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The first Viper was Jordan Stryke but used the alias Jordan Dixon to help conceal his costume identity. His brother Leopold Stryke was the Eel and both of them worked together as criminals for the group Crime Wave. The group Crime Wave came into conflict with Captain America and the Falcon and both brothers ended up in prison. Both brothers eventually escape and formed the first Serpent Squad with King Cobra. The trio had numerous encounters with Captain America and the Falcon but were always defeated.
While in custody, he was being transported to stand trial before a grand jury by US Marshalls. His van was ambushed by Madame Hydra and the guards were killed. Jordon encountered Madame Hydra and she told him she wanted his name. Madame Hydra gunned down Jordon and killed him. She assumed the name Viper and became the new leader of the Serpent Squad.
Viper was created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema in 1972 and first appeared in Captain America # 157.
Death of the Dream
A new Serpent Squad has appeared led by the Red Skull's daughter, Sin. The group also consist of Eel, Cobra and a new Viper who has been identified as a man named Leon Murtaugh. The new Viper earned his costume after killing numerous people and impressed the other members of the Serpent Squad during his initiation as he slaughtered some innocent civilians with his poison darts during an attack.
Shock to the System
Murtaugh would provide important information on HYDRA to Captain America in exchange to be in the witness protection program under SHIELD. However, Captain America, Dum Dum Dugan and SHIELD Agent Rachel Leighton aka Diamondback would learn that a new Scourge has appeared and started killing other people in the witness protection program. Diamondback sees Murtaugh at his safe house location and he's upset that he's on some hit list. Murtaugh and Diamondback are injured when an explosion takes place outside the window. Murtaugh is confronted by Scourge and shot dead.
Abilities & Weapons
Viper has no superhuman abilities but he is a very intelligent individual and skilled fighter. He was skilled enough in chemistry to create his own venom. He wore venom-tipped claws and used venom-tipped darts as weapons.