- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of HYDRA from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: HYDRA.
|“||Cut off one head, two more shall take its place... Hail HYDRA.||„|
|~ Heinz Kruger's last words about the HYDRA organization.|
HYDRA, or secretly going under the name of S.H.I.E.L.D (formerly), is a terrorist organization and a recurring antagonistic faction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It serves as the main antagonistic faction of Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the first three seasons in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, with the Framework version of the organization being the central antagonists of the Agents of HYDRA arc of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4.
Foundation and First Actions
Unbeknownst to most, but known by Gideon Malick, HYDRA was founded in ancient times during the Kree's initial occupation of Earth, led by the most-powerful Inhuman of all, Hive. In an effort to drive the Kree from Earth, Hive led a massive Inhuman army against them in a long war. After defeating them and driving them from Earth, Hive and his followers took off to other parts of the world in an effort to conquer all; however, a group of Inhumans and ordinary humans, afraid of Hive and seeking to defeat him, banish him to the alien planet Maveth through the use of the Monolith, a Kree "weapon" that could transport people to Maveth. Hive stayed there for thousands of years, living off the bodies of HYDRA sacrifices that sought to bring him to Earth so he could rule, but as the years went by, most of HYDRA split off from this "religious side". Gideon Malick and his family, however, stuck by it.
Alliance with the Nazi Party
HYDRA has its roots in the special weapons division of the Nazi Sturmabteilung. Led by Ernst Kaufmann, the division was charged with developing advanced weapons for the German Army. In June 1934, during the Night of the Long Knives, Kaufmann was killed by the SS officer Johann Schmidt. Schmidt and his men eliminated Kaufmann's entire unit, except one man, Doctor Arnim Zola. Schmidt took over Kaufmann's weapons program and formed his own SS research division, naming it HYDRA. The new unit was formed with the official approval of the Nazi Führer, Adolf Hitler.
HYDRA was named after the mythological creature and used its original phrase: "cut off one head, two more will take its place". It was soon charged with science experiments and deep investigation of the occult. Due to contributions from Arnim Zola, HYDRA developed several extremely advanced weapons. When the Spanish Civil War started in 1936, the leaders of the Third Reich decided to support the Nationalists led by Francisco Franco. HYDRA was among the German units sent by Adolf Hitler to assist the Nationalists on the battlefield.
In April 1937, HYDRA's tanks and soldiers equipped with powerful exo-skeleton battle suits destroyed the city of Guernica. At the time, it was believed the German air force, the Luftwaffe, was responsible for the destruction of the city. However, the footage of the slaughter was smuggled out of Germany by the British agent Margaret Carter and handed over to the US military in January 1940.
Captain America: The First Avenger
|“||Howard, the footage you're about to see was just smuggled out of Nazi Germany by "Agent 13", an undercover operative the British have planted deep within HYDRA, Hitler's advanced weapons program.||„|
|~ Chester Phillips to Howard Stark.|
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
HYDRA returns in Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Alexander Pierce as their new leader and the S.T.R.I.K.E. team member Crossbones as a member. They planned to launch Project Insight which was thought to be done by S.H.I.E.L.D. as a security enhanced project. During the decades after World War II, HYDRA also found Captain America's presumed-deceased sidekick Sergeant James "Bucky" Barnes and proceeded to repair his body after his fall to the bottom of a wide mountain range, brainwashing him, repairing his body with cybernetic parts and turning him into the Winter Soldier, who would carry out assassinations on HYDRA's behalf while hypnotized, then frozen after each mission so that he wouldn't age. Assassinations included Howard and Maria Stark and President John F. Kennedy (presumably). Black Widow describes being on a mission in 2009 where the Winter Soldier had been sent to kill a nuclear scientist that she had been assigned to protect; Bucky shot the target right through her chest and left.
