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aka: Hydra

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"Hail, Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail HYDRA!"
The Hydra Oath from Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965)

Hydra is a fictional subversive organization in the Marvel Universe. It first appeared in Strange Tales #135 (August 1965), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It served as the rival organization to S.H.I.E.L.D.. The name is not an acronym but rather a reference to the mythical Lernaean Hydra. The organization's motto references the myth of the Hydra, stating that "if a head is cut off, two more will take its place" proclaiming their resilience and growing strength in the face of resistance. Hydra agents often wear distinctive green garb featuring a serpent motif.

Hydra is a criminal organization dedicated to the achievement of world domination through terrorist and subversive activities on various fronts, resulting in a fascist New World Order. Its extent of operations is worldwide, always attempting to elude the ongoing counter-espionage operations by S.H.I.E.L.D. Hydra is funded by Baron Strucker's personal fortune, based on his recovered hoard of Nazi plunder from World War II, and funds established by the original leaders of the Japanese secret society that became Hydra.

The organization is usually run with behind-the-scenes direction by Baron Strucker, alias Supreme Hydra. Under him is a central ruling committee; under them are individual division chiefs, and under them are the rank and file members and special agents.

In order to become a member of Hydra, an individual must be a legal adult willing to submit to a thorough investigation of the applicant's personal background and to swear a death-oath of loyalty to Hydra and its principles.

