Hydra has been menacing around the Marvel multiverse for decades, and in that time, it has had some impressive leadership including Baron Strucker and the Red Skull. But some of the most charismatic leaders of this evil organization have been the women at the helm, who usually take the title, Madame Hydra.
She’s brilliant, she’s deadly, and she has a stylistic liking for green and gold. She’s faced off against Captain America, SHIELD, and the Avengers but there’s more to her than a color scheme and evil intentions. It is possible that she might be pulling the strings in the MCU as well, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s cameo in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so it would be wise for everyone to know who Madame Hydra is.
10 There is more than one Madame Hydra
Madame Hydra is a title, more than a single person, and it’s been held by several women in the history of the organization, and they’ve had extreme influence over events in their time at the peak. Elisa Sinclair, for example, persuaded the future Hydra Cap, Steve Rogers, and his mother to join Hydra in the 1930s.
Other high-profile Madame Hydras have been Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who was a plant, there to destabilize Hydra, and Ophelia Sarkissian, or Viper, who was a student of Baron Von Strucker.
9 How does one become Madame Hydra?
Generally, becoming one of the heads of Hydra will be enough to claim the title, but that is easier said than done within such a ruthless group. Most of them have had some connections to other Hydra heads, or people of influence to ease the climb.
Viper had ties to Hydra from her childhood and was raised to be Madame Hydra. Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine had built an impressive espionage resume by the time she took the role, both in and out of Hydra.
8 Not every female leader within Hydra gets the title of Madame Hydra
This can be due to leading a smaller faction or reorganizing of the Hydra brand, like Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter, leading Neo-Hydra.
7 She comes up against some heavy hitters
As part of Hydra, there are a set of heroes that are more likely to cause problems for Madame Hydra in her schemes. Captain America, Nick Fury, Spider-Woman, and SHIELD are all high on those lists, but Wolverine, Shadowcat, and other mutants have caused problems for her too.
She has the same heroes to fight that Hydra does in general but depending on who holds the title at a given time, that list can expand to any corner of the Marvel Universe.
6 Evil allies are plentiful for Madame Hydra, at least in the short term
Again, this depends on who has the title at the time, but versions of Madame Hydra have teamed up with other heads of Hydra, and like-minded baddies all over the Marvel universe.
Baron Strucker, the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, and Hive have all served her purposes. She’s also been involved in plans with Sabretooth, Sin, and Crossbones. Big plans need lots of support, after all.
5 Susan Storm was Madame Hydra in an alternate universe
The Exiles run into all kinds of twisted and evil versions of the heroes fans love in their multiverse travels. One of these was Madame Hydra, Susan Storm. She and her lover, Wolverine, took over Earth, squashing any resistance in front of them, including Reed Richards, who led a faction of that resistance.
While this was only shown for a three-issue arc, the alternative version of one of Marvel’s beloved heroes into Madame Hydra was shocking because Madame Hydra is the epitome of what Hydra stands for.
4 She has existed in the MCU before… sort of.
In the fourth season of Agents of SHIELD, Phil Coulson and his team are sucked into a world where Hydra won. In this world, the A.I. Aida took the role of Madame Hydra. In this alternate world, known as the Framework, many of the characters are agents of Hydra, some very high-ranking, and all working for or with Aida.
She is brutal toward the resistance to her rule and authoritarian to the rest of the population. While it was not real-world—as it was a computer simulation that all the characters were plugged into—it showed how powerful the title of Madame Hydra could be.
3 She is the catalyst for Secret Empire
In the timeline that was created by a Red Skull-manipulated Kobik—the human child form of the cosmic cube—Elisa Sinclair rescued Sarah Rogers and her son Steve from her abusive husband, inviting her and her son to join the ranks of Hydra in the United States. That change in the timeline turned Steve Rogers from a good man, set on protecting those who need help, to the long con, power-hungry dictator the Secret Empire event presented.
Being a powerful sorceress and in league with Old Gods, she was functionally immortal and showed up to help Steve become Hydra Supreme in the present day.
2 She was once married to Wolverine
Viper, or Ophelia Sarkissian, has had the most powerful ties to Hydra throughout her life and the longest run as Madame Hydra. In her work, she’s crossed paths with any number of heroes and spies. In a bid for the crown of Madripoor, she called in an old debt from Logan, and the two were married.
She used his reputation to solidify her claim and rule Madripoor. Ironically, she also used this position to keep Hydra, and the Hand, off the island. She also made an appearance in the Fox movie The Wolverine, in a similar capacity.
1 There is no loyalty in Hydra, even at the top
When Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine took power within Hydra, becoming the new Madame Hydra, her loyalties were questionable at best. Her real mission was to destabilize the organization from the inside, and her position gave her ample opportunity to do so.
She even managed to kill the previous Madame Hydra, Viper, in front of the other five heads of Hydra. She was, in truth, working for Leviathan which was a rival organization with ties to Nick Fury.
NEXT: 10 Secrets About HYDRA That No Marvel Fan Is Supposed To Know
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