- Hail, Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off one head, two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail Hydra!
- --The Hydra Oath[src]
The earliest records of Hydra date back to the Third Dynasty of Egypt, although earlier activities are known. After the Renaissance, all references to this ancient organization ceased to appear.
The organization's modern incarnation was born some time before 1943, when the leader of Nazi's Thule Society, the Red Skull, started creating an Hydra cell in Japan merging several underground Japanese societies, including the Hand, with several fugitive members of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to become the modern Hydra.
While this Japanese Hydra operated in the Pacific Ocean, directed by a Shinto Imperialist called the Supreme Hydra, in Germany the Thule Society continued to operate under Red Skull and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's control.
After having failed several missions, Adolf Hitler ordered Baron von Strucker's death. He then contacted Red Skull, who helped him escaping from Germany to Japan, where he joined Hydra, killed the Supreme Leader and seized control of the organization. As the Supreme Hydra, Strucker created the Hydra Base Tsunami, better known as the Hydra Island.
Another account states that the name Hydra was suggested by Baron Strucker himself for the unnamed organization which he contacted when he arrived in Japan.
Strucker later tried to regain Hitler's favor by capturing and drugging old enemy Nick Fury; Strucker then returned in Germany, seemingly operating as a loyal Nazi but secretly leading Hydra behind the scenes. Hydra obtained the Japanese submarine known as the Dragon of Death and used it as its new base of operations; Hydra later tried to build an atomic bomb by using knowledges from the future obtained by Strucker in a time-travel with Doctor Doom's Time Machine, but they were defeated by the Invaders.
After World War II
During the Cold War, Hydra kept on its activities, the Red Army Faction/Baader-Meinhof Gang, the German People's Union, Der Republikaners and Neo-Nazis being some of their new faces in Germany, pursuing the goal of obtaining eternal life through science. The German Freedom League who had previously opposed the Thule Society kept fighting Hydra, smuggling scientists under duress from their organizations.
Satanist and fourth richest person in the world Elsbeth von Strucker married Baron Strucker and started funding Hydra in 1957, seemingly incorporating her own agenda about the Sickly Ones, entities having waited a chosen one for almost four billion years.
Some time later, a man codenamed Aries organized Strucker, CIA agent Nick Fury and his brother Jake and others into a loose partnership known as the Great Wheel of Zodiac. The Zodiac accomplished several missions for Aries, until they started to betray each other and they later disbanded. The Wheel's disbandment led to the future rivarly between Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Leviathan.
Strucker then reorganized and began to diversify Hydra, repositioning the organization towards global domination.
Some time before 1965, the United Nations decided to create the S.H.I.E.L.D., a secret organization started by Tony Stark and directed by Rick Stoner whose primary focus was defeating Hydra forces.
Hydra inside S.H.I.E.L.D.
Soon after having become director, Fury devised a complex plan using a Life-Model Decoy of one of S.H.I.E.L.D. and former Great Wheel member, Thomas Davidson. The duplicate, believed to be the original, "betrayed" S.H.I.E.L.D. to Hydra, becoming a double agent. Strucker used this connection to make Hydra the secret master of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thus Nick Fury. Hydra used S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of a years-long, slow burning plan to subvert the entire world and bring it under their control.
A Broken Hydra
Hydra then clashed with Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. several times. Since Strucker did not wanted to expose himself as the public leader, he decided to have a puppet leader as a cover for his organization: Arnold Brown, CEO of Imperial Industries, who became known as the Imperial Hydra. Brown was later killed by an Hydra agent who refused to believe he was the Imperial Hydra.
Hydra resurfaced some time later, led by a new Supreme Hydra, Don Antonio Caballero. Caballero later went undercover in S.H.I.E.L.D. under the identity of Agent Bronson. It was eventually revealed that Don Caballero was Baron von Strucker in diguise. Strucker finally died at the hands of Fury and several deceived Hydra agents.
The three Hydra subsidiaries, THEM, A.I.M. and the Secret Empire gained independence following Strucker's apparent death.
Von Strucker was eventually revived and reunited several of the Hydra factions under his leadership to renew his campaign against S.H.I.E.L.D. and humanity for several more years.