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    In general 

In general

  • Abusive Parents: Baron Strucker's reaction to discovering Andreas Strucker had been killed by Norman Osborn when asking for a favor? "Okay, that's two favors I owe you." (Andy got better though, see Cloning Blues).
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Though in-universe they pre-date Nazism and many writers have made attempts to draw a line between the groups they still employ much of the same ideology and iconography, including their authoritarianism, suppression of diversity and the salutes and uniforms.
    • Notably when they take over the US in Secret Invasion they persecute minorities, placing mutants and inhumans in camps, and attempt to rewrite school history books to portray themselves more favourably, all things real-life Nazis are famous for doing.
    • While not the originators of the group, two of their most famous leaders (Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and the Red Skull) are also literal Nazis.
  • Ancient Conspiracy:
    • Revealed to be this in Secret Warriors. The original Hydra secret society was more interested in achieving immortality than world domination. Either way, they ended up joining up with the Nazis in hopes of achieving both.
    • Obtaining the Serpent Crown, an artifact of the Elder God Set, has been one of its goals.
    • The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. variant turns out to have been founded in order to worship an ancient Inhuman named Hive.
  • Arch-Enemy: Baron Strucker is this to Nick Fury. Madame Hydra is this to Spider-Woman.
  • Bad Boss: Baron Strucker once blew up a base with 15,000 personnel in it.
  • Bald of Evil: Baron Strucker has no hair and is a Nazi world-conquering scumbag.
  • Badass Army: Despite all the superheroes being thrown at them they still have managed to survive as an organization for over sixty years.
  • The Baroness: The Ur-Example. The G.I. Joe baddie was inspired by a high-ranking Hydra commander, Viper/Madame Hydra.
  • Big Bad: Baron Strucker was the founder and leader of Hydra. If he's not in charge, Madame Hydra is.
  • Came Back Wrong: Viper. She got better.
  • Characterization Marches On: Or goals and origin stories do, at any rate. In their first appearance, they're a generically SPECTRE-like organization run by "a nondescript businessman." They're soon reinvented as The Remnant, an organization of former Axis war criminals who survived World War Two and are trying to restore a fascistic regime. Then, they're reinvented as an Ancient Conspiracy from the dawn of mankind, responsible for a number of terrible things throughout history, of which fascism is only one of the latest.
  • Collapsing Lair: Seems to happen to any place Baron Strucker stays too long.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Literally, with the (temporary) Corporate Hydra branch.
    • Hydra is revealed to have still been involved in this with two major megacorporations under its control in Secret Warriors.
    • Later, Ms. Marvel contended with Hope Yards Development Relocation Association, that has the relatively modest goal of Villainous Gentrification.
  • Depending on the Writer: For a time, they were subject to some severe Villain Decay, occasionally portrayed as simple generic terrorists of the week, not even worth fussing about. After Secret Warriors (and then their appearances in the MCU) this has fallen by the wayside.
  • The Dragon:
    • Gorgon.
    • Baron Strucker was this to the Red Skull. It's debatable who created it in comic book continuity as a result.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: A Hydra mainstay.
  • Elite Mooks: Advanced Idea Mechanics started as the Elite Mooks of Hydra, being its super-science division. HYDRA itself developed robotic soldiers called Dreadnoughts for this purpose, and in some continuities Hydra itself started out as or becomes the Elite Mook organization working for the Red Skull.
  • Enemy Civil War: A frequent problem. Hydra are notorious for schisms and violent internal power struggles, but being devoted to the Fuhrer-principle and having no real ideology beyond "Take Over the World"note  will do that.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Japanese Ninja, German Nazis, Arab terrorists, and more. It was a shock reveal in one of their earliest stories that Hydra would even hire... *gasp* women! (it was the 60s).
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Strucker has done some genuinely appalling stuff but has surprisingly done a few Pet the Dog moments as well.
    • Madame Viper is the opposite. She's so scary she terrified the Red Skull.
  • Evil Counterpart: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s.
  • Eviler than Thou:
    • The Kingpin once went against Hydra. For once, it didn't go his way.
    • Against HAMMER. Hydra's been at it a heck of a lot longer.
  • Faceless Goons: Its members all wear identical green masked outfits. The motto of the group is "Cut off a limb and two more will take its place", referencing the monster that is their namesake and lampshading the fact that these guys aren't individuals.
  • Fun with Acronyms: They appeared as Hope Yards Development and Relocation Association in the 2015 relaunch of Ms. Marvel.
  • Ghostapo / Stupid Jetpack Hitler: A weird example as modern Hydra has all of this but is not a Nazi successor organization, having originated as an ancient Egyptian cult called the Brotherhood of the Spear.
    • Hydra itself had a version of this with their Department of Occult Armaments in the 1990s Midnight Sons titles, though the D.O.A. never amounted to much.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Baron Strucker's dueling scars are definitely evil.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Hydra's war against the Howling Commando's PMC and Leviathan.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Baron Strucker's mutant twin children, Andreas and Andrea (aka the Fenris twins).
  • Hated by All: Nobody, superheroes and supervillains alike, likes them, seeing how closely they're tied to Nazism.
  • Hydra Problem: Hydra has this as its motto but, seriously, no one has yet caused the organization to grow weaker despite 60 years of fighting it.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: HYDRA soldiers typically wear a bright green/yellow ensemble, sometimes with the organization's logo as a chest patch.
  • The Infiltration: It's revealed that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD shortly after the latter had been formed... and then Nick Fury reveals that he'd known that all along and reverse-infiltrated HYDRA, letting them think they were manipulating SHIELD from the shadows when it was actually the other way around.
  • Klingon Promotion: Not above promoting this policy.
