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Baron von Strucker

Real Name: Baron Wolfgang von Strucker
Occupation: German intelligence agent, later wing commander of Nazi German's Death's-Head Squadron, later leader of the German army's Blitzkrieg Squad of commandos, later supreme leader of HYDRA
Identity: Publicly known under his real name
Legal Status: Citizen of Germany wanted throughout the world for crimes against humanity
Other Aliases: Supreme Hydra, Grand Imperator of THEM, Don Antonio Caballero, Emir Ali Bey, John Bronson
Place of Birth: Strucker Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Place of Death: HYDRA Island
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Andrea (daughter), Andreas (son)
Group Affiliation: Supreme leader of HYDRA
Base of Operations: Strucker Castle, Germany; later Hydra Island and other locations
First Appearance: SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #5
Final Appearance: STRANGE TALES #158

History: Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was the last known member of a long line of Prussian noblemen, all of whom had distinguished themselves as military leaders. He was recruited in the 1930's by the Nazi government intelligence services and sent on various secret missions.

With Germany at war, Strucker was transferred to full time military service. He met with repeated successes as a military leader, and rose to become wing commander of Germany's special Death's-Head Squadron. The many defeats inflicted upon German forces by the American Sgt. Nick Fury and his "Howling Commandos" squad engaged Adolf Hitler, who ordered Strucker to humiliate Fury in such a way as to destroy his effectiveness. Strucker therefore challenged Fury to personal combat on the island of Norsehaven in the English Channel. Fury accepted and went in violation of orders. Before beginning their duel, Strucker and Fury drank a toast on the former's request; Fury did not know that Strucker had had a powerful sleeping pill placed in Fury's drink. Strucker won the duel with plywood swords when the pill caused Fury to collapse. Still photographs and films of Fury's defeat were circulated in Germany, giving the Germans a great propaganda victory. Shortly thereafter, the "Howling Commandos" encountered Strucker, and Fury challenged him to another fight. Strucker coolly agreed and proposed a toast, but one of the American commandos, Dino Manelli, warned Fury that the drink was probably drugged. The angry Fury refused to drink easily defeated Strucker in a hand-to-hand fight. Commando Timothy "Dum Dum" Durgan took photographs of Fury's triumph, which were widely published.

However, the commandos had been forced to flee without taking Strucker prisoner. After having another encounter with Fury, Strucker was ordered by Hitler to capture Fury and his commando squad. To this end Strucker organized his infamous Blitzkrieg Squad of commandos, whom he himself trained, and who were chosen to be a counterpart in skill to one of Fury's commandos.

Finally, enraged by Strucker's many defeats by Fury, Hitler ordered Strucker to go to Cherbeaux in occupied France and, if the Resistance agents there refused to give themselves up, to execute every citizen of the town. Fury confronted Strucker and made a deal with him: Fury would fight in personal combat with Strucker once more if Strucker evacuated Cherbeaux before Hitler had it destroyed. Strucker did so, but his battle with Fury ended in stalemate, and the two became separated. When Hitler learned that Strucker had evacuated the citizens of Charbeaux, he ordered the Gestapo to find and assassinate Strucker.

Strucker would have had little hope of escaping the Gestapo if he had not found an ally in the Red Skull. The Skull intended to supplant Hitler eventually, or to achieve world domination himself if Hitler lost the war. To these ends, the Skull assigned Strucker to create a power base in the Far East for him. Then, with the aid of the Skull's men and some loyal men of his own, Strucker was able to escape Germany. The embittered Strucker now had no intention of serving anyone but himself, however, and he severed all of his ties with the Red Skull upon becoming Supreme Hydra.

On arriving in Japan, Strucker made contact with Japanese subversives who informed him that they were forming a secret society bent on world conquest. Strucker rapidly became the mastermind behind this society's rise to power This secret society became known as HYDRA. Upon building HYDRA's army and arsenal to what he judged to be maximum strength, Strucker slew the organization's original leader, the first Supreme Hydra, and became Supreme Hydra himself. While building HYDRA's arsenal, Strucker had also recruited a staff of brilliant scientists, who would later become the nucleus of the HYDRA branch called the Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). HYDRA was close to obtaining nuclear weaponry, and thus achieving the means to conquer Earth, when its Pacific base, Hydra Island, was invaded by Captain Simon Savage's U.S. Marine commandos and their Japanese counterparts, the so-called Samurai Squad. Hydra Island as destroyed, but Strucker escaped.

Strucker decided that it would be wise to win his way back into Hitler's confidence, and thereby gain access to German military secrets and funds, while planning the revival and reorganization of HYDRA. Strucker sent word to Hitler of his proposal to destroy Nick Fury as a threat by subjecting him to a special hallucinogenic drug. If Hitler was sufficiently impressed by the drug's effect on Fury, then Strucker would sell him the drug for a large sum of money that would secretly enter HYDRA's treasury. Strucker captured Fury in Africa and subjected him to the drug, but he was rescued by the Howling
Commandos and recovered.

