By Jim Beard
The global terrorist group calling themselves HYDRA bit off a bit more than they could chew when they tangled with Captain America! Their battles rank as legendary and no matter how far-reaching HYDRA’s history and infamy stretches, Cap’s always going to be there to block their badness and vex their villainy.
This January brings the new limited series CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA to delve deep into said struggles, and next summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” feature film will bring the conflict to the big screen, but we thought we’d provide you with a bit of a primer on the past between these two factions.
TALES OF SUSPENSE #85 – Cap found himself leaping after the Leaper, Batroc, in a game of deadly stakes. HYDRA hired the French villain to take down the shield-slinging Avenger but after a furious round of fisticuffs, the baddies decided to try and shoot Cap in the back. Uh-oh! Batroc’s sense of honor wouldn’t stand for such low-brow tactics and he soon joined his opponent against HYDRA. Guess who won.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #110 – After a humdinger with the Hulk, Cap ran into young Rick Jones, who insisted on becoming the new Bucky. Reluctantly, the hero allowed the lad to don the costume and follow him into action against HYDRA’s new leader: Madame Hydra! The female proved to be the deadliest of the species and Rick watched in horror as his new partner seemingly…died?
CAPTAIN AMERICA #147 – This battle with HYDRA brought their leader out into the open, as the Supreme Hydra stood revealed. Cap and his new partner the Falcon wrestled with HYDRA goons until the whole shebang turned upside down. The Supreme Hydra turned out to be none other than the son of the Kingpin, but the true leader of the sneaky snakes went by the name of the Red Skull.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #274 – Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, scourge of the Allies and Captain America during World War II—back from the dead and in cahoots with HYDRA? It appeared to be true, so Cap and the reunited Howling Commandos ran off to rescue General “Happy Sam” Sawyer from HYDRA’s clutches. Sadly, the General died in the melee and Cap discovered Strucker to be a rascally robot duplicate.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #5 (1998) – Cap spent many an hour cleaning out a HYDRA base only to be rewarded with the news that the Sensational Hydra wanted him dead! One HYDRA challenge later and our hero raced to the Empire State Building to confront his new foe, but the tables turned and the Sensational Hydra—a Skrull in disguise—took Cap’s place for much mischief and mayhem.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #29 (2002) – With the delectable Diamondback and the fashionable Nick Fury at his side, Captain America plunged headlong into a new era of resistance against the hordes of HYDRA. Sounds like fun, eh? Well, throw Mister Hyde, a coup against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the devastating events of Avengers: Disassembled into the mix and let’s just say the shield-slinger had seen better days and easier missions…
CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA #1 hits stores on January 5, 2011.