  • Legion of Doom: Not really but a surprising number of Marvel villains have either worked for or with HYDRA over the years: Baron Strucker, Baron Zemo, the Kingpin, Richard Fisk, Madame Hydra, the Serpent Society, Crossbones, the Red Skull, Deadpool, Gorgon, Fenris, a brainwashed Wolverine, the Hand, AIM, Richard Nixon (!!) through the Secret Empire, Don Fortunato, The Thunderbolts (without the majority of members knowing), Norman Osborn, and so on. Spider-Woman also started out as a HYDRA agent, until she was set straight by Nick Fury. And now we got Captain friggin' America on their team.
    • During Secret Warriors, they gain a leading council, with Strucker at the top, then Madame Hydra, Viper, the Hive, Kraken and Gorgon.
    • For a single storyline in the 1970s, Hydra was revamped with an inner council made up entirely of supervillains, including the Fixer, Mentallo, Man-Killer, Commander Kraken, Blackwing, and El Jaguar as division heads.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Leviathan vs. Shield vs. Hydra in the Secret Warriors comic.
  • Mythical Motifs: Named after the Hydra from Greek mythology, a many headed creature, where if you cut off one head, two more grow in its place.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Hydra started off as an actual Nazi organization during World War II which became independent when the actual Nazis, well, lost. When your founders are Nazis it's no stretch that your organisation end up Nazi-like. (As revealed in Captain America: Hail Hydra and Secret Warriors, Hydra actually let the Nazis think that, but are actually older. Still, they saw the Nazis as having compatible goals, and still have evidence of that connection.)
  • Nazi Gold: How the original Hydra was funded. Magneto's Start of Darkness had him plundering one of their stashes for his own ends.
  • Nazi Nobleman: Baron Strucker, Baron Zemo.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: One of the oldest and most successful. HYDRA and its logo were clearly based on SPECTRE, the evil organization that 007 repeatedly fights.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Baron Strucker is clearly based on Otto Skorzeny, right down to the prominent dueling scars.
  • Nuke 'em: The Overkill Horn is designed to do this on a large scale.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: The only way to explain how the organization affords its many, many bases.
    • Secret Warriors retconned this into having two of the largest conglomerates in the world working for them. Their accumulated assets is said to be around six hundred billion dollars.
      • Strucker has alien technology so this is less questionable than it sounds.
    • Before Secret Warriors, a storyline in Comicbook/Wolverine had Strucker's wife, Elsbeth von Strucker, as the fabulously wealthy funder of the organization.
  • Overlord Jr.: Fenris (Andreas). He has actually begun to use the name Baron Strucker since his father's death.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: It's implied the majority of Hydra agents are this.
  • Religion of Evil: Has elements of this with the retcon.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Several other major Marvel Universe evil organisations began as sub-divisions or splinter-groups of Hydra, notably including AIM, the Hand, and the Secret Empire. The Hand consider themselves to be the original and Hydra the splinter group, however.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Modern Hydra has been known to employ class-warfare rhetoric.
    • Which actually fits with their Nazi roots.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • The organization's history as a mutual aid society for fugitive Nazis that evolved into an international terrorist group bears a distinct resemblance to the ODESSA and Otto Skorzeny's Paladin Group.
    • Similarly, their 2012 revamp as a grassroots group dedicated to fighting the depredations of global neoliberal capitalism probably has something to do with recent failings of the same.
  • Running Both Sides: It turns out that Hydra secretly owned S.H.I.E.L.D. Then it turned out that Nick Fury knew this all along and was using it to manipulate Hydra.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Nick Fury has a Reverse Hannibal Lecture with Baron Strucker at the end of Secret Warriors where he reveals Baron Strucker never controlled SHIELD—Nick Fury had known all along about his bugs and used it to feed him false information.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Andreas Strucker has always been considered to be the whipping boy of Hydra. He eventually stopped being smug when he became the Swordsman. Then he became the Butt-Monkey. After that, he became smug again, and his sister was just as bad.
    • Baron Strucker is reduced to this at the end of Secret Warriors by the greater Magnificent Bastard of Nick Fury.
  • The Syndicate: HYDRA is heavily involved in organized crime. Indeed, it is a full-blown Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy appropriately enough. All a crook needs is Hydra or Maggia ties to justify crazy-tech.
  • Take Over the World: As if anything less could satisfy them! Comicbook/Secret Empire is probably the closest they've come: North America and almost all of Europe (save for a small portion of France).
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Aside from Taking Over The World, that is.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Hydra calls one of its superweapons The Overkill Horn. Its function? Remotely activating every single nuclear weapon on the surface of the planet.
  • Those Wacky Nazis:
    • Their original incarnation. The modern organization has no racial agenda, accepting members from all nationalities. One snarky but likely explanation is: "You can't sell toys of Nazis."
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger they stand-in for Nazis as the main menace, probably to allow the film to show where such references are forbidden. This also happened in some Marvel cartoons as well.
  • Trial by Combat: In their early days, any agent who screwed up was given the chance to redeem themselves in a fight... which was heavily rigged against them.
  • We Have Reserves: And HOW! Hydra has lost literally tens of thousands of personnel on-screen over the course of its existence.
  • Western Terrorists: Although it has Asian roots.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • A question never asked by superheroes as even die-hards capes like Captain America have no problem killing Hydra goons.
    • Subverted by Deadpool's sidekick Bob.
  • Villain Team-Up: Surprisingly rare until recently. Most Hydra villains were members of Hydra or one of its break-away branches. Norman Osborn is one of the few to reach out to Hydra.
  • You Have Failed Me: The penalty for failure in Hydra is death. In fact, in the organization's years of being divided and fractured without Baron Von Strucker, the various Hydra factions were spending more time killing themselves after their schemes were thwarted than accomplishing anything.

