First Appearance: Avengers 32 What's Their Problem? The Sons of the Serpent are an ultra-right-wing, pseudo-patriotic terrorist group dedicated to the "racial purity" of America -- picture HYDRA run by Archie Bunker. Sayeth the Serpents, "As the first serpent drove Adam and Eve from Eden...so shall we drive from this land the unfit...the foreign-born...the inferior!" Loosely translated, that means they slander, harass and sometimes kill the infirm, immigrants and people of differing race, creed or color. Powers: The Sons of the Serpent have never employed super-powered operatives. Disturbingly enough, their members are mostly just regular folks who happen to think that people different from them are inferior, even subhuman--an attitude not unheard of in real life, alas. What sets the Sons apart is their backers: their leaders, usually wealthy and influential men, supply the Serpents' costuming, advanced equipment and exotic weaponry. Without it, they're just a bunch of cowardly bigots. Favorite Quote: "Answer...yes. I must...do as I am told...We have two places...two secret bases...but who's on first? Mary had a little cat. She threw it away when it got fat. She eats no lean. The cupboard was full of bears." (Defenders 24. The Son of Satan hypnotically interrogates a captured Serpent whose mental conditioning compels him to spout gibberish.)
Heroes They Keep Running Into: The Serpents inevitably clash with super-heroes each time they regroup; the Avengers have smashed three incarnations of the Serpents, and the Defenders crushed a fourth. The New Warriors helped the Avengers put down the most recent revival of the group. People Who Think They're Not So Bad: A small but vocal minority of the general public usually endorses the Serpents' racist views -- again, much like real life. The second incarnation of the Serpents, for instance, was led by popular television demagogues Dan Dunn and Montague Hale (ironically enough, the first and third incarnations of the Serpents were secretly founded, respectively, by foreign agent General Chen and corrupt businessman J.C. Pennysworth, who happens to be black). The current Hate-Monger enjoyed manipulating the most recent Serpents as pawns since their rabble-rousing vitriol fed his craving for negative emotion. Most Despicable Act: Everything about the Serpents is despicable, from their insidious propaganda to their violent terrorist acts; a particularly nasty instance of the latter came when Pennysworth's Serpents set fire to a slum tenement with its occupants inside, burning at least one man alive.