Ophelia Sarkissian was orphaned in Eastern Europe when she was young. She worked her way up the ranks and gained the respect of the criminal underworld. Brutally trained early in her life by Kraken, Sarkissian eventually became the leader of HYDRA and became known as Madame Hydra. HYDRA and Sarkissian constantly battles Captain America and SHIELD.
Viper was created by Jim Steranko. She first appeared as Madame Hydra in Captain America #110 in February 1969.
When another super villain used the code-name Viper, she helped him escape from jail only to kill him. She made an attempt to take over a terrorist organization named Serpent Society, but was betrayed and then arrested by Captain America. She continued her career as a professional terrorist and would eventually got into a relationship with the Red Skull. However, their relationship ended when he found out she was using his money to finance terrorist activities with nothing to gain. Viper later revealed that her real name was Merriem Drew, the mother of Jessica Drew. However, these ended up being false memories. She later battled the X-Men when she aided her lover Silver Samurai in an attempt to assassinate Mariko Yashida. She black-mailed Wolverine and married him, though they eventually divorced.
Major Story Arcs
Viper confronted Spider-Woman in Madripoor when she was hunting Skrulls. Viper still believed she was Jessica's mother and "rescued" her from the police by shooting them. Viper took Spider-Woman to their base of operations. Spider-Woman tried to attack her but she had a force-shield that she stole from SHIELD. Viper also revealed that she had a Skrull for Jessica as a gift to get her to join HYDRA but when Spider-Woman escaped Viper ordered the building destroyed to hide their activities.
Viper joined up with HYDRA once again, but not as Madame Hydra. She is part of the main council along with Baron Von Strucker, Kraken, The Hive, Gorgon and the new Madame Hydra. Viper died when she was captured by Leviathan forces who were seeking to obtain an alien power source from HYDRA. On discovering that she did not have it, the current Madame Hydra ( The Contessa) shot her at close range. When the other members of HYDRA reached Viper's location, they found her dead body. The Hive brought her back to life with one of his spawned creatures, giving her a new monstrous, tentacled form. She now once again calls herself Madame Hydra and continues her terrorist actions.
Powers and Abilities
She has the strength, agility, and stamina of an Olympic athlete, and is a rigorously trained martial artist. She also has been trained to use various guns and firearms, and is very talented with knives. Viper is also gifted with disguises and acting. A brilliant strategist she uses fangs and lipstick that are poisonous and often fatal. Viper also employs a wide arrange of gasses and has used a sedative to make others susceptible to her control.
After her death she has a green mass on her head that keeps her alive. The mass also has tentacles that are controlled either by Viper or her instincts.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
In the alternate reality known as the Age of Apocalypse, Viper was married to the Silver Samurai, she along with her husband fought their way from the Island of Japan through hordes of Apocalypse's Infinites. Viper was killed trying to save Samurai's life. Her death made the Silver Samurai to accept the offer of Magneto to join the X-Men.
On alternate dimensions where Madame Hydra has overtaken the world. This version of Madame Hydra is actually Susan Storm Richards. She leads a team of killers with her lover Wolverine, and their top assassin Slaymaster. She and her team escaped from their world and travel the omniverse to seek out other worlds to conquer.
Viper appears in Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem along with HYDRA. She attacks Tony Stark's offices in order to retrieve the Iron Man armor, but is subdued by Iron Man, with the help of Spider-Man, and taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Viper appears as a member of Hydra in the X-Men: Evolution episode "Target X". She is head of Hydra and tries to capture X-23 and Wolverine. Omega Red and Gauntlet are working for her. She states to Wolverine that X-23 is hunting them and is trying to destroy every one of their bases. She and her agents tried to stop X-23 by setting traps, but failing each time. They finally find a way to capture her and try to wipe her mind of the bad memories that triggers her anger. Viper tries to make X-23 a weapon without emotion or free will, so they can fully control her. She leaves Omega Red to take care of Wolverine, but Wolverine knocks Omega Red out allowing X-23 to escape, Wolverine later finds her and asks her to come with him, but she wants to destroy the base. She jumps onto a HYDRA flier and goes into the cockpit to destroy Viper. She succeeds by blowing it up and the flier falls to the ground. X-23 fakes her own death so she can no longer be hunted. Viper appeared to perish. X-23 is seen crouched on a rock at the end, and runs around the forest. She was voiced by Lisa Ann Beley.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Viper appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as one of Baron Strucker's top agents. In "Widow's Sting", she is defeated by Mockingbird and revealed to be a Skrull impostor. The real Viper appears in the episode "Prisoners of War", where she is revealed as one of the humans being held captive by the Skrulls. She works together with Captain America and the other heroes to escape and return to Earth. She makes her last appearance in "Along Came a Spider", where she is freed from SHIELD custody by the Serpent Society. She was voiced by Vanessa Marhsall, who also voiced Black Widow.
Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In the movie, Sandra Hess portrays a villain who is a fusion between the Viper and Andrea Von Strucker. The character's real name is indeed Andrea Von Strucker, daughter of Baron Von Strucker, but she goes under the alias "Viper" and commands Hydra. She also possesses a Venomous Kiss, a power that allows her to kill transmitting poison with a kiss.
Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova will portray Viper in The Wolverine.
Captain America: Super Soldier
Viper appears (as Madame Hydra) as one of the lead villains of Captain America: Super Soldier. She was voiced by Audrey Wasilewski.