Leadership

    Elisa Sinclair 

Elisa Sinclair

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5606755_capasr2016014_cov.jpg

Alter Ego: Madame Hydra (IV)

First Appearance: Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 (July, 2016)

A new Madame Hydra, Elisa Sinclair, debuted in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 (July 2016), created by Nick Spencer and Jesús Saiz. She originally appeared to be a character inserted in Steve Rogers' memories of his childhood by the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik to retroactively turn him into a Hydra double-agent. However, she resurfaced in the present, having taken up the mantle of Madame Hydra, claiming to be a powerful ancient being of great powers. She took upon collecting a new Hydra High Council, which includes Viper.


    Gorgon 

Gorgon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3104635_gorgon.jpg

Alter Ego: Tomi Shishido

First Appearance: Wolverine Vol. 3, #20 (2005)

Tomi Shishido is a mutant extremist that formed the "Dawn of the White Light" cult. He has served as a high-ranking official of The Hand and HYDRA. Shishido ranks among the most skilled swordsmen of the world.

    Hive 

Hive

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hive_earth_616_from_captain_america_steve_rogers_vol_1_14_001.jpg

Alter Ego: Unknown

First Appearance: Secret Warriors #2 (May, 2009)

Member of HYDRA and part of the HYDRA High Council.


  • Cthulhumanoid: Looks like some sort of humanoid squid or octopus.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He might be able to stand like a human, but he's a mass of tentacles underneath.
  • The Unintelligible: Speaks in his own language. Still, everyone else seems to understand him.

    Madame Hydra I / Viper 

Viper

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ophelia_sarkissian_earth_616_from_marvel_war_of_heroes_001_0.jpg

Alter Ego: Ophelia Sarkkissian, Madame Hydra I

First Appearance: Captain America #110 (February, 1969)

Ophelia Sarkissian was orphaned as a child in Hungary. Among twelve other girls, Ophelia was taken in by Hydra and raised by Kraken, eventually becoming Kraken's best student. She rose through the ranks of Hydra, eventually becoming its leader under the codename Madame Hydra, and frequently came into conflict with Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. She later severed ties with Hydra and from then onwards became known as Viper after killing the previous supervillain codenamed Viper (Jordan Strike) to usurp his codename and leadership of the Serpent Squad.


