Very little is known about Cottonmouth other than before he joined the Serpent Society, he was a common criminal in Mobile, Alabama. He was presumably enhanced by Roxxon Oil in order to gain superhuman abilities. He was then contacted by Sidewinder to join his new criminal organization, the Serpent Society.
Cottonmouth was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary in 1985 and first appeared in Captain America # 310.
Mayor Story Arcs
Society of Serpents
Cottonmouth was first seen among the snake-themed criminals invited by Sidewinder to attend a meeting. He had planned to create a criminal union called the Serpent Society, which would provide benefits to its roster. All of the attendants were to accomplish a trial mission to prove themselves to Sidewinder, which Cottonmouth succeeded at. He accepted permanent membership into the Society. Alongside Asp, he contacted Kingpin to advertise the Society's skills.
The Serpent Society's first mission was to murder MODOK on behalf of A.I.M. The Society tracked MODOK to a shopping mall, where Cottonmouth and his comrade Death Adder killed their target. Captain America intervened, but it was too late to save MODOK.
Later, Captain America set up a trap involving Porcupine, who was retiring from villainy. He had Porcupine call the Serpent Society and state that he had captured Captain America. Cottonmouth, Death Adder, Rattler, and Diamondback were the serpents sent for the mission. When they arrived, Captain America ambushed them. After a battle, Cottonmouth, Rattler, and Death Adder were defeated while Diamondback escaped. The trio's imprisonment was short-lived, however, as Sidewinder used his teleportation cloak to free them that night.
Scourge of the Underworld
After Death Adder was murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld, Cottonmouth set out with Rattler to threaten one of the suspects, Kingpin. However, the Society never discovered who the true murderer was.
When Viper's Serpent Squad infiltrated the Serpent Society, Cottonmouth deceived Diamondback into believing he was still loyal to Sidewinder. When Diamondback went to free him, Cottonmouth revealed he was a traitor and attempted to bite Diamondback's head off. He was defeated by Captain America.
After he became leader of the Serpent Society, Cobra would take a job from Ghaur and Llyra to obtain four objects containing arcane mystic powers. Cobra would split up members of the Serpent Society and send them to various locations to retrieve these objects. Cottonmouth, Rattler, Bushmaster and Black Racer would come into conflict with Longshot, Psylocke, Storm and Dazzler of the X-Men over a magical rock located in Iceland. Cottonmouth attempts to kill Psylocke he gets hit by Storm's lightning bolt. The X-Men are teleported away into Mr. Jip's lair when they find all four mystical items. Cottonmouth and the rest of the Serpent Society are double crossed by Sidewinder and Diamondback, leaving them broke and battered.
Erik Killmonger would hire Boss Morgan to eliminate the Black Panther in the United States. Morgan gathers a group of criminals that include Cottonmouth, Nightshade, Cockroach Hamilton, and Stiletto for this assignment. However the Black Panther is backed up by some of his friends, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Falcon and Bill Foster. During the fight, Cottonmouth clamps onto Cage's arm but he is unable to pierce his steel-hard skin. Cottonmouth and the rest of his fellow cronies fail to kill Black Panther and are defeated. He also briefly allied himself with Hawkeye, Plantman, and Headlok to escape from prison.
The Trial of Diamondback
When Diamondback was accused of treason by the rest of the Serpent Society after it was revealed she had been dating their sworn enemy, Captain America, Cottonmouth voted to execute his former teammate. Diamondback escaped death, however, with the help of her friends Asp, Black Mamba, Sidewinder, and Captain America. King Cobra, enraged, sent Cottonmouth and Fer-de-Lance to stake out the Avengers mansion. However, after Diamondback was recaptured, King Cobra called Cottonmouth back to the Serpent Citadel. When Cottonmouth and Fer-de-Lance arrived back to their base, they realized Captain America had been following their Serpent Saucer. The hero incapacitated Cottonmouth with his shield, and later tied him up for the authorities.
The Desert Stars would run into American Eagle after Cottonmouth entered an Indian reservation in Arizona. Cottonmouth just robbed a bank in Phoenix and the Desert Stars were in close pursuit. Cottonmouth escaped and was hiding on Indian territory after kidnapping a young girl and killing some dogs. The Desert Stars no longer had jurisdiction in Navajo Nation and the authorities had their own hero to deal with the craziness. American Eagle would defeat Cottonmouth and force him to bury the people he killed on the reservation.
An open contract was placed on Staff Sergeant Marcus Johnson and was wanted dead or alive because his blood was needed by Orion, the former leader of LEVIATHAN. Johnson came into conflict with other contracted enemy agents like Deadpool and Taskmaster. Johnson found himself surrounded by Cottonmouth and the Serpent Society during his fight with Taskmaster at a construction site. Johnson tried his best to fight back but was simply overwhelmed and finally struck down by Rattler's tail. Cottonmouth wanted to bite off the head of Johnson until he was shot in his own head by Deadpool. He survived, but the Serpent Society was placed under arrest by SHIELD.
Avengers vs X-Men
Cottonmouth and several members of the Serpent Society break into the Isotope Bank in San Francisco and hold several people hostage. Hope Summers responds to the police call and flies to the bank on her own. Cottonmouth and Anaconda stay with Puff Adder as he works on the vault door with his acidic spit. Hope would take out Bushmaster and Asp before confronting the rest of the Serpent Squad. Hope easily takes down Puff Adder and Anaconda and pummels away on Cottonmouth until Cyclops and the other X-Men arrive on the scene.
When Viper took over leadership of the Serpent Society, he re-branded the organization as Serpent Solutions. Cottonmouth continued working with the group. Alongside Copperhead and Black Racer, Cottonmouth ambushed Diamondback and the new Captain America. He was beaten by Captain America, but Diamondback betrayed him and revealed she was a member of Serpent Solutions. Cottonmouth later participated in the battle against Captain America and the new Falcon, though Serpent Solutions was eventually defeated and incarcerated.
Cottonmouth would be involved in a story taking place in the Marvel Adventures comics which are standalone stories and does not take place in the current Marvel Universe continuity.
Cottonmouth and the Serpent Society would kidnap Dr. Curt Connors when they learn the truth about his Lizard formula and forced him to experiment on innocent civilians. The Serpent Society had Dr. Connors modify his formula and had plans to contaminate the water supply in New York so everyone would transform into humanoid lizards. However their plans were thwarted by Spider Man so Cottonmouth and the rest of the Serpent Society retreated when Connors ingested his own formula and transformed into a giant Lizard.
Marvel Disk Wars: Avengers
Cottonmouth is a member of the Serpent Society in the anime series Marvel Disk Wars: Avengers. He was voiced by Masaya Takatsuka.
- Cottonmouth appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- Cottonmouth appeared in the HeroClix figure game.
- Cottonmouth appeared in Hasbro's Marvel Legends wave as part of the Red Onslaught Build-a-Figure wave.