Like with any superhero franchise, there has been a steady stream of bad guys to make its way through the world of Marvel. One of the most infamous evil organizations has been the HYDRA organization. While Hydra has been around since ancient times as a cult, the more commonly known interpretation of the group has been around since the rise of the evilest powers to have come out of Europe before the outbreak of the second World War. The modern version of Hydra is highly involved in scientific research, advanced technology developments, and of course, working towards their lofty goals of world domination. Another thing that is pretty well known about Hydra is they tend to fail at their objectives. Even so, they have millions of members across the globe that will proudly follow the highest ranks of the organization.
With all the failures, it’s hard to imagine that they’d have so many members, but I guess the temptation of taking over the world and all the spoils that go along with that are just too tempting. Since this is an incredibly large global organization, they have got to have some rules, right? Right, well, sort of. Of course, there are some rules, but some of the rules are more so things that are expected of the members of the Hydra organization. Some of these rules and expectations are reasonable, but others are downright scary! Let’s just say more than one involves some form of human experimentation. These members must have been incredibly loyal to have put up with these things. Check out the list below to see what rules and expectations members of Hydra had to endure.
20 Failure Warrants A Loss Of Life
One thing that is incredibly common for the Hydra organization is failing in their missions. It is expected really — the bad guys typically lose. With how normal this is, one has to wonder if there is a strict punishment for the Hydra members if they fail to complete their objectives? The answer to that is yes, very much so, yes. While the use of this method of punishment varies, one of the rules for Hydra members is that if they are unsuccessful in their mission, their life may come to a swift end.
This was a policy in effect during the early era of the von Strucker reign of Hydra (before and after his first time passing away). As one may expect, this policy has resulted in a lot of infighting among members, and a lot of instances of them offing each other more often than their intended victims. I wonder if this is part of the reason why so many Hydra members go into hiding? If failure is a typical mission outcome, I sure would be going into hiding! I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather go hide out somewhere instead of possibly meeting a brutal end.
19 Even Hydra Members Have To Go To School
Just because you’re a bad guy, or more specifically the child of a bad guy, doesn’t mean you get to skip school! The Hydra Preparatory Academy was an old decommissioned military bunker hidden within the Appalachian Mountains that was turned into a boarding school. The school was the place where the children of Hydra members were sent so that they be pretty much brainwashed into the beliefs and ideology of the organization. Not only were the students taught the ways of Hydra, they would eventually be given their future roles within Hydra towards the end of their time at the preparatory school.
Some of those that have stayed within the halls of the school were at some point rather infamous within Hydra. This includes Daniel Whitehall, Steger, Wolfgang von Strucker, Werner von Strucker, Jasper Sitwell, Hale, and Ruby. Eventually, the school was used by Captain Hale as her personal base though. Within the academy/base, there was also a prison, which at one point held Phil Coulson. Of course, being Captain Hale’s daughter, Ruby became one of the Hydra operatives that worked within this newly formed base. I suppose being the daughter of a high-ranking member has some perks after all!
18 Sometimes Members Were Trained Just To Be Ended
Aside from being known for their constant failings and experiments, high ranking Hydra officials would sometimes go beyond just messing with its’ members. There have been instances where recruits would be trained (and very well, mind you) just so they could be subject to an awful fate. One prime example of this is of Red Skull and Taskmaster. Red Skull not only helped Taskmaster escape a prison sentence, he started funding Taskmaster’s own activities. One of these included having Taskmaster train students in the fighting style of Captain America.
The purpose of the would-be Hydra members being trained was pretty nefarious.
You see, Red Skull had a newly cloned body of Captain America and wanted to get into prime physical fighting shape so that he himself could take on Captain (Steve Rogers) and Captain America (U.S. Agent, John Walker). The way he planned on getting into prime fighting condition was to use those unfortunate souls trained by Taskmaster. Red Skull didn’t just fight Taskmaster’s trainees, he ended the life of each one of them for no other reason than to show how powerful his new body really was. While it may be tempting to be taught to fight like Captain America, it could be a set up for one’s demise.
