- Thousands of years ago, an Inhuman was born on this planet that was destined to rule it, so powerful, so fearsome that others were consumed with dread, and so they banished it from the Earth, sent it through the portal to a distant planet. HYDRA was founded with the sole purpose of engineering its return.
Thousands of years ago, a rogue Kree faction created the Inhumans on prehistoric Earth. The ruling Kree hierarchy, deeming the creation of the Inhumans a mistake, conceived the Monolith as a means of wiping them out by transporting them across space to another planet. One day, an Inhuman was born so powerful, that others banished him to the other planet. However, the Inhuman's followers, believing him to be destined to rule the world, formed a secret society with the sole purpose to bring their leader back to Earth.
Over the centuries, the society grew and evolved, taking many different shapes, being called by many different names. Eventually, the society came in possession of the Monolith, and started sending men through the portal, hoping to save or at least serve their leader on the other side. But none of them ever came back. As its symbols changed, the society became known as HYDRA.
Centuries of Attempts
- Will he come back?"
"Our best minds are working to understand this. But as far as we know, in all of history... no one has ever returned.
- --Younger Lord and Thornally
The story of HYDRA's attempts to bring their leader back to Earth was eventually spread through the world, influencing groups obsessed with death and ritualistic killings, becoming intertwined with the origin of pagan devil myths.
In 1839 at Gloucestershire, England, a group of HYDRA members assembled in a castle to have a lottery. He who grabbed the white stone from the bag was to enter the room housing the Monolith. Lord Manzini grabbed the white stone and was sent into the room with a few weapons and some equipment. The portal opened and swallowed Manzini who was never seen again. HYDRA's best minds were quickly employed to understand how the Monolith functions.
Eventually, HYDRA's scientists managed to construct a machine that could create powerful vibrations. In the late 1800s, they put the Monolith in a hole in the floor and activated the machine, turning the Monolith into its liquid form, creating a stable portal. For some reason, the castle and the machine were abandoned. Smaller pieces were cut off from the Monolith and given for safekeeping to various leaders of HYDRA.
- 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
When the Nazis came to power in Germany, a secret HYDRA member Johann Schmidt attempted to join the special weapons division of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) led by Ernst Kaufmann so he could work on developing advanced weapons for the German Army. However, he was violently rejected and instead joined Heinrich Himmler's Schutzstaffel (SS). In June 1934, during the Night of the Long Knives, Kaufmann and his entire unit were eliminated by Schmidt's SS troops. Only one man was spared, Doctor Arnim Zola. Schmidt took over Kaufmann's weapons program and formed his own research division, naming it HYDRA-Abteilung. The new unit was formed with the official approval of the Nazi Führer, Adolf Hitler. While Hitler had always maintained an interest in both fields, Schmidt was obsessed over them, leading to his taking of the Super Soldier serum which transformed him into the Red Skull. No longer a champion of the aryan image, Hitler had Schmidt quietly transferred elsewhere, under the illusion that he could continue his work in private and with better funding, but the façade did not convince Schmidt.
When the Tessaract cube was located by Hydra forces in the early years of World War II, Schmidt personally saw to it that the "Cosmic Cube" would be used to it's full potential by Dr. Arnim Zola. Zola's outlandish designs of robotic power armor, massive vehicles and energy weapons and armor could find a functional use thanks to the cube's power, and with the most advanced tech in the World, Hydra could begin to plan their conquest — a conquest that Nazi guards would soon find out, counted Berlin amongst it's targets.
Hydra's goals would be challenged by America's own super-soldier, Steven Rogers, better known as Captain America. Aided by his best friend, Bucky and the Howling Commandos, Rogers was able to begin a massive assault on Hydra forces across the Axis lines, destroying numerous bases and capturing Arnim Zola. Eventually, Captain America came face to face with Red Skull on a Tessaract-powered bomber, heading to America. When it became clear that Rogers was gaining the upper hand in the fight, the Red Skull attempted to use the power of the Cube with his bare hands. This only resulted in a beam of light, similar in design to the Bifrost, which caused the Red Skull to disappear without a trace, and forcing Rogers to put the bomber down in the freezing waters below, freezing himself solid and causing the Cosmic Cube to be lost to the seas for 70 years.
Plans for S.H.I.E.L.D.
