Captain America #365-367 (Cobra)
Issue(s): Captain America #365, Captain America #366, Captain America #367 (Cobra story only)
But Cobra himself does have a personal matter hanging over his head. He's running the Serpent Society, but doesn't feel like he's doing a good job, and he thinks it's because his perpetual fear of Mr. Hyde is ruining his self-confidence. Hyde has recently escaped from the Vault as part of Acts of Vengeance, so Cobra decides to, er, lube up and go after him.
Cobra blows up all of Hyde's known headquarters except one, and then waits at that one to confront him.
Cobra is still terrified, but to his credit he opts to not use a Cobra Bomb to blind Hyde since he wants to be able to say that Hyde saw him defeat him.
But things don't go well for Cobra, and he winds up in a chokehold. With no other options, he spits in Hyde's mouth.
Another candidate for the Bureau Chief's sadly defunct This Is A Fetish For Someone category.
Cobra tells Hyde that he's been poisoned, and if Hyde kills him he'll never get the antidote. So Hyde lets him go, but even then Cobra makes him beg.
Cobra gives Hyde a drug that turns out to really be a sedative. And after Hyde has passed out, Cobra says that it was actually just plain ordinary "nervous" spit that went into Hyde's mouth. Gross!
When Cobra gets back, he's noticeably more confident, and he rebrands himself as King Cobra.
This was great. It's nice to see the Serpent Society putting profit over revenge, so their exclusion (mostly) from the crossover makes a lot of sense. And it's nice to be able to give Cobra a personal arc that doesn't require him to defeat any super-heroes (since we know that wouldn't be allowed). Both M.D. Bright and Mark Bagley (who replaces Bright as the regular back-up penciler with issue #366) do well here. I'd like to see more like this, but maybe with less spitting next time.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Asp and Coachwhip are both said to have gotten into a little trouble and needed to be sprung while Cobra was out. That probably refers to their appearances in Alpha Flight #79-80 and Moon Knight #10, respectively. Since Asp and Coachwhip appear in the first part of this story, that means that this story (which takes place over a "few days") must take place concurrently with both of those, and i've placed this story based on where it ends, after both of those issues.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAnaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster II, Coachwhip, Cobra, Cottonmouth, Fer-De-Lance, Loki, Mr. Hyde, Puff Adder, Rattler, Rock Python
The spitting bit is a classic. Pretty good story but what's with all the bolded words? Seems like every balloon has at least two or three. Try reading some of that out loud and put emphasis on the bold words and you'll sound like Christopher Walken.
Posted by: Robert | April 7, 2015 4:29 PM
I was a bit surprised they didn't use this opportunity to show Acts of vengeance going after one of Cap's sidekicks (Falcon, Nomad, etc.) But getting Cobra to get over the Hyde dynamic was a good move for both characters. The revenge stuff had run its course.
But I think they brought back an old Master of Kung Fu colourist to colour Cobra in these issues for some reason.
Posted by: kveto | April 7, 2015 5:15 PM
Never again (or before?) was Cobra depicted so badass.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | April 7, 2015 7:36 PM
We'll find out later in Captain America Annual 10 that Sidewinder resigned because he was upset that so many of the Society members sided with Viper.
Posted by: Michael | April 7, 2015 7:53 PM
Ironically, the Serpent Society goes downhill and basically gets its ass kicked in most of its appearances after this one.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | November 24, 2015 2:30 PM
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