www.cbr.com

Madame Hydra Has a Really Weird Origin

In Remember to Forget, we spotlight comic book stories that I wish I could forget, but I can’t, so I instead share them with you all!

Here, I'm being a bit more exact than normal. I'm spotlighting one of my all-time favorite comic book stories but noting that there is just one ASPECT of the story that is really...well, better off forgotten. The story that I'm talking about is Jim Steranko's iconic three-issue arc on Captain America (with a Jack Kirby last minute fill-in issue in the middle to get the book back on schedule). Dialogue by Stan Lee and inks by Joe Sinnott (Captain America #110-111) and Tom Palmer (Captain America #113).

The story begins with Captain America finally agreeing to take Rick Jones on a mission as Bucky. Well, technically, it starts with Captain America running afoul of the Hulk, but AFTER that, he finally agrees to take Rick on a mission. They attack a group of Hydra agents who are trying to contaminate New York City's drinking water. However, Cap is just way too pumped up about Rick being there. He is so worried about him that when it seems like Rick might be in danger, Cap puts himself at risk to let Rick get away to hide from the Hydra agents.

We then meet Madame Hydra, who is in charge of Hydra. We also see the Hydra agent whose job it is to kill Captain America...

Rick can't put up with it and goes back to help/avenge Cap but, of course, Cap already had a plan...

While Rick is down on himself, Cap is actually pretty pleased overall in how Rick acquainted himself out there.

In the next issue, Captain America is dealing with the annoyance of everyone knowing his secret identity, so Madame Hydra's agents keep taking shots at him. It is beginning to drive him a bit nuts...

We then cut to Madame Hydra giving some big speech that seems right out of a Nazi rally, while torturing one of their fellow Hydra members to death...

Later, Rick is captured by Hydra but he escapes....

Hydra thinks that they have succeeded in finally killing Cap, but instead, his costume is found along with a rubber mask of Steve Rogers, suggesting that Steve Rogers was a fake identity, as well!!

So Captain America #112 was the fill-in issue of just Iron Man bemoaning the news of Cap's alleged death. Iron Man thinks back to Cap's greatest hits as he hopes his friend is not actually dead.

The next issue opens with Madame Hydra celebrating the death of Captain America and noting that this is only the next step in their ultimate plan...

We then get her origin...

1 2
Does a Cover Appearance Constitute a Full 'First Appearance'?

More in CBR Exclusives