VIPERS OF VALTORRThe Vipers of Valtorr

Classification: Magic Spell

Creator: Valtorr

User/Possessors: Ancient One (Yao), Cyrus Black, Clea, Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange)

First Appearance: (Named) Strange Tales I#129 (February, 1965);
    (used) Doctor Strange II#22 (April, 1977)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Vipers of Valtorr can be cast in different ways, each one granting a different power and different effects. The Vapors were used for defensive (Transmutation) and offensive purposes (Conjuration).

Aliases: None

Version: Conjuration

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Vipers of Valtorr slowly but inexorably dealt damage to an enemy. The power of the Vipers was such that they could resist to some defensive spells, so that the target soon found himself enveloped and entangled, to the point that no further action could be possible for him. At that point, the coils constrictor force should slowly kill the target.

Casting Time: Few seconds
Range: Short (approximately 30 feet)
A mandatory component, probably at caster's choice among:

  • a somatic component: fingers/hands/arms movement
  • a verbal component like:

    Your death will come slowly...
    slowly at the constricting coils of...
    the Vipers of Valtorr!
    Doctor Strange II#34)

Duration: Concentration, 1 minute, probably.
Primary effects: A mass of multiplying tentacles grabbing, restraining, constricting the target.
Collateral effects: None.

(Doctor Strange II#34) - Cyrus Black conjured the Vipers of Valtorr to defeat Doctor Strange. A deformed mass of green writhing tendrils assaulted Strange. For every appendage that Strange neutralized, others took its place. The vipers pierced through his Mystic Screen, so that Strange was ensnared and was difficult for him to cast spells. Finally, encased in the Crystals of Cyttorak, the lethal vipers were reduced at tiny size and hurled into the endless void.

The guns were transformed in vipersVersion: Transmutation

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Vipers of Valtorr can transform multiple objects into snakes. It is unrevealed whether the spell can also transform living beings and whether it is only limited to some reptiles.

Casting Time: Instantaneous
Range: Medium (approximately 60 feet)
A mandatory component, probably at caster's choice among:

  • a somatic component: fingers/hand/arm movement
  • a verbal component like: By the Vipers of Valtorr! You will be stopped!  (Doctor Strange II#22)

Duration: Concentration.
Primary effects: The items, target of the spell, are transformed into snakes. The affected area has a minimum radius of 10 feet (approximately).
Collateral effects: None.

(Doctor Strange II#22) - The Vipers of Valtorr cast by Clea against a squad of Police officers transformed their guns into snakes. She dismissed the spell with a blinding flash of light that left the policemen confused.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

One-eyed tantacles dragging Strange toward death    In Doctor Strange II#1 tentacles with hands sprouted from the Orb of Agamotto, springing Strange to shout "Vipers of Valtorr!". The attack reminds the Vipers' attack by Cyrus Black in Doctor Strange II#34. The tentacles' hands also had an eye on the back.
It is unrevealed if the eyes could be the "Valtorr's eyes!" mentioned in Defenders I#82. The source of the capture was Necromancy.

In Doctor Strange II#22, it could arise the doubt that the snakes recoiling around the policemen wrists were mere illusions. However, in her altered mental status, Clea had already used other Transmutation spells, just before she was confronted by the cops. She transformed Big Bertha's body to merge it into the prison's wall and shortly after she transformed a homeless into a pig.

    In Doctor Strange II#23, the attack type of the Wormworlds was similar to the attack performed by Cyrus Black in DrStr2#34. Strange shouted "Vipers of Valtorr..." but it is unrevealed if he was merely surprised or if he recognized that the Wormworlds were using that magic spell.

exclamation   The Vipers of Valtorr's "dread" attribute comes from Valtorr's clime.

    When a Mystic Principality is invoked, sometime the caster is explicitly asking for a favor (the power), sometime the caller is asking the same, but implicitly. Nonetheless, there were plenty of times when the invocation was a simple exclamation, by surprise, by thanksgiving, by disappointment or by not understandable motives, and so on. The latter cases happened many times for the Vipers of Valtorr, too. These cases cannot be classified into version, or schools, or spells. Examples:

  • Strange Tales I#129: Surprise: "By the Vipers! He has vanished!"
  • Strange Tales I#144: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange I#174: Fear: "By the dread Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange I#178: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange I#181: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Marvel Premiere#9: Surprise: By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange II#1: Surprise, ascertainment (?): "Vipers of Valtorr! What is happening?"
  • Doctor Strange II#7: Surprise, fear: "Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange II#14: Surprise, wonder: "Vipers of Valtorr! What hidden power..."
  • Doctor Strange II#23: Surprise? Ascertainment? "By the Vipers of Valtorr! Tentacles lashing out at me!"
  • Doctor Strange II#25: Surprise, Divination (?): "By the Vipers of Valtorr! Am I responsible for this?"
  • Doctor Strange II#35: Wonder, Divination (?): "Vipers of Valtorr! Are my eyes playing tricks..."
  • Doctor Strange II#37: Surprise: "Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange II#48: Surprise: "Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Marvel Feature I#2: Surprise: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Avengers I#118: Delusion: "Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Defenders I#1: Disappointment: " By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Defenders I#9: Surprise, Pain: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#5: Surprise, disappointment: "By the Vipers of Valtorr -- Sara!"
  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#33/1: Clea's surprise: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"
  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#54: Surprise: "By the Vipers of Valtorr!"

One of Valtorr's appearances was in the form of a Snake. The other one was in vapor form.

Profile by Spidermay.

The Vipers of Valtorr are strictly connected to the Vapors of Valtorr and to Valtorr's Stings, but have no known connections to:

  • Viper (Jordan Dixon) of the Serpent Squad, killed by Viper/Madame Hydra, @ Captain America I#157
  • Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian), nihilist, terrorist, used Pit Viper doubles, became Madame Hydra @ Captain America I#180
  • Viper (Leon Murtagh), Red Skull's Serpent Squad, placed in witness protection, slain by Scourge, @ Captain America V#28
  • Professor Viper, criminal scientist, @ Midnight Sons Unlimited#7
  • or any other spell or character with a similar name.

images: (without ads)
Doctor Strange II#34, p12, pan1 (Cyrus Black entangled Strange with the Vipers of Valtorr)
Doctor Strange II#22 (guns transmutated into snakes)
Doctor Strange I#174, p13, pan1 (exclamation)
Doctor Strange II#31, cover (one-eyed hands tentacles dragging Strange toward Death)

Doctor Strange II#22 (April, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Rudy Nebres (pencils and inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Doctor Strange II#34 (April, 1979) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), P. Craig Russell (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)

First Posted: 06/30/2021
Last updated: 06/30/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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