Puff Adder of the Serpent Society (Marvel Comics)

Puff Adder

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


Puff Adder is a Marvel Comics baddie who first slithered in in 1988, and chiefly appeared in Captain America adventures.

He’s a member of the Serpent Society, a super-useful collection of mid-to-low level snake-themed villains that can be used pretty much anywhere you need them and are fun to play. Those guys are great.



  • Real Name: Gordon “Gordo” Willard Fraley.
  • Other Aliases:“Puffy” (usual nickname within the Society).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Serpent Society.
  • Base Of Operations: Serpent Society, former member of the fourth Serpent Squad.
  • Height: 6’5” (unpuffed). Weight: 375 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

Puff Adder is huge, superhumanly strong and is a good brawler. He can also “puff himself up”. That is, his mutation allows him to engorge his epidermis with blood to appear much bigger. This works exactly like an erection.

When puffed up, Puff Adder appears to be about 10‘ tall and even more massive than he normally is. Secondary sources indicate that he can stay puffed up for about 15 minutes.

His enhanced size and strength allow him to put people in very strong holds. He can successfully wrestle people noticeably stronger or more skilled than he is (such as Battlestar or Wolverine).

Puff Adder can spit a cloud of acid. While this was long supposed to be a gadget in his cowl, he has been seen doing so in his civvies. Perhaps it is a cybernetic implant. In any case, this vicious attack is particularly useful against metals, as per normal DC Heroes RPG Acid rules.

Along with Anaconda, Puff Adder is often considered one of the heavy hitters of the Serpent Society. He can deploy a level of strength and durability that is markedly above the rest.



Under the command of Copperhead, and along with Fer-de-Lance and Black Racer, Puff Adder was recruited to join a new Serpent Squad. This Squad was a team of agents of the Viper, 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. As planned by the Viper, once arrested her agents were 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 eventually failed due to the actions of Sidewinder loyalists, and in particular Diamondback, who called the Captain to the rescue. During the brawl, Puff Adder was surprised and taken out by the Captain.

Puff Adder (Marvel Comics) pouncing on King Cobra

In the aftermath of this, Sidewinder left the Society, and Cobra became its leader. The Viper agents were accepted as probationary members (the Viper having been arrested).

The first known major contract was with Ghaur and Llyra. During its execution, Puff Adder grabbed Wolverine and started crushing him, but Dazzler took Puff Adder out. After that, Puff Adder was seen on an odd errand, along with Rock Python and Coachwhip, to steal the Falcon’s costume. They gave the Falcon and Battlestar a good fight, but were defeated.

The new Society

During the trial of Diamondback for treason, Puff Adder voted for death. He was to be her executioner (via lethal injection) when she was whisked out by Sidewinder. Along with Anaconda and Rock Python, Fraley checked her apartment up on Cobra’s order, where they clashed with Captain America.

After a good move from Rock Python, they thought they had defeated and killed Captain America. But it was a ruse. Cobra ordered the trio not to come back to base since he suspected Cap would shadow them. This meant they were not present when their colleagues were defeated and arrested.

Still at large, the trio managed to ambush and take out three renegades (Diamondback, Asp and Black Mamba). As they were flying away with their catches, they were ambushed by MODAM. Puff Adder and Rock Python were taken by surprise and thrown out of their aircraft. Both being superhumanly durable, they had to be hospitalised but survived without critical damage.

The glory days of the Society are past

After he recovered, Puff Adder was hired on what seemed to be a non-Serpent Society contract. He joined Doctor Octopus’s obscure version of the Masters of Evil, who planned to pillage the Avengers’ Mansion while they were away dealing with a cosmic crisis.

Octopus and his villains were intercepted by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Puff Adder ended up struggling against both Major Victory and a monstrous doppelgänger of himself. Both groups had to ally to repulse the doppelgängers, and once they had won Puff Adder and the other refused to fight against the Guardians who had saved their lives.

Serpent Squad (Marvel Comics) version 4 copperhead

Like everybody, Puff Adder was also seen at the big AIM weapons expo on Boca Caliente.