  • Actually a Doombot: Viper had an out-of-character appearance in a storyline featured in Punisher War Journal #45-47 (August-October, 1992)., where she served as an ally to Daredevil, Nomad, and The Punisher. A year later, Gregory Wright wrote a story where it was revealed that Viper has been using look-alike "Pit-Vipers" to act in her name. The "Viper" appearing in the Punisher storyline was a rogue Pit-Viper with her own agenda.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) due to Jessica being raised by Hydra and possibly becoming the next Madame Hydra. One story revealed Jessica to be the Viper's daughter, though it was later retconned that some magical force was toying with their minds. Viper assumed that it was Jessica who messed with her mind and set out to destroy her "daughter". Twenty years later, Viper tried to coerce Jessica (actually the Skrull Veranke) into an alliance, and the story hinted that Viper still viewed Jessica as the closest thing she had to a family.
  • Ax-Crazy: Of all the things that she is, she is not sane.
  • Badass Normal: She (usually) possesses no superhuman powers. But her strength, speed, reflexes, agility, dexterity, coordination, balance and endurance are on the order of an Olympic athlete. She is a great swordswoman and even greater markswoman with most long range weapons, and has extensive training in hand-to-hand combat.
  • The Baroness: Trope Codifier. In fact, the Baroness from G.I. Joe is actually inspired from her. When Hasbro approached Marvel about doing a G.I. Joe comic book, they simply dusted off an unused proposal for a Nick Fury vs. HYDRA series and changed the names. Thus HYDRA became COBRA and the Viper became the Baroness. The only significant difference between the characters is the color of their leather bodysuits and hair; black for the Baroness, green for Madame Hydra.
  • Big Bad: As the head of Hydra she counts whenever they are involved.
  • Blemished Beauty: She is quite beautiful, save for scarring over the upper right side of her face (which she usually hides behind her bangs).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Viper has a tendency to do this with several heroes, turning them into her minions temporarily. Examples include the Punisher, Jean Grey, Psylocke, Rogue, Shadowcat, Tyger Tiger, and Yukio. She also often finds herself mind-controlled or manipulated by other villains with this power. She has had her mind tampered with by the Elder Gods Set and Chthon, by the immortal witch Morgan Le Fay, and (to a lesser point) by the illusions of Mastermind. They have all used Viper as a convenient weapon for their agendas, sending her against their enemies. Even her memories have been altered at times.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Viper is deadly, but she is still a normal human being, and she can be taken down by a single bullet. Her various uniforms incorporate kevlar to keep her body safe. Given that she never wears protective helmets, it is unclear why her opponents do not simply aim for her head.
  • Came Back Wrong: In Secret Warriors #12, Viper is kidnapped by the mysterious Leviathan group, who are determined to find out the location of a mysterious box that both she and the current Madame Hydra (the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who has replaced Viper) procured from the Yashidas. Madame Hydra arrives at the Leviathan headquarters and offers the box to its leader, much to Viper's dismay. Madame Hydra then shoots Viper to death. However, when Hydra arrives, the Hive resurrects her, giving her tentacles that stem from her head, and she renames herself Madame Hydra.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While perfectly capable of taking out opponents in a straight fight, Viper's strategies tend to rely on ambush tactics, deception, and use of drugs, gases, and poisons. She knocked out Thor by having him inhale one of her drugs. When she wanted to take over the relatively powerful Serpent Society, she had a group of villains infiltrate the organization and then attacked when nobody expected it. Most of the Serpents were caught in their civilian clothes, their gym clothes, or their bathrobes and underwear, without access to their uniforms and weapons. When she wanted to take out the X-Men, she simply poisoned their tea and send most of the team to the hospital.
  • Dark Action Girl: A really combat-efficient female villain.
  • Dating Catwoman: She is Wolverine's ex-wife; she blackmailed him into it, and in turn he got the divorce by refusing to give her medical treatment otherwise. It is implied she had started to develop real feelings for him.
  • Depending on the Writer: For whatever reason, Brian Bendis consistently writes her as an anarcho-communist, rather than the unhinged lunatic most other writers prefer.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • She may have cared about Wolverine at some point, and she definitely had feelings for the Silver Samurai. A Marvel Team-Up storyline from 1979 also mentions a months-long romantic affair between Viper and a Japanese terrorist leader called Ishiro Tagara. He found Viper when she was sick and weak from previous battles, nursed her back to health, worked to restore her sanity and confidence in herself, and showered her with love (which she found to be an unfamiliar experience). Tagara has not appeared since, and he is a rather obscure character.
    • On a more family-oriented kind of love, a few stories have Viper still mourning over her half-forgotten parents (whose murder is the earliest memory she still has) and an unknown number of sisters (who she witnessed getting raped and discarded).
  • Eviler than Thou: She has the rare distinction of being this to the Red Skull of all people from time to time simply because he views her sadistic schemes and planned massacres as so gratuitously awful with no apparent benefit for either of them other than just For the Evulz that he cannot tolerate them. One of her plans involved blinding every person in the United States who stared at a television screen, leaving millions blind and helpless, and causing the country to collapse in chaos. Red Skull found out about this plan; he was an American citizen by this point, and all his business investments were located in the United States. Realizing that the country would collapse around him and that it was unlikely to recover within his own lifetime, Red Skull set out to rescue the country from Viper.
  • For the Evulz: She usually has a greater goal in mind, but she isn't above committing mass murder or being disturbingly petty for shits and giggles.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Viper started out as a nameless orphan girl of obscure background. Unlike other villains such as Baron von Strucker and the Barons Zemo, she does not come from an old aristocratic family, did not inherit any wealth, and started out with no connections. She just struggled to survive. She passed her Hydra training with flying colors, due to being the most determined, ambitious, and aggressive of available recruits. She has used that drive to bring down states and organizations, to take over entire nations (such as Madripoor), and to terrorize heroes and villains alike.
  • Green and Mean: Her main color is green, and mean doesn't even begin to describe her.
  • Hiding Behind Your Bangs: In earlier stories, she wears her hair over one eye to cover scarring on the upper right side of her face. For a while, it was even unclear whether she had two eyes, or only one functioning eye and one blind or missing eye. Over the last couple of decades, the scars were retconned away, and she is often depicted without such a hairstyle, as in her image above.
  • I Have Many Names: Madame Hydra; Viper; dozens of aliases. Among her most prominent aliases are "Leona Hiss", the unimaginative "Mrs. Smith", and "Meriem Drew" (the true name of Spider-Woman's mother). She also once impersonated Black Mamba/Tanya Sealy of the Serpent Society and used Tanya's name and codename.
  • Jerkass: The C-word would actually be the most accurate to describe her attitude and general behaviour.
  • Kick the Dog: Prone to it and proud of it. You know it's bad when the Red Skull thinks that her schemes were gratuitous with no apparent benefit for either of them.
  • Legacy Character: The first Viper was a man, then Madame Hydra killed him and stole the name.
  • Manipulative Bastard: She knows how to manipulate people.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Gender flipped. Viper is a European woman from Hungary, but her most enduring romantic and emotional relationship involved her and the Silver Samurai, a Japanese villain.
  • Most Common Super Power: She has very buxom breasts.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Despite being evil, Viper is a beautiful woman with dark green hair and lipstick who wears a very form-fitting jumpsuit that accentuates her voluptuous yet toned body, buxom breasts, toned broad shoulders, and long toned legs.
  • Not Afraid to Die: While she struggles for her life as much as any other villain of the Marvel Universe, Viper reportedly has long ceased fearing death. She views death as a peaceful oblivion, and a great merciful void which she is tempted to embrace. And she would like for all humanity to embrace it as well. A few background profiles mention that Viper is an opium user, and that she both meditates and has opium dreams about death.
  • One-Steve Limit: Enforced lethally when she decided to take on the name Viper. She murdered the original Viper and took over the Serpent Squad.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Raised in one, ran by none other than Hydra.
    Ophelia Sarkissian: We were orphans. Little girls, all alone. Hydra gave us a home. Eight great houses. Twelve girls to a house. And in the end, the most determined... the most ambitious... the most aggressive... That girl would be the Viper. All it cost was everything.
  • Poisonous Person: In her case it is intentional. Viper has modified her canine teeth into particularly sharp and elongated fangs. Her fangs contain a lethal and neurotoxic snake venom, to which she has developed an immunity. All she needs is to bite her opponents (preferably in their necks) and they are incapacitated or dying. A less often-used trick is coating her lipstick in poison. One touch of her lips and the victim is down for the count.
  • Psycho for Hire: When working for somebody else. It says something when ever the Red freaking Skull thinks you're too unstable.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She may or may not have been granted a supernatural lifespan by the demon Chthon, and have originally been a woman who died in 1931.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: If she is not fighting Cap, she is probably fighting Wolverine, though she has tangled with most of Marvel's other heroes by now, and once believed she was the mother of the first Spider-Woman.
  • Sadist: A psychological and physical sadist, who enjoys hurting people for the hell of it. Noticing a trend with Cap's rogues?
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: She wears all-green clothes. She also dyes her hair green (its natural color is black), uses green lipstick, and green fingernail polish. Her eyes are also green, but this is their natural color.
    • Averted in a few Uncanny X-Men stories from 2004-2005. Viper joins the Hellfire Club in the new position of White Princess (second-in-command to the White Queen). She discards her traditional green uniforms for white ones, to match her new position and to color-coordinate with White Queen Courtney Ross. Following this aborted arc, Viper returned to the green uniforms.
  • Spy Catsuit: Often wears a form-fitting catsuit.
  • Straw Nihilist: Her nihilism and tendency to spread death around her has made it hard for other villains to associate with her. Only the Red Skull has found it a charming tendency and pursued a relationship with her for a while. The relationship ended when the Skull found out Viper was using his resources to finance massacres with no apparent financial benefit for either of them.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Had this with the Red Skull, even engaging in a Two-Person Pool Party when they met.
  • Villain Ball: Sometimes she's managed to torpedo her own plans because she's such a raging nutcase she can't help herself. One instance is during a scheme in Captain America, when she steps out from where she's hiding solely to gloat at Cap having to fight a brainwashed Not-Ronald Reagan.
  • Whip of Dominance: She is a authoritative, domineering and sadistic villainess who's famous for her deadly skill with a bullwhip. She often has other more technologically advanced weapons, but the whip is iconic to her character, if only because it gives her a sadistic/dominative aesthetic.

