Who are the Serpent Society? The potential Captain America: New World Order villains explained

Serpent Society
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Seth freakin' Rollins of the WWE is apparently the latest actor to be cast in an MCU project, showing up in costume in purported photos from the set of Captain America: New World Order.

Though the exact character Rollins is playing remains a mystery, speculation has pointed to Rollins portraying a member of the villainous Serpent Society, a team of classic Captain America villains who all have snake-themed identities.

Just like the many varied species of actual snakes, the members themselves are wide-ranging, with over a dozen villains sometimes being included in the Serpent Society at any one time - so Rollins' exact character may be hard to judge.

That said, we can probably narrow it down a bit based on his apparent costume, and as we do, we'll break down what you need to know about the Serpent Society before their potential appearance in Captain America: New World Order.

The Serpent Society has evolved a few times over the years, and even has some sister organizations that use the 'Serpent' moniker.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The one that started it all was the Serpent Squad, a small team led by the villainous poisoner known as the Viper, which included fellow villains the Eel and Cobra who debuted in 1973's Captain America and the Falcon #163. The Serpent Squad has gone through several other iterations, often overlapping with the Serpent Society itself.

Later, starting in 2015's Captain America: Sam Wilson #6, another version of Viper (the brother of the original) became the leader of a different group tied to the Serpent Society known as Serpent Solutions which operated more like a supervillain business than a gang, and which also shared most of its members with the classic Serpent Society.

With the green costume he's wearing in the set photos, Seth Rollins could be playing a version of Viper - either the original or his brother. Add to that the fact that both Serpent Solutions and the original Serpent Squad have histories with Sam Wilson, both in his time as Falcon and as Captain America, and the chance that Rollins is playing a version of Viper seems a bit more likely.

Then there's the actual Serpent Society, which debuted in 1985's Captain America #310. This version, founded by the teleporting villain Sidewinder, operated something like a supervillain union or guild, with the members sharing profits from their schemes and helping each other commit crimes.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Serpent Society has gone through several iterations, but the classic membership includes snake-themed villains such as Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster, Coachwhip, Cobra, Constrictor, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Death Adder, Diamondback, Eel, Fer-de-Lance, Princess Python, Puff Adder, Rattler, Rock Python, and more - each with their own serpentine super powers to add to the mix.

Through the years, the Serpent Society has most often faced off with the various incarnations of Captain America, including Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson - who also fought the original Serpent Squad as the Falcon.

From this batch, it seems most likely that Seth Rollins may be playing Sidewinder. Though the costume Rollins wears in the set photos is a little subdued compared to Sidewinder's usual flared collar and creepy orange scales, the trench coat he wears bears a strong resemblance to Sidewinder's cloak in a different color scheme.

Interestingly enough, though the members of the Serpent Society haven't appeared in the MCU, the team name does have a Marvel Studios history. Years ago, when Marvel Studios first laid out its Phase 3 and 4 film slates, all the way up through Avengers: Endgame (which was then called Avengers: Infinity War Part 2), they announced the title Captain America: Serpent Society as the third film in the series - only to later reveal it was all a ruse, and that the film was really Captain America: Civil War.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Are things now coming full circle, with the Serpent Society apparently joining the cast of Captain America: New World Order? It wouldn't be so far-fetched. Sam Wilson fought the Serpent Squad in his time as Falcon in comics, and later fought Serpent Solutions alongside Joaquin Torres, who inherited Sam's Falcon mantle - and who was also spotted in costume on set for Captain America 4.

Marvel Studios often keeps confirmation of the exact characters in its films under wraps till it's good and ready to make an announcement, so we may not know for sure for some time, but we're calling this one a fairly safe bet.

The Serpent Society makes the list of the best supervillain teams of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)