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I had an idea to have a character that could control cobras, mainly for the visual idea of a character wearing cobras, with them slithering around parts of the body, hidden under clothes or showing.

The images of Hindu gods with 5 or 7 cobras behind them with their hoods out in a fan shape similar to large gothic collars inspired me, although with the Hindu images I believe they were a 7 headed snake/ one body instead of 7 separate snakes.

My story takes place in a world/ universe of super powered beings similar to Marvel/ DC.

So my question is how can someone who can just control a pack of cobras be worthy of being in a group of high powered characters?

I thought the snakes could strategically be sent out to creep up and bite the enemy, they could also be useful for stealth missions, getting into small places to retrieve items etc but the thought of strong characters dying from snake bites would seem un likely and boring.

Any ideas to make this character more than just someone capable of killing low level characters would be very helpful. Even if it means adding complementary powers to the character or the snakes as long as their not too OP and defeat the point of a snake using strategy.

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    $\begingroup$ Masashi Kishimoto called, he wants his royalties on Orochimaru and Kabuto. $\endgroup$ – Renan Sep 18 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ Are those normal cobras or super-cobras? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Sep 18 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ @ragharan Orochimaru is personally one of my favorite villains ever. If you wish for more realistic cobras, but still with some fantastic element, check Princess Python from Marvel. She has trained pet snakes that can give Marvel's heroes some troubles, and her snakes are able to hear verbal commands (usually snakes can only feel vibrations on the ground). $\endgroup$ – Renan Sep 18 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Does it need to be cobras or could it be any kind of snakes? $\endgroup$ – IEatBagels Sep 19 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, not much use at all. $\endgroup$ – fredsbend Sep 20 at 3:59
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A cobra controlling character carrying around 5 snakes (roughly 30kg) at all times would need to be strong. 30kg might sound little, but if you carry this every day, including while chasing or running from enemies, you have to be fit.

Other associated attributes to someone being friends with snakes could be charming, unpredictable, slender, flexible and calculative. Smart. Or wise. Maybe this character is very, very old, but keeps "fresh" with a regular venom intake, that only the character can survive and knows about. That could be the deep dark secret that he/she wishes nobody to discover, like, without my snakes I would die within short time. This character has knowledge the group depends on, they have to have him/her around in order to succeed. Maybe the character is not completely sold on their mission, but there is something in it for him/her.

Don't trust a snake, I would assume. Maybe the character is a traitor. Or twist that idea around and have everyone EXPECT him/her to be a traitor, by totally being misunderstood.

The snakes could be special snakes, with more than one venom. It could either be the highly effective and deadly venom, or their bites could merely stun enemies, making them unable to move. Or it could make people talk, like a truth serum. And of course they use which ever the character commands them to.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea of needing the snakes to survive and the venom intake, I was reading on serpent priestesses and oracles who tranced out on their snakes venom. $\endgroup$ – Aizen-sama Sep 19 at 12:21
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Most super heroes from DC and Marvel are probably not immune to poisons. Usually when a character is immune to poisons this is due to them being:

  • Purely mechanical or some other kind of construct (i.e.: Vision, maybe?)
  • Imbued with a super immune system (Wolverine, Deadpool; Superman when not exposed to Kryptonite)

I recall the Scorpion poisoned Spiderman at least a couple times in the cartoons and comics. Captain America can definitely be poisoned, since he can get drunk. The Hulk can be affected by tranquilizers, so he can be poisoned. And so on.

If your character can have a cobra that is intelligent enough to stalk someone and bite, and if that cobra has some super poison that deactivates super powers or causes death or serious injury, your character would fit into Tony Stark's Superhuman Registration Act:

As depicted in the Civil War crossover and series, the public outcry that follows this event leads the government (with the support of Iron Man and fellow Illuminati member Reed Richards) to quickly enact the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), 6 U.S.C. § 558, which required those with naturally occurring superhuman abilities, super abilities acquired through science or magic (including extraterrestrials and gods), and even non-super powered humans using exotic technology, such as Iron Man, to register as "living weapons of mass destruction."

Also notice that if you can control cobras, you also probably can control snakes too. Some anacondas don't want none unless you've got buns, hun eat alligators and even cows. They have quite the force. I could not find a paper on their grip strength, but the largest anacondas are said to squeeze at around 90 pounds per square inch. That's like having an elephant or a school bus on your chest. You could have your pet kill Cap or Batman with such a hug.