    Arnim Zola 

Arnim Zola

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/secret_empire_vol_1_3_villain_variant_textless.jpg

First Appearance: Captain America #208 (April, 1977)


    Doctor Faustus 

Doctor Faustus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_panther_vol_6_14_textless.jpg

Alter Ego: Johann Fenhoff

First Appearance: Captain America #107 (November, 1968)


    Grant Rogers 

"Captain America" / Hydra Supreme / Captain Krakoa II / Flag-Smasher IV

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fbc0ede2_e918_426d_b69c_57dff3d032c1.jpeg
Click here to see him as Captain America 
Click here to see him as Captain Krakoa 
Click here to see him as Flag-Smasher 

Alter Ego: Steven Grant Rogers

First Appearance: Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 (May, 2016)

A HYDRA loyalist Steve Rogers created by Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube at the behest of the Red Skull.
  • Asshole Victim: The Power Elite have him broken out of prison and then brutally murdered to make their claim that he and Steve Rogers are the same man easier to sell to the public. Their reasons for doing it might be villainous but it's still very satisfying to watch as Selene melts him alive. Unfortunately, it turns out that he's Not Quite Dead and back as Orchis' Captain Krakoa.
  • Ax-Crazy: When he comes back and stars working for Orchis as Captain Krakoa he is a lot more violent and brutal, even threatening his subordinates.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Secret Empire begins with him successfully taking over the United States. It gets undone when he is defeated by his counterpart.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Even after Kobik's admitted she created him, he continues his delusions that he is the original Steve Rogers and Hydra originally won World War II.
  • Big Bad: Of Secret Empire, having taking the role of Supreme HYDRA and masterminded the HYDRA takeover of the US which he rules over. He also oversees the hunt for the Cosmic Cube fragments.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Pretends to outwardly be the same old Steve everyone knows, loves and respects, while hiding his disdain for them, as he sets them up for a fall.
  • Boomerang Bigot: He very much dislikes, if not outright hates superhumans, despite technically being one himself.
  • Break Them by Talking: Undermines Roberto da Costa's confidence under the guise of a What the Hell, Hero? speech, so he'll be less dangerous when the time comes.
  • The Chessmaster: Well what do you expect from someone who inherited the strategic brilliance of Captain America?
  • The Corrupter: He manipulated Deadpool and The Punisher into working for him as his top enforcers. He also manages to get some of the non-evil A.I.M. onto his side, and gets them to betray Roberto da Costa.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a ruthless Knight Templar himself, he is utterly disgusted at the Red Skull's cruelty and sadism.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the real Captain America.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: To Earth-616 Cap.
  • False Flag Operation: His whole modus operandi. Orchis freed him to make what’s left of mutants look like terrorists to sway the public in Orchis’ favour.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • He has very little regard for superhuman life, going so far as to facilitate concentration camps reserved for Inhumans.
    • From his interaction with Cyclops to his False Flag Operation, he definitely hates mutants.
  • Hero Killer: He is responsible for the deaths of Jack Flag, Bruce Banner, Rick Jones, and Black Widow (though, her's was unintentional).
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Trusts his High Councilnote  just because they all worked for HYDRA in the past. While most of them were fairly loyal to his cause, at least Doctor Faustus and Viper have tried to undermine him in some way.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He hates being compared to the Red Skull despite being an unrepentant mass-murderer. He even has the gall to criticize democracy for being corrupt, being completely blind to how much worse his regime is.
    • There's also the fact of being a mutate who hates other super-powered beings.
  • Knight Templar: Grant is determined to "save" humanity, no matter how many people he has to kill.
  • Light Is Not Good: Grant's Flag-Smasher costume consists of a white three-piece suit and shoulder-cape.
  • Manipulative Bastard: As Captain Krakoa, he fooled Blob and many civilians into thinking he’s Cyclops. He did this to make mutants look like terrorists. He also relied on Blob’s desire to avenge his people after what Orchis did to them at the 3rd Gala.
  • Meaningful Rename: Insists on being referred to by his middle name, Grant, post-resurrection in order to distance himself from the real Steve as much as possible.
  • Legacy Character: He takes the Captain Krakoa mantle, which was first used by Cyclops, to enact his false flag operation. Once that is foiled, he becomes the new Flag-Smasher.
  • Powered Armor: Towards the end of Secret Empire, he sports one created by Zola using Stark tech.
  • The Starscream: He inherited the original Steve Rogers' hatred toward the Red Skull, but feigned loyalty to the latter out of caution for his stolen telepathy from Charles Xavier. When the Skull was stripped of his powers by the Uncanny Avengers, he didn't hesitate to betray and kill him.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He wholeheartedly believes that HYDRA's ideology, or at least his interpretation of it, is the only way of ensuring peace.
  • Villain in a White Suit: After being released from prison he dons a white suit, taking the name Flag Smasher.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He has one when the completed Cosmic Cube disappears from his armor and Sam reveals his swear of allegiance to HYDRA was a trick. Then Kobik comes back and restores the Earth after he used his cube to change history so HYDRA won the war. Then Kobik brings out the restored mind of the real Captain America in a new body.
  • Villainous Friendship: In his memories he had one with Helmut Zemo, until the latter breaks it off after his father's death. They resume after he captures Zemo and persuades him to his way of thinking.
  • Villain Protagonist: He was the main Captain America for a while with the true Steve Rogers trapped in the Cosmic Cube. The series revolved around him passing himself off as the normal Cap while undermining the other heroes from behind the scenes.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even after literally taking over the world by force with Hydra, killing several world diplomats and nearly nuking New York City, Grant is released from prison and greeted by a crowd still loyal to his cause.
  • Worf Effect: To show how dangerous he, is he beats Cyclops, even paralyzing him before even taking the suit. He later is able to match Steve Rogers in a fight, even breaking his arm.

