Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Classic Enemies: Snakes, Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?

Today we're going to take a look at one of Champions' best second-tier master villains: Bruce Harlick's King Cobra.  In and of himself, he's just OK: a snake themed villain with the requisite reptilian traits.  But it's his obsession with turning everyone into a subservient snake being that makes him really stand out.

King Cobra was originally a genetics specialist named Timothy Blank.  Even then, his research ethics were nonexistent, which caused him no end of trouble with mainstream scientists.  Undaunted, he continued his research,using himself as a subject, ultimately splicing king cobra DNA with his own.

The results were at once horrifying and exhilarating: he was hideous to "conventional" perspective, but Dr. Blank saw the big picture: the very future of humanity!  With him in charge (naturally).  Armed with his new-found knowledge, he went forth to create a serpentine army.

So yeah, he's a snake villain who can make more snake villains.  Pretty neat.  Classic Enemies provides us with a single serpent minion in the form of Black Mamba.  Interestingly enough, his Transformation effect only has a 50/50 chance of working. Ever. So there's no guarantee he can just turn everyone into a scaly minion.

As I mentioned above, King Cobra is really a second-tier master villain. He's not powerful enough to be a world-beater, really, though with his army of snake dudes and dudettes, he's certainly enough to hang a long campaign arc on. A later product (Champions Presents #2) expanded his organization and named it COIL, so you can kind of look at this appearance as his "early days."

I used King Cobra in some of my early games as a typical mad scientist (transform a city by putting his formula in the water supply, yaddayaddayadda), but all that stopped when I met my wife.  She's extremely ophidiophobic, and even snake themed characters are off-limits in games she plays in (I learned this the hard way - she didn't speak to me for a day).  Since she plays in most of my campaigns, I retired him with no regrets.

Next:  Getting Technical


  1. Happy wife, happy life. Even if it means giving up on snake-themed villains. :)

  2. Unoriginal boob that I am, I had him take over Viper. But then, I probably watched the GI Joe movie with Serpentor one too many times. :)

  3. He got another henchie in the person of Boa Constrictor in the pages of the Hero published Adventurers Club magazine. :)


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  5. I didn't want to have just a standard transform-the-worl-into-something-like-me villain, the books have Mechanon for that. So he is in this bio vs mechanical war with Mechanon,each trying to prove the superiority of his archtype organism. So the heroes have to sometimes side with King Cobra, the lesser of 2 evils, to battle the evil mechanical threat. King Cobra is slowly growing more powerful with stronger minions so soon the heroes will have to choose a side in the war.