Cobra (comics)

Cobra (comics)
Serpent Squad.jpg
Cover art for Captain America (vol. 5) #28.
King Cobra is on the right.
Art by Steve Epting.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Klaus)
Journey into Mystery #98 (Nov 1963)
White Tiger #1 (Jan 2007)
Created by (Klaus)
Stan Lee
Don Heck
Tamora Pierce
Timothy Liebe
In-story information
Alter ego - Klaus Voorhees
- Piet Voorhees
Team affiliations (Klaus)
Serpent Society
Serpent Squad
Notable aliases (Klaus)
Human Cobra, King Cobra
(Piet) King Cobra
Abilities Very flexible and slithery body
Superhuman athletic abilities
Wall crawling
Various poisonous gadgets

The Cobra is the alias of two fictional comic-book supervillains that appear in the Marvel Comics universe.


Klaus Voorhees

Klaus Voorhees, the original Cobra, was also known as The Human Cobra and is currently known as the original King Cobra. Klaus Voorhees' Cobra most commonly associated with Daredevil and Thor comics.

The character was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in Journey into Mystery #98 (November 1963) where he was confronted by Thor. The next issue saw him team up with Mister Hyde (with Hyde being the brains of the team) and the duo had a few encounters with the Thunder God before their first skirmish with Daredevil in Daredevil #30 (July 1967).

Fictional character biography

Klaus Voorhees was born in Rotterdam, Holland. Klaus was the Dutch laboratory assistant to Professor Schecktor, a scientist working in India and looking for a cure to snake bites. Unsatisfied with his lower condition, and intent on stealing Schecktor's discoveries, Voorhees killed the professor by using a cobra and in order to make himself look less guilty, let the cobra bite him as well. He used an experimental anti-toxin for snake venom to cure himself, but denied it to Schecktor. The cobra was radioactive due to experimentation, and in a process similar to that which granted Spider-Man his powers, Voorhees gained superhuman abilities similar to a cobra's. He then attempted to manufacture a cobra-serum to transform others into similarly-powered slaves, but was thwarted by Thor although he escaped, using Jane Foster as a hostage.[1]

As the professional criminal the Cobra, he fought Thor and Daredevil, and a number of other superheroes. Mister Hyde and the Cobra were partners for years. They first joined forces to get revenge upon Thor, but were jailed.[2] Cobra and Hyde were then bailed and employed by Loki to kidnap Jane Foster, and Loki doubled their powers. Thor followed them to a house where traps had been set up for him. Mr Hyde was defeated and Thor then manipulated the power supply of the house. Using his hammer he sent a charge through the house that electrocuted the Cobra. The weakened Cobra was forced out of a pipe next to Thor. He was easily defeated by Thor and left bound, before being arrested with Mr Hyde.[3] Cobra then battled Daredevil for the first time.[4] He later teamed with the Jester and Hyde against Daredevil.[5]

Cobra later joined the original Serpent Squad with the Eel and the Viper. With the Serpent Squad, he attacked Captain America and the Falcon.[6] He subsequently joined the second Serpent Squad, and battled Steve Rogers in his Nomad identity, and then became involved in an attempt to raise the continent of Lemuria.[7] He became trapped with the second Viper, and his cowardice earned her enmity.[8]

Later, he assisted Hyde in an attempt to acquire Cagliostro's serum.[9] The Purple Man then employed him, and Cobra fought Daredevil in an arena alongside Hyde, the Jester, and the Gladiator.[10] Later, Cobra refused to take Hyde along on a jailbreak, effectively ending their partnership, and Cobra got into a battle with Spider-Man.[11] Hyde began stalking his former partner.[12]

Cobra then joined Sidewinder's Serpent Society crime cartel.[13] He teamed with Diamondback to locate the Scourge.[14] Later, he went on a mission to poison Washington D.C.'s water supply.[15] He also helped Captain America subdue the Viper.[16] When Sidewinder retired, the Cobra became the leader of the Serpent Society.[17] He beat Mister Hyde in personal combat, and then assumed a new costume and the name "King Cobra."[18] He later sentenced Diamondback for treason to the Society.[19] He still leads the Society (complete with a new Sidewinder) though he also partners with Hyde on occasion.

Cobra was enlisted by Lucia von Bardas, the former prime minister of Latveria and placed in her secret army of technology-based villains. She sent the army against Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Captain America, the five heroes Nick Fury had sent to Latveria to stop Lucia’s secret criminal funding. When the battle started to turn in favor of the heroes, Lucia turned all the armor of her technology army into a bomb. Nick's unknown agent Daisy defeated her and the armor army’s lives were saved. Klaus escaped the heroes in the resulting battle between Nick Fury and Wolverine.

After passing of the SHRA he was forced to join the Thunderbolts and trained by Swordsman, along with the Ox and Unicorn.[20] In spite of this, Klaus was along with Firebrand, Mauler, and Mister Hyde who attacked Yellowjacket, Constrictor and other Initiative staff and trainees.[21]

Powers, abilities, and equipment

Klaus Voorhees gained superhuman powers due to the mutagenic effects of the venom of a radioactive cobra plus an experimental antidote. Cobra is double jointed, and can dislocate and snap back into place his shoulders and hips at will, and has a phenomenal mastery of his musculature. Most notably his amazing contortionist powers and slithery body let him break in, and escape from, buildings. He also has the ability to stick to walls or ceilings. Combined with his super-strength, agility, reflexes & reactions, coordination, balance, and endurance they make him a formidable wrestler. Cobra's bones are flexible and nearly impossible to break. Cobra has moderate knowledge of street-fighting techniques.