Winter Soldier is sent to kill S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury after he comes close to discovering the truth about HYDRA; however, he escapes to Captain America's home to warn him of the danger, and is promptly shot through a wall. Cap chased the Winter Soldier, but he escapes. As HYDRA sends agents after Cap and Black Widow due to learning the truth about them, Pierce meets with Winter Soldier in his home; after Pierce's maid accidentally sees them talking, Pierce shoots her and kills her. Cap and Widow find Zola's consciousness in a supercomputer as he explains what HYDRA has been up to over the years; the army camp he is kept in is then bombed from above, destroying Zola, but Cap and Widow survive. While interrogating Jasper Sitwell, who is allied with HYDRA, Winter Soldier throws him out of a moving car and into a truck's way, killing him. During the fight, Cap unmasks Bucky as the assassin who killed Nick Fury, but is arrested by HYDRA, only to be saved by Maria Hill. After they devise a plan to make the Insight Helicarriers fire at each other, saving the world from their weaponry, Nick Fury reveals himself to be alive. After Cap, Widow and Sam Wilson/Falcon enact the plan just as the Helicarriers are launched, Fury and Widow force Pierce to unlock their database. Pierce is promptly killed, while Cap fights Winter Soldier and sabotages the third Helicarrier, forcing all three to open-fire on each other. Cap and Bucky manage to escape the explosions as one of the Helicarriers crashes into the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, the Triskelion, destroying it. Widow then releases thousands of S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets to the world, exposing HYDRA, while Bucky goes to regain his memories.
In the movie's mid-credits scene, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is shown at a secret HYDRA base in the Eastern European country Sokovia, possessing Loki's Chitauri scepter and using it to give powers to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
HYDRA returns again in The Avengers: Age of Ultron with their new leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. They plot to destroy the Avengers, but they arrive at the Sokovia base and defeat them, retrieving Loki's scepter. It is later used as a way to trigger Tony Stark and Bruce Banner's Ultron A.I., who rebels against the Avengers and goes to seek a way to replace humanity with machines. While Strucker may not be an ongoing threat in the film, he will be responsible for bringing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to the Avengers. Strucker and his right-hand man, Dr. List, are both killed by Ultron, who destroys a city in Sokovia, but is defeated by the Avengers and their new android ally Vision, powered by the Mind Stone (another Infinity Stone), which powered Loki's scepter.
HYDRA serves as the unseen Bigger Bads/secondary antagonists. Darren Cross made a partnership with HYDRA when they still had a conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers as most of the events occurred almost simultaneously with events in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In hopes to turn the tide of battle, they had Mitchell Carson to aid Darren in his attempt duplicating the Pym Particle technology into the Yellowjacket. Thanks to Scott Lang's interference, HYDRA failed to gained the particle technology for the war against the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., but they managed to acquire particles that produced by the suit.
Captain America: Civil War
As discovered in Captain America: Civil War, HYDRA is no longer deemed a serious threat to the world but still existing (barely). In the film's opening, on December 16, 1991, Bucky, as the Winter Soldier, crashed Howard and Maria Stark's car and killed them both to retrieve an amateur version of the Super Soldier Serum, which was then used to create five other Winter Soldiers like him. The mission was ordered by HYDRA agent Vasily Karpov, head of the Winter Soldier program. The plan was to use them to eliminate HYDRA threats, as their enemies were getting stronger, but ultimately, Bucky was the only one deemed "perfect", as the others were put in cryogenic suspension and left in a HYDRA base in Siberia.
In the present day, a year following Avengers: Age of Ultron, Helmut Zemo, a Sokovian ex-soldier seeking vengeance on the Avengers for the deaths of his friends and family the year prior, tracks down Vasily Karpov and hangs him over a container filling up with water, intending to drown him unless he gave him the mission report for Bucky's assassination of Howard and Maria Stark in 1991, but he refuses to give it. Zemo lets him drown as Karpov utters "Hail HYDRA" as his last words. Brock Rumlow, now known as Crossbones, steals a bio-weapon from a lab in Lagos, intending to sell it, presumably to HYDRA, but he kills himself with a bomb-vest; Scarlet Witch sends him flying up to a hospital by accident, killing several people.
After Tony Stark, as Iron Man, arrests most of the Avengers and goes to the Siberia base to investigate Cap's belief that Bucky didn't cause an earlier explosion at a United Nations building in Vienna, he finds Cap and Bucky there too. Zemo also arrived beforehand, with Cap and Bucky believing that he would use the inferior Winter Soldiers for his plans; however, they find that Zemo had killed all of them. He plays a traffic camera video for Tony to see, depicting Bucky killing his parents on December 16, 1991; furious, he attacks him and Cap, but is defeated after a long battle in the base. Zemo is arrested later and kept in confinement, while the Avengers have been completely split-up.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
While the twist that HYDRA was inside S.H.I.E.L.D. may have had an effect on the movies, it was a bigger terror in the TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC that was set in the same universe in the movies, with the show running concurrently with the film series. They are revealed in the Season 1 episode "Turn, Turn, Turn" as the true main antagonists of the series, with John Garrett as the leader of a HYDRA cell commissioned to destroy all that remains of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Centipede Group representative Raina is working with Garrett to recover some samples of GH.325, a drug made from Kree blood, and stop Garrett's organs from failing completely.
It is also revealed that supporting protagonist Grant Ward is working with Garrett, having been taught "how to survive" by him. Daniel Whitehall appears in Season 2, seeking to find Kree artifacts and use them to conquer the world and rule over everyone, but is tricked by the Inhuman Calvin Zabo to get his daughter Skye into an ancient Kree city and receive an Inhuman mutation (becoming Daisy Johnson/Quake). Now, while S.H.I.E.L.D. is being rebuilt by Director Coulson (promoted by Nick Fury), HYDRA hunts for the various weak points in S.H.I.E.L.D. In Season 3, they are revealed to worship an Inhuman known as Hive and want to bring him back to Earth to conquer the world. They are all presumably-destroyed by Brigadier General Glenn Talbot's forces.
HYDRA's Uprising (Season 1)
The Uprising's early stages
- "Out of the Shadows, Into the Light"
- ―Coded message for HYDRA sleeper agents within S.H.I.E.L.D.
Concurrently with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Phil Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team discover that HYDRA has been embedded in S.H.I.E.L.D. for many years. Agent Victoria Hand attempts to capture and arrest Coulson's team at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base known as the Hub, but they survive and discover that John Garrett, their close ally, is the villain known as the Clairvoyant, the leader of a HYDRA science team called the Centipede Project. Garrett escapes with help from Grant Ward, also a HYDRA agent, and they build up an army to enact their plan to destroy Coulson and the remainder of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Uprising becomes direct war
Garrett releases a crew of villainous criminals from the Fridge base, forcing Coulson and his team to turn their attention to them. After finding most of them and putting them back under arrest, they target Garrett directly at the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, where they find Garrett having gone almost-insane and arrogant due to the GH.325 drug in his system. Ward is arrested after that, while Garrett is disintegrated by Coulson using the Peruvian 0-8-4, which turned out to be a HYDRA weapon from World War II.
S.H.I.E.L.D-HYDRA Cold War (Season 2)
Daniel Whitehall, one of the leaders of HYDRA, takes the helm in finding the purpose of a device called the Obelisk, which could turn anyone who touches it into stone. In flashbacks in 1945, directly after Captain America: The First Avenger, SSR agent Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos capture Whitehall and keep him prisoner, finding the Obelisk and deeming it the first 0-8-4 (S.H.I.E.L.D.'s code for "object of unknown origin"). Whitehall stayed in confinement until 1989, when HYDRA agents within S.H.I.E.L.D. freed him so he could work on the Obelisk. After he finds Jiaying in a village in China, recognizing her from the 40's and noting that she hadn't aged a day, he sees that she is able to touch the Obelisk without turning to stone; she is then tortured by Whitehall as her organs are extracted and placed into Whitehall, giving him immortality while Jiaying's almost-lifeless body is left to rot in a forest. She is found by Calvin Zabo and brought back to life, now blaming S.H.I.E.L.D. for her horrible suffering.
