A theory suggests that Captain America: New World Order could finally bring back Hydra. The fourth Captain America film will be Sam Wilson’s first as the sole headlining hero since he officially accepted the responsibility of the legendary shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Directed by Julius Onah, Captain America: New World Order is set to debut on May 3rd, 2024, and it’s shaping up to be an interesting departure from previous endeavors. As it picks up on key storylines from various projects including even She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the film will showcase a radically evolving world and political landscape within the MCU.
Particularly, it is unexpectedly incorporating important characters from various sectors of Marvel Comics. Significantly, Samuel Sterns aka the Leader, played by Tim Blake Nelson, will be returning from a 16-year hiatus following The Incredible Hulk, and rumors suggest Captain America’s strangest villains, the Serpent Society could be introduced. Plus, Harrison Ford is replacing the late William Hurt as Thunderbolt Ross, and Shira Haas is playing Sabra, an Israeli superhero and a mutant. Thus, Captain America: New World Order clearly already has a lot on its plate. Yet, many others could still play a role in the film. Whether new or old, heroes or villains, the possibilities are abundantly fascinating.
How Hydra Can Return In Captain America: New World Order
Captain America: New World Order could finally bring one of Captain America’s most enduring enemies in the comics, Hydra, back into play. The organization was integral to the early MCU, yet they’ve been relegated to obscurity for a while. The reveal in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that Hydra had secretly taken over S.H.I.E.L.D. from the shadows remains one of the best moments in the MCU – a twist Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. improved on actually. Following that the Avengers rallied to defeat them in Avengers: Age of Ultron, though vestiges lived on, like Mitchell Carson in Ant-Man. By now in the MCU’s timeline, Hydra still lives on.
Hydra can easily find a home for itself in this “New World Order,” whether it be the full organization or a few specific members who eluded arrest for all these years. Like with S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra could’ve weaseled their way into other major organizations – though that would be a cop-out narratively speaking. They might’ve evolved into a new regime, such as the World Party to help with their reintegration into politics. Alternatively, given Captain America: New World Order’s placement in Phase 5 of the Multiverse Saga, this Hydra could just hail from an alternate universe – perhaps from the Hydra World shown in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Who Could Lead Hydra In Captain America: New World Order
The big question surrounding this theory pertains to who could lead Hydra in the modern world. Naturally, Mitchell Carson could be brought back as one of the heads. Even Red Skull could be reincorporated. Avengers: Infinity War showed that he was banished to Vormir and became a wraith, tethered to the Soul Stone. However, Thanos destroying the Infinity Stones released him from his cosmic prison, so if Red Skull found a way to get back to Earth, he could easily reform Hydra. Intriguingly, the next best option beyond Red Skull is his daughter, Sin, who could be a perfect antagonist for Sam Wilson’s first film like Red Skull was for Steve.
The rumor regarding the Serpent Society’s integration could see her teammate, Viper, introduced to take up the mantle of Madame Hydra. For that matter, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is also Madame Hydra in the comics, and so she could be a secret puppet master manipulating world governments now as the head of the CIA. She could use her influence to gain more power, and soon the Thunderbolts to be her lackeys. That would set up an intriguingly complex narrative for Thunderbolts. Otherwise, characters like Master Man or Hydra Supreme are also possible options. All in all, Hydra has several key players to look to as leader or leaders.
Why Hydra Makes Sense As The New Captain America’s First Movie Villain
Just as they were Steve’s first main antagonists, so too can a new, modern Hydra be for Sam Wilson in Captain America: New World Order. The parallel between the two is a great opportunity to showcase how Sam and Steve operate differently as Captain America and in the world at large. Of course, with the inclusion of The Leader, Captain America: New World Order might already have its villain. Nevertheless, Hydra is a logical factor when taking into consideration the film’s title and the controversial conspiracy theory it brings to mind. It speaks of a secret cabal of elites running the world from the shadows. That’s perfectly attuned to Hydra.
Aptly, there’s precedence for such a thing in the comics. 2015’s All-New Captain America: Hydra Ascendant by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen detailed Sam’s first mission as the new Captain America in which he fought back against Sin, who followed in her father’s footsteps and became the new Sin. This is an easy consideration and likely serves as inspiration in some regard to Captain America: New World Order. Sam could be continuing to hunt down the remaining active Hydra members, which brings him in conflict with some of their allies or associates in this New World Order, including Power Broker Inc. and thus, Sharon Carter.
What Hydra’s Return Would Mean For The MCU
Should Captain America: New World Order decide to reintegrate Hydra into the MCU, they should be here to stay. Their function in the comics is prolific and overarching, seeing Hydra work with all sorts of villains against all sorts of heroes. Within the MCU, the expanding incorporation of global politics into the story can see Hydra connected to things beyond Captain America. Importantly, Thunderbolts will unite characters with some history with Hydra, especially Bucky Barnes and Ghost. Therefore, Hydra’s destruction could be part of their mission, or if Valentina Allegra de Fontaine turns out to be Madame Hydra, the Thunderbolts could break away from her evil leadership.
Just as Secret Invasion sets up Armor Wars, Hydra’s interests in advanced technology and superpowers mean they can figure into the latter film too. From this logic, the MCU’s Hydra could also be interested in Vibranium as many of the world’s powers are, and when mutants are more fully incorporated into the mix, Hydra would certainly have invested interest in them. Hydra’s potential is vast once again at this point in the MCU, whether as minor antagonists popping up in various projects or as key adversaries for the new Captain America. As such, Captain America: New World Order can help accomplish a lot for the MCU by reintegrating Hydra.
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