It doesn't stand for anything, it's not an acronym, but they're a
self-important organization so they like to have it in all caps where possible.
Von Strucker took the name from the many-headed beastie Hercules fought back
before there were super-heroes populating every corner of the planet.

Instructed by his boss, the Red Skull, to form a fascist power base in the
Far East, Baron Von Strucker developed a partnership with a Japanese
subversive group which became the nucleus of the original HYDRA. After World
War II, the many-tendriled organization became a powerful and dangerous force
against the free world as it actively worked to over-throw governments and
undermine economies. HYDRA collapsed after the destruction of Hydra Island by
Nick Fury; however, splinters of the group remained and eventually HYDRA was
reformed. During the early stages of this reconstruction it seemed as if
HYDRA had abandoned its fascist policies and would achieve world dominance
more through illicit commerce and criminal terrorism than political and
ideological terrorism. The resurrection of Baron Von Strucker also meant a
rebirth of the Nazi rhetoric the group was founded upon.

HYDRA's many members are required to be athletic and well-versed in
hand-to-hand combat, firearms, and advanced technology. In the early days,
particularly brilliant members were shunted off into A.I.M., the equivalent
of a terrorist think-tank. Much of HYDRA's futuristic weaponry is based on
extra-terrestrial Gnobian technology, which Von Strucker came into contact
with in the waning days of World War II.

HYDRA is the opponent of all defenders of freedom, which of course means
Captain America, the Avengers, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. just can't stay
away from anyone wearing that tacky green uniform. In recent years, HYDRA
has also had to deal with such upstarts as Silver Sable and her Wild Pack,
Iron Fist, DareDevil and even former member the Kingpin.

A number of distinctive criminals have been associated with HYDRA over the
years. Back before he started looking at the world through Rose-colored
glasses, Richard Fisk headed up their Las Vegas operations. Another Spidey
mainstay, Silvermane, became the Supreme HYDRA when he got fed up with
Maggia infighting, but scurried back to his mob job when he realized there
were worse things out there than Spider-Man. Viper once called herself
Madame Hydra, and still tints her hair green as a salute to the old HYDRA
color scheme. The Grim Reaper may well have gotten his start with the
organization, and once co-led the New York branch of HYDRA. Jessica Drew,
the original Spider-Woman, trained with the group but blew her first
assignment when she couldn't bring herself to kill Nick Fury. HYDRA also
uses free-lance super-powered operatives when it needs to, such as the
Chameleon, the Space Phantom, and Skeleton Ki.

Far from being a covert terrorist group, HYDRA thrives on grandstand plays.
They have twice managed to hold the planet hostage, once with the Betatron
Bomb, and later with the Death Spore Bomb. They also achieved a coup of
astonishing brilliance and brutality when they murdered the entire graduating
class of S.H.I.E.L.D., eliminating 1500 new agents before they had a chance
to became threats.

Characters and Activity

Complete Team Roster

Image Codename Real Name
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