THE SERPENT SOCIETY:
Yeah, that's right, with 3rd Edition brand-spanking-new and the entire history of the Marvel & DC Universes, Astro City, Television and Movies freshly available to me for statting & re-statting... I've been desperately chomping at the bit to re-build THE SERPENT SOCIETY.
And who better for my first set of 3rd Edition Mutants & Masterminds builds than the Serpent Society? I mean, who else represents that particular brand of D-league jobber that I find so utterly fascinating? It's odd- these guys aren't even well-developed as characters for the most part, and Mark Gruenwald specialized in fleshing out silly side-characters. It's basically just a collection of cool-ass codenames taken from real-life Snakes (who seem to have the biggest glut of cool names of the animal kingdom), with one or two token powers attached to a costume design that is best-described as "whatever was lying at the bottom of the artist's 'Concept Pile'."
But... but they're just so JOBBY! I love it! You can put three or four of these guys in one scene, and the superhero will just dive in and kick ALL their asses while joking about how sucky they are... unless they get the drop on him and start doing better than they normally should. But for the most part, you couldn't look any further if you wanted a group of eighteen jobbers, only a few of whom were any kind of challenge.History of the Team:
-The Society originally started out as "The Serpent Squad", and comprised of totally different guys than the jobbers we normally associate with it. The original Viper (a nobody villain), The Eel (apparently their creator was not a biologist) and The Cobra (later King Cobra) were the first team, and didn't do much. A couple upgrades followed, adding a few members, but were also forgettable.
-It wasn't until The Sidewinder, former of the third Serpent Squad, organized a much larger "Society" that the true nature of the team became known. It was basically a supervillain Labor Union- they did their own thing, giving a portion of money to the Society, who them promised them resources and "Get Out of Jail Free" benefits (Sidewinder was a Teleporter). Sidewinder, Anaconda, Black Mamba, Death Adder, Asp, Diamondback, Cottonmouth, Cobra, Bushmaster, Rattler, and Princess Python formed the first team. Their first big mission 'made' their name: Killing MODOK, and then they became recurring Captain America foes.
-Princess Python quit as a coward, and Death Adder was killed by the Scourge of the Underworld, but they were replaced by Copperhead, Black Racer, Fer-de-Lance and Puff Adder, who were working in secret with Madame Hydra, The Viper (herself a member of the second Squad), who wanted ownership of the team. Coachwhip, Boomslang, Slither & Rock Python also joined Viper's side, and the team split it's roster, as Sidewinder's loyalists fled the group.
-Eventually, Diamondback allied with Cap (forming their unusual partnership/romance), freeing the loyalists and Viper was brought down- replaced with Cobra (later King Cobra). The Society engaged in some other activities, but their "Jobber" status soon became prevalent, as the members no longer had their "debuted character" heat on them, and Cap arrested the whole lot of them after he & Diamondback had a big blow-off storyline with them.
-The Serpent Society didn't last much past the 90s, as later versions were really just groups of jobbers in throw-away storylines, getting pounded on by various heroes. After they left the Society, Diamondback, Asp & Black Mamba formed "B.A.D. Girls, Inc." and engaged in some mercenary activities off-and-on, though they only got used a few times- DB was seen in a "Hellions" Limited Series, and the others fought Deadpool. They reappeared as the "Women's Warriors" when "The Avengers Initiative" went down.
-Their "legacy" as such is pretty minor- they were just recurring villains in the Captain America series aside from the Red Skull & his cronies, and they produced the "Diamondback" years of Cap's relationships with the ladies (a beloved era, but not even his main one- Sharon Carter trumps her in importance). Most of the team never went on to big things (Anaconda got something in the "Six Pack" run in a few books as a mercenary), and many were treated like the jokes they are. It's only on the internet, where weird little side-characters and jobbers can get way more famous than they deserve, that they ever get to mean anything.
1) The Rattler
3) King Cobra
8) Black Mamba
9) Madame Hydra/Viper
12) Rock Python
13) Death Adder
14) Puff Adder
15) The Mighty Boomslang
17) Princess Python
19) Black Racer
Plus I'll throw an Eel build on there for the hell of it. Classic jobber.