Hydra is an organization that features in Marvel Comics.
Its earliest origins were traced to as far back as the Third Dynasty of Egypt. (Secret Warriors v1 #1) Records indicated that Hydra had existed in one form or another for at least seven thousand years. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #5) They have been known by many names during this time including as the Cathari, the Sons of Anubis, Ariosophists, Wotanists, the Seven Kings, the Black Order and as the Green and Red Societies and Thule Society. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #1) All traces of the ancient organization of HYDRA ceased to appear after the Renaissance. (Secret Warriors v1 #1) Thousands of years ago, they embarked on their Infinitus Agenda and invested considerable resources to achieving the goal of searching for immortality. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #5)
Among their acts have included manipulating the Inquisition, the Third Reich and the rise of totalitarianism in China as well as Korea in order to support their agenda. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #4) One account held that Baron Strucker was responsible for founding the organization as his own paramilitary operation that was kept in secret from Hitler. (Wolverine: Origins v1 #19)
After the war, the surviving members of the governments of Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan that included the Hand were recruited to become the modern incarnation of HYDRA. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
Under the direction of Dr. Geist, they created the Lazarus Formula and used it to create the Auferstehungs Corps (Resurrection Corps) that consisted of soldiers resurrected from death. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #1)
Around 20 years ago, Baron Strucker took the forces of the Hydra Bruderschaft to locate a secret cache of gold which he intended to use for the building of his forces. He learnt that a young Jewish girl named Gabrielle Haller was the key in unlocking the site and sent his men to capture her. Strucker's men were about to pillage the gold when they were attacked by Charles Xavier and his comrade Magnus both of whom were Mutants that used their abilities to save Gabrielle. Baron Strucker was left behind in the cave that collapsed around him whilst Magnus took the gold away to prevent Hydra from acquiring it. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #161)
It was also known as the Hydra Bruderschaft. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #161)
Whilst it was initially thought that Hydra emerged in World War II, in reality the organization was much older and even more dangerous than previously believed. Their goal such as the search for immortality had possibly even started with their group and led to the Infinitus Agenda. Their master plan was to conquer death, achieve immortality and bring into existence a new race of gods born from and believing in their ideology. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #5)
Its hierarchy was split into a number of independent sectors that included:
- International Corporations : fronts created that used legitimate businesses to conceal illicit activities. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
- Government Assets : consisting of individuals within the chain of command and utilised long-term resources that benefited from the minimal turn-over inherent in bureaucracies. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
- Global Criminal Groups : subsidiary organisations created for short-term goals and also used deflect unwanted interest from the global law community. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
- Intelligence Gathering : through its infiltration and creation of S.H.I.E.L.D. along with its underlying resources. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
The organization was divided into ten divisions each headed by a division chief with these including Administration, Air Action, Assassins, Commandos, Engineering, Heavy Weapons, Naval Action, Reconnaissance, Science and Supply. (Daredevil v1 #121)
Hydra also had a number of assets that included:
- Typhon Group : one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with over 250,000 employees world-wide. Only its Board of Directors was aware of the fact that the business was a front for Hydra. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
- Echidna Capital Management : a venture capital firm that was committed to funding businesses on the cutting edge of several key areas namely genetic engineering, new media technology, next generation military systems and aerospace engineering and manufacturing. (Secret Warriors v1 #1)
During the course of its existence, it had made a number of technological creations and weapons for its arsenal that included:
- Dreadnought : a bipedal robotic construct that was launched on missions to eliminate targets. (Strange Tales v1 #154)
- Pygmalion Project : a program that involved random kidnapped subjects who were broken down mentally through chemical excision of the conscience and psyche erosion whereupon the subject was built up again with synthetic personality grafting alongside implanted memories to reprogram the person with a spy narratives as well as archetypes after which they were deployed on missions. The condition in time began to degrade with the subject not expected to live long. (Daughters of the Dragon - Marvel Digital Original v1 #2)
- Red Skull :
- Heinrich Zemo :
- Arnim Zola :
- Daniel Whitehall :
- Baron Wolfgang von Strucker :
- Ophelia Sarkissian :
- Dieter Montag : blonde haired Caucasian male that was the Chief of Special Operations that was in charge of Hydra Lab #119 also known as the Cauldron that was involved in the Infinitus Agenda. (Captain America: Hail Hydra! v1 #5)
- Fox : a mysterious division chief who was in charge of the Administration division. (Daredevil v1 #121)
- Bob :
- Rutherford Winner : male who had been kidnapped and forced to became part of the Pygmalion project that transformed him into a ruthless killer for Hydra who went on several missions before going freelance. (Daughters of the Dragon - Marvel Digital Original v1 #2)
- R.J. : a young dark haired boy who looked up to Bucky Barnes and was trained by Mr. Colt to be an assassin tasked with killing the Winter Soldier. (Winter Soldier v2 #2)
- Hydra was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby where they made their first appearance in Strange Tales v1 #135 (August, 1965).
