Alter Ego: Silver Sablinova
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #265 (June 1985)
Silver Sable is a well-known female mercenary in Marvel Comics. Originally appearing in Spider-Man's series, she's been both an ally and a foe to the webslinger. She first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #265 (June, 1985), created by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Josef Rubinstein.
Joining the Wild Pack at the age of 17, Silver Sable served as second-in-command until the death of her father, Ernst Sablinova. Based in Symkaria, a tiny country sharing a border with Latveria, the Wild Pack began offering its services internationally under Silver Sable's leadership. Eventually gaining approval from the Symkaria government, the Wild Pack would become one of the country's largest economic contributors.
As the Wild Pack often takes on contracts to capture various supervillains, Sable and the Wild Pack have crossed paths with other heroes in the Marvel Universe a fair number of times, particularly Spider-Man. Though more stand-up heroes like Spider-Man and Captain America tend to dislike her callous demeanor and mercenary ways, she usually remains a trustworthy (if unpredictable) ally of justice, and more financially-minded characters like Paladin or Sandman have no problems working with her, or even for her.
Sable was apparently killed in the Ends of the Earth storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, sacrificing herself to help prevent Doctor Octopus from conquering the world, but she later reappeared alive.
Silver Sable has appeared in the following works:
- Silver Sable & the Wild Pack (1992-1995)
- Sable and Fortune (2006)
- Silver and Black, was a planned live action film featuring both Silver Sable and Black Cat, produced by Sony with no involvement from Marvel Studios, and no connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe despite the integration of Spider-Man. In August 2018, Sony canceled the film and replaced it with two solo films, focusing on each of the title characters.
- Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced by Jennifer Hale
- Spider-Man: Battle for New York, voiced by Jennifer Hale
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, voiced by Jennifer Hale
- The Punisher: No Mercy
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced by Jennifer Hale
- Marvel Heroes
- Spider-Man Unlimited,voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
- Avengers Academy, voiced by Morgan Berry
- Spider-Man (PS4), voiced by Nichole Elise
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Mira Furlan
- Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, voiced by Virginia Madsen
- The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Nikki Cox
- Marvel's Spider-Man, voiced by April Stewart
Silver Sable provides examples of the following tropes:
- 10-Minute Retirement: Towards the end of her solo series, after she'd avenged her mother and rescued her father, but at the cost of killing someone in cold blood.
- Action Girl: Silver Sable is an extraordinary hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, an expert marksman, swordsman and an accomplished gymnast. She is remarkably agile and has exceptional strength, speed, durability, and reflexes.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, she's a Mercenary and an Anti-Hero. In The Spectacular Spider-Man, she is a Mafia Princess and the daughter of the villain Silvermane, becoming a more butt-kicking version of Spider-Man: The Animated Series Alicia Silver. Though Word of God did hint at a HeelFace Turn had the show not been Screwed by the Lawyers.
- Alliterative Name: Silver Sable & her real name, Silver Sablinova.
- Assassin Outclassin': Attempts have been made on her life several times by her ex-husband, the Foreigner; she in turn, has made several attempts on his. Apparently, they both consider this some sort of "game".
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Her real name is Silver Sablinova. No, really.
- Badass Normal: She has no superpowers. It doesn't stop her from kicking all kinds of ass.
- Berserk Button: Do not kill a mother in front of her child when she's around. Shown best in her earliest appearance, where she hunts down a gang without being paid simply because such a thing had happened in front of her.
- Byronic Hero: She fits almost every requirement for it.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Shown numerous times, though particularly evident in her fight with the Punisher. He's much larger and more muscular than she is, but he points out that she hits just as hard.
- Color Animal Codename: A silver (which is actually her real name, as mentioned above) sable, an animal related to otters and weasels that can be found throughout Northeastern Europe and Central Asia.
- Color Motif: Everything she has ever been seen wearing, including street clothes, evening gowns, party dresses, and even workout clothes, are silver or white. (Her platinum-blonde hair is natural, but one story suggested it was originally black, but turned prematurely grey from stress before she was even legal age.)
- Combat Compliment: While fighting Black Widow in Marvel Comics Presents #53 (see Let's You and Him Fight below), the two compliment each other's moves.
- Combat Stilettos: She initially wore flat-soled boots, but began wearing higher and higher heels in the '90s and beyond.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Pretty brutal. Mom killed by surviving members of the Third Reich; father captured by the same bastards (though she did eventually rescue him); first love turned out to be a spy more than willing to kill her...
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Starts off hard and relatively emotionless, but slowly begins to allow her feelings to show through. It's most evident if you look at her early interactions with Spider Man compared to her later ones.
- Disease Bleach: Her hair color is the direct result of the Training from Hell she received as a teenager.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Especially with new recruits, usually engaging them in personal combat to see how worthy they are.
- Emotionless Girl: At least she tries to be one. Spider-Man, among others, knows its a façade. ("There's a whole lot of hurt in that woman," he once mentioned.)
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: She usually wears white Spy Catsuit.
- Groin Attack: Certainly not above one every once in a while.
- Jet Pack: Silver has occasionally been seen using a jet pack for transportation.
