Name: Snake Men
Other Names: Serpent Men; Snake-Men; Serpent-Men; Snake Men (Slither-derived); Snake Man
First Appearance: Captain America (vol. 1) #344 (Aug. 1988): "Don't Tread On Me!"
Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes
Number of Appearances: 4
Enemy of: Captain America
Note: regular people made snake-like by Slither-derived serum
The villainous nihilist known as Viper gained control of the Serpent Society and used them to assist her in a nefarious attack on the nation's capitol. Using a serum she derived from DNA obtained from the snake-like mutant Slither, Viper created a serum that transformed regular people into snake-like monsters. The serum gave people scales and other snake-like attributes, and made them crazy and violent.
Viper managed to get the serum into the water supply of Washington, D.C., and many people were transformed, including the President of the United States (Ronald Reagan) and his wife, Nancy Reagan. Other people who have been transformed into "Snake Men" include Wally Jordan, Ralph Newton, and Smalto.
In the Washington, D.C. incident, Captain America was attacked by the snake-like, crazed Ronald Reagan, but the hero didn't want to battle fiercely because he feared hurting the President.
Although the Snake Men battled heroes, they weren't really "villains" in the traditional sense. They were simply innocent victims transformed by a serum. They were not in control of their savage actions.
Fortunately, the Snake Men serum burned itself out of its victims and its effects proved to be only temporary. After the Ronald Reagan Snake Man battled Captain America for a while, the President sweated so much and metabolized the serum so much that it was purged from his body completely and he returned to normal.
Slither-derived Snake Men subsequently appeared in a few other stories.
It is possible to confuse the Slither-derived Snake Men with other groups of humanoids with serpent-like characteristics. Just to clarify, it can be pointed out that these Snake Men (or "Serpent Men") are all regular humans who were mutated by an chemical concoction derived from the mutant Slither. The earliest prototype of this serum was used by Viper. The same serum, apparently in a more developed form, was later used by the villain Tyrannus. The semi-reptilian humans Tyrannus transformed were under the control of himself, Ghaur, Llyra, and the other key figures during the event known as "Atlantis Attacks."
In The Punisher Annual #1, Viper used the Slither-derived serum to turn drug addicts into an army of snake soldiers. The Viper used a front organization called "Save Our Society", which promoted itself as a treatment center where drug addicts would be cured of their drug addiction. The place may actually have cured drug addicts, but it then turned them into snake soldiers. The Viper's plot was thwarted by the Punisher and Moon Knight.
Despite the fact that certain Atlanteans and Atlantis itself were involved in the "Atlantis Attacks" event, it should be remembered that the Serpent-Men who were part of this event were innocent human pawns. They did NOT come from a race of serpent-like humanoids, although such races exist elsewhere in the Marvel Universe.
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