned home.

(Damage Control II#1) - In the belly of the Vault during a mass escape, Rattler encountered Damage Control's John Porter, Bart Rozum, and Gene Strausser, and demanded directions to a restroom from them.

(Captain America I#365/2) - Rattler 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) - Rattler 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 the captive Diamondback was tried by the Society for treason, Rock Python was part of the majority which voted her guilty.

(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 Black Racer, Rattler, and Coachwhip to Sidewinder's apartment.

(Captain America I#382 - BTS) - After Diamondback was captured elsewhere, Rattler, Coachwhip, and Black Racer were ordered to return to the Society's headquarters.

(Captain America I#382) - At the headquarters, King Cobra led Black Racer, Coachwhip, and Rattler against Captain America, Paladin, Diamondback, Asp, and Black Mamba, but Cap and Paladin took down Rattler. With many other Society members, Rattler was hauled away by Guardsmen.

(Captain America I#434) - At the Sandhaven Community Center, Rattler was lounging at the pool when Jack Flag showed up, having successfully (much to the surprise of King Cobra, who thought he had given Flag an impossible task) stolen a painting from Mr Hyde as a Society initiation test.

(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 Rattler. The fracas was interrupted when Captain America (secretly summoned by Flag) showed up and faked his own defeat at the hands of Jack Flag and Rattler, Bushmaster, Fer-de-Lance, Cottonmouth, and Rock Python; they took him to the real King Cobra. When Coachwhip was revealed as a disguised Coachwhip, Jack Flag revealed his true colors and joined her, and King Cobra flushed Captain America out the swimming pool and out into the desert. With Mr. Hyde, King Cobra went after Cap, leaving the rest of the Society to finish the other two.

(Captain America I#436) - Jack Flag and Free Spirit fled and were being pursued when the Avengers' Hank Pym (Giant-Man) showed up and knocked out Rattler before leaving to find Cap.

(Captain America I#437 - BTS) - The rest of the Society was captured and arrested by Force Works; Rattler may or may not have been arrested as well.

(Captain America IV#30) - Rattler 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) - Rattler was there while King Cobra taunted Diamondback, promising to punish her for her betrayal. Sixteen hours later, Cap escaped; King Cobra summoned the rest of the Society and Rattler was one of many to respond; he was knocked out by the Captain. S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently took Rattler and the rest of the Society into custody.

(Thunderbolts II#104) - At the Thunderbolts' training ground in Desert Flats, New Mexico, Rattler sat beside Bushmaster and Snake Marston and observed King Cobra training. He then stood with other villains while Baron Helmut Zemo gathered a large squad of villains and announced that they would be his new Thunderbolts, with a chance at earning either/both redemption or their freedom.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#562) - With several of his fellow serpents (Coachwhip, Puff Adder, Rock Python) and in the company of other criminals, Rattler patronized a Bar With No Name in New York City, where he and the others watched the Basher challenge Spider-Man to a fight via YouTube. Rattler placed bets that Spidey wouldn't show, and that night, he returned to the Bar to watch the fight on TV (not only did one Spidey show but two did, leading to accusations that the bets were rigged). He was still at the Bar later when Spider-Man showed up there.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#563) - Rattler and the other criminals in attendance battled Spider-Man, but stopped when the bartender reminded them that the Bar With No Name was a sanctuary for those being hunted by the law - which currently included Spider-Man. Spider-Man then pressed the bar's tight-lipped occupants for information on the Bookie, until the bartender gave him some and he left.

hunted by Scourge (X-Men: To Serve and Protect#2/1) - Mr. Negative hired the Serpent Society to eliminate two new vigilantes (Anole and Rockslide, both disguised young X-Men) who were soon confronted King Cobra, Bushmaster, Rattler, Anaconda and the new Death Adder.

(X-Men: To Serve and Protect#3/1) - Anole and Rockslide's unusual fighting styles kept the Serpent Society members at bay until Mr. Negative intervened and "turned" Rockslide to his will.

(X-Men: To Serve and Protect#4/1) - Anole dodged the possessed Rockslide's hits, jumping amongst the Serpent Society members so that they would be hit instead of him. Mr. Negative ended his possession of Rockslide and a smoke grenade covered the escape of Mr. Negative and the Serpent Society group.

(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. Rattler knocked Johnson out with an electrical charge from his tail, but Johnson and Taskmaster still escaped them when Deadpool entered the fray to save or rather capture Johnson himself.

(Captain America VI#12) - Brainwashed by Hydra and Henry Gyrich, Dennis Dunphy became the new Scourge and hunted down and killed Rattler on a Manhattan rooftop.

(Captain America VI#13) - Rattler's death was reported in the newspaper the next day.

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

    A suit which completely dampens sonic vibrations in order to allow him to function. Vibranium, anybody?

    Though it isn't stated, bionic reinforcement of his legs and back are highly likely, to allow him to operate the tail without causing damage to his own skeleton and muscles.

    John McDonagh observes that Mark Gruenwald gave Rattler a last name of Krueger and that King Cobra had been given a last name of Voorhees, and speculates that Gruenwald may have been a horror fan (Voorhees = Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th movie series; Krueger = Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street). Could be coincidence; who knows?

Iron Man Legacy#7-8 occurred shortly after Tony Stark had lost control of Stark International to Obidiah Stane. There is even the cover of Iron Man I#173 (August, 1983) seen as Wall Street Journals' cover in Iron Man Legacy#6. This is a bit problematic because the Serpent Society wasn't even founded at that point and Puff Adder had joined the Society as an infiltrator even later. Maybe he got kicked out and this was Sidewinder's first attempt with a smaller roster to establish themselves.

Rattler is seen on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative#1.

Profile by SQUEAK

CLARIFICATIONS:
RATTLER has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#10, p55 (main image)
Captain America I#315, p21, p7 (headshot)
Captain America I#342, p20, p3 (blasting Falcon)
Captain America VI#12, p17, p4 (running from Scourge)


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#319 (July, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), Mike Carlin (editor)
Captain America I#341-343 (May-July, 1988) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Kieron Dwyer (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Uncanny X-Men Annual I#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)
Damage Control II#1 (December, 1989) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Ernie Colon (penciler/inker), Sid Jacobson (editor)
Captain America I#367 (February, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Don Hudson (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)
Captain America IV#30-31 (October-November, 2004) - Robert Kirkman (writer), Scot Eaton (penciler), Drew Geraci (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts II#104 (September, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Gary Erskine (inker), Molly Lazer (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#562 (August, 2008) - Bob Gale (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#563 (August, 2008) - Bob Gale (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Marlo Alquiza (inker), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Iron Man Legacy#7-8 (December, 2010 - January, 2011) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Steve Kurth (pencils), Allen Martinez (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
X-Men: To Serve and Protect#2/1-4/1 (February-April, 2011) - Chris Yost (writer), Derec Donovan (art), Nick Lowe (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)
Captain America VI#12-13 (July-August, 2012) – Ed Brubaker (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciler/inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 01/31/15

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