It’s bad enough joining the ranks of one of Marvel’s most evil organizations, but it’s even worse when you’re just bad at being bad. There are some real evil beasts within Hydra’s organizations, such as all-time A-list evil-doers like the Red Skull and Arnim Zola. Then there are some laughably non-threatening characters about as vicious as the calamari on their team logo.
Among the worst of Hydra, you have Hydra operatives that want to be taken seriously and just don’t have what it takes, as well as Hydra grunts just trying to earn their keep and maintain the company’s shockingly reasonable dental benefits. Of course there are also those characters who are formidable in their own right, but when it came to either running or joining Hydra, they didn’t vibe with the organization’s corporate culture, or proved to have ulterior motives counter to Hydra’s fascist philosophies.
RELATED: The 15 Most Evil Members Of Hydra
It’s hard to have too much sympathy for anyone who even temporary aligned with a secret evil organization and each one of Hydra’s worst have their share of misdeeds. Fortunately for the Marvel Universe at large, they were also too lame or too incompetent to do much more than fail spectacularly in their time with Marvel’s most notorious sinister cabal.
The Kingpin is not the sort to let others play him for a fool, yet that’s exactly what happened to Wilson Fisk when he tried to take over the hordes of Hydra. In Captain America #147, Kingpin is returned to health by his son (Richard Fisk, aka The Schemer), and quickly takes over as the director of Hydra’s Las Vegas faction. It’s Big Willie’s first connection to Hydra and he seems to be taking to the role before it’s revealed that he and his son were essentially pawns in the Red Skull’s master plan to get back at Captain America.
If that wasn’t humiliating enough, Kingpin was later bested by Daredevil after The Man Without Fear spread the story that the Kingpin had again been manipulated as a Hydra stooge. Hydra laid waste to the Kingpin’s empire and sent him on the run (Daredevil #300), proving once and for all that the Kingpin and Hydra simply do not mix.
14. HANK JOHNSON
Hank Johnson is the epitome of a Hydra scrub just trying to get by. In the 2015 “Secret Wars” tie-in one-shot Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra, we see a day in the life of a Hydra lackey, as Hank goes through the motions of non-stop shoulder raises and shouting about limbs. It’s an extremely well-executed comedy story from Curb Your Enthusiasm executive producer and current Veep showrunner David Mandel (and artist Michael Walsh).
Hank’s a schlubby, unremarkable Hydra agent, with a wife and family he’s trying to support with his z-list villainy. There are a near infinite variety of superior ways to do this (last we checked, most accounting firms didn’t have strong Nazi ties), but few of them would lead to getting hit on by Viper at a Hydra office party.
13. THE MILITANT
Not only is The Militant a pitiful copy of Captain America for Hydra’s faux Avengers, but due to “Secret Empire” and Hydra Cap, he’s also now entirely extraneous. Hydra’s “Hydra Four” originated in Amazing Spider-Man #519 (by J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato) as Avengers mimics to take down Spidey and the New Avengers. In addition to the Militant, there was Tactical Force (Iron Man copy), Bowman (Hawkeye copy), and Hammer (hilariously on the nose Thor copy).
To be fair, the Militant does actually hold his own with a still heroic Captain America during their brief encounter, before being ordered to retreat. Barring a major “Secret Empire” reveal that Hydra Cap has actually been The Militant all this time (we’re not holding our breath), this sad Cap poser has never amounted to much of anything, likely peaking in Rick Remender’s “Secret Wars” tie-in Hail Hydra.
12. AGENT H
To her credit, Agent H was supremely qualified within Hydra’s ranks, declared the first female agent to achieve Assassin Squad status in Hydra’s debut in Strange Tales #135. Sadly for Hydra, Agent H’s devotion to the cause didn’t last a second after she saw Nick Fury’s masculine heroism (1960’s comics!) and began to see her Supreme Leader father for the tyrannical villain he truly was.
Agent H helps Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. overthrow Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s original incarnation of Hydra, proving her own worth as a reformed hero as well as her most-wanted status within the ranks of Hydra. Agent H should have little doubt she made the right call, as, towards the end of his reign, her own father seriously contemplated destroying her and every Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent inside his raided compound.
