The B.A.D. Girls are a small team in the Marvel Universe, doing none-too-legal mercenary work.
They appeared in 1991, after most of the Serpent Society was arrested.
This isn’t going to be a huge article. Most of their jobs took place off-panelNot directly shown in the comic. Off-screen.. However :
- Having this article means you won’t have to read about the same events in every individual profile for the B.A.D. Girls.
- Back in the days, the team struck me as an interesting basis for a TTRPG campaign, with the Girls as the Player CharactersRPG characters played by a player, rather than the gamemaster or the computer..
- They had a high-profile appearance in 2005.
If you have no idea what the Serpent Society is, then you should read their team profile before this one.
This article is a foundation to overhaul individual members’ character profiles. It’ll likely receive small additions as research for these profiles advances.
B.A.D. Girls, Inc.. Though I doubt that they actually, legally are incorporated. Even in a shady tax haven such as Madripoor or Delaware.
It seems that the B.A.D. Girls were an upsell of sorts. For when members heard about a job that was too big to undertake alone.
For a while, they instead focused on investigating the source of member Diamondback’s trauma-induced retirement.
Small team of superhuman combatants.
Their abilities also make them skilled at interrogation, breaking & entering, and intel-gathering.
Their beauty can be useful in certain security jobs. Say, to pass for entourage members.
Mamba has presented the team as “private investigators”, but that sounded more like an euphemism for “mercenaries”.
Extent of operations:
Bases of Operations:
Pay from clients.
- Captain America (Steve Rogers).
- Cat (Shen Kuei).
During the early 1990s, the Girls were flagged as friendlies by Captain America. They were even allowed to visit Avengers’ Mansion. This likely lowered the heat from such organisations as S.H.I.E.L.D., through shared databases.
Black Mamba (Tanya Sealy) was sort of the leader, being the smartest. But they operated more like a group of friends.
There are multiple hints that the BAD Girls members extensively cross-trained with each other. That is, they taught each other their field skills and grew in competence together.
During the 1990s, the Girls flew a Mk2 Serpent Saucer.
During the 2000s, they drove a hot pink Hummer H1.
Asp, Black Mamba and Diamondback became close friends soon after the creation of the Serpent Society by Sidewinder.
They also trained together after Captain America (Steve Rogers) defeated them. That fight made it clear that they needed to coordinate better.
However, the three opposed the rest of the Society on two occasions :
- In 1988, during the Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian)’s coup, they remained loyal to Sidewinder (Seth Voelker). They were nearly killed for this.
- In 1990, when the Society discovered that Diamondback was dating Captain America (Steve Rogers). Tanya and Cleo were forced to betray the Society to save Rachel. This resulted in :
- Being declared enemies of the Society.
- Meeting the mercenary Paladin, who Diamondback had hired as reinforcements.
- The bulk of the Society getting arrested by Captain America.
- Leaving the scene without getting apprehended, at Captain America’s request.
The trio hit the mattresses by hiding at Paladin’s place. But this couldn’t last long.
B.A.D. moon rising
The three decided to stick together. They formed a new mercenary firm, the B.A.D. Girls (for Black Mamba, Asp and Diamondback).
(Out-of-universe, the name referenced a then-contemporary trend in US super-hero comics. Hypersexualised, “strong” heroines and anti-heroines were a thing, especially at nascent Image Comics. Typical examples would be Zealot, Witchblade, Avengelyne, Cyblade, Lady Death, Ballistic, etc.).
It was meant in part for self-defence, since a few other Serpents had escaped arrest. These were expected to come after the trio for revenge.
They also switched to new costumes for a few years. To avoid being immediately flagged as Serpent Society operatives by the police.
(Likely sources for the costume are Melvin Potter’s boutique, or the Rogues Gallery Costumes shop in Bellingham, WA).
But MODAM (Olinka Barankova) barged in. She abducted the B.A.D. Girls (plus Anaconda) to have them attend a pitch by Superia (Deidre Wentworth) about her Femizons concept.
After agreeing to embark on the luxury cruiser where the pitch would take place, the trio :
- Met Impala.
- Was reunited with Paladin. He and Captain America had come in to rescue Diamondback, but the two men were defeated and captured.