When scientists such as Arnim Zola were recruited by America as part of their efforts to use their weapons genius, they were able to subtly subvert S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside as it grew, manipulating gathered intelligence and recruiting various key S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives to be loyal to Hydra's ideology. While S.H.I.E.L.D. would publicly serve as a peacekeeping force, it would also serve the secondary goal of creating a world that would eventually become so chaotic that the populace would willingly sacrifice their freedom for security that S.H.I.E.L.D. offered, thereby handing control over to Hydra.
Using an algorithm created by Zola, Hydra could determine which people represented a threat to their new world order. It was planned to use S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Project Insight to use the network of three heavily-armed Helicarriers to eliminate all the 20 million people determined as threats to Hydra by the algorithm.
However, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury discovered Hydra's influence over S.H.I.E.L.D., and with the help of Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Maria Hill, managed to scuttle their plans and destroy the Helicarriers before any innocent life was lost.
Fury's actions forced Hydra operatives to launch a prearranged surprise coup. To this end, signals were broadcast on all S.H.I.E.L.D. channels with a message to step "out of the shadows" and "into the light." Take over actions were launched at all major S.H.I.E.L.D. installations resulting in a scramble to assert control on both sides. While the Triskelion was wrecked in the battle over Washington, D.C., the Hub fell briefly into the hands of Hydra before being claimed by loyal S.H.I.E.L.D operatives, and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s East African base and the Treehouse fell into the hands of Hydra. Afterwards, Hydra agents were ousted from the Cube.
Two Hydra cells were known to remain active after the coup; one led by John Garrett, seeking to revive the organization's Project Centipede, the other led by the Red Skull. Garrett's cell was defeated by Director Coulson's team before they could implant Centipede soldiers in U.S. military ranks. In the aftermath of Garrett's defeat, S.H.I.E.L.D. was reformed to fight Hydra.
After the defeat of Garrett, a new cell led by Daniel Whitehall began a campaign to recover a mysterious alien artifact. Though the Diviner was stolen by a third party, Whitehall was able to acquire a petrified victim who came into contact with the Diviner and attempted to reverse-engineer it into a weapon, which he tested out on a wedding reception, the targets being the U.S. Navy's anti-Hydra taskforce, but the test was deemed a failure as most of the attendees survived.
After the escape of two S.H.I.E.L.D. moles within Hydra, Whitehall made his move to remove S.H.I.E.L.D. completely. He sent mercenaries led by Marcus Scarlotti to attack the United Nations building during Major Talbot's anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. speech, wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. fatigues and killing people with Splinter bombs. This had the effect of motivating Senator Ward to propose a multi-national police force to hunt down S.H.I.E.L.D. Belgium foreign minister, Julien Beckers, secretly a Hydra agent, publicly voiced opposition against the senator to trick S.H.I.E.L.D. into thinking that they'd be safe in his borders so they could be lured out and killed. Though Scarlotti's team was able to kill six S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, they, along with Beckers, were apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. and turned over to Talbot. Subsequently, Senator Ward, having made a deal with Coulson, publicly defended S.H.I.E.L.D. and condemned Hydra.
Luckily for Whitehall, the Diviner was brought to him by Calvin Zabo, who revealed the Diviner's true purpose as a key to a hidden alien city. While Grant Ward rejoined Hydra, Hydra was also attempting to locate Raina to unlock the artifact's true power. Though Raina was rescued by S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward was able to track her down through the tracker in her leg, leading to four Hydra quinjets surrounding the Bus, threatening to shoot them down if they did not hand over Raina. Ward not only took Raina, but also Skye and a tablet containing the location of the alien city. Whitehall then went to Puerto Rico, which stood atop the alien city, and began drilling right above the main temple where the Diviner was to be brought. In the resulting confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D., Whitehall was killed by Coulson.
At the biannual meeting attended by Hydra leaders, Doctor List enacted a competition to see S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed, the winner gaining the dominant claim Whitehall's former position. Some time afterwards, Sunil Bakshi, Whitehall's right-hand man, escaped S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and made his way to Octavian Bloom's estate. Convinced that other leaders of Hydra wanted to eliminate them, he and Bloom contacted Doctor List, who assured them that he and Baron von Strucker were not involved in any attacks on them. Afraid that they could be the next target, Bakshi convinced Bloom to simply kill the other three leaders. This was a ruse concocted by S.H.I.E.L.D. to eliminate Hydra's leadership, as they invaded Bloom's estate and killed him while handing Bakshi over to Talbot.
