The Serpent Society was like an expanded version of the Serpent Squad that had come before it, as some of its key members had once made up the third incarnation of the Serpent Squad. It all began with Seth Voelker (aka Sidewinder), when he betrayed the Serpent Squad and took all the profit the team had made from finding the Serpent Crown. But those who had once followed him and been left for dead caught up with him. Boasting that he was much wealthier now and had ideas for what would become the Serpent Society, Sidewinder then promised Anaconda, Death Adder and Black Mamba all the benefits his Society could offer, including better access to technology and jobs, higher pay, lodging and partners. But most important was the fact that with the help of Voelker's teleportation cloak, the members would never have to fear imprisonment again.
After he convinced them and paid them their share of the reward, with interest, they contacted many other snake-themed supervillains to join the Society, most accepted, except for two. Constrictor was unimpressed and so he left trying to turn them over to the Avengers and Viper ( Madame Hydra) would not attend the initial meeting. Thus Sidewinder, Anaconda, Death Adder, Black Mamba, Asp, Diamondback, Cobra, Bushmaster, Cottonmouth, Rattler and Princess Python became the charter members of the Society.
The Serpent Society was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary and first appeared in Captain America #310 in October 1985.
Major Story Arcs
The Serpent Citadel (the Society's headquarters) was originally located in New York City, at an abandoned mental hospital. They were sent out to contact various criminal organizations, their first assignment was to from A.I.M. who wished them to kill their former leader, MODOK. They succeeded and so were ranked as top-level criminals, Captain America often attempted to intervene but could not put the Society out of commission. Two charter members left the Society, Death Adder was killed and Princess Python ran out on them during their MODOK assignment and so was expelled.
Madame Hydra was not oblivious to the Serpent Society and she gathered agents to take it down and bring it under her control. She had Copperhead, Black Racer, Puff Adder and Fer-de-Lance infiltrate the Society and then Coachwhip, Boomslang, Rock Python and Slither attacked the Serpent Citadel, the charter members betrayed Sidewinder and joined Viper but Bushmaster, Asp, Diamondback and Black Mamba remained loyal.
But the Viper used the Society, so that she could poison the water supply of Washington DC, transforming the citizens into snake-men and the capital was almost destroyed.
But Diamondback escaped with the help of Sidewinder to get help from Captain America, using sex to do this. Help also came in the form of his friends, D-Man, Nomad, Vagabond and the Falcon.
They stormed Serpent Citadel where they proceeded to rescue the loyal members and capture the others. But Viper managed to escape, Cobra eventually subduing her. Cobra then tried to use her as a bargaining chip with Captain America but failed, so he turned her over anyway.
Trial of Diamondback
Sidewinder became bitter and so left the Society leaving King Cobra (formerly Cobra) to become the new leader of the team which expanded as all of Viper's agents minus Slither joined the team and the Society re-located to the Bronx.
Soon after Diamondback became romantically involved with Captain America and she began to desire him over the Society. He did not force her to betray the Society to him, but when the Society had surveillance put on her they discovered this relationship and she was put on trial for treason.
She was found guilty, the verdict, death by injection. The only members who did not vote for her death were future BAD Girls Inc. teammates Black Mamba and Asp as well as Bushmaster (a fellow Society member loyal to Sidewinder) and Rock Python.
King Cobra said the sentence would be dropped if she would tell them the civilian identity of Captain America, she refused. But she was rescued at the last moment when Black Mamba contacted Sidewinder to use his cloak to help her.
Diamondback sought revenge and so she joined forces with Paladin (after Captain America told her he could not guarantee immunity for Asp and Black Mamba). Paladin and Diamondback infiltrated the Serpent Society headquarters only to be captured along with Asp and Black Mamba. But Captain America, who was riding his sky cycle witnessed Fer-de-Lance and Cottonmouth heading to their headquarters on a Serpent Saucer.
Captain America followed them in and easily disposed of the two serpent-like super-villains. He united together with Paladin, Asp, Black Mamba and Diamondback after freeing them and the five took down the Society.
All members were brought to prison minus the three who helped Captain America plus Anaconda, Puff Adder, Rock Python and Boomslang as they were not at the headquarters at the time.
After some time in prison the Society got back together but their alliance seemed to have been permanently destroyed by Captain America and Force Works, this being confirmed by both Black Mamba and Puff Adder.
However they had re-formed themselves yet again during the Avengers Disassembled crisis when the Scarlet Witch went insane after learning of the fate of her children. At that time, Diamondback enlisted Black Mamba and Asp to reform the Serpent Society to track down the LMD Diamondback that Captain America was apparently dating at the time. Captain America fought his way free of their captivity and SHIELD took the Society into custody.
Despite several of the members working with other groups such as the Thunderbolts or the Six Pack, the Serpent Society continued to function as a team, appearing both in Secret Invasion - when they barricaded themselves and some hostages into a compound in Danzig, Ohio - and briefly battling the New Avengers.
A new line-up later appeared in Avengers vs. X-Men. The team pulled off a bank robbery in San Francisco, taking a number of employees hostage. Using the bound and gagged captives as a way to keep the cops away, the Society nearly succeeded in pulling off the heist, only to have their plan foiled by Hope Summers. The young mutant defeated each of the Society members before turning them over to the police.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
The Serpent Society appears in the episode, "Ultron-5." The membership includes King Cobra, Anaconda, Bushmaster, Rattler, and Death Adder. The group holds civilians hostage in a subway station, but are attacked by the Avengers. Ant-Man, claiming that King Cobra and other members of the Society were under his care, tried to reason with the group. However, after a battle, King Cobra, Anaconda, and Rattler escaped. Death Adder was defeated by Hawkeye, and he and Bushmaster were likely taken into custody.