Strucker escaped to quietly rebuild HYDRA in the years following World War II, this time using as its nucleus the best remaining men of the Nazi Schutz-Staffel (S.S). However, after nearly being killed in a conflict with the young Charles Xavier and Magneto, Strucker decided to remain behind the scenes from then on. He moved HYDRA's principal base to America, and created a new central committee code-named THEM within HYDRA, which would supervise the operations of HYDRA and its sister societies. Strucker made himself Grand Imperator of THEM, its highest position, and masqueraded under a number of aliases in public life. In his false identities Strucker wore astonishly convincing face masks created by HYDRA's "epiderm-mask" machine. Only a small fraction of HYDRA knew of the Grand Imperators existence, and only an even smaller number knew that he was Baron Strucker

THEM appointed businessman named Arnold Brown to be Supreme Hydra, but while Brown managed HYDRA's day-to-day operations, ultimate power remained in Strucker's hands. Under Brown's management, HYDRA became a force powerful enough to threaten the world. However, after the failure of HYDR's attempt to blackmail the world with its Betatron Bomb, Brown was assassinated by his own men.

With the defeats of AIM and another arm of HYDRA, the Secret Empire, HYDRA reemerged as an open opponent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the world. Strucker in effect abolished THEM by again making himself Supreme Hydra and by making the other members of THEM into HYDRA's new central committee, who were still completely subject to himself. Strucker launched the Overkill Horn, which would have set off every nuclear explosive device on Earth; HYDRA's legions, supposedly safe in their special shelters, were to emerge later and take control of the devastated planet. S.H.I.E.L.D. and its Public Director, who was Colonel Nicholas Fury, Strucker's longtime foe, thwarted this scheme. Impersonating captured S.H.I.E.L.D. agent John Bronson. Strucker smuggled the so-called Death-Spore bomb aboard S.H.I.E.L.D.'s helicarrier headquarters. When the bomb exploded, it would destroy the helicarrier and release deadly spores, which air currents would carry throughout the world. By now Strucker had built a new Hydra Island, a "synthetic atoll" on the site of the original. Here was gathered HYDRA's leadership and elite guard, since the new fortress's impenetrable dome would afford maximum protection from the Death Spore. In a telecast from the island, Strucker demanded that the world surrender to HYDRA, for only those nations, which surrendered, would be supplied with antidotes for the spores.

However, Fury had found the Death Spore bomb on the helicarrier, singly invaded Hydra Island, and planted the bomb there. Fury and Strucker confronted each other and fought. Fury knocked Strucker unconscious and rapidly used the epiderm-mask machine to make a Strucker mask for himself and both a Strucker mask and a Fury mask for Strucker. Fury placed both the latter two masks on Strucker, who revived almost immediately. HYDRA guards then inevitably burst in, only to find what appeared to be two Struckers fighting one another, each of whom claimed that the other was actually Fury in disguise. Fury then pulled the Strucker mask off the real Strucker, revealing a Fury mask beneath. The HYDRA guards began firing at the real Strucker who, in utterly confused panic, fled through the nearest doorway to escape. He found himself in a nuclear reactor chamber and was immediately incinerated. Fury fled the island just before the Death Spore bomb, which had been trigged by the unsuspecting Strucker, detonated, virtually sinking the island. The dome prevented any of the spores from escaping to the outside world. Hence, all HYDRA members present on the island were killed. HYDRA fragmented after Strucker's death and has yet to regain the power it had under his leadership.

Two androids in the form of Baron Strucker have since appeared. One was built by the Machinesmith, and the other by HYDRA. Both androids have been destroyed.

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is survived by his two twin children, Andrea and Andreas von Strucker. Strucker had HYDRA scientists genetically alter Andrea and Andreas so as to bestow superhuman powers upon them. Andrea and Andreas now head their own subversive organization, which bears the same name the twins use in their costumed identities, Fenris.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 225 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald
Unusual physical features: Baron Strucker had a dueling scar over his face. He wore a monocle over his right eye to correct its vision.

Abilities: Baron Strucker was an Olympic level athlete. Strucker took special serums developed by HYDRA scientists, which maintained his physical vitality and strength as he aged.

Strength Level: In his prime Baron Strucker possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in intensive regular exercise. Strucker took special serums developed by HYDRA scientists which retarded his aging process and thus maintained his physical vitality and strength at this level.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Abilities: Baron Strucker was a consummate military strategist and leader. He was brilliantly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, swordsmanship, and the use of firearms and a wide variety of other hand weapons.

Weapons: Baron Strucker's most notorious personal weapon was the Satan Claw, developed by HYDRA scientists. This metal gauntlet, worn on Strucker's right hand, not only magnified that hands strength while he wore it, but also emitted powerful electrical shocks (from which the Claw insulated its wearer).

NOTE: Played by Campbell Lane in the made for TV movie "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D."

 

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