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The High Council of Hydra is Hydra's highest level of leadership and is often made up of its highest-ranking leaders and assets.

Origin to WWII

The Council appears to have been created in the early 20th century during Hydra's revival.[6] It consisted of four of Hydra's highest ranking members, including ancient witch Elisa Sinclair,[4] German nobleman and scientist Baron Heinrich Zemo,[5] psychiatrist Dr. Sebastian Fenhoff, and British intelligence agent Daniel Whitehall, who was given the name the Kraken by Hydra's supposed founder Isaac Newton.[4][7]

1936

In 1936, the High Council meet at The Keep, a Hydra school where Fenhoff indoctrinated recruits since childhood, and discussed Baron Zemo's idea of them joining forces with Nazi Germany. Elisa was opposed to the idea as she considered Nazi Germany's leader Adolf Hitler a power-hungry madman, but she was outvoted by the other members of the Council. Elisa, a member of the German occultist Thule Society which had ties to the Nazis, and Heinrich, having been offered a high position in their science division, were to use their influence to help Hydra take over the Party. Hydra would send agents to infiltrate the Nazi hierarchy and would eventually replace Hitler if they deemed him unsuitable.[5] Elisa was later forced to leave of the High Council after being accused of being a spy.[8]

The High Council's history after World War II isn't known as well as the fate of Dr. Fenhoff. What is known is that Baron Zemo was killed years later during a fight with the Avengers.[9] This history, however, was changed by the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik, with Baron Zemo meeting his end in World War II instead after getting his glove caught on an experimental drone plane, ultimately dying when it exploded.[10] Daniel Whitehall was killed years later by Jake Fury so he could secretly usurp his identity as the Kraken.[11]

Modern Days

After Geist attacked the Avengers with his Auferstehungs Corps, Strucker warned him that the attack had sent shudders of apprehension through the council, making Geist's position in danger.[2]

High Council of Hydra (Earth-616) from Secret Warriors Vol 1 4 001

Baron von Strucker's Council

Strucker's Council

Many years later, a High Council was created by Supreme Hydra Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, a former Nazi officer and the man who brought Hydra into the new millenium by recreating them into the Nazis successors. It was formed by longtime Hydra leader the Viper, Kraken (secretly Jake Fury), the new Madame Hydra Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, a double agent that was planted into S.H.I.E.L.D. since their early day, the Hydra biological experiment known as the Hive, and the Gorgon, who had previously attempted to take control from Strucker and wipe life on Earth, but died in the process and was now resurrected as the final member of the Council.[12] The High Council fought against Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors after Fury discovered that Hydra had secretly been in control of S.H.I.E.L.D. since its beginning.[13]

While the High Council was busy dealing with Fury, the Soviet organization Leviathan made its move. De Fontaine turned out to have been a triple agent the entire time. She betrayed Hydra, joined Leviathan, and killed Viper. Viper was later brought back to life using the Hive. Hydra, Leviathan, and Fury's forces went to war with one another. This conflict ended with Leviathan's destruction, and the High Council of Hydra's disbandment: the Hive was killed by the Caterpillars' Grey Team, Viper and Gorgon decided to leave Strucker to cut their losses and took their Hydra troops with them, and Kraken's identity as Jake Fury was revealed who was in fact a double agent working for his brother Nick Fury, helping Nick finally kill Baron von Strucker.[14]

With Hydra left in ruins, Gorgon and Viper went on to join Norman Osborn and his H.A.M.M.E.R. coalition.[15]. Norman Osborn was ultimately defeated by the combined efforts of the Avengers and New Avengers and H.A.M.M.E.R. was disbanded. Viper used the remaining agents to reconstruct Hydra as the new head of the organization[16].

High Council of Hydra (Earth-616) from Captain America Steve Rogers Vol 1 14 001

Captain America's Council

Steve Rogers' Council

Later, Elisa Sinclair reappeared and took the mantle of Madame Hydra before creating a new High Council consisting of herself, Dr. Fenhoff's son Doctor Faustus, Gorgon, Viper (now free of the Hive parasite), the still-alive Hive, long-time Hydra scientist Arnim Zola, a new Kraken, Heinrich's son Helmut Zemo, and awakened Hydra sleeper agent Captain America (Steve Rogers).[8]

Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.

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