Although he’s infrequently associated with Hydra, Deadpool’s right hand Weasel pretended to be a Hydra inventor for just long enough to qualify for one of the worst limbs they’ve ever cut off. In Cable and Deadpool, Weasel infiltrates a Hydra facility by convincing the organization he can create a functioning teleporter and that his secret identity is the Penetraitor (Deadpool comics FTW).
Weasel has the last laugh against Hydra, as his teleporter actually sends fleeing Hydra agents straight to jail. During an attack on the facility by Wolverine, Deadpool and Bob, Agent of Hydra use the rampaging X-Man’s cover to free Weasel.
10. THE SCHEMER
After rising to the rank of Hydra’s Supreme Leader (Nevada Division), The Schemer, aka The Rose, aka Richard Fisk, found himself a pawn of the Red Skull in Captain America #145 to #148. Much like his father, the Kingpin, Richard Fisk is made to look the fool by the evil Skull. Unlike the Kingpin, though, Richard Fisk was manipulated by the Skull for the entirety of his scheme and ended the story on life support!
Even as Supreme Leader, the Schemer proved largely ineffective, restoring Wilson Fisk to health only to lose virtually all his decision making powers to his domineering father. Richard Fisk’s allegiance to Hydra was clearly only for the duration of this narrative, healing his father and then moving on to all sorts of other complicated rebrands and battles with the Amazing Spider-Man.
Like the Militant, Bowman is a member of the Hydra Four, who are also known as Hydra’s genetically modified Avengers wannabes. With the exception of the Marvel: Avengers Alliance mobile game appearances, Bowman has never made much of a name for himself in the comics. This isn’t too hard to understand, given Bowman clearly drew the short-end of the gene-modification stick. Whereas other Hydra agents are modified to duplicate the power of Thor, or the strength and tactical genius of Steve Rogers, Bowman gets modified with Hawkeye’s marksmanship.
Now, we’re all for defending Hawkeye’s value as a member of the Avengers (he single-handedly saved the entire team from the Collector’s clutches during “The Korvac Saga!”), but if you’re handing out Thor-level strength to Hydra agents, would you really want to get stuck with archaic mastery of a bow and arrow?
It’s important to note up front that there have been several variations on the “Bruiser” codename within the Marvel Universe. Most notably, the superhumanly strong and impossibly delightful Molly Hayes (from Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways) has technically gone by “Bruiser” in her time with the Runaways. The Bruiser who qualifies for Hydra’s worst, though, debuted in Daredevil #5 by Mark Waid and Marcos Martin. This Bruiser (whose secret identity remains unknown) simply works for any organization that will have him, with a costume that prominently champions the logos of Hydra, AIM, the Maggia, the Serpent Society, and the Secret Empire (before, you know, 2017’s Secret Empire). He essentially looks like a Luchador with NASCAR sponsorship aspirations.
While humorous, Bruiser’s “all affiliations” status makes him a fairly distracted Hydra agent and, despite his “human bulldozer” abilities, Bruiser gets his leg broken by Daredevil in his first outing.
7. JAKE FURY
*Spoilers for Secret Warriors Vol. 1 Follow!*
The reveal of Jacob Fury’s status as a Hydra double agent in Jonathan Hickman’s 2008 to 2010 run on Secret Warriors is one of the best moments from that great comic book series, and one of the worst turns for Hydra in recent memory. In Secret Warriors #25, we learn that Jake Fury has been working undercover as Hydra’s Kraken, and working with his brother Nick Fury to take down the organization once and for all. Not only is Jake Fury posing as the Kraken, but we also learn that he killed the original Kraken, Daniel Whitehall, who Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans may recognize as the nearly immortal Nazi from season two.
Jake Fury is devastating to Hydra, scheming for civil war and destruction within Hydra’s ranks, and ultimately proving successful. Jake Fury earns his status as an all-time great spy, but is one of the most damaging Hydra members of all time.
You know the worst kind of Hydra agent? It may well be the one you create in a lab who wakes up wanting to stone-cold murder you and everyone you work with. That’s exactly what Hydra wound up with in X-Men: Evolution after creating Laura Kinney, aka X-23.