List later began following up on Whitehall's research and became interested in superhumans, seeking to track them down and experiment on them. He began tracking incidents of quantum energy bursts, suspecting a superhuman teleport was at work. At the same time, he was joined by Bakshi, who had been freed and brainwashed by Grant Ward to help Coulson infiltrate Hydra, and sent to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to capture the teleporter. Though Bakshi did not succeed in his objective, he was able to capture Deathlok and an Inhuman, Lincoln Campbell, for List's experimentation.
List moved his operation to Hydra's Arctic base to further his experiments, but this was attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. attempting to recover the prisoners and destroy the facility. In the ensuing battle, all Hydra agents in the base were killed, but Dr. List escaped.
Grant Ward's Campaign
- HYDRA is fractioned. In pieces. We're gonna rebuild it. The right way. By force.
Due to the problems among the organization's leadership, HYDRA operatives were reluctant when Grant Ward decided that he would take the reins of leadership. Ward was forced to physically engage Kebo to show his control.
For months, the bank accounts and financial transactions of HYDRA known by S.H.I.E.L.D. had no activity. Lance Hunter did research to find any activity but found nothing.
Meanwhile, Ward recruited new members for his own HYDRA cell, continuing his private war against Phil Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. He also decided to clean HYDRA from weak and corrupt members who cared only about the money. He eventually convinced Werner von Strucker, the son of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, to join HYDRA so they could rebuild the organization and make it stronger than ever. To ensure that HYDRA's ranks were filled only with the strongest and the toughest men and women, Ward and Kebo begun organizing fights for the new volunteers, accepting as new members only the winners.
Attack on the Director
- Turn around, Richy."
"Yeah, Richy. Why so shy?"
"My name isn't Richy, Director.
One of the winners in the fight club was Richy who killed Spud during his fight. Richy worked under Kebo's orders and brought to HYDRA a large weapons gear and even agreed to join a mission with Kebo. When he was brought to Ward's base, he opened fire on Ward and his men, revealing himself as Lance Hunter, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent on a revenge mission to kill Ward. A firefight started between Ward's men and Hunter and another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Melinda May soon appeared on the scene. Ward ordered Kebo to call Werner von Strucker and order him to get closer to May's ex-husband Andrew Garner so he could kill him and threaten May. Despite the video, Hunter continued advancing on Ward and Kebo. The pair managed to escape by jumping through the window and running into the truck, but not before Hunter managed to fire a shot which wounded Ward in the shoulder. When Ward did not cancel his order, von Strucker continued with his mission, killing Garner and blowing up the building where he left him.
Tensions between the Heads
- What can I do for you?"
"That's not the correct question. The correct question is, what I can offer you? The answer, in case you're wondering, is redemption."
"Oh, no, thanks. I don't need redeeming."
"Oh, I think you do. You've made some mistakes in your gameplay.
While Ward, Kebo, and their men moved to another base, Werner von Strucker went to Gideon Malick, the head of another HYDRA cell and the only modern HYDRA leader that all other heads feared. Von Strucker informed Malick about Ward's actions and he was not pleased with the news. To make the situation clear, Malick called Ward and offered him redemption for his mistakes, such as making von Strucker a pawn on the chessboard before schedule, but Ward arrogantly replied that he did not need redemption. However, knowing that von Strucker was now a damaged good that couldn't be left to run around knowing HYDRA's secrets, Malick gave his location to Ward to prevent internal fights within HYDRA's ranks and ensure Ward's cooperation in HYDRA's resurgence.
Sent by Ward, Kebo and two of his men caught up with von Strucker in Lisbon and captured him. However, the torture session was interrupted by the arrival of two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Melinda May and Natasha Romanoff, who were also looking for von Strucker. In the ensuing fight, Kebo was electrocuted to death in a swimming pool and his men were beaten by the intruders. Before he went into a coma, von Strucker told May that he saw Andrew Garner transforming into "that thing".
Though Ward's cell lost three men, the mission was a partial success. Shortly after, Ward and Malick organized a meeting to discuss joint operations against S.H.I.E.L.D. Ward revealed to Malick that he was planning the assassination of Phil Coulson, both for revenge and the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- 31 Appearances of HYDRA (Earth-1010)
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Links and References