- “A chemist, a nihilist, a capitalist, a mutation. A viper.”
Viper (born Ophelia Sarkissian) was a mutant with the ability to generate toxins and regenerate her skin. She was also a talented biochemist with a particular proclivity for creating chemicals, and served as Ichirō Yashida's oncologist during the last year of his life.
A year prior to the events of The Wolverine, Ichirō Yashida grew increasingly sick and was flown out to the United States for medical treatment from various high-profile doctors. Viper met Yashida during this period, and due to her expertise in biochemistry, was hired to become his personal oncologist back in Japan.
- “High grade-toxins are my specialty, it helps to be genetically immune to every poison known to man, as I am. And immune to the toxin that is man himself, as I am.”
Viper was seen tending to Yashida before Logan proceeds to converse with him. While examining the medical room, Logan makes eye contact with Viper, and notices a glass container full of nanobot-like machines, which were also within Yashida's body via x-ray. When Logan is about to converse with Yashida, Viper tells the former to make it quick, before exiting the room. Then, as Logan and Yashida's conversation reaches it's end, Yashida's heart rate begins to rise, and Viper tells Logan that he must leave. Viper then tends to Yashida after Logan left.
Later that night, Viper infected Logan by planting one of the parasitic robots; the nanobot latches itself onto Logan's heart, shutting down his healing factor and made Logan mortal.
The next day, Viper attended Ichirō Yashida's funeral and keenly observed the nature of Wolverine's adamantium claws in action by recording it on her cellphone.
When Viper goes to hunt Wolverine and Mariko Yashida, she meets with Kenuichio Harada, scowling him after the Black Clan failed to capture Wolverine at the funeral. Telling Harada that he had utterly failed to fulfill Yashida's dying wish, Viper demonstrates her powers on him, and ordered him to continue pursuing Logan and Mariko.
As Shingen Yashida prepares to kill Mariko, Viper and Harada intercept the two, capturing Mariko as Viper poisons Shingen. Later, After Logan is subdued while attempting to rescue Mariko, Viper restrained him in a machine and revealed the plan to extract his healing abilities from his body, by introducing him to the Silver Samurai, a powered exoskeleton constructed out of adamantium. When the Samurai awakens, it attempts to cut off Logan's claws, but Logan is saved by Mariko and breaks free, fighting the Samurai off.
When Wolverine and Mariko make their escape, Viper tries to subdue them, but Harada shoots her with an arrow, and she falls several stories. However, Viper awakens and regenerates her skin. During the battle with the Silver Samurai, Wolverine falls onto the same catwalk as Viper and notices her shedded skin. He looks up, only for Viper to spit poison in his face, stunning the him long enough for Viper tear off a bolted down canister and knock Wolverine off the catwalk.
Yukio then arrives and engages Viper, with the latter gaining the upper hand. After a vicious fight, Viper attempts to kill Yukio by secreting poison onto her claw, but Yukio manages to wrap an elevator cable around Viper's neck, strangling her up into a lift shaft. With Viper suspended, Yukio kicks down the elevator switch, causing the counterweight to collide with Viper's head and break her neck, killing her instantly and leaving Viper's lifeless body hanging.
It was then revealed that, with Viper's help, Ichirō Yashida was kept inside the Silver Samurai armor to serve as a life support system.
Due to Wolverine traveling back in time to January 1973, and preventing Bolivar Trask from being assassinated by Mystique, and changing the significant events after that point, the events involving Mariko's assasination and Yashida absorbing Wolverine's healing factor never occurred. Thus, Viper was never killed by Yukio.
Viper is best described as she herself told others: A chemist, a nihilist, a capitalist, a mutation. A viper. She doesn't care about anyone but herself, but will assist anyone that pays her a substantial amount for her assistance.
She views men with some degree of contempt, such as when she told Logan that she was immune to the toxin that is men.
Powers & Weaknesses
- Snake Physiology - Viper had several snake-like abilities.
- Body Shedding - Viper can heal her injuries by shedding her wounded skin like a snake, as a form of regeneration. She quickly revived herself after being shot with an arrow by Harada and sent falling several stories.
- Contaminant Immunity - She is immune to toxins and chemicals.
- Enhanced Agility - She had snake-like flexibility, reflexes, and dexterity, enough to sidestep Yukio's sword strike while the blade was just inches away from hitting her.
- Enhanced Strength - Viper was strong enough to easily tear off a large metal canister bolted to the side of catwalk and swing it hard enough to knock Wolverine off of it after spraying his face with her toxin. She also countered Yukio's attacks and slammed her into a wall, easily overpowering her with one arm.
- Medicine Creation - In addition, Viper could also produce antidotes to her poisons, as shown when she reversed the damage she caused to Harada's face by breathing on it again.
- Poison Absorption - She can also reabsorb the venom introduced into open wounds.
- Poison Generation - Viper was able to create any toxin and has a toxin in her tongue, which usually caused extreme pain or death. It took an acidic effect on the skin when she breathed or spat it, causing the skin to bubble and blister. If the toxin is blown, then it will only take effect if it enters an open wound. She could also administer it through a kiss, or lick it onto her claw, and then stab it into the victim.
- Prehensile Tongue - Like a snake, Viper possesses a forked tongue, which she also uses to produce her deadly toxins.
- Retractable Claws - Viper can elongate her fingernails into claws and she can secrete them with toxins from her tongue to poison others with.
- Body Misalignment - Though Viper can regenerate from injuries, she is unable to do so if her body is misaligned. She could not revive from her neck being hung by the neck, which broke when she was struck in the head by a falling elevator counterweight.
- Hair Loss - Viper's regenerative ability requires her to shed all of her wounded skin, including her hair.
- Ichirō Yashida - Former Boss
- In the comics, Viper was Wolverine's ex-wife.
- In the comics, Viper is also known as Madame Hydra in her services to HYDRA and is traditionally a foe of Captain America. Due to rights issues her story was changed and she was never referred to as Madame Hydra.
- Viper has snake-like powers in The Wolverine suggesting that it is a different interpretation of the original character, as she wasn't a mutant in the comics.
- A version of Viper (also known as Madame Hydra) appeared in the non-canon MCU video game Captain America: Super Soldier.
- Viper (under her alias Madame Hydra) appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe-related show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in its fourth season's third pod "Agents of Hydra") portrayed by Jansen Mallory.
- Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper but turned it down.