- On the Marvel website, a compiled timeline was given with one stating that stories spoke of Hydra's origins being traced to a species of cold-blooded alien reptiles that came to Earth that came before the rise of mankind planted a seed to bring about the emergence of the organization.
- The same website article on "History of Hydra Pt. 1" stated that the founders of Hydra corrupted an Eastern society of intelligent and clever men called the Brotherhood of the Spear with the Brotherhood of the Shield in time referring to their foes as 'The Beast'.
- In Hail Hydra (2015), one of the regions of Battleworld included a section whereby Hydra ruled the world having come into power after World War II with this land being ruled by Baron Arnim Zola.
In other media
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Hydra appeared as antagonists in the animated series.
- In Avengers Assemble, Hydra appeared as antagonists in the animated series.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra appeared as antagonists in the live-action television series that was a tie-in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- In Spider-Man, Hydra appeared as an antagonist in the 2017 animated television series episode "Spider-Island Part 2". It was said to be an international criminal organization that was headed by several factions with one being led by Arnim Zola.
- In Marvel Future Avengers, Hydra appeared in the setting of the animated television series. Under the Red Skull, they operated a hidden island where they began to conduct highly advanced experiments such as those in nanotechnology and even genetically engineer children with superhuman powers that were indoctrinated to believe the Avengers were villains.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hydra made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Hydra was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and served as antagonists in the movie. They were described as being the deep-science division of Nazi Germany and headed by Johann Schimdt with his chief scientist being Arnim Zola.
- In Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra returned as antagonists in the sequel series in the shared universe.
- In Ant-Man, Hydra made a brief appearance in the live-action film set in the shared continuity. Representatives from Hydra were present at the Pym Technologies building when Darren Cross was seeking to sell the Yellowjacket suits powered by Pym Particles to be used in warfare operations.
- In Captain America: Super Soldier, Hydra appeared as antagonists in the video-game tie-in set in World War II. Among their creation were genetically engineered soldiers called Screamers developed by Arnim Zola. Through targeted stimulation of the brain, he was able to unlock the power of telekinesis but the technology caused severe side effects such as seizures and violent vocal outbursts. As a result, to contain the Screamers Zola had their mouths stitched shut and intended to further study them in order to improve upon the process though a number of specimens were present at Castle Zemo to aid their creator.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Hydra appeared in the setting of the Facebook video game with a Dossier entry on them. It was said to date back thousands of years with it with it going through dormant periods. Hydra was reborn during World War II where fugitive Nazis overtook the Japanese ultranationalists in the organization thus intertwining it with the Hand. By the modern day, both were working on a combined assault against S.H.I.E.L.D. They operated the Hydra Four as one of their chief super-powered agents and their forces made use of Hydra Power Armor.
- In Marvel Heroes, Hydra made an appearance in the setting of the MMORPG video game.
- In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Hydra appeared in the setting of the Wii video game. Under the Red Skull, Hydra was involved in staging an attack on Asgard itself with the aid of Loki and Hela. They were defeated by the heroes of Earth thus forcing them to depart the land.
- Strange Tales v1:
- Captain America v1:
- Daredevil v1:
- Uncanny X-Men v1:
- Captain America: Steve Rogers v1: