Madame Hydra
Real Name Ophelia Sarkissian
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The woman who would become Viper was born in 1920 in Eastern Europe. Exactly where is unknown and she has never even told anyone her true name. Battle killed her parents in a revolution when she was still young. The revolution was bloody and brutal and when the young girl tried to escape the country, she found herself in a terrible accident and it disfigured the right side of her face. She also lost the use of her right eye. It was something that she would hide for years by covering it with long hair.

As a teenager, the young woman was soon drawn into various criminal circuits. It was here that she learned a great deal about the finer points of the criminal underworld, building her first list of criminal contacts. She traveled to many countries throughout Asia, including Madripoor. While she was in Madripoor, she met Seraph who took her on as a student. Seraph was also training the mutant Wolverine. Seraph was mortally wounded and made Logan swear that he would protect her other student and help her if she ever needed him. At some point, or possibly not, depending on which memories are true and which are fake, she also had (or at least found) a child who she gave to the High Evolutionary to raise and protect.

The young woman's interactions were not totally with other humans, or even mutants. In her mid-twenties, Chthon extended an offer to her to become one of his agents. In exchange, Chthon granted her an unnaturally long life. However, Chthon also tampered with her mind. For some parts of her memory, Chthon removed them completely or they slowly started to fade away and other members were implanted, although the ramifications were not seen for years.

Eventually, she was offered a position within the terrorist group HYDRA. At the time, women were rarely brought into HYDRA, and this young woman was one of the first. During one of her first missions with HYDRA, Viper was assigned to kill Nguyen Ngoc Coy, the uncle of Xi'an Coy Mahn. As she fired, Tran Coy, Xi'an's brother, took control of her mind and instead forced her to kill her fellow HYDRA operative. She was imprisoned and made a slave in Tran's harem until Xi'an merged minds with him and freed his prisoners. It was not something that the future Viper would soon forget.

Following Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker's apparent death, HYDRA began to dissolve and fall apart. Only the Supreme Hydra's force of will held HYDRA together. The young member of HYDRA, being quite ambitious, took the name of Madame Hydra and assumed control of the influential New York base of operations. It was then that Madame Hydra first began to dye her hair and dress in almost exclusively in green. S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America were able to halt Madame Hydra's plans to poison New York's water supply, thanks in no small part to HYDRA itself turning on her. The Space Phantom saved Madame Hydra by transporting her to her Limbo where she remained for some time.

Eventually, Madame Hydra was able to return to Earth where she discovered that the Space Phantom had taken her identity and assumed control of her part of HYDRA in her absence. Hated by HYDRA, Madame Hydra turned her back on the organization and struck out on her own. Going back to her roots, Madame Hydra delved into the criminal underworld once more. However, Madame Hydra could not contain her true personality and instead she went into the world of terrorism. One of her first deeds was to kill Jordan Dixon, the criminal known as Viper and take his name.

In addition to his name, Viper reformed Dixon's group, the Serpent Squad. With their help, along with the Atlantean warlord Krang, Viper was able to find and acquire the Serpent Crown. The Serpent Crown is an artefact of immense power that Viper planned to use to take over the world. Captain America thwarted her plans, however, as he interfered with her once again. Viper was believed dead at the end of the encounter when she was caught in an explosion.

However, Viper was not killed and instead created a group called the FANGS. Viper created this short-lived group to assist her with her terrorist plots. A dangerous group, they were no match for Captain America and for a time Viper decided to work with smaller, parties and joined forces with the Silver Samurai. At first, he was merely Viper's bodyguard but the two eventually became lovers. It was with the Silver Samurai that Viper would attempt to hijack the Helicarrier of the anti-terrorist group S.H.I.E.L.D. and crash it into the White House. The combined skills of Spider-Man, the Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Shang-Chi were needed to stop Viper and the Silver Samurai from assassinating many of the United States' government and Viper was taken into custody.

Viper did not stay in prison for long, however, as agents of the Red Skull broke her out of prison and took her to his cabin in the Rocky Mountains. The Red Skull had become very intrigued and impressed with Viper and wanted her to infuse his own organization with fresh, new ideas. With her mind and his money, they could do virtually anything. Her first idea: steals some Russian nuclear missiles. That was not the truly remarkable part was that her plan was to frame S.H.I.E.L.D., and it was working until Nick Fury appeared. In the midst of the battle between Viper and Fury, Solo appeared and was offered a place in the Red Skull's empire. When he refused, he attacked Viper as well and she teleported away. Her relationship with the Red Skull ended soon after.

Viper's pact with Chthon would soon come to the fore once more when Viper encountered Jessica Drew. In battle with Spider-Woman, when Chthon wanted Viper to sacrifice her, Viper recognized Jessica as the baby she had given to the High Evolutionary so many years before. Unable to kill the woman that she though was her daughter, Viper saved Jessica, breaking her deal with Chthon. Eventually, the memories of Jessica being Viper's daughter were discovered to possibly be false ones implanted by Chthon.

Viper would soon run into Captain America again when she attempted to use snakes to spread a virulent strain of the bubonic plague from her base of operations in Hartsdale, Illinois. Part of her plan involved used a drugged Captain America. She planned to make it look as though they were responsible. When the Constrictor, her partner at the time, discovered the plan, he made sure that Captain America did not receive the proper amount of drugs. Captain America awoke in time to try to stop Viper. At first, he failed, but when the hot air balloon she was planning to use to release the snakes was shot, it exploding, apparently killing Viper.

Using former and new allies, Viper infiltrated the Serpent Society and poisoned its founder, Sidewinder. Many of the existing members also sided with Viper, solidifying her hold on the Society. Her plan was to use them to poison Washington, D.C.'s citizens with a mutagen that would transform the citizens into reptiles. During this, she fought USAgent, who was disguised as Captain America, and poisoned him with her fangs. Cobra, one of the members of the Society, did not agree with her plans and turned again Viper. He managed to subdue her long enough to turn her over to the real Captain America.

After Viper managed to escape custody, Viper and the Silver Samurai kidnapped Danielle Moonstar. While Viper held her, Moonstar made Viper and the Silver Samurai experience their worst fears before Viper attacked and subdued her. Using Moonstar as a hostage, Viper blackmailed a group of stunt motorcyclists to break into A.I.M. headquarters in Mexico. While she got what she wanted, the New Mutants discovered where Moonstar was being help, thanks to Nguyen Ngoc Coy, the uncle of one of Moonstar's teammates. When Moonstar was rescued, Viper met Xi'an Coy Manh. Xi'an's brother had once held Viper using his psychic abilities and made her a part of his harem. Viper swore revenge on the entire Manh family before teleporting away, burning down her base in an attempt to kill the New Mutants, although they managed to escape.

After this, the Silver Samurai and Viper traveled to Japan where Harada's half-sister, Mariko Yashida, was engaged to Wolverine. Mariko was also the head of Clan Yashida. Neither of these made him very happy. Together with Viper, the duo planned to end the marriage as well as put the Silver Samurai at the head of the Clan. During the wedding, Viper disguised herself as Mariko's maid and poisoned the X-Men. Just when Viper and the Silver Samurai are about to kill Mariko and the poisoned X-Men, Wolverine and Rogue appeared. While Wolverine defeated the Silver Samurai in combat, Viper severely wounded Rogue, which was enough to allow them to get away.

After this, Viper kidnapped Karma's siblings and hired Spiral to mutate them in her Body Shoppe. Together with Beast and Cannonball, Karma attempted to rescue her siblings, only to have Cannonball and Karma get captured, leaving Beast to fight Xi'an's sister. When Viper slapped Karma, Spiral began to get angry, because Karma was promised to Spiral. When Viper found out that Tran was Karma's mind, Viper released Xi'an to make sure she could get revenge. Because of the battling, the Body Shoppe started to collapse and Spiral teleported both her and Viper away.

Viper's next, and one of her most successful, attempts at facilitating power for herself came when the ruler of Madripoor passed away without an heir. It was time to pull in the old debt that Wolverine owed to her. He was a well-known personality in Madripoor and Viper believed, correctly, that with his aid she could take control. She was able to draw Wolverine and the X-Men to Madripoor by kidnapping women from his life. Wolverine was ready to kill her, but thanks to Jubilee, who reminded him about his vow as an X-Men not to kill. Using his sense of honour and the pact that he made with Seraph, Viper convinced Logan to marry her and they were married the next day.

After the wedding, the X-Men returned home, save for Kitty Pryde, and Sabretooth attacked her, Viper, and Wolverine. Kitty wound up saving Viper when Sabretooth tried to slash her, but she was unable to stop the four of them from being captured and mind-controlled by the Hand and HYDRA, who were looking to take over Madripoor. Kitty was able to escape most of the control and free Viper, who then had to stop the feral Kitty from killing the HYDRA commander.

Needing to make certain that others did not take control over the Principality before she had a chance to consolidate her powerbase; Viper used Logan, Sabretooth, and Shadowcat to stop HYDRA and the Hand from taking over. With Logan as her husband, Viper managed to take control of the Principality herself, although she vowed revenge on Sabretooth for trying to kill her.

Later, Arnim Zola took Viper prisoner. Wolverine had defeated the scientist, although he did not seem particularly upset. Instead, he was satisfied that he had taken possession of Viper. Exactly what he had planned for her and what he did to her, nobody knows. The only thing that he revealed was that one of his old friends, possibly the Red Skull, would be glad to know where Viper was.

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Media

Date Title Characters Summary
11/07/12 Eavesdropping Arachne, Madame Masque, Madame Hydra/Viper (emitted by Black Panther) Arachne eavesdrops on Madame Hydra and Masque

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