Born in France, Zelda DuBois had an uncanny knack for training snakes to respond to her movements and developed an act using a twenty-five foot rock python. She joined up with the Circus of Crime early on and it was she who convinced the others to get rid of Ringmaster, appoint the Clown as the leader and rename the group the Masters of Menace.
Princess Python first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #22 in March 1965 and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Major Story Arcs
Circus of Crime
While stealing paintings from an art gallery, the Masters of Menace ran into Spider-Man. Spidey, however, is unwilling to hit a woman and is easily seduced by in Zelda. Spider-Man fights with her python, but is eventually able to defeat the group and the Masters of Menace are all arrested.
Upon getting out of prison, the Masters of Menace rejoin the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime and plan to hypnotize Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into joining them. Princess Python fights Scarlet Witch one-on-one but loses when the Witch hexes her, causing her to become soaked. Despite failing to recruit their intended members, the Circus manages to elude capture.
The Circus of Crime's next scheme involves stealing a huge golden bull, but they require a new strong man as their old one had evidently strained himself trying to lift an elephant. They discover Thor and hypnotize him into stealing the bull. The scheme goes awry and Princess Python is trapped under the statue. Thor rescues her and the grateful (and somewhat smitten) Princess tells the police that Thor was coerced into helping them. She then uses her python to escape and rejoin her teammates.
The Circus of Crime resurface at the wedding of the Wasp and Yellowjacket, disguised as caterers to get into the Avengers Mansion and seeking to disrupt the proceedings. Zelda's python jumps out of the wedding cake and attacks the Wasp, but Yellowjacket, who turns out to be Hank Pym, (which was a surprise to everyone at the time) turns into Giant Man and rescues his bride, wrapping the python around Ringmaster. Princess Python attempts to sneak away but is subdued by the Wasp.
Princess Python then decided to strike out on her own, traveling to Stark Industries where she uses her python to hold Tony Stark hostage, threatening to kill him unless she is given a million dollars and a jet to South America. Secretly Iron Man frees himself by using his chest plate to shock the python. Battle ensues and Zelda reveals that her precious has been specially bred to be able to crush Iron Man's armour. It nearly succeeds until Iron Man kills it by tossing it into a vat of acid. Distraught, Zelda dives in after it, only to be saved by Iron Man before she hits the acid. Apoplectic over the death of her beloved pet, Princess Python is then remanded to the custody of "good doctors" by Iron Man.
Zelda, with a new python rejoin the Circus of Crime. After a defeat by Daredevil, they are freed from a prison wagon by Live Wire, who joins the group. Princess Python is then recruited by Viper to start a new Serpent Squad. Zelda breaks the Cobra and the Eel out of jail and they subsequently battle Captain America. Warlord Krang, possessing the Serpent Crown, joins them and the whole thing ends up involving the Sub-Mariner and Roxxon Oil. In the end, Zelda is defeated.
Princess Python returns to the Circus of Crime and is part of it when they capture Luke Cage. Zelda finds herself attracted to him, which bothers Luke's girlfriend, Claire Temple. Luke, with help from Black Goliath, defeats the circus. Zelda herself is stopped when Luke's friend D.W. Griffith hypnotizes her with the Ringmaster's hat.
Later on, Death Adder recruits Princess Python into the Serpent Society. Lead by Sidewinder, Zelda finds herself working with other serpentine-themed villains Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Bushmaster, Cobra, Constrictor, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, and Rattler. The Society is hired to kill MODOK, but Zelda loses her nerve and abandons her peers during the assignment to track him down. The Society eventually catches up with her and Sidewinder, very disappointed in her performance, has her mind-wiped and expelled from the Society's ranks despite her explanations.
They decide to ransom her back to the Circus of Crime, but Death Adder, who was delivering her, is killed by the Scourge of the Underworld before the transaction is completed. Princess Python subsequently rejoins her old friends.
Zelda turns up as the Mistress of Ceremonies of Superia's Femizons, introducing all the members of the group to each other. Later on, she gets refused entry to the Bar With No Name by the bouncer (Angar the Screamer) because she won't check her python at the door.
At one point, Zelda hooks up with Johnny Blaze, the former Ghost Rider, who operates the Quentin Carnival. Princess Python befriends the crew and develops deep romantic feelings for Johnny. When trouble ensues at a nearby trailer, she and Kody, a wolf-man, rush over, but succumb to knock-out gas by the trailer's owner, the assassin known as Arcade. While Johnny defeats Arcade, Kody drags her to safety.
Princess Python, alongside the other Masters of Menace resort to armed robbery to run the Circus, now without the Ringmaster who had gone straight. The Hulk put an end to their spree, but Zelda manages to escape unscathed.
During Stilt-Man's funeral held by several supervillains and former supervillains, it is revealed that Zelda had been married to him. It was for her that a robot Doctor Doom was made to attend so she could believe that Stilt-Man had been respected by the major league supervillains. She and the Gibbon danced. Tragedy struck, however, when it turned out that the Punisher (who had also murdered Stilt-Man) was disguised as the bartender and had poisoned them all. He then blows the bar up. It is later mentioned that all of the villains in attendance were treated for third-degree burns and had to get their stomachs pumped.
Afterward, it was revealed that Zelda had been blinded by the explosion and married the Gibbon. The two have apparently gone straight.
When Norman Osborn took over national security following the end of the Skrull Secret Invasion, Zelda's son Daniel was recruited to the Young Masters team under the codename: Executioner. He is unaware at first of her criminal past, and she pressures him into contacting Kate Bishop of the Young Avengers. However, when he learns about her true exploits, he places a bomb in her car, and Zelda is apparently caught in the ensuing blast.
A new, younger Princess Python later makes her debut as one of the first members of Max Fury's new Masters of Evil. During her first appearance, she and Whiplash kidnap Captain America, only to be defeated by Hawkeye. What, if any connection the new Princess Python has to the original has yet to be revealed.
Princess Python is a master snake-charmer and snake trainer, and has a powerful bond with her twenty-five foot rock python. Zelda is a highly skilled acrobat and has used a 1,000 volt prod device as a weapon. She is not a particularly good hand-to-hand combatant, instead relying on her feminine wiles or gigantic python.