    Baron Von Strucker 

Baron Von Strucker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4b9b2f86e802981f3049452ce4059f02jpg.png

Alter Ego: Wolgang Von Strucker

First Appearance: Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #5 (January, 1964)

The leader (and founder) of HYDRA, and a long-enduring foe of Captain America and Nick Fury since WWII.


  • Abusive Parents: He couldn't care less for his children (at one point thanking Norman Osborn for murdering one of them) and kills one of them himself.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Nick Fury, ever since WWII.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: He was a Nazi Nobleman.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Demonstrated in one story where he spars against seven ninjas armed with swords, at the same time, while he himself is unarmed and shirtless. It's a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Badass Boast: In the Secret Warriors miniseries, he gets a Establishing Character Moment/Motive Rant with one of these:
    Strucker: I am the supreme HYDRA, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, I witnessed the fall of nations, betrayed beliefs and ties of brotherhood abandoned by modern times. Defeat only serves to light within me the flame of my obsession. My desire is eternal.
  • Bad Boss: Once blew up a base contained several thousand soldiers just to kill a handful of Skrulls.
  • Bald of Evil: Bald and evil.
  • Big Bad: Was the former head of Hydra before his death and after that Madame Viper took the role.
  • Catchphrase: "Hail Hydra!", his organization's motto, is usually his.
  • The Chessmaster: In his Secret Warriors incarnation. He was ten steps ahead of everyone but Nick Fury (and even he had his Did Not See That Coming moments)
  • Cultured Warrior: Also Wicked Cultured.
  • Depending on the Writer: What exactly he did in WWII. While Red Skull is relatively firmly established as an SS counter-intelligence officer of some sort (sometimes veering into scientific experiments), the writers could never quite decide what exactly was Strucker's position in WWII. He's sometimes portrayed as a SS officer conducting megalomaniacal international schemes (image above, most early comics), sometimes as a Wehrmacht officer fighting in the frontlines (Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Super Soldier video game, more recent comics) or a undecided mix of some sort. Writers also tend to flip-flop about his degree of loyalty to Nazi ideals.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: His modern-day goal.
    Strucker: I do not wish to cleanse the world, I simply want to rule it.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: In the present.
  • Dueling Scar: He has many from his youth.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Nick Fury. They are both manipulative, cunning, somewhat cold-hearted, WWII veterans who command a major intelligence agency. The difference is they're in opposite sides.
  • Evil is Petty: When it comes to Fury, Strucker is unbelievably petty just to hurt the man.
  • Evil Old Folks: He was a young man in WWII.
  • Fantastic Racism: Toward Skrulls, at the very least, and that's after a few decades of (relative) mellowing out. These days, he'll just murder them on the spot.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can be charming, calm and soft-spoken while gloating about the downfall of your country.
  • Four-Star Badass: Strucker is usually portrayed as being very high-ranking in his War days, but no less implacable.
  • Genius Bruiser: Smart and badass.
  • Hero Killer: In Secret Warriors. He is both very feared and actually the slayer of Nick Fury's son.
  • High-Class Glass: Wears a monocle.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Secret Warriors.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: It's hard to find something about him that doesn't show just how rich this guy is.
  • Master Swordsman: Quite handy with a sword. It is amusing because he still carries a german longsword in the middle of the 21th century.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker?
  • Nazi Nobleman: To a T.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Varies with the writer, but he's commonly portrayed as being more interested in pursuing his own agenda, rather than Hitler's.
  • Obviously Evil: A bald, monocle wearing former Nazi with a literal Red Right Hand called Satan's Claw and facial scarring leading a fascist organisation with a symbol shaped like a skull. Yeah.
  • The Patriarch: Of the Von Strucker family. Unlike the usual type, he cares very little for his family.
  • Red Right Hand: Literally. He also has quite a few scars on his face.
  • The Sociopath: Pretty much.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's a very restrained man in most occasions.
  • The Strategist: The major planner of HYDRA high-command, and back when he was a Nazi, this was his role. Though he was more combat-oriented, unlike Red Skull.
  • Villainous Friendship: A type III with Kraken. He also had one with Hitler, although how sincere it was varies Depending on the Writer.
  • The Von Trope Family: Von Strucker.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: As a result of writers not deciding his exact position in WWII, he tends to be all over the place in regards of function. His illustrious career for the German nation includes: Fighting in Africa in WWI (which would put him as a officer of the Imperial Army), enacting a scheme to topple the British Monarchy in a 1936 and trying to assassinate an American senator (both of which would put him as an Agent of the German Intelligence), fighting in the frontlines European theatre (which would put him as either a SS officer or a Werhmacht officer, and he's been portrayed as both). This means Baron Wolfgang von Strucker either changes positions like one would change gloves or he managed to amass a truly astounding amount of ranks over several different organizations of the Third Reich.
  • Wicked Cultured: Quite a high taste he has.