Despite the Octopus contract, Puff Adder was still a member of Cobra’s Serpent Society, and was there when Jack Flag tried to manoeuvre them into getting arrested. Not only did Puff Adder get head-butted by a visiting Mister Hyde, but the Society was soon defeated by the much more powerful Force Works team, called in as reinforcements.

After that, the Serpent Society seemingly fell apart for a while.

No such thing as a society

While the Society was disbanded, Puff Adder sought to see again one of the most beautiful female Serpents, Tanya Sealy aka Black Mamba. He tried to convince her to come back to ’the life‘ (she was now a professional model), but she was not interested. The situation degenerated when Jack Truman, who was accompanying Sealy, aggressively tried to shoo Fraley away.

The brutal Fraley spit a cloud of acid into Truman’s face, revealing Truman as a sophisticated combat cyborg. The two macho men kept brawling until Sealy ordered them to behave. She had a limo drive Puff Adder out (presumably to have a laser burn looked at) and gave her card to Truman, offering her services as a call girl.

It is unknown whether Puff Adder, during his meeting with Sealy, was genuinely recruiting for the Cobra or just trying to obliquely put the moves on her. But the Society did have a reunion later on, which included Puff Adder and Black Mamba. They resumed operations by capturing Captain American and Diamondback 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.

Along with a few other Serpents and lots of minor super-villains, Puff Adder was seen at a Bar With No Name in Manhattan. A brawl with a visiting Spider-Man erupted, but the bartender almost immediately put an end to it.

Secondary sources indicate that Puff Adder was a mutant, and that he lost his powers during the Decimation event.


Sometimes he’s a White guy, sometimes he’s a Black guy, sometimes he looks more like a Pacific Islander. His hair colour (when White) and his skin tone both have covered an impressive range.

If somebody wants a No-Prize , there’s one to be won here ! Squeak from Marvunapp  has suggested that Sidewinder had bought Serpent Society members some kind of low-powered image inducers. In this hypothesis some members, and especially Puff Adder, kept playing with those to change how they looked.

When he was seen in his civvies, Fraley had white sneakers and socks, green shorts and a yellow Hawaiian shirt with a flowers motif. It was really not appropriate at a black tie event, so I suspect it’s his favourite way to dress and he’ll dress that way no matter what the social context is.


Definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s mostly a big, threatening brawler. He’s not seriously dumb, but he certainly ain’t smart. Mostly he likes to hit stuff. And people. And he dislikes being annoyed. “Cheerful lowbrow brutality” is not a bad description.

One remark he made about sniper emplacements might indicate he served in the military. Another remark about Cobra may indicate that he tends to be an attentive observer of the credibility of his leader, always readily paying attention to whom is weak and whom is strong to ally with the strongest faction.

Puff Adder had a relationship with Anaconda at one point (during the Diamondback trial era).


“The vault. Open it right now, four-eyes, or one a‘ your friends here gets aced. You dig ?”

“Let’s see if the little fella wit’ the metal bones can still make funny jokes wit’ all his insides squeezed ta jelly !”

“Hyeh-hyeh ! Congratulations, punk — you just been squished by the ever-expanding Puff Adder !”

“Think you’re so tricky, do ya, squirt ? Let’s see your trick now !” (pins Jack Flag)

“THERE YA GO ! THAT’S RIGHT ! You ready to throw down with Puff Adder, boy ?!”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Puff Adder

Dex: 04 Str: 07 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 011 HP: 015

Acid: 06, Density increase: 01, Growth: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density increase is Always on and already factored in (-1).
  • Acid is a pillow-sized orange cloud that stays suspended in the air for the rest of the Phase (+1).
  • Acid has a 0 AP Range and no AV (use DEX).
  • Growth is only half-effective to augment STR and physical RV (it takes both APs to gain 1 AP in those).
  • The active APs of Growth add to Puff Adder’s AV and EV in Wrestling and Grappling – provided he has the leverage to use his increased size (GM’s call).

Charisma (intimidation): 04, Vehicles (Air): 04

Serpent Society (Low).

MIA toward violence.

By Andrew Lee and Sébastien Andrivet.

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

Helper(s): Nick Yankovec, Chris Cottingham, Darci.