- Turned against Superia. Mamba and Asp rescued Cap and Paladin for Diamondback’s sake. But that resulted in a $10K open contract on their heads.
Precious little diamond
Mamba and Asp received new costumes as a courtesy from the Avengers. The old ones had been destroyed as part of Captain America’s plan against Superia. Presumably, these were quick designs by the Wasp (Janet van Dyne).
(Not her best work, sure, but these still were van Dyne originals.)
However, during the cruise, Diamondback had nearly been killed – in circumstances she refused to talk about. Traumatised, she retired from mercenary and criminal activities.
Trying to help, Mamba probed Diamondback’s mind to determine who had so shocked her. Though Rachel was furious about it, this allowed Tanya and Cleo to start looking for Snapdragon.
The Snapdragon affair
The plan was to kill Snapdragon, and bring back proof to Diamondback.
Superia’s open contract got in the way. But while fleeing from an attempt to collect, the pair again stumbled upon Impala. Who agreed to join the team.
The trio broke into the abandoned Serpent Society HQ looking for info. That was a bust, though they found a working Serpent Saucer.
However, Avengers alarms drew in an irate Sersi. She moodily turned the B.A.D. Girls (well, B.A.I. Girls at this point, I guess) into actual snakes. But Mamba smooth-talked her into letting them leave aboard the saucer.
The Girls investigated in Europe, to locate Snapdragon. They eventually found her during the 1993 A.I.M. Weapons Expo trade show, in Boca Caliente. But Snapdragon was now working for Superia, whom the Girls preferred to avoid.
During the expo, Diamondback — now much stronger and back from her retirement — killed Snapdragon in revenge.
You know I’m B.A.D., I’m B.A.D.
Whether the B.A.D. Girls were active between 1993 and 2005 is unrevealed.
Impala seemingly left during this span. She’s been in comic book limboWhen a character still exists, but hasn’t appeared in comics for years since 1993.
By 2001, Diamondback was back to working as a mercenary. It is possible that the trio did jobs together off-panel, but there are no such documented appearances.
In 2004, Asp and Mamba were on the Serpent Society roster. But the Society was arrested as part of a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation involving Diamondback.
One therefore suspects that the BAD Girls had been hired to do covert work, and that Mamba and Asp were providing inside intelligence. If so, no Serpent Society member ever realised this.
She was sexy and serpentine
In 2005, the B.A.D. Girls were hired to steal a hard drive. This case turned messy, as no less than four parties were simultaneously trying to get the drive.
Skillfully investigating, the BAD Girls eventually found the drive in the hands of the legendary mercenary the Cat (Shen Kuei). But he single-handedly defeated them.
The Girls allied with Cat. And thus ended up helping him to rescue Cable and Deadpool from Black Box and an army of clones.
They also learned that their anonymous client had been Cable all along.
I’m B.A.D. I’m nationwide
The BAD Girls later joined the ‘Secret Avengers’. That is, the illegal faction supporting Captain America during the Civil War debacleA sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco. Very little is known about this era.
(In a few subsequent appearances, the Girls were sometimes seen carrying large constrictor snakes. Perhaps they had been trying to steal enhanced, weaponised snakes – and did obtain a few to help them in the field ?)
But they did not stay incarcerated for long, being soon spotted at a Bar With No Name. This release may have been the result of a deal with the government, since Diamondback was soon drafted into the Initiative Project.
She, Mamba, Asp and two newcomers (Skein (Sybil Dvorak) and Quicksand) formed the Women Warriors. These were detailed to Delaware.
The Women Warriors :
The latter was a disaster that broke the Osborn regime. The B.A.D. Girls presumably ran to avoid getting caught in the fallout.
B.A.D. moon waning
During the early 2010s, the B.A.D. Girls split up.
According to Diamondback, the market for semi-ethical mercenaries never was too big. And the competition for that little pie had been heating up to the point where it was best to leave.
By that point the Serpent Society had re-formed as Serpent Solutions, under the leadership of Viper (Jordan Dixon). They were making a snakeload of money, and the former B.A.D. Girls eventually agreed to join.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics
Writeup completed on the 20th of November, 2021.