November 29, 2021

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #300: Diamondback

Captain America once dated a reformed supervillain.

Well, here we are at the big #300 Case File…yeah, I didn’t know I would be doing this many either.  I did ask the Gabbing Geek bullpen for a suggestion for the big one, and Watson, the only one who reads these as near as I can make out, requested Diamonback and a change in the format.

Considering Marvel has two very different Diamondbacks, I hope I selected the right one.  Regardless, I picked the Rachel Leighton version.  And at the end, I will have a short announcement for a change in this series.

Rachel Leighton, originally from Austin, Texas, was a store clerk-turned-mercenary who joined the Serpent Society, a gang of snake-themed supervillains who fought against Captain America for the most part.  Rachel took the name Diamondback, but unlike other members of the Serpent Society, Rachel didn’t have any snake-themed powers or even weapons.  No, she was an acrobat who tossed explosive diamonds at her opponents.

Yeah, that was her thing.

Anyway, one day she spotted Captain America doing his Captain America thing, and she fell in love with him.  From there, Diamondback gave Cap some help with various cases, outright assisting him from time to time, and eventually, the pair become a couple.

If this seems odd because, you know, Cap has generally been romantically associated with various members of the Carter family (Peggy in the movies, Sharon in the comics) to see him with, well, anybody else, I get that.  Many superheroes have that “one true match” that they always seem entangled with like Superman with Lois Lane or Spider-Man with Mary Jane (give or take a deceased love interest here or there).  Others like Batman have had many over the years.  There is no real distinct Batman love interest, such that I suspect that is why Christopher Nolan used an original character in the form of Rachel Dawes in the movies.  Steve Rogers more or less fell into the “many” category for a long time until someone finally settled on Sharon Carter in the comics, and it’s been Sharon ever since over multiple creators.

So, in the mix in there was also Rachel “Diamondback” Leighton.  The relationship was an odd one.  She assisted Steve with various cases, once even offering herself up as a test subject to bad gal Superia to find a fix for a failing Super-Soldier Serum.  She likewise managed to get two of her Serpent Society gal pals, Asp and Black Mamba, to likewise go straight, and they formed a merc group called BAD Girls Inc.  You know, for “Black Mamba, Asp, and Diamonback”.  BAD.  How clever.

Now, it’s not like Cap and Diamondback never saw each other again.  There have been a few moments, including one where she seemed to betray Steve to the Serpent Society only to come back and help him out in the end.

But in terms of perhaps a better love interest, she did eventually find one in another on-again, off-again snake-themed villain, namely the Constrictor.

The two met as members of the Avengers Initiative, where after Norman Osborn took over, Diamondback, as a member of the Delaware team, was actually a spy for the Avengers Resistance.  Constrictor wasn’t, but when he found out, he kept quiet about it.  That’s…about right for both characters actually.

So, that was Diamondback.  Hopefully, Watson didn’t mean the Luke Cage villain.

So, after 300 of these, where to go now?  Watson has been asking me to do villains for a while, reasoning I must be out of heroes by now.  I wasn’t, but that’s not a terrible idea.  So, starting next week, I will change the title of this feature to “Misplaced Characters”.  That can mean more heroes, or villains, or sidekicks, or supporting characters, or anyone I feel like writing up.

So, be back next week for my original pick for #300.

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