In the present, S.H.I.E.L.D., under the leadership of Director Phil Coulson, hunts for HYDRA, with scientist Jemma Simmons going undercover in a HYDRA lab. Loyal to Whitehall is HYDRA agent Sunil Bakshi, who is captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. later; he attempts suicide with a cyanide capsule, but is saved by S.H.I.E.L.D. instead so he may tell them HYDRA's secrets. Ward is also kept locked away, where he finds that he never was loyal to HYDRA, only Garrett, and with him dead, he needed to find new purpose to his life. After learning about the Obelisk, its capabilities and Whitehall's connection to it, they find that he hasn't aged for over 70 years. Agent 33, a S.H.I.E.L.D. member, is also brainwashed by Whitehall into obeying him. They find a secret tunnel system in Puerto Rico made by the Kree to create Inhumans, where Coulson kills Whitehall, while Doctor Calvin Zabo got furious at Coulson for taking away his chance at revenge for his treatment of Jiaying. Meanwhile, Agent Daisy Johnson (then known as "Skye") is led by Raina into the tunnels, where she uses the Obelisk to transform them into Inhumans, covering them in the rock substance and killing Agent Antoine Triplett, who turned to stone and crumbled trying to destroy the Obelisk.
After this, HYDRA is taken over by Dr. List, who meets with a council of members within the organization, hoping to find a candidate to take Whitehall's place. Sunil Bakshi is given the candidacy, but List says that he can only do it if he can destroy S.H.I.E.L.D.; he escapes from custody and goes to meet with other members of the council, but this turns out to be a ruse concocted by Coulson in order to locate HYDRA's leaders and kill them with the Splinter Bombs, devices that HYDRA made using the Obelisk to turn people to stone. Bakshi is kidnapped by Agent 33 and the now-free Ward and they attempt to brainwash him. After Bakshi manages to capture Deathlok and the Inhuman Lincoln Campbell, he delivers them both to List to prove his use to him. After S.H.I.E.L.D. manages to find them, List escapes and joins with Baron Strucker in Sokovia, only to be captured by the Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Raina, who becomes an Inhuman, sees the future and predicts the rise of Ultron, allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to tip off the Avengers anonymously about the Sokovia base. With HYDRA now seemingly-destroyed, Ward, mourning Agent 33 after her death at his hands (accidentally), finds his purpose; rebuild HYDRA under his leadership and take revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D. for their actions against him.
Hive's return (Season 3)
In late 2015, after Ward took over HYDRA, he started recruiting more people to his cause, telling people to address him as Director, and spent time cleaning out HYDRA members that were only involved for financial gain, viewing them as two-faced weaklings. He also found von Strucker's son, Werner von Strucker, and got him to join their group. While S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Lance Hunter worked his way up through HYDRA's ranks by entering a series of fighting contests and winning most of them, the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. is brought to Ward's base, where Ward tells them not to harm him or else Andrew Garner, Agent Melinda May's ex-husband, would be killed by Werner. Hunter ignores this and follows him anyway, but Ward escapes. Werner then attacks Garner at a gas station, but he transforms into the Inhuman Lash and fights back, traumatizing Werner, who explained to a surprised Agent May what had happened at the gas station.
Werner later found his way to Gideon Malick, another HYDRA boss that everyone else in the organization feared, and told him about Ward. Gideon attempts to make Ward see reason and side with him, but Ward refuses. To make sure that HYDRA wouldn't break into civil war because of Ward's arrogance, Malick gives Ward the location of Werner, viewing him as "damaged goods", but May saves him and gets him to explain what had happened at the gas station and that Garner was really Lash, the Inhuman killer they've been trying to find for the past few weeks. Meanwhile, Ward is brought before Malick and tells him about his plan to kill Coulson, both as revenge and as a way to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. Later, as Ward and Malick have dinner, Ward asks about the location of the von Strucker family vault, which reportedly contained HYDRA's greatest weapon. Malick doesn't bother to give it up and orders him men to kill Ward, who defeats them and gets them to tell him that the vault is in Zepkow, Germany. Arriving minutes after Malick, Ward is given a history lesson about HYDRA, its true origins and about the Inhuman Hive, whom he sought to bring to Earth. To find out how to get there through the Monolith, which had been destroyed and left in pieces, Ward was tasked with finding out how S.H.I.E.L.D. could bring a person back through the portal. Ward then goes to assassinate Coulson as he had planned; however, Coulson manages to escape, but ACTU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit) leader Rosalind Price, who worked with Malick and was growing suspicious of him, is killed by Ward using a sniper rifle.
Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz are then captured by the HYDRA Inhuman Giyera, who brings them before Malick at his family castle, and tries to get them to explain how Simmons was able to escape Maveth alive when no-one else in thousands of years could return. Fitz agreed to help Malick learn about the Monolith after Simmons is threatened. Next, Malick convinces Ward to lead a HYDRA team to Maveth so they could bring Hive to Earth. A Quinjet flew over the castle, which they promptly shot down. The portal, now open, is used by Fitz, Ward and a small team; Malick orders it shut, but Coulson, having dived from the Quinjet looking for revenge on Ward, falls right through the portal just as it closes, now arriving on Maveth. On Maveth, the HYDRA team finds a broken stone statue-like object shaped like the HYDRA insignia. Hive takes the form of stranded astronaut Will Daniels and gets Fitz to lead him back to the portal; however, Fitz learns of the deception and stops him from escaping by firing a flare gun into his back. Coulson takes his revenge on Ward by breaking his rib cage with his robot hand, which he leaves on Ward's body as he and Fitz go back to Earth through the portal. As Malick drives away from the castle, escaping S.H.I.E.L.D.'s notice, he stops to find Ward standing in the road; however, as he comes to conclude, this is not Ward, but actually Hive, who has possessed his body and followed Fitz and Coulson through the portal.
For 3 months, Hive is kept under observation in Malick's secret base as he watches TV screens to learn what humanity has accomplished in the time since his banishment. Hive then asked Malick to feed him and is then give comically-large portions of food on trays. Giyera was having doubts about this man being Hive, but to prove himself, Hive stands up and turns his body to sand and sends it flying towards him and Malick, who are now convinced that he is their true leader. The Inhuman Lucio is captured by HYDRA and brought to Hive's room, where he shows that he is immune to Lucio's powers of paralyzing people with his sight. Hive then filled Lucio with parasitic cells from his own body and asked to be given four human bodies to use. After being given four random people, he uses his powers to drain their life-force, turning them into skeletons while Hive is covered in a goo-like substance. Meanwhile, Malick manipulates Brigadier General Glenn Talbot into betraying Coulson to save his son, who was kept in Suspension Gel. S.H.I.E.L.D. saves him after this, with Talbot apologizing for his actions. During this, Malick locks Coulson in a room and comes face-to-face with him at last, then leaves him alone to escape.
Now recovered, Hive dresses himself in a black cloak and sits down with Malick to have dinner, devising a plan to give Malick more power within himself through advanced technology. By buying up the cybernetic resources company called the Transia Corporation, Malick acquires an exo-skeleton and is told by Hive to learn what it means to kill a person. Malick escapes after S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives to arrest him, and on the way, he is given a vision of the future by the Inhuman Charles Hinton, prophesying his death at the hands of Hive. Later, Hive invites HYDRA's other leaders to Malick's estate, where he shows his true form to them to prove his true identity as their leader. Hive then kills Malick's daughter Stephanie, motivating Malick to allow himself to be captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. to escape him. Malick is then killed by Agent Daisy, who is being mind-controlled by Hive. Later on, Glenn Talbot, seeking revenge on HYDRA, arranges to have all known HYDRA bases attacked; in the aftermath of the mass-organized raids, HYDRA is declared eliminated, while Hive escapes to continue his schemes. S.H.I.E.L.D. manages to defeat him later, as Lincoln Campbell drives a Quinjet into space with a bomb on-board and Hive stuck with him; they both explode in space, ending the threat of Hive and causing HYDRA to disband.