Despite his reorganization of the group, various independent Hydra factions continued to operate and a Hydra Civil War would later result. While Baron Helmut Zemo had Strucker placed in stasis for his own ends, Gorgon and Strucker's wife Elsbeth mystically created a clone of Strucker who they set up to fail, allowing for a public execution of him, after which - as part of an alliance with the Hand, they utilized an army of brainwashed superheroes and supervillains, including Northstar and Elektra to launch a massive assault on S.H.I.E.L.D. The assault was ultimately repelled and Wolverine would kill Gorgon.
When Edgar Lascombe took over as leader and under his command, Hydra planned an all out attack on the United States by smuggling missiles into New York for use in a planned bio-weapon assault on the Ogallala Aquifer. Lascombe know the reason why Hydra had failed so many times, was the lack of superpowers, so they formed a distraction using clones of the Avengers (Tactical Force instead of Iron Man, Militant as Captain America, Hammer as Thor and Bowman as Hawkeye, who was dead at the time) but were foiled when Spider-Man joined the Avengers' new line-up.
Wheels Within Wheels
In the closing days of the foiled Skrull invasion, Strucker destroyed his undersea base Ichor, which was crawling with Skrull infiltrators. He then changed his plans from subverting the world to conquering it. Fury then found out that Hydra was controlling S.H.I.E.L.D. since its foundation. He gathered allies around America to battle the overwhelming threat of Hydra. This included various Caterpillar teams and the Howling Commandos PMC.
This new direction began by stealing technology from secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities around the US, as well as kidnapping psi-agents from the cryo-storage facility known as "Red Worm". Fury's Secret Warriors attempted to foil Hydra but failed, unprepared for the resurrected Gorgon. Strucker made an alliance with Norman Osborn, hoping for Osborn to kill Fury. However, he proved unsuccessful.
Madame Hydra and Viper negotiated with the Clan Yashida to gain possession of the Box, a mysterious artifact. Leviathan forces assaulted Hydra, kidnapping Viper. Madame Hydra brought them the Box, passing it off to Hydra as a negotiation to rescue their companion. In truth, she had been working for Leviathan the entire time. Using the Heart contained within the Box, Magadan revived countless Leviathan agents from Overwinter cryostatis, including Orion, their leader.
This led to an all-out war between Leviathan and Hydra. A discussion between the groups dissolved merely into fighting. However, Strucker was able to get a mole in the Secret Warriors: Hellfire. An assault on a Hydra base in China by the HC PMC ended disastrously for Fury's side. Fury's Secret Warriors were able to destroy Hydra's main base at Gehenna, with Phobos and Hellfire dying in the process.
Kraken turned on Baron Strucker, taking him captive. After Fury's son died fighting Hydra, Nick surrendered to them. Kraken put him in a room with Strucker. He then revealed his true identity: Jake Fury. The Fury brothers then revealed the truth to Strucker. During the era of the Great Wheel, they had convinced a paranoid Life-Model Decoy of Thomas Davidson to subvert Strucker's organization. Strucker had been working for Fury the whole time. Fury then killed Strucker with a shot to the head.
The "New" Hydra
A "new" Hydra was created by Hydra Queen along Baron Zemo, soldiers who where trapped in Land of Nowhere, soldiers form the "old" Hydra and new members, under the concept that the "old" Hydra failed at their commitment.
Captain America attacked Hydra's base and defeated the Hydra Queen and Codename: Bravo, putting both of them in coma at S.H.I.E.L.D. hospital. Madame Hydra then resume leadership of Hydra once again.
At some point, Baron Zemo regained leadership of Hydra. Under Zemo, Hydra managed another massive infiltration, somehow also managing to infiltrate superhero teams. They also started to recruit new Inhumans after the Terrigen Mist cloud transformed humans with Inhuman ancestors. One of their recruits, a boy called Lucas, possessed a toxin in his blood that could sterilize human beings. Hydra immediately created an antidote and passed it to all it's members, then started systematically pumping Luca's blood to spread it across the world, thus effectively taking over the world within the next generation. Once they had enough blood, Zemo recruited a group of supervillians to release portions of Lucas' blood in various parts of the world in a way that it will hit major population points. But they were opposed by Sam Wilson, the new Captain America after Rogers was depowered, and Rogers' son Nomad. Wilson managed to stop all the villains from releasing the toxin, while both Nomad and Zemo apparently died after the latter set his base to self destruct. In reality, Zemo survived and was secretly placed by S.H.I.E.L.D. in their reality-altering prison known as Pleasant Hill. Madame Hydra was also captured during the ordeal, leaving Hydra without a leader.
