Where were we? Ah yes. The Serpent Squad (Anaconda, Black Mamba, and Death Adder) had just gotten their heads handed to them by Iron Man. Escaping, mainly thanks to Death Adder's heretofore unseen ability to toss drunken hostages out of windows, the trio decides that it's high time to pay Sidewinder back for getting them trapped on the ocean floor back in Marvel Two in One # 64. This mostly involves them breaking into his apartment, swiping his beer, and waiting for him to come home so they can beat him up in an issue of Captain America.
At this point, it's pretty evident that it's friendship holding these three together. It's an odd friendship to be sure (one's a call-girl, one's a wrestler, and one's a creepy cyborg with acid for blood-together, they commit CRIMES!), but it's there. By this point, Death Adder has pulled the Squad's collective fat out of the fire at least three times. Re-reading these issues of Captain America, I get the impression that by this point, he's the calm one in the group. Death Adder is, in short, the Velma.* He cares about the ladies enough that he's intent on keeping them out of trouble, but beyond that, he could give two figs about what's going on.
Sidewinder shows up and narrowly avoids a beating by bringing up health insurance. Confused, the ladies allow him to spin his spiel about a union of snake-themed villains. Death Adder, still trying to figure out how to drink despite not having a mouth, misses all of this.
Later, there's a buffet.
Notice where Death Adder is sitting? On Sidewinder's right. It's an indication of the importance Death Adder will come to hold in the Serpent Society, I think. Either that, or it's a completely random choice on the artist's part. However, considering that Mark Gruenwald created Death Adder (and the Serpent Squad), and this marks the start of Gruenwald's run on Captain America, I prefer to think it's deliberate. Death Adder takes on the role of hatchet-man in the Society, much as he was in the Serpent Squad. Nowhere is that better exemplified than in Captain America, issue # 313.
Death Adder's claim to fame is a big (headed) one: He killed MODOK. Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing. It's the first assignment the Serpent Society undertakes, and despite a few-ah-disarming moments:
-Business gets handled. (Yes, I know Death Adder isn't in these scenes. I simply find MODOK hilarious, and never more so than when he's hurtling around out of control, tiny arms waving wildly.) The Society members ambush MODOK and send him running for safety:
Such as it is. Oh, MODOK. You never fail to make me laugh. Anyway, since I was unable to find an image, long story short, Death Adder and Cottonmouth eat MODOK.
Yes, they eat him. No, I don't know how Death Adder manages to take a bite, WITH NO MOUTH. I believe I've pointed this out before. I will continue to point it out. People must be told. After making mincemeat of MODOK, the Society turns its sights on Captain America.
The results are, of course, predictable. Needless to say, Death Adder is the only one who even comes close to getting the better of Cap-
Not that you could tell from that image. In retrospect, I could have chosen a better one, yes. This becomes the status quo for several issues of Captain America-the Society pulls something, Cap tries to stop them. Death Adder is invariably the one who goes toe-to-toe with the good Captain, usually to his detriment .
Then, of course, came Scourge...
* Which makes Black Mamba the Daphne and Anaconda the Fred. Sidewinder is the Harlem Globetrotters.