THE HYDRA

Real Name: Hydra

Identity/Class: Extradimensional Dragon (Olympus)

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ares;
possibly Jihad (see comments)

Enemies: Collector, Fin Fang Foom, Hercules, Iolaus;
possibly Caledonia, Fantastic Four, Marvel Girl (Valeria Richards), Franklin Richards (see comments)

Known Relatives: Typhon (father), Echidna (mother, deceased), Selene (foster mother), Gaea (paternal grandmother/maternal great-aunt/maternal great-grandmother), Tartarus (paternal grandfather), Phorcys (maternal grandfather), Ceto (maternal grandmother), Cerberus, Ladon, Nemean Lion, Orthus (brothers), Chimaera, Phaea, Maralith, Sphinx (sisters), Geryon, Pegasus (cousins), Gorgons (including Medusa), Graeae, Scylla, Sirens, Thoosa (aunts), Damballah, Dragon of the Moon, Sligguth, Yamato-no-Orichi (maternal great-uncle), Ishiti, Tartessus (maternal great-aunts), Set (maternal great-grandfather), Pontus (maternal great-grandfather), Chthon, Hyppus (paternal great-uncles/maternal great-great uncles), Isuus, Oshtur (paternal great-aunts/maternal great-great-aunts), Demiurge (paternal great-grandfather/maternal great-great-grandfather), many other distant relatives

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Lerna in Southern Argos in the 13th Century BC (Now part of modern Greece)

First Appearance: Thor I#356 (June, 1986)

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: The Hydra was a large dragon-type entity of indeterminate size with nine heads at the end of long necks (vaguely resembling a mutation of a prehistoric plesiosaur or elasmosaurus) . For each head that it lost, it could regenerate two heads to replace the one which was lost. It's venom was particularly lethal, but it was possibly vulnerable to fire since cauterizing its wounds from its severed heads prevented extra heads from growing back. Considering it could lose its heads so easily, it may not have had a very dense or hard external body to protect it from harm. It might have been able to change color as a defense mechanism considering its various skin tones seen so far. It also might have had near-sentient intelligence.

History: (Greek/Roman Myth) -The Hydra is the spawn of of the Titan Typhon, and his mate, Echidna, the snake-goddess. Typhon was imprisoned under Mount Aetna after attacking the Olympian gods and Echidna fled to Arcadia where she gave birth to a host of numerous incredible creatures, each one more foul than the last. After Echidna was killed by Argus Panoptes, the original sentry of Olympus, the Hydra found a home in the swamps of Lerna where it grew to immense size preying upon travelers through the region.

(Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in ancient Greece Fin Fang Foom fought the Hydra.

(Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#1 (fb)/Incredible Hercules#113 (fb)) - While under the subservience of King Eurystheus of Mycenae, the demi-god, Hercules, was sent on his second labor to kill the nine-headed Hydra at Lerna. Driving it out of the swamp with burning arrows, he quickly learned it grew two new heads for each one severed. With the help of Iolaus, the son of Iphicles, Hercules used heated brands to cauterize each head and prevent new heads from forming. Burning the rest of the creature's body, he collected enough of its venom to dip its arrows within and render them that much more potent. however, King Eurystheus later realized that Hercules had too much help from Iolaus in defeating the Hydra and refused to count this as one of the labors; after the tenth labor, he would add more labors.

(Hulk: Hercules Unleashed (fb) - BTS) - The Hydra limped off barely alive, recuperating and regathering its strength before going after Hercules for revenge. 

(Hulk: Hercules Unleashed (fb)) The Hydra reappeared again at sea as the Argonauts returned home from another adventure. As Eurytus distracted it with his arrows, Hercules began slicing its venomous heads off only this time sealing its wounds with the super-heated pitch used to seal the hull of the Argo.

(Incredible Hulk II#198) - A creature which appeared to be the Hydra was among the possessions of the extraterrestrial Collector.

(Thor I#356 (fb)) - In the Twentieth Century, Hercules related his tales of the Hydra, Cerberus and Atlas to a group of young boys in New York's Central Park while he was accompanying Edwin Jarvis, retainer to the Avengers, around town searching for the ingredients to his unusual dinners.

(Fantastic 4th Voyage of Sinbad) - Jihad used a hydra against the Fantastic Four in the present (see comments).

(Incredible Hercules#113) - Ares was revealed to have kept a Hydra at Big Henri's Alligator Farm in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Ares retrieved some of the Hydra's blood in order to concoct a weapon he could use against his half-brother Hercules.

Comments: Adapted by Walt Simonson, Bob Harras, Jackson Guice, and Bob Layton.

So far, the guises of the Hydra in the Marvel Universe seem to vary, but these accounts may be biased as accounting to Hercules's own memories further influenced by his penance for exaggeration merged with his excessive drinking.

The Hydra also appeared as a hallucination created by the Psychotron in Avengers I#43-44. It had eight heads in that appearance.

The hydra in "Fantastic 4th Voyage of Sinbad" could've been a creation of Jihad or it was a time-displaced version of the real Hydra.
--Markus Raymond

Check out the list of Hydra appearances in the Marvel Universe below, it has been appearing in almost exact ten year periods. Maybe it will pop up again in 2015 or thereabouts.

Profile by: WillU and Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:  The Hydra is not to be confused with:  

 


Images:
Hulk: Hercules Unleashed, page four, top page
Hercules III#1 , pg 28, left page


Issues:
Thor I#356 (June, 1986) - Bob Harras (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Hulk: Hercules Unleashed (October, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (pencils/inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Fantastic 4th Voyage of Sinbad (September, 2001) - Chris Claremont (writer), Pascual Ferry (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Bobbie Chase (executive editor)
Hercules III#1 (June 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2 (February, 2007) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (artist), John Barber (editor)
Incredible Hercules#113 (February, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (penciler), Paul Neary (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 03/23/14

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters