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Viper, formerly known as Madame Hydra, is a fictional character, a supervillainess in the Marvel Comics universe who is a foe of the Avengers and the X-Men.
Fictional character biography
Employing the Silver Samurai, Viper attempted to coerce Team America into stealing the cavourite crystal, and then battled the New Mutants. In one of her many terrorist acts, she would try to gain control of the snake-themed organization called the Serpent Society, with Slither, Copperhead, Puff Adder, Fer-De-Lance, and Black Racer as her operatives. The latter four operatives infiltrated the Serpent Society in an attempt to take it over. Viper dispatched Cobra, Boomslang, and Copperhead to poison Washington D.C.'s water supply with a snake mutagen. Viper terrorized the White House and the President, and battled Captain America. She attempted to assassinate the organization's former leader Sidewinder, but she was betrayed by Cobra and arrested by Captain America.[volume & issue needed] Viper was later freed from prison by Tyrannus. She used a snake mutagen on drug addicts, and then battled the Punisher. She then turned against and battled Tyrannus.
Madame Hydra has also had conflict with the X-Men. She first came into contact with them upon trying to assassinate Mariko Yashida on behalf of her ally and presumed lover Silver Samurai, and tried to poison the team while disguised as Mariko's unconscious maid. She nearly killed X-Men members Rogue and Storm on two separate occasions, with Storm being nearly killed by Viper during the invasion of Khan. She also faced the New Mutants and was considered responsible for the presumed demise of Karma (Karma was only wounded and was abducted by the Shadow King for his own reasons).
Madame Hydra is a professional terrorist and has her own organization. She has come into conflict with many superheroes and supervillains over the years. Her nihilism and tendency to spread death around her has made it hard for other villains to associate with her. Only the Red Skull has found it a charming tendency and pursued a relationship with her for a while. The relationship ended when the Skull found out Viper was using his resources to finance massacres with no apparent financial benefit for either of them.
For a time the Viper employed a team of doppelgängers (known as "Pit-Vipers") to impersonate her. However, acting on her own, Pit-Viper 12 became involved with the Punisher during an international crime conference in Las Vegas and later tipped off S.H.I.E.L.D. to the real Viper's attempt to steal Russian nuclear missiles in Moscow. For compromising her anonymity, the Viper personally killed her treacherous double.
Later she blackmailed Wolverine into marrying her as a means to secure her criminal empire in Madripoor. Although this was a marriage of convenience, she did request to consummate the arrangement. Some time later, her body was briefly inhabited by the spirit of Ogun, and Wolverine mortally wounded her as a means of driving the spirit from her dying body. In return for seeking medical attention to save her life, Wolverine demanded a divorce. It is later implied that she actually had feelings for Wolverine.
Viper was then a member of an incarnation of the Hellfire Club, working with Courtney Ross, briefly under the title 'White Warrior Princess'. She has also associated with the Hand and resumed her ties with the Silver Samurai. She has also retaken the name "Madame Hydra".[volume & issue needed]
For a time, Viper was the dictator of the nation of Madripoor, using the nation's resources to support global terrorism via Hydra.[volume & issue needed] She was overthrown by new S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Tony Stark and Tyger Tiger, the latter of whom is now ruler of Madripoor.
Powers and abilities
Viper has no superhuman abilities but her strength, speed, reflexes, agility, dexterity, coordination, balance and endurance are on the order of an Olympic athlete. She is a great swordswoman and even greater markswoman with most long range weapons, and has extensive training in hand-to-hand combat. Viper occasionally employs poisoned weapons with snake-motifs, such as venomous darts or artificial fangs filled with poison. She utilizes experimental weaponry, including a ring that enables teleportation, and in X-Treme X-Men, she made use of razor-sharp claw attachments apparently built into her gloves. A brilliant strategist and tactician with extensive combat tactical experience, Viper is highly skilled in the management of criminal organizations and very well connected in the international criminal underworld. She is also a master of stealth and espionage. Perhaps her greatest strengths are her influence, the financial resources at her disposal due to her stature in organized crime, and an uncanny luck which has allowed her to cheat death in situations where lesser people would have died. Viper may or may not have supernaturally augmented longevity.
Viper is usually armed with various ray pistols and conventional handguns. She formerly possessed a teleportation ring. She has also used various other special weaponry, including poison-tipped throwing darts, knives, and whips. She has sharpened and elongated canine teeth with hollows inside them. She keeps a special poison in them, to which she has an immunity.
Immune to most forms of venom and toxins
Skilled martial artist, swordswoman and markswoman
Excellent strategist and tactician
Enhanced life span