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 hasnâ€™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 donâ€™t like.” â€”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.