Some time later, Wilson helped a hacktivist known as the Whisperer evade S.H.I.E.L.D. custody after leaking several confidential files. The Whisperer repaid Wilson with intel on Hydra, extracted directly from them. In the following six months, Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. used the data to cripple the organization and leave it virtually non-existent.
Gorgon, Hydra's remaining figurehead, began a plot to wipe out Earth's superheroes in order to gain the credibility needed to re-unify the remnants of Hydra. He was eventually stopped and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and a team of heroes. Also, various independent Hydra cells have been shown to remain active despite the organization's lack of central leadership. They presumably operate independently from one another.
War for Hydra
Later, the Red Skull reconstituted a new Hydra from the ground up, attracting various Neo-Nazi, white supremacist and fascist groups to his new cause, to change the world to the Skull's image. The Skull's Hydra returned back to operating under nazism, unlike the previous iterations of the modern Hydra. This new Hydra also resorted to more direct methods than in the past, recruiting political extremists, using guerilla tactics and carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians in America and Western Europe.
To carry out his goals, Skull convinced the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik to turn his enemy Steve Rogers into a Hydra agent. While he swore loyalty toward Skull, Rogers repudiated Skull's vision of Hydra and set out to kill him. Rogers eventually got his chance to kill the Red Skull when the he was finally captured by the Avengers Unity Division, and Beast surgically removed Charles Xavier's brain from his.
After escaping from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, a weakened Red Skull went to his private estate in Germany to rest. That was when Rogers made his move. He beat the Skull to a pulp before hurling him through a window, sending the Skull to his death. With the Skull out of the way, Rogers took his place as the head of Hydra.
After taking control of Hydra, Rogers spent months of planning that would allow Hydra to take over the United States. He took possession of Chitauri queen eggs that causes a wave of trillions of Chitauri to launch an invasion of Earth. Rogers' ally Baron Zemo assembled a team of villains to launch an attack on Manhattan. Both incidents lured out many superheroes to fight off the threats. Rogers then activated the Planetary Defense Shield to halt the Chitauri invasion and to strand the superheroes fighting them while Zemo and Blackout stranded the heroes in Manhattan as well as much of the island itself behind a dome of Darkforce. All of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s assets were also taken over by Hydra with the help of Doctor Faustus' mind-controlling technique.
Due to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Act, in light of the two emergencies, Rogers had been legally appointed as interim executive of the government, and political leaders were subsequently placed in "protective custody" by Hydra. Over the following months, Hydra consolidated its hold over the United States, twisting the narrative in Hydra's favor via censorship and media manipulation, and encouraging the people's receptiveness with mind-altering substances in water supplies. Mutant resistance was avoided by granting them a sovereign state in the form of New Tian while Inhumans were prosecuted and imprisoned in camps.
Assets and Offshoots
Throughout its long history Hydra has created several subsidiaries and front companies, a few of which have splintered off into independent organizations that follow their own agendas.
- THEM - THEM was the central committee Baron von Strucker set up to direct operations of two of Hydra's subsidiaries: Advanced Idea Mechanics and the Secret Empire. Perhaps THEM's most notable achievement was reviving the Red Skull from suspended animation.
- Secret Empire - Started by a scientist that felt like an anonymous nobody, the Secret Empire was originally used by Hydra as a means of distraction. During their attempt at conquering the United States it was revealed that their leader, Number One was actually a high ranking member of the US Government.
- Typhon Group - One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, the Typhon Group is both a well-known provider of vaccines to third world countries and, quietly, the global leader in the creation of chemical weapons.
- Echidna Capital Management - Echidna Capital Management is a venture capital firm committed to funding (and through funding gaining a controlling stake in) businesses on the cutting edge of several key areas such as genetic engineering, new media, nanotechnology, next-generation military systems, and aerospace engineering & manufacturing.
- Merovech Investment Group - The Merovech Investment Group was founded and funded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. It was used as a cover to Hydra's activities in New York and to secretly fund Abe Jenkins' new Thunderbolts team.