    Valentina Allegra de Fontaine 

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1168713_contessa_01.jpg

Alter Ego: Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Madame Hydra (III)

First Appearance: Strange Tales #159 (August, 1967)

A woman of remarkable skills and talents in many areas, the Contessa became a leading member of SHIELD and Femme Force. She is also the long time lover of Nick Fury.

In the Secret Warriors series, it is shown that Hydra has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. right from the start, and Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, an European socialite turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest to Nick Fury, is their new Madame Hydra after having killed Viper (who Came Back Wrong).


    Madame Hydra VI 

Madame Hydra

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/madame_hydra_six_earth_616_official_handbook_of_the_marvel_universe_vol_3_4.jpg

Alter Ego: Madame Hydra (VI [in-universe], II [in order of appearance])

A Madame Hydra created by Bob Harras and Paul Neary debuted in Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 (August 1988). This Madame Hydra's real name was never revealed, only being known as "Madame Hydra VI" because she impressed her superiors in Hydra enough that, after only a short time in the organization, they promoted her to the level of Madame Hydra VI (the identities of Madames Hydra I through V, who rank above her, are unknown), and received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #4 under the heading "Madame Hydra VI". One of her first missions as Madame Hydra was to capture Nick Fury and deliver him to the Deltites, a group of artificially created duplicates which were taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. After failing in her mission and discovering that the Deltites were manipulating her, she allied with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents against the takeover. She was later turned over to federal authorities and was found to be criminally insane, and sent to a sanitarium for psychiatric treatment.


Agents

    Bob, Agent of Hydra 

Bob, Agent of Hydra

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bob_agent_hydra_deadpool_marvel_h.jpg

Alter Ego: Bob Dubalina


    Romulus 

Cassandra Romulus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2269169_copy_of_3_31_2012_00l1.jpg

First Appearance: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #22 (April, 1991)

Cassandra Romulus was a lieutenant in Hydra, and also the lover of Baron von Strucker.


    Bravo 

Codename: Bravo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bravo.jpg

Alter Ego: Richard (last name unknown)

First Appearance: Captain America Vol 6 #1 (July, 2011)

An early super-soldier operative who spent decades trapped in another dimension known as Nowhere. After being freed he eventually became a villain, vengeful over being removed from his home.


    The Natural 

Bert Jr.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/43946472_df31_4715_aaf6_346b551ad8c2.jpeg

First Appearance: Falcon & Winter Soldier Vol 1 #1 (February , 2020)

A new young Hydra recruit who is also a Loony Fan of Captain America


  • Affably Evil: He really is a genuine fan of Captain America as well as Sam and Bucky. He will tell them all the things he loves about them while beating them senseless.
  • Badass Normal: No powers but enough skill to take on Sam and Bucky.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Why would a huge fan of Captain America join Hydra? Because he’s not all there.
  • Loony Fan: Boy is he ever. He joined Hydra despite being a Captain America fan.
  • Worf Effect: On the delivering end. It’s shown how much of a threat he is when he’s introduced giving a Curb-Stomp Battle to Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Alternative Title(s): Madame Hydra, Hydra, Marvel Comics Madame Hydra

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