Marvel Studios seems to be embracing the movie multiverse, with one rumored project bringing in a What If…? fan-favorite. The supposedly upcoming Captain Carter project will feature Hayley Atwell’s hero in a live-action tale all her own. And while there's no clue what direction the project will take, one great idea would be to adapt what was once a mere joke.
The third Captain America movie got originally touted as involving the Serpent Society, villains prominent in the old school Captain America comics. That obviously didn’t come to be, but it could finally manifest in a Captain Carter project and present a key opportunity to further flesh out the Captain America property on the big screen.
What Is Marvel’s Serpent Society?
The Serpent Squad was created by Steve Englehart in Captain America #163, becoming the Serpent Society in issue #310 over a decade later. The later incarnation got introduced by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary, and as their name would suggest, they were a group of villains with snake-themed motifs. Whereas other supervillain groups had become like gangs or the Mafia, the Serpent Society acted much more like a labor union. To this end, they would complete various jobs for other groups, ensuring to take care of each other’s financial needs.
Their status as a labor union reflected the themes in Gruenwald’s Captain America, with many of his heroes and villains representing different world views and political inclinations. Despite their topical nation, their equally goofy designs kept them from ever rattling too many cages in the wider Marvel Universe. However, their luck changed when a Marvel Cinematic Universe debut awaited them. Sadly, they just ended up waiting more, but a Captain Carter movie could change that.
Captain Carter Could Finally Introduce the Serpent Society to the MCU
When the idea of a third MCU Captain America movie was first brought to the public by Kevin Feige, it was announced as Captain America: Serpent Society. Of course, this turned out to be a ruse to disguise the true premise of the film. When Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared on the stage at the press conference, the title of Captain America: Civil War got revealed.
This movie was a highlight of the MCU, but it was also essentially just another Avengers movie before Infinity War. Thus, Captain America’s own mythology got put on the back burner, with Crossbones quickly being killed off to make way for the Civil War premise. A true Serpent Society movie by way of Captain Carter could rectify this, giving some of Cap’s unused villains a chance to shine on the big screen. It would also allow the MCU's Phase Four to end on a note that calls back to one of the original flicks.
Of course, it all hinges on when and where the Captain Carter project takes place, as well as how different she is in the movie compared to what fans expect. If it goes on during World War II, it might be odd to have the Serpent Society slithering about during global chaos. But that could also be a narrative opportunity to bring them into the film, as they could be taking advantage of the war to wreak havoc in America or the UK. Likewise, they might make more sense as a working-class group of villains in the modern-day, perhaps after Captain Carter gets thawed out from ice like Steve Rogers was. Regardless of how they show up, the idea of using the Serpent Society gives an automatic template for a Captain Carter film, allowing it to do things that Steve’s flicks never did.