Her animated series origins are quite a bit different than her eventual comics entrance, but animated X-23 is a Hydra product through and through. In X-Men: Evolution, X-23 is perpetually on the run from Hydra, fearing for both her own safety and the notion that Hydra may capture fellow X-Men for further experiments. Ultimately, X-23 gets her revenge on Hydra by blowing up Madame Hydra’s ship, leading to the arrest of many top Hydra agents, including Omega Red.
5. COMMANDER KRAKEN
Commander Kraken started off as a simple yet forgettable Namor villain in Sub-Mariner #27, before joining Hydra and proving he was one of the worst recruits they’d ever approved. Simply put, Commander Kraken’s Hydra career is a comedy of errors. Kraken joins Hydra to lead their Naval Action Division (a rare missed opportunity for Hydra to brand their Boat Action Division as a.k.a. B.A.D.). After Iron Man destroys his fleet with ease, Commander Kraken not only attempts to bail on Hydra, but attempts to abandon piracy altogether!
As befits such a weak villain, Commander Kraken was shot dead in The Bar With No Name during the Scourge saga of the 1980s. Naturally, Kraken and the villains in attendance had gathered together to discuss how to stop Scourge, helping Kraken die as he lived: completely ineffectual.
Oh, Dismember, we hardly knew your weird self. Dismember is a giant mutated Hydra lackey created by agent Catalyst in his mission to defend himself against Mystique and Sabretooth. Dismember made his debut in Mystique and Sabretooth #2 and is so late 90s, we’re surprised there aren’t panels of his Pogs set in these issues.
Dismember is set to use his superstrength to defend a Hydra fortress against the erstwhile Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and takes on Mystique one on one. While it would seem that Dismember has all the enhancements required to take on Raven Darkholme in confined quarters, the poor brute is taken aback when Mystique transforms herself into a more powerful mutate, and leaves Dismember to be crushed by falling Hydra fortress rubble.
3. DOCTOR LOCKE
Doc Locke (not to be confused with Arcade’s right-hand assassin, Miss Locke) seemed to have all the potential of Hydra’s most haunting medical experts, with a passion for torture that would rival Arnim Zola’s. Doctor Locke captured Jamie Madrox (aka the Multiple Man) and in an effort extract top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets from him (which were actually in possession of one his dupes, but no matter), implemented horrifying mental manipulations.
Unfortunately for Hydra’s awful Doc Locke, he didn’t plan for the simplest of Madrox escape plans. In X-Factor #15, Doctor Locke is foiled when Madrox repeatedly slaps himself, creating enough duplicates to crush the good doctor to death. Death by slap-duplication is one of the more embarrassing ways to end your Hydra tenure, earning Doctor Locke his status as one of Hydra’s worst.
2. The Green Skull
There are actually two versions of the Green Skull in comic book history, with the most recent appearing in Rick Remender’s first issue of Marvel NOW! Captain America. Any character that weaves Al Gore related puns into his death threats (“An inconvenient truth is… you’re all going to die!”) is either the absolute worst or best Hydra character ever, but amazingly this eco-terrorist isn’t even the most memorable.
That honor belongs to Mark Waid and Dave Gibbon’s Amalgam Universe Green Skull, a combination of Lex Luthor and the Hydra-affiliated Nazi Red Skull. Green Skull Lex is pretty awful, injecting himself with a Green K-infused super soldier serum (because… Amalgam) only to develop a grotesque green visage. Green Skull founds his own version of Hydra, but mostly uses the organization to kill his wife (Lois Lane because… dammit), and to repeatedly lose to Bruce Wayne.
1. Hydra Bob
Perhaps no character is less loyal to Hydra than the bumbling unwilling companion to Deadpool, Hydra Bob. Created by Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown in 2007’s Cable and Deadpool #38, Hydra Bob is one of the more recent failures to join Hydra’s ranks. Bob’s motivation has always been self-preservation, which is generally understandable when you spend a lot of time hanging out with Wade Wilson.
Honestly, Hydra Bob’s best day is your worst day. Even in Deadpool Max: Nutjob, when Bob assumes a semi-heroic alternate reality role in the CIA, he still winds up playing an abused love interest and trying to reign in a completely off the rails Deadpool. More notably than anything, Hydra Bob proved he was truly the worst member of Hydra when he betrayed the entire organization to a 4 inch tall Deadpool! Sure, nobody wants to be tortured by a four-inch tall Deadpool, but come on, Hydra Bob, stand up for yourself!