- Let's You and Him Fight: In Marvel Comics Presents #53, Silver Sable and Black Widow clash over custody of a French criminal named Yves Chevrier. Black Widow has been hired by several agencies to capture Chevier for gun-running, fraud, drug dealing and grand larceny. Silver Sable is after Chevrier for aiding a Nazi criminal named Heinrich Edelhardt who later killed Silver's agents when they tried to apprehend him. Their fight is rather brief and they immediately turn their attention back to Chevrier when he tries to escape.
- Made of Iron: Shown particularly well in her fight with the Sabertooth in a late 80s story. He's savage and tears into her with his claws, but she still manages to win by dropping a wall on him.
- Mexican Standoff: Engaged in one with The Punisher during her solo series.
- Multi-Melee Master: Has access to and has been trained in a multitude of weapons such as swords, knives, tasers, and the chai, a throwing weapon of her own design.
- My Greatest Failure: Blames herself for the events that led to both her mother's death and her father's kidnapping by neo-Nazis. Later, she suffered extreme guilt when she killed the man responsible for both in cold blood.
- No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Sable once knocked the Immune to Bullets Luke Cage to the ground and, before he cold get up, held her pistol a fraction of an inch from his eyeball, and said that-at this range-she was willing to bet that his eye was not as invulnerable as the rest of him, and then asked if he was willing to bet she was wrong.
- No Sense of Humor: As usually remarked on by Spider-Man.
- Not Quite Dead: She was seemingly killed by Rhino in Ends of the Earth sacrificing herself to help prevent Doctor Octopus from conquering the world. Later, she showed up alive; having escaped Rhino thanks to a special suit she'd been wearing.
- Pet the Dog: Gets her moments now and again. She really does care for her employees, and not just as investments. She also very vocally supports Spider-Man, remarking to Black Widow that he doesn't get half the respect or credit he deserves and declaring him a hero she would follow to the ends of the earth to the international hero community.
- Pregnancy Scare: After sleeping with her ex. It turned out to be an ordinary glitch in her cycle.
- Prison Episode: Toward the end of her solo series. The CIA was responsible, having become upset that Silver refused to work for them.
- Private Military Contractors: She is essentially a noble of a micronation (with nearly as much clout as the King and she lives in a castle) who employs her mercenary group Wild Pack as a way to support her nation. She also takes many jobs on her own and has employed superheroes such as Spider-Man from time to time.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Wild Pack's "A-Team" is basically made of this. There's ex-KKK bodyguard Doug Powell, ex-assassin Amy Chen, ex-Spider-Man villain the Sandman... pretty much everyone besides Sable herself is an ex-con of one stripe or another.
- Rapunzel Hair: Much like her boots, her hair started out short, manageable, and realistic for an athletic woman. Then it started becoming longer and longer during The Dark Age of Comic Books.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Her company may have money as its first priority, but she has a thing about killing in cold blood and she refuses to do assassination jobs for any client. This becomes kind of a problem when she repeatedly turns down the CIA on that front.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Despite her miserly ways, she's never hesitated to throw around money when she thought it would help her. The Daily Bugle often ends up on the receiving end of her windfalls, much to J. Jonah Jameson's ire.
- The Scrooge: Displays shades of this every now and then; during her first team-up with Spider-Man, she expressed concern when it looked like he was about to die, because she feared his heirs suing her.
- Seldom-Seen Species: While she didn't base her costume or abilities in anyway to it, she's named after an animal not well known in America.
- She-Fu: Not as often as other female characters of the era, since she's usually packing lots and lots of heat, but dives into it now and again.
- Ship Tease: On at least one occasion with Spider-Man in the main books, though its more prominent in the What If story where Spider Man marries the Black Cat. Again in Ends of The Earth.
- Smooch of Victory: After Spidey saved her and a Symkirian pride parade from a bomb, she thanked him with a kiss.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Her parents must have been prophets. The name is even quite fitting, describing her beauty, strength, and cold lack of emotion in two words.
- Supreme Chef: Revealed to be one in a What If? scenario where she and Spider-Man fell in love.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This often comes up when she has to work with the Marvel Universe's more upstanding heroes. Arguably taken to its peak in the "For Love Nor Money" Bat Family Crossover, where she had to work with the fairly-upstanding Luke Cage: Hero for Hire and the wisecracking, almost Nominal Hero Terror.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: While never an Official Love Interest of Spider-Man's, the subtext has been there. The Watcher teased them becoming an Official Couple in a What If storyline and then, years down the line, Dan Slott would play this up whenever she appeared, reinforcing Sable have more than a soft spot for Spidey than she generally displays.
- Unstoppable Rage: When someone gets her very, very mad, watch out.
- Weapon of Choice: The items strapped to her thigh are a sort of blunt throwing star she designed herself, which she calls a "chai." She rarely uses them in modern stories, instead favoring standard handguns.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Her father was her everything when she was a young woman.
- Working the Same Case: How a lot of her teamups with other heroes in the Marvel Universe happen, though it's a bit of a subversion of the trope because she often hires other heroes onto her cases, rather than just bumping into them by happenstance.