Despite these defeats however, HYDRA manages to survive and is even revived by U.S. Air Force general, Hale, who's now the current leader of HYDRA and a member of the Confederacy, an alliance of various extraterrestrial species, in order to save humanity and has even made her daughter join HYDRA as an agent.
- Hive - True Founder/Central Figure/HYDRA's Deity (Deceased)
- Johann Schmidt/Red Skull - Supposed Founder and Leader in World War II (Presumably Deceased)
- Arnim Zola - World War II Commander/Head Scientist (Deceased)
- Alexander Pierce - S.H.I.E.L.D. Head and Modern Leader (Deceased)
- Wolfgang von Strucker - Modern Leader and Scientist (Deceased)
- Daniel Whitehall - World War II Commander and Modern Leader (Deceased)
- Gideon Malick - Security Council Member and Modern Leader (Deceased)
- HYDRA Council (Disbanded)
- The Baroness - HYDRA Council Member (Deceased)
- The Sheikh - HYDRA Council Member (Deceased)
- The Banker - HYDRA Council Member (Deceased)
- Octavian Bloom - HYDRA Council Member (Deceased)
- Grant Ward - Centipede Operative/HYDRA Director/Branch Leader (Deceased)
- Qovas - Current Leader (Active)
- Lohmer - World War II Colonel (Deceased)
- Kleiber - World War II Lieutenant (Status Unknown)
- HYDRA Lieutenant - World War II Lieutenant (Status Unknown)
- HYDRA Fortress Officer - World War II Officer (Status Unknown)
- HYDRA Officer - World War II Officer (Status Unknown)
- Jasper Sitwell - High-Ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. Officer (Deceased)
- Russo - S.H.I.E.L.D. Executive Officer (Deceased)
- John Garrett - Centipede Project Leader (Deceased)
- Vasily Karpov - Winter Soldier Handler (Deceased)
- General Hale - U.S. Armed Forces General (Deceased)
Soldiers and Assassins
- STRIKE Team (Disbanded)
- Centipede Group (Disbanded)
- Edison Po - Centipede Member (Deceased)
- Brian Hayward - Centipede Member (Deceased)
- Hauer - HYDRA Agent
- Absorbing Man - Assassin (Defected)
- Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver - Test Subject and Soldier (Defected)
- Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch - Test Subject and Soldier (Defected)
- HYDRA Assassin - HYDRA Agent and Assassin (Deceased)
- HYDRA Arsonist - HYDRA Agent and Assassin (Deceased)
- Werner von Strucker - HYDRA Field Commander (Deceased)
- Winter Soldiers - HYDRA Assassins (Deceased)
- Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier - Elite Agent/Head Assassin (Defected)
- Josef - Winter Soldier (Deceased)
- Ruby Hale - Assassin (Deceased)
Doctors and Scientists
- List - Scientist/High-Ranking Member
- Lingenfelter - Doctor
- Kenneth Turgeon - Scientist
- Jemma Simmons - Scientist/Double Agent (Defected)
- Toshiro Mori - Engineer (Deceased)
- Steger - Professor (Deceased)
- Kirk Vogel - Inner Circle Member (Deceased)
- Senator Stern - American Senator and Politician (Incarcerated)
- Mitchell Carson - S.H.I.E.L.D. Head of Defense/Businessman
- Nathaniel Malick - Hive Worshiper (Deceased)
- Stephanie Malick - HYDRA Member/Hive Worshiper (Deceased)
- Turkish Old Man - Antique Store Owner and Member
- Julien Beckers - Belgian Foreign Minister (Incarcerated)
- In the comics, HYDRA was organized by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in the Japanese-occupied territory in the final days of World War II.
- Due to licensing issues, HYDRA members that appear in the movie Deadpool are not referred to as such. However, the film heavily implies that they are part of the organization. It should also be noted that the events of Deadpool do not take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but are instead set in the same continuity as the X-Men films.
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Villains|