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Black Racer of the Serpent Society (Marvel Comics)

Black Racer

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


The Serpent Society is a great bunch of thematic Marvel super-villains, which can pop up as handy opponents in practically any situation. They’re great.

Black Racer appeared and joined this crew in 1988. She’s a minor speedster  with a pretty cool costume.


  • Real Name: Ariana (last name unrevealed).
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Serpent Society.
  • Base Of Operations: Serpent Society, former member of the fourth Serpent Squad.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brownish grey


Powers and Abilities

Black Racer can run, dodge, strike, etc. at superhuman speed. She seems to run about as fast as a sport motorbike. She’s not too bad at using her speed tactically, and is often doing the recon/scout work when operating with the Society.

It is common for competent leaders such as Copperhead or the Viper to have her search a number of floors of buildings for a person, security cameras, opponents to report on, etc.. After all, she can do that in about one-hundredth the time it would take a normal person.

As Vagabond discovered, Black Racer is very vulnerable to tickling. This might be because of her super-accelerated metabolism. She was, in game terms, Stunned during the Phase when Vagabond vigorously tickled her.

Black Racer sees herself as a sprinter, not an endurance runner. Still, by taxing her reserves, she can run for thousands of kilometres before she collapses. She once ran 49,000 kilometres, but that was in impossibly perfect conditions.


Under the command of Copperhead (David Lawfers), and along with Fer-de-Lance and Puff Adder, Black Racer was recruited to join a new Serpent Squad. This Squad was a team of agents of the Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian), who were to attract the attention of the Serpent Society and be recruited by its leader.


Once inside, they would activate a number of traitors and take over the organisation so the Viper could become its new mistress.

The foursome laid a number of high-profile, violent raids against casinos, killing a number of employees and security guards. They were eventually stopped by Captain America (then just known as the Captain) and allies, arrested and busted out by Sidewinder, the leader of the Society. Hours after being made probationary members, they teleported the Viper in and signalled the traitors.

The coup

The coup eventually failed due to the actions of Sidewinder loyalists, and in particular Diamondback, who called the Captain to the rescue. During the brawl, the Viper sent Black Racer to search local hospitals for the badly poisoned Sidewinder. Spotting a speeding ambulance, Black Racer boarded it and found her target, but was defeated by novice adventurer Vagabond.

Black Racer (Serpent Society) running

In the aftermath of this, Sidewinder left the Society and Viper was arrested. Cobra became its leader, and the Viper agents were accepted as probationary members.

The first known major contract was with Ghaur and Llyra. During its execution, Black Racer fared poorly – she was flashed by Dazzler (actually Diamondback in Dazzler’s body – long story) and then felled by a psionic bolt from Psylocke.

Races and other trials

Perhaps because of her code name, the Black Racer was selected by the Elder of the Universe called the Runner for a competition intended to find the fastest person on Earth.

The other competitors were generally much faster – Speed Demon, Super-Sabre, Quicksilver, the second Whizzer, Makkari and for some reason Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau). Completely outmatched, Black Racer nevertheless ran until she collapsed.

Serpent Squad - Copperhead, Puff Adder, Fer de Lance, Black Racer

During the trial of Diamondback for treason, Black Racer voted for her death. In fact she was the Serpent who captured her in the first place – ambushing Diamondback at high speed after extensive surveillance.

When Captain America came to rescue Diamondback and her allies from the Serpents, Black Racer pummelled Cap from behind with a hail of superspeed blows. However, she was then blasted unconscious by Asp, a close friend of Diamondback. Like most Serpents, Racer was arrested.


Black Racer was not seen again with the Serpent Society for several years – it is possible she was imprisoned for longer than the others, perhaps due to previous crimes. She eventually rejoined, though.

The reassembled Society resumed operations by capturing Captain American and Diamondback II to avenge past defeats, with Puff Adder leading the kidnapping. This was a mistake – Cap proved to be even more unstoppable than before, and “Diamondback”, unknown even to herself, turned out to be a souped-up LMD . The entire Society was soundly thrashed.


Like her colleague Puff Adder, Black Racer suffers from changing ethnicity and skin colour syndrome. At one point she seemed to be African-American. I’ve assumed this was some sort of disguise, perhaps using some sort of image inducer, so Diamondback would not recognise her.


Impatient, aggressive, even vicious. She executed on orders in a thorough, disciplined way. She seems to be an excellent follower, though she does not have high levels of initiative when not given orders.


“You didn’t expect me to wait around for you, did you ?”

(Obeying an order) “You got it !” (WOOOSH !)

“Child’s play for one as fast as myself.”


Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Black Racer

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 017 HP: 015

Superspeed: 07

None demonstrated.

None demonstrated.

Serpent Society (Low).

MIA toward Impatience, Attack Vulnerability (-2CS RV vs. tickling).

The Runner’s race

The Black Racer was shown taking part in a race between the fastest beings in our space sector, organized by the Runner. That would imply a Superspeed score of 10 or more, but she never demonstrated that level of power in any other appearance. I strongly suspect she was in that race due more to a general love for obscure characters than her actual Superspeed score.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Captain America comics (Marvel Universe).

Helper(s): Gareth Lewis, Darci.