The Marvel Comics costumed criminal and mercenary first appeared in 1988.
He’s one of the most minor, least impressive members of the Serpent Society.
This profile is intended to be read after the Serpent Society profile. Though for this specific bloke you don’t need much context.
“Boomslang” (“tree snake”) is an AfrikaansDutch-like language spoken in South Africa word for a species of highly venomous African snake. It has nothing whatsoever to do with boomerangs or Australia.
- Real Name: Marc Riemer.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Serpent Society, former operative for the Viper.
- Base of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 6′ (1.82m). Weight: 170 lbs. (77 Kg.).
- Eyes: Unrevealed. Hair: Unrevealed.
Powers & Abilities
Boomslang has general athletic and combat training. But it’s nothing exceptional.
He uses serpent-themed throwing sticks. The observed projectiles are :
- At least 8 blunt, weighted sticks called “serpent-rangs”. These are sufficient to knock out an ordinary person with one impact
- One panel shows a variant that looks like a sickle. This might be comparable to some African throwing irons, which are heavier edged missile weapons.
- One projectile seemed particularly heavy, and *might* have some sort of explosive charge. Since the impact on Captain America’s shield was oddly loud. Or heh, maybe it was a pétanque boule 😺.
(The sickle-like weapon is only seen once and never used. Furthermore, I strongly suspect that this is a misinterpretation of his 1989 OHOTMU Update art, where poor printing and paper make a serpent-rang look sickle-like. But heh, it’s on the page.)
Boomslang is an Australian costumed criminal. Presumably, he realised one day that :
- His throwing sticks vaguely look like a boomerang.
- There’s a snake whose Afrikaner name sort of sounds like “boomerang”.
Which meant that he could attempt to join the Serpent Society. Back in the mid-1980s, this mob of serpent-themed costumed criminals was making a lot of money.
Perhaps he did apply, and was rejected ? “We can’t accept you in the Legion of Super-Serpents, Boomslang Boy ! For our charter states that you must have a unique power. And Diamondback Lass can already perform super-tossing !”
In 1988, Boomslang was on the crew that helped Viper take over the Serpent Society.
But they hadn’t been told that this would put them right amidst a senseless riot. The toxin mutated the locals into bestial snake-people.
The trio made it back to their Serpent Saucer. But they were ambushed, and Captain America (Steve Rogers) one-shotted Boomslang.
We live in a Serpent Society
The coup eventually failed. But Boomslang and most of his colleagues became Society members later on.
Riemer was thus part of the Llyra/Ghaur engagement. But Wolverine (James Howlett) two-shotted him, and broke his arm.
In 1990, whilst surveilling Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), Boomslang was spotted by Captain America. Riemer sprinted away, but ran smack into a well-armed gang of drugs pusher. They shot him down.
Though the doctors gave him 50/50 odds, Boomslang survived. Thanks to Captain America and unusually prompt paramedics.
By 1993 at the latest, he had recovered. Boomslang could thus attend that year’s A.I.M. trade show. He even got a ringside seat at a fighting event organised by George Batroc.
For the next 20+ years, he apparently wasn’t a part of the Serpent Society. Or ad-hoc Serpent crews during those spans when the Society wasn’t as organised.
However, during the mid-2010s, Boomslang joined the Serpent Solutions board. He was present during the 2016 pitched battle against Captain America (Sam Wilson) and allies.
After that, Serpent Solutions didn’t do too well. In 2018, Boomslang therefore was on the Serpents crew hired by Constrictor (Frank Payne’s son). Like most of his colleagues, he openly thought that Constrictor’s leadership was terrible.
He was right. The Serpents were attacked by Sabretooth (Victor Creed) and Iron Fist (Daniel Rand-K’ai), then by a small army led by Choshin. They survived thanks to Sabretooth and Fist allying with them to fight Choshin’s men.
Though it seems that Boomslang was slow on the uptake. And therefore spent a chunk of the fight on the ground after Iron Fist had to send him flying with a kick.
The further misadventures
In 2019, Boomslang was among the many animal-themed costumed criminals hunted by Kraven (Sergei Kravinoff) and Arcade’s clients. As usual he did not play much of a visible role, but he survived.
In 2020, Boomslang was among the Serpents who were ambushed and nearly killed by MODOK (George Tarleton) during the underground Las Vegas Criminal Technology Show. It was Tony Stark who convinced MODOK to calm down and stop his attacks.
Thick Australian accent, Bruce.
Or at least that’s the theory. His diction has been all over the place.
One odd remark of Wolverine’s about “losing the stupid accent” could be interpreted as Riemer’s Aussie accent being audibly fake. Perhaps it was a terribly ill-judged attempt at reinforcing his costumed identity’s theme ?
The Handbook lists him as an Australian citizen, but perhaps he grew up elsewhere.
“No ya don’t, ace !”
“Har ! Pretty fair go for a bloody Yank wanker ! But y’can’t keep dodgin’ forever, I’m bettin’ !”
“Dream on, myte ! If there’s any wreckin’ t’be done ’ereabouts, it’ll be me serpent-rangs what do it !”
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
If going with the faker angle, perhaps he’d be a thrice-removed cousin of Captain Boomerang (George “Digger” Harkness). Who tried to pass himself for Harkness’ long-lost brother shortly after his death.
I suppose this version would have poisoned boomerangs, to explain the “snake” angle.
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 04||Str: 03||Bod: 03|
|Int: 03||Wil: 03||Min: 03|
|Inf: 02||Aur: 02||Spi: 03|
|Init: 011||HP: 010|
Martial artist: 04, Weaponry (Thrown missiles): 04
None demonstrated, mate.
None demonstrated, mate.
- Serpent-rang (x12) [BODY 03, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Descriptor: Blunt, Note: can be thrown].
- Sickle-like weapon [BODY 03, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, Note: can be thrown].
- Exploding boule [BODY 02, EV 06 (Area of Effect 0 APs), Grenade Drawback].
I used a tight-fisted approach to this guy’s stats, since he never achieved anything.
The other low-powered Serpents can still pull their weight against ordinary cops, mobsters, Ancient-Chinese-like troops (long story), etc.. But it doesn’t seem to be the case for Boomslang.
The only reason his DEX isn’t 03 — and he has Martial Artist APs — is because he didn’t do too badly against snake people mutates in Washington, back in 1988.
But you could instead decide that he simply keeps getting terrible dice rolls. We don’t see him take that many Dice Actions, after all. This approach would mostly be useful if you want to develop him a bit in an original story/TTRP campaign.
I could see two approaches for his Hero Points score :
- He has 005, therefore achieving little. That he survived so long is noteworthy.
- He has 015, but keeps almost everything to survive when wounded, or when he’s about to get killed.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Writeup completed on the 7th of December, 2021.