17 Hydra Members Used To Participate In Human Sacrifice
Before Hydra evolved into its modern incarnation, it was a religious cult. The cult that eventually became the more modern organization we all know and loathe (or love? I’m not judging here), has been around for a very long time. It all started thousands of years ago, when a rogue Kree faction decided to create the Inhumans on ancient Earth. The Kree, realizing this was a mistake, created the Monolith to banish the Inhumans. However, one Inhuman that was born was ridiculously powerful, and we know him as Hive. He was banished to another planet, and his followers, during ancient times, would make religious human sacrifices to him.
This evolved over time, but sacrifices were still made.
Still, before the evolution of our favorite group of bad guys, a secret society had formed in the 1800s that would gather in England to select a member to go through the portal. While it was a sacrifice, as the chosen member never came back, they were attempting to bring Hive back to Earth. Even though this always (for many centuries anyways) led to the end of the life of who ever was “lucky” enough to be selected to be swallowed up by the portal to another world, it was considered a great honor.
16 Members May Have To Be A Double Agent
Being an agent for Hydra in itself must be a mentally exhausting job. You're constantly either in hiding, fighting superheroes, working to build crazy impressive tech, and yet always seeming to fail in the main objective of world domination. And yet some lucky agents get to be double agents, adding more to the chaos of being a member of Hydra. There have been double agents within the ranks of Hydra, and some have infiltrated some pretty impressive positions. Let’s have a look at some of these.
Double agents have included members of SHIELD, various U.S. government positions (the NSA, governors, congressmen, the FBI, just to name a few), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the GRU and SVR of Russia. However, like with most things concerning Hydra, most members who were double agents would eventually be exposed and taken care of in some form or another, be it imprisonment or by being taken out entirely. While the life of a double agent had to of been a huge burden at times, most agents (especially those that infiltrated SHIELD) did dig up quite of bit of intel for the Hydra organization, and at one point was even able to turn the world, including the U.S. government, against SHIELD.
15 If You Were A Member During The War, You Might Have Been One Of The Bad Guys
The modern incarnation of the Hydra organization started shortly before World War II. As the enemies were coming into power in Germany, Johann Schmidt, a secret member of Hydra, tried to join Germany’s special weapons division. This didn’t pan out, so he joined the SS instead. Schmidt and his crew took over a weapons program and formed his own research division named HYDRA-Abteilung that was approved by the evilest man of WWII. The research division was in charge of science experiments and occult investigations. As well, they soon would develop highly advanced weapons thanks to Dr. Zola.
During this time, not only did HYDRA create many weapons, they were also heavily involved with some of the fighting and came to obtain the Tesseract and the Obelisk. Hydra did a lot of work to build themselves up during World War II, and before the fall of the bad guys would even have millions of foot soldiers under their command all over the world, from everywhere to small towns to large, bustling cities. Before the war ended, Hydra would begin to disassociate itself with the evil powers of the time, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that at one point anyone associated with Hydra was also associated with the villains of the Second World War.
14 Hydra Members Were Often Exposed To Alien Technology
While maybe not full on Hydra members, volunteers would occasionally allow Hydra to conduct human experiments on them (why anyone would agree to this is beyond me). As well, if you happened to be a prisoner of Hydra (even as a member of Hydra), you were likely to be subject to some crazy science experimentations before your life came to a brutal end. Many of those that fell to brainwashing techniques incorporated by Hydra would end up being experimented on. Some of the more interesting experimentations include the use of Loki’s Scepter, the Tesseract, and the Obelisk.
In the mid-1940s, Reinhardt did many experiments using the Obelisk, which he saw to have potential to be used as a weapon in his quest to take over the world. Unfortunately, all but one of his test subjects succumbed to the fatal effects of the alien Obelisk. This also turned out to be true with experiments concerning Loki’s Scepter, except two had survived instead of just one. While not used in human experiments, the Tesseract was used in experimenting with weapons. Once it was discovered and retrieved by Schmidt, he brought it to Dr. Zola to see what it could do. Well, it turned out to be extremely powerful and was used in the created of the Valkyrie and its flying nuclear bombs.
13 Taking Control Of Minds Is Commonplace
With an organization with insane scientific experiments and technology at their disposal, brainwashing was not so uncommon. Now, don’t get me wrong, plenty of those within Hydra did not need to be brainwashed to go along with the many malevolent plans and tasks dished out by the higher-ups of the Hydra organization. Brainwashing was more so used either to influence actions or as a way to make an intended target on Hydra’s side. Interestingly, a lot of the brainwashing was done by one of the most prominent members of Hydra, Daniel Whitehall. There have been many cases of brainwashing done on members either in or associated with SHIELD.
Some of the more notable persons to have been brainwashed by the Hydra organization includes Bucky Barnes (for the Winter Soldier program), Agent 33, Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, Donnie Gill, and Carl Creel. Many others were also brainwashed to do the biding of Hydra, including resistant children within the Framework. One of Hydra’s most loyal members, Sunil Bakshi was even subjected to brainwashing later on by Agent 33 and Grant Ward in an attempt to have Bakshi become loyal to Ward. Even though most of these weren’t originally Hydra members, it was still a very real possibility that anyone within the organization could be subjected to brainwashing if deemed necessary.
12 Some Members Have Been In Charge Of Highly Advanced Tech
Considering the modern day version of the Hydra organization started out as a science and research branch of the German SS during the second World War, it should go without saying that in their midst was some incredibly advanced technology. This included weapons, airships, boats, and much, much more. You would think with such cutting-edge tech, it would mostly be those in charge of overseeing the development of their technology. However, it really seems to vary. Sometimes you just kind of have to suck up a bit in order to make it to the higher ranks.
While it was generally higher ranked members that physically oversaw the facilities in which research and tech development would be occurring in, it was typically well-regarded scientists who would be tasked with taking charge in analysis, research and development. One odd case of this was when Jemma Simmons was acting as a double agent for SHIELD and was being promoted within the ranks of Hydra due to her passion for science. Whitehall even gave the order for her and a few others to work to obtain the Obelisk in order to weaponize it. Obviously, most of those in charge of developing the technology wouldn’t have been “former” SHIELD agents, but hey, for science, am I right!
11 Members Created A World Of Wars And Threats
It should come as no surprise that members of Hydra, including the higher ranks, were typically labeled as terrorists. As part of their quest for world domination, Hydra operatives would often meddle in world events causing chaos and wars. The best example of this comes from the events of the Cold War. At the time, those not involved with Hydra had thought the terrorist organization had disbanded before the end of the second World War. Obviously, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. During this time, the Hydra organization was still very active within the Soviet Union.
Many of the what could easily be considered some of the worst events during the Cold War were found to be orchestrated by none other than Hydra itself. These events included the Cuban missile crisis, the public ending of JFK, the rise of Muammar Gaddafi to power in Libya, the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the global recession of the early 1980s, and multiple more horrible events that had drastic impacts on the world. It was during this time that the American government, among others, realized that Hydra was much more active than they could have ever thought! I guess when you’re tasked by the Hydra leaders to cause global strife, it’s go big or go home (without the actual option to opt out, of course).
10 Hydra Scientists Worked In Very Cold Locations
There have been Hydra facilities all over the globe. Some of these locations have been hidden in plain sight, in castles, abandoned military bunks, caves, and more. Probably some of the worst locations (in my opinion, anyway) are the ones in very, very cold climates.
Two of the major research facilities were at one point located in the Arctic and Siberia.
The HYDRA Siberian Facility was operated by a Hydra branch that was within the Russian Armed Forces (see, infiltration everywhere!). The biggest operation to come from this facility was the Winter Soldier Program, and it also contained the Winter Soldier. However, in 1991, after the dissolution of USSR, this facility was abandoned. The Arctic HYDRA Research Facility was a research center mostly used for research on enhanced people. It was commanded by Dr. List, and as one may imagine, there was quite a bit of human experimentation done at this facility. Some of the experiments done on those captured and brought to this location would last longer than 24 hours! Three of the more well-known captives at the Arctic facility were Ethan Johnston, Mike Peterson, and Lincoln Campbell; none of which made it out alive. Unlike the Siberian facility, this one wasn’t abandoned, but instead was attacked by Phil Coulson and his team, and was destroyed in the process.
9 Hydra Or S.H.I.E.L.D.? Why Not Both!
Since its creation, SHIELD has seemed to be the biggest threat and enemy of Hydra. As soon as SHIELD was created, members of Hydra were tasked with infiltrating the organization. This probably started with one of the most infamous scientists and bright minds of Hydra, Dr. Arnim Zola. Even though Dr. Zola was recruited by SHIELD, he used his position to rebuild HYDRA after the end of World War II.