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    $\begingroup$ Worth noting that it's very unlikely that your snake will be able to poison superman. Anything that is immune to bullets, swords or daggers is not going to get poisoned by a snake, because the snake will be unable to pierce the skin, and snake venom needs to be injected to be effective. "Brief contact with the skin is not immediately dangerous, but open wounds may be vectors for envenomation." $\endgroup$ – Theik Sep 19 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Theik some najas spit their venom in streams. It tcould get in Kal El's mouth... Bit he would still be immune, because poisons can only affect him if laced with kryptonite, which would allow for a bite anyway. $\endgroup$ – Renan Sep 19 at 10:09
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    $\begingroup$ Unless Superman has an internal injury, that's still not going to do much of anything. Venom is injected, poison is ingested. A snake is venomous, not poisonous. It might however be able to blind him however if it sprays his eyes. $\endgroup$ – Theik Sep 19 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ Um, it's kinda here and there if Cap can get drunk. There are comics that go both ways. As far as MCU . . . he can't, remember he specifically tries and laments not being able to after Bucky "dies" $\endgroup$ – HA Harvey Sep 19 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @HAHarvey true. He didn't try Thor's special brew though, as far as I remember. $\endgroup$ – Renan Sep 19 at 11:57
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Certainly such a character can be useful to help other heroes advance in the story, and their poison can be effective, I don't think it'd be too far fetched to have this character "unlock" some secret hidden power from the cobras (or have powers of their own).

For example, the Greek mythology has Medusa, whose head of poisonous snakes would turn anyone into stone just by looking at her. Perhaps your character doesn't have super strength or speed, but it's a gigantic pain to have an enemy you're not allowed to look at!

This idea of asymmetrical powers is incredibly useful in hero stories. Precisely because everyone has a unique skill set, everyone (in a well-constructed story) is needed to help advance the narrative. This also makes battles more complicated, giving a rock-paper-scissors like effect between the heroes (Thor can't fight your cobra-wielding character without being turned into stone, but Hulk is so "blinded" by rage he doesn't turn to stone, etc).

Some other ideas of how to use snakes as a super-powered advantage:

  • The poison is lethal to all humans except your character, who is actually healed by the venom. Having snakes around him means whenever he gets shot or cut, a snake bites him there and it heals up. In close combat the snakes bite other characters, killing them.
  • The snakes can combine together to turn into something else (I'm stealing from the Exodus story where Moses and Aaron's staffs turn into snakes and back into staffs). Perhaps the snakes can turn into a ladder, sword, water raft, or something else useful.
  • When ordered in the right way the cobras can form a portal, channel some other dimension's energy, or otherwise access non-natural energy.
  • The character can speak with cobras, meaning they become useful as spies. Or heck, maybe cobras are super smart and can solve complex puzzles.
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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea of them being spies, they could easily follow enemies and friends if need and relay the information back. also that character would be good as a support team member. $\endgroup$ – Aizen-sama Sep 18 at 22:16
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Controlling a pack of cobras is cool.

This character's power is not cobras. It is that he can control living things. He happens to really dig cobras and likes how they feel moving around on his body because he is that kind of guy. He can actually wear his cobras as clothes because he can control the cobras, even when he is asleep. Sometimes he wears other animals instead of or in addition to the cobras. For the other supers he is kind of a hard guy to be around.

He might have his cobras fight, but he is worried about losing them. Usually the cobras stay with him and he just rounds up whatever is local, or gets some living things in advance and brings them to the fight. He might be able to control people too, somewhat, depending on the person and his or her state. He is a cobra wearing Jedi mind trick dude.

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The first time a cobra is controlled it's just an ordinary cobra. Venom, snake movements, the usual thing. Each time it's controlled, presuming it does something useful for its master, it gets a little bigger, a little stronger, a little more likely to breathe fire, and a little tougher to damage. After the 100th time it grows wings and can fly. After the 500th time it gets the ability to talk. After 1000 times it gets the ability to morph into a human-like shape. And so on.

This increase in power of the cobra is actually due to the increase in power of the controlling entity. Snake-charmer guy is learning the ins-and-outs of his ability, where the power comes from, how to control it, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ not totally the direction I wanted to go in but it gives me an idea that newer snakes needed to replace ones that died wont be as good at being controlled or as clever as the older ones which will have more intelligence and skills. $\endgroup$ – Aizen-sama Sep 20 at 20:47

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