Moments in Hydra history
- Hydra agents attacked the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm.
- The Fixer working with Hydra to kidnap the amnesiac Namor.
- Clashing with Interpol agents Cassidy and Patrick Lipton.
- Facing Logan with the Parkers.
- Clashing with Mystique.
- A young Remy LeBeau destroying a Hydra ship.
- Silver Fox targeting Logan.
- Hydra administering Project: New Genesis.
- Ivan Trefkov, the murderer of Ernst Sablinova formed an alliance with Hydra at some point.
- Jake Fury became a mole for Hydra, conferring with Strucker at least once.
- Arnim Zola also aided Strucker, meeting with him in Japan.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- Under Imperial Hydra Arnold Brown, the legal Hydra's face was Imperial Industries Inc.
- Currently, Hydra's corporate faces are The Typhon Group and Echidna Capital Management.
- As pointed out at marvunapp.com the Green Terror (3Xs_Foe)'s men's uniforms resemble Hydra uniforms minus the yellow H (they could be members of the unnamed Hydra in Hydra's origin).
- 256 Hydra (Earth-616) Members
- 637 Appearances of Hydra (Earth-616)
- 23 Minor Appearances of Hydra (Earth-616)
- 201 Media Hydra (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 170 Images that include Hydra (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Hydra (Earth-616)
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Uncanny X-Men #161
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Secret Warriors #2
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Secret Warriors #4
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ms. Marvel Vol 4 #1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Secret Warriors #1; Hydra Timeline
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Captain America: Hail Hydra #2
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #6
- ↑ Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #29; according to Japan's entry in Marvel Atlas #1 it happened at least before August 1945, but as per Sgt Fury #29 and Fury #1, those events took place before 1943
- ↑ Secret Warriors #12
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Captain Savage #4
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Fury #1
- ↑ Captain America: Hail Hydra #1
- ↑ Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #29
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Marvel Universe #1
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Captain Savage #2-4
- ↑ Marvel Atlas #1; Japan's entry
- ↑ Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #112-114
- ↑ Marvel Universe #1-3
- ↑ Captain America: Hail Hydra #1-2
- ↑ Strucker was the leader of both Hydra and Thule; according to Captain America: Hail Hydra #1's recap page, both Hydra and Thule had been aliases of the same secret society.
- ↑ Known in that period of time as Hydra
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #15-16
- ↑ Captain America: Hail Hydra #4
- ↑ Wolverine Vol 3 #23
- ↑ The founding fathers of the Hand.
- ↑ Wolverine Vol 3 #26
- ↑ Secret Warriors #25
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #9
- ↑ Strange Tales #135
- ↑ Secret Warriors #26
- ↑ Strange Tales #135-141
- ↑ Strange Tales #142-149
- ↑ Strange Tales #150-152
- ↑ Strange Tales #153-156
- ↑ Strange Tales #157
- ↑ Strange Tales #158
- ↑ Marvel Spotlight #32
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #523
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 Secret Warriors #1
- ↑ Secret Warriors #3
- ↑ Secret Warriors #7-9
- ↑ Secret Warriors #22
- ↑ Secret Warriors #27
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 2 #16.1
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 2 #18
- ↑ Avengers Vol 4 #24
- ↑ Captain America Vol 6 #5
- ↑ Captain America Vol 6 #18
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 All-New Captain America #1
- ↑ All-New Captain America #2
- ↑ All-New Captain America #6
- ↑ Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1
- ↑ All-New Captain America #4
- ↑ Captain America: Sam Wilson #2
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #5
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6
- ↑ Free Comic Book Day Vol 2015 #Avengers
- ↑ Deadpool Vol 4 #7
- ↑ Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Omega #1
- ↑ Free Comic Book Day Vol 2016 #Captain America
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #2
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #4
- ↑ Uncanny Avengers Vol 3 #21-22
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #15
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 Secret Empire #0
- ↑ Secret Empire #1
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
- ↑ Strange Tales #149
- ↑ All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5
- ↑ 70.0 70.1 Tales of Suspense #79
- ↑ Tales of Suspense #93-94
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #11
- ↑ Captain America #175
- ↑ New Thunderbolts #1
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #3
- ↑ X-Men Annual Vol 2 #3
- ↑ Green Terror (3X's foe) - Marvunapp.com