From early on, there had multiple Hydra members that were double agents within the ranks of SHIELD.
Not only were there double agents, but sleeper agents; some of which were appointed to incredibly high levels within SHIELD. This included Agents Garret and Sitwell, and even the leader of the World Security Council. One of the most loved and hated members of SHIELD that turned out to be a double agent was Grant Ward, who would later go on to leading Hydra himself. From years of infiltration within SHIELD, Hydra was able to gain a ton of valuable information and use the agency to manipulate various situations. They were able to corrupt a significant amount of SHIELD agents, and if anyone got in their way, they were secretly dealt with in horrible ways.
8 Working With Volunteers
All great organizations need to have some volunteers from time to time, and that is even true with the Hydra organization! Volunteers came around for various reasons. Sometimes it was to volunteer to beat up other volunteers to see if one was worthy of becoming a new member of the organization. Some other volunteers even went so far as to allow the scientists of Hydra to conduct experiments on them! Within the country of Sokovia, there was a major rebellion taking place, and it just so happened that Hydra had a research base there.
While the Hydra Research Base was home to many important items, the most important was Loki’s Scepter. Using the rebellion as a cover and an excuse, Dr. List approached citizens within Sokovia, promising them powers to help stabilize their torn country. It was for this reason that they were able to round up plenty of volunteers to test out the effects of the Scepter. The most notable of those volunteers were Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, twin children. All of the volunteers ended up losing their lives, except for the twins, who became extremely powerful. So, I guess, in the end, sometimes being a volunteer to an evil group has some perks.
7 Science And Domination Are The Name Of The Game
When Red Skull took over the uprising of Hydra at the end of the second World War, his goal was world domination. To be honest, it seems every single head of Hydra has this goal, but really it seems that the Skull started it all. To meet these lofty goals, science became a huge part of Hydra; really, it was always a big part since it’s inception. Over time, many facilities were created to serve out science and research. Some of it was human experimentation, some were with weapon and vehicle technologies, others were even crazier and involved experimenting with alien technology.
Hydra has certainly had some amazing scientific minds in their midst.
No, really, we should all be able to at least agree on that one aspect of Hydra. So, if you don’t think you could be a foot soldier and deal with combat and you want to be in Hydra, your best bet is to be good with some aspect of science. Combining their advanced science and technology with dreams of the destruction of SHIELD, really anyone who got in their way, and a new world order, it could almost be understandable for those within Hydra to believe they could truly someday meet these goals. There have actually been a couple of times that Hydra has come close to world domination.
6 Showing Loyalty To Hydra
With any large organization, loyalty is expected. There are many ways to show loyalty, but some members of Hydra have gone to an extreme length to show their utter devotion to the group of bad guys. Aside from the obvious show of allegiance of sticking with a group that seems to fail all of the time, one particular agent risked his life by trying to end it (don’t worry, he didn’t succeed). Sunil Bakshi was a member of Hydra that eventually earned the trust of Daniel Whitehall, becoming his right-hand man. Overtime, Bakshi became involved in many of the missions carried out by Hydra; this includes kidnapping of various SHIELD agents, attempts of obtaining the mystifying Obelisk, and using various brutal methods of interrogation to those he kidnapped.
Unfortunately, he was eventually captured and held captive by SHIELD after being tricked by the double agent Grant Ward. During an intense interrogation by Agent Bobbi Morse, Bakshi started to crack and revealed some information about Daniel Whitehall. So, what did Bakshi do? He did what any fanatically loyal servant of Hydra would do, he decided it best to go ahead and crunch up the cyanide pill he had hidden in his cheekbone! Don’t worry, that wasn’t how Bakshi met his end, but still, just shows you how loyal some of the members of Hydra truly were.
5 Green Like A Snake
Bad guys and superheroes alike typically come with a costume. How else will we know who is who if someone isn’t wearing an eye-catching uniform? Being a super villainous organization, Hydra also has a set of uniforms for its’ members. Generally speaking, when one becomes a member of the Hydra organization they are issued a green body suit styled costume that comes with a cowl that covers about half of their face. Typically, there is also some yellow in there, especially on the uniforms of the foot soldiers.
