5961 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Viper (Marvel Comics) by Steranko


(Ophelia Sarkissian)

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


The Viper (formerly Madame Hydra) is the very figure of the Bronze Age  comic book terrorist. She has played an important role in a remarkable number of storylines, including some influential one. I suspect that it is because she’s so *convenient* for writers and gamemasters – her job is to launch thriller stories and she often has vast means.

Unfortunately this profile is very old – as I remember it it wasn’t much more than an early conversion from the FASERIP Marvel game with additional descriptive material. But we’ll revisit it when we can.


  • Real Name: Ophelia Sarkissian.
  • Random note: A fine example of comic book naming – “Ophelia” sounds like “ophidia” (the zoological suborder of snakes), and the last name was presumably picked as a semi-common family name with “hiss” in it.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None. The story that revealed that she was Spider-Woman I’s mother was retconned.
  • Group Affiliation: HYDRA, Serpent Squad I.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 141lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Black with green highlights.



The Viper is an orphan child from Hungary. She turned to a life of crime in order to survive, and discovered that she was extremely efficient and deadly in that domain. She joined HYDRA and became one of its highest potentials. Sarkissian eventually became the first woman to get an important role within the organisation.

She even created the position of Madame Hydra after she took control of the organisation in New York City. She was apparently partly possessed by the elder demon Chthon during this time.

The Viper had innumerable plan foiled by various superhumans, most notably Captain America and the first Spider-Woman. She has gradually lost her power base as time went by, and has now lost most connections with HYDRA, the Silver Samurai, the Serpent Society and her other usual allies.


The Viper is a shapely woman with dark green hair and lipstick. She wears a dark green leather jumpsuit, which leaves her shoulders and upper back bare. She carries twin laser pistols in hip holsters.


The Viper is a classic comic book terrorist. She’s extremely ruthless and pragmatic, forever hatching plans bringing mass death and sacrificing her hapless agents. She’s quite useful when designing scenarios, an advantage that has been discovered by some so-so writers, resulting in a loss of mystique for the Viper.

Her plans often include biological warfare, and she has used a terrible snake mutagen on several occasions.


“I hate bad news” (after shooting an unfortunate HYDRA messenger)

DC Universe History

The Viper is a basic and useful character which can easily be introduced in the DCU. Since the DCU has few large terrorist organisations, she would most likely be a freelance terrorist, or a former HIVE or Wildebeest member, until she’d create a DCU version of Hydra.

One might downplay the serpentine aspects to avoid redundancy with Kobra, though. It might be best to stick with the “Madame Hydra” identity.


Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power
Int: 08 Wil: 05 Min: 07 Occupation: Terrorist
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources: 10
Init: 022 HP: 060

Artist (actress): 04, Charisma*: 06, Martial artist*: 06, Military science (field command): 07, Vehicles (land, air): 05, Weaponry (melee, firearms, missile): 08

Language (Hungarian).

Underworld (Low).

Exile (voluntary), MIA to Power, Secret ID.


  • ARTIFICIAL FANGS [BODY 04, EV 02, Poison touch: 07, Limitation: Poison touch only if the fangs get RAPs using their EV].
  • Darts [BODY 02, EV 02, Poison touch: 07, Ammo: 06, Dart bonus (the Viper can throw two at once, allowing her to add a +1 to her attack roll once doubles have been rolled)].
  • Scoped laser pistols (x2) [BODY 3, Heat vision: 06, Thermal vision: 04, Ammo 20, R#3].
  • Whip [BODY 04, Stretching: 01, Stretching does not allow for fine manipulation (-2), Stretching’s defensive abilties only on the whip itself (-1)].
  • Formerly had a nifty teleportation ring.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Captain America (Marvel Universe).

Helper(s): Jeanne Burch’s site.

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