The Cobra wears a bodysuit made of reinforced synthetic stretch material; the torso section, helmet, and tail were made of bendable plastoid, and the entire costume is coated with silicon and graphite dust compound to make it slippery. Cobra is also armed with special gadgets that complete his cobra likeness: he is equipped with a "cobra cord" (an unbreakable cable) to tie up his enemies (solid enough to resist Thor's strength), can launch "cobra darts" (venom-filled projectiles) out of his wrists and release some toxic "cobra gas". He wears spring-loaded wrist-shooters propelling "cobra-bite" projectiles containing a poison derived from cobra venom. He uses cartridge projectiles filled with various substances: acids, smoke, nerve gas, plastic explosives, etc. He wears micro-suction cups on his fingertips and toes permitting him to cling to walls and ceilings.

In the Mini-series Toxin: The Devil you know, Cobra himself quotes:

My bones are almost impossible to break. My tissue doesn't tear. I don't get hangovers, either.

Piet Voorhees

Piet Voorhees, the second Cobra/King Cobra is the nephew of the original.

Fictional character biography

Piet's Uncle Klaus, the first Cobra, injected Piet with the same mutagenic serum that first gave him his own superhuman abilities. Using these new powers for selfish means, Piet became a high-level international mercenary. He has performed operations in Southeast Asia, Bosnia, Central Asia and Chechnya.

More recently, King Cobra has become involved with an international cartel known as Chaeyi. He has been working to get stolen passports and visas to illegal aliens. This operation has brought him into conflict with the newest White Tiger.

In new costume, he has since turned up as a member of Sin's new Serpent Squad, in the employ of the Red Skull. He breaks Crossbones out of jail[22] and later attacked the White House, but he was stopped by the new Captain America. He escaped with a Sin in a helicopter and reported the incident to Red Skull.[23][24]

Powers and abilities

Piet possesses certain unusual physical powers derived from his mutagenically altered physiology which among other things help him simulate the movement of a snake by using his great degree of independent control over every muscle in his body, enabling him to slither across the ground (at up to 50 miles per hour), without using his arms and legs, simply by muscle contraction. All of the bones in his body, including his skull, are malleable and his muscle tissue is exceedingly resilient, making his body very flexible and pliant. It is nearly impossible for him to break a bone or tear a muscle.[25]

The Cobra's flexibility enables him to slither into and out of very tight and small places. Through compressing his body, the Cobra can fit into any hole or slot down to four inches (102 mm) in diameter. By using his flexibility to wrap himself about a victim's body and then exerting his full strength, the Cobra traps that victim within his "Cobra Grip."

Unlike his uncle however, Piet also possesses enhanced olfactory senses, which enables him to track his targets by way of scent. He can also produce a toxic substance from his body which he calls his "Cobra Venom". He projects his venom at selected targets by spitting at them.

Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

In the Age of Apocalypse, Cobra is near-feral and a cannibal. He and Mister Hyde are known to prowl graveyards and attack anyone entering their territory.[26]

House of M: Masters of Evil

The Klaus Voorhees version of Cobra is a member of Hood's Masters of Evil.[27] Before the Red Guard attacks Santo Rico, Cobra leaves the team alongside Crossbones, Mister Hyde, and Thunderball.[28]

In other media


  • The first Cobra appeared in "The Mighty Thor" portion of The Marvel Super Heroes.
  • The Klaus Vorhees version of the King Cobra appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes voiced by James C. Mathis III. He first appeared in the episode "The Breakout" Pt. 1 where he is shown breaking out of the Big House. He later appeared in the episode "Ultron-5" when he and the rest of the Serpent Society battled the Avengers.


  1. ^ Journey into Mystery #98
  2. ^ Journey into Mystery #105-106
  3. ^ Journey into Mystery #110-111
  4. ^ Daredevil #30-32
  5. ^ Daredevil #61
  6. ^ Captain America #163
  7. ^ Captain America #180-182
  8. ^ Captain America #183
  9. ^ Daredevil #142-143
  10. ^ Daredevil #153-154
  11. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #46
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #231-232
  13. ^ Captain America #310
  14. ^ Captain America #319
  15. ^ Captain America #343
  16. ^ Captain America #344
  17. ^ Uncanny X-Men Annual #13
  18. ^ Captain America #365-367
  19. ^ Captain America #380-382
  20. ^ Thunderbolts #104 2006
  21. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #13
  22. ^ Captain America vol. 5 #28-29
  23. ^ Captain America vol. 5 #35-36
  24. ^ All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update #3
  25. ^ F.B.I. Agent Coville revealed in White Tiger #1 that Piet has all of the same super-powers that his uncle possesses.
  26. ^ Tales From The Age of Apocalypse #2 (December, 1997)
  27. ^ House of M: Masters of Evil #1
  28. ^ House of M: Masters of Evil #4

External links

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