However, not all of those within Hydra don a costume or uniform. Some wore a different uniform altogether during the Hydra era of World War II, but those were similar to that of the German military uniforms, but with a Hydra emblem instead of the SS emblem. It seems like that this is not a steadfast rule that must be followed, which just makes me wonder why they even bother handing out uniforms. I suppose it makes sense for the foot soldiers, since a lot of those that aren’t foot soldiers are either incredibly high ranking, double agents, or scientists.
4 Will The Real Supreme Hydra Please Stand Up
Like with any organization, there are times when the leader changes. There have been many leaders within Hydra. Some were known as the heads of Hydra, while the most important leader with the most authority has been known as the Supreme Hydra. Over the years, there have been multiple different Supreme Hydra, but things became a bit chaotic after the demise of Strucker at the hands of his longtime archnemesis Nick Fury.
With Strucker gone, Hydra branch leaders scrambled in attempts to make it to the top.
Some Hydra groups separated from Hydra entirely, such as A.I.M. and the Secret Empire. Those left were nothing more than mediocrities of the former glory of leaders within Hydra. While some members worked hard to climb the ranks took over the various factions within Hydra. However, what must have been incredibly confusing for lower ranks was the lack of a true leader. The higher ups that became faction leaders had a tendency to call themselves the Supreme Hydra. It has been claimed that since the ending of Strucker, no single leader has been skillful enough or powerful enough to return the organization of Hydra to its’ former glory. Even so, I’m sure that hasn’t stopped their ultimate goal of taking over the world!
3 The Best At Hide And Seek
Who doesn’t love a good game of hide and seek? It seems the members of the Hydra organization are the ultimate experts of this childhood game. Time after time, a situation will come up that results in Hydra members going into hiding. For example, at one point a good portion of Hydra’s operations were destroyed, so what did the last remaining leader of the Winter Soldier Program do? Colonel Vasily Karpov went into hiding, of course! After the end of the second World War, many Hydra scientists had run off to South America and went into hiding, hoping to escape being brought to justice for their war crimes.
It has been said that Bob, an agent of Hydra that was later kidnapped by Deadpool, had talked about the training provided by Hydra. It’s been said that much of the training provided to lesser foot soldiers included things such as hiding behind one another, running away when confronted with danger, and having the mind frame of the old “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me” adage used by many small children when playing peek-a-boo. Whether it’s lowly foot soldiers or the much scarier higher ranks of Hydra, they do tend to hide a lot, and if I’m being honest, they’re pretty good at it.
2 Fight Club Style
We are all familiar with the hazing style rituals of fraternities and some not so friendly workplaces. It should come as no surprise that there have been similar things to happen within the Hydra organization. There haven’t really been any notable instances of this in the older versions of Hydra, but when Grant Ward decided he should take over and form his own Hydra cell, this all changed. Ward didn’t do this with new recruits, but instead with hopefuls.
Once Ward took over, he decided that Hydra needed to be rebuilt.
He disposed of members that he felt were corrupt and weak. As for rebuilding the ranks, he wanted only the toughest and strongest of people to be part of his vision for Hydra. With his right-hand man, Kebo, Ward set out looking for volunteers that they would then organize fights for; a last man standing kind of fight club (yes, people were fully willing to take part!). Those that didn’t meet their end were considered winners and would be accepted as new members of Hydra. Well, I guess that’s one way to go about it; if they’re not tough enough, let the would-be new members off them in hand to hand combat!
1 Members Truly Believe In The Hydra Motto
Every great organization has a motto to help inspire a sense of pride within its’ members. Hydra’s motto is “Cut off one head and two more will its place.” This is in reference to the mythological creature known as the Lernaean Hydra; a serpent-like water monster with many heads of Greek and Roman mythology. It had a regenerative healing property that allowed for a couple of new heads to regrow every time one was chopped off. The Hydra organization had many higher ranking leaders known as heads, and if one was taken out, more replaced them, much to the dismay of the heroes of the world.
The motto has also been used as a way to show how resilient the group has been and that even in the face of resistance and possible destruction, their strength and numbers would only grow. Considering the many failed missions of Hydra, the organization’s members seemed to take pride in their motto, and used it to keep motivated in times of failure. You know, that’s okay really. Hydra may have always been bent on world domination and using science for evil, but at least their motto worked for keeping spirits up in times of stress within the organization!