Marvel Two-in-One #65: Serpents from the Sea
Writer: Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio
Penciller: George Perez
Inker: Gene Day
Editor: Jim Salicrup
The Guest Star:
The Serpent Squad: Sidewinder, Anaconda, Death Adder, and Black Mamba.
Stingray; Dr. Henry Croft; Thundra; Hyperion
The Set Up:
Ben stands on an oil derrick, an unconscious Stingray at his feet, while the Serpent Squad floats just offshore, warning him off. Ben turns to tend to Stingray, only to get clobberred by Anaconda, who has taken advantage of his distraction to sneak on board. While Ben faces off against her, the other snakes grab Stingray, and threaten to poison him if Ben doesn't surrender.
Ben is soon chained to a pillar on the derrick, attached to Stingray so that if he pulls, he'll pull Stingray's arms out. The serpents, having no real interest in killing Ben, depart to continue their mission, giving Ben time to recap last issue in a flashback. Meanwhile, Dr. Crofy was abandoned in Ben's PogoPlane last issue, realizes something has gone wrong, and radios for help...
Ben manages to escape from the Serpent Squad's captivity, and he takes the still out-of-it Stingray back to the plane, where help has arrived in the form of Triton, of the Inhumans, who they'd come here to meet anyway. Ben and Triton head for the ocean floor to look for the Serpent Squad, who have succeeded in finding their target... the Serpent Crown!
Pg 27, panel 6. Underwater, Ben regains his breathing apparatus and goes after Ananconda: "I know ya can't hear this, baby, but it don't matter... 'cause it's still-- Clobberin' Time!"
No Petunia in here. Maybe she can't swim?
Things of Interest:
This is Part Two of 'The Serpent Crown Affair!'
Though they all appear in a full-size last page in the issue before, this is the first real appearance of the four members of the new Serpent Squad. They would go on to become a major nuisance for Captain America in his series when they eventually reorganized themselves and massively increased their membership as the Serpent Society. Death Adder would eventually get killed (before ever getting a chance to blossom) by the Scourge. Since their run in Captain America, various individual snakes have appeared here and there, but the group has played no real role in the Marvel Universe. C'mon, Marvel- these are _great_ villains!