One of my favorite villain groups in the Marvel universe is HYDRA, probably because one of my first Marvel comics was Marvel Super Action #13, reprinting a 1969 issue of Captain America (#111) where HYDRA assassins kill Captain America, recovering his costume and… a Steve Rogers mask? Could it be? Was Steve Rogers a false identity? CLIFFHANGER!
Ever since then, I’ve always loved HYDRA as a foil: from the classic HYDRA to Bob, Agent of HYDRA. Back when we ran Champions in high school, we retooled VIPER to the Marvel mainstay. When I picked up the Amazing Spider-Man around the time of Avengers Disassembled (where Spidey was a member of the Avengers), there was a great multi-issue story that featured the villanous group. By the time the 90s rolled ’round, HYDRA wasn’t a huge threat anymore. It was… well, let’s have Captain America explain it:
“For the last ten years, HYDRA has been just one more crime cartel. It hasn’t been nearly the threat it used to be. After the second world war, when it was an outgrowth of the supremist ideals of the Nazis, HYDRA was a real threat to the world, because people who only care about money can be brought out … people who care only about power can be broken, or scared away. But extremists who genuinely believe that their cause is just … those are ones to watch out for, because they would sooner destroy the world than let it become something
they don’t like.” —Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 521
The five issues of Amazing Spider-Man bring HYDRA back to the terrorist organization it once was, and they do it by (almost) killing America. Within Deathblow, your heroes will uncover a newly revitalized HYDRA, fight some too-familiar foes, and possibly make the kickoff event of Civil War be your team’s fault instead of those kids up in Connecticut.