|For alternate versions of Baron Strucker, see Baron Strucker's Character Hub|
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was one of the leaders of HYDRA, and one of the last in Europe during the War on HYDRA. He trained alongside Hale and Jasper Sitwell at the HYDRA Preparatory Academy, passing his tests and becoming a personal student of Daniel Whitehall and later played an important part in overseeing the beginning of the Project Destroyer of Worlds, which in turn led to the creation of the new soldiers for HYDRA including the Absorbing Man. Having become a sleeper agent within S.H.I.E.L.D., von Strucker recruited for HYDRA's cause those who became unsatisfied with the way the agency was led, while also raising his son Werner von Strucker whom he deemed to be a disappointment to their cause and not a suitable leader.
In the aftermath of the Battle of New York, von Strucker's HYDRA cell secretly took possession of the Scepter which was confiscated by STRIKE thanks to the help of Alexander Pierce. Over the next two years, von Strucker and List used the Scepter's powers to experiment on many human volunteers in HYDRA Research Base, aiming to create an army of enhanced people who would serve HYDRA. Around the time of the Battle at the Triskelion, von Strucker deserted S.H.I.E.L.D., but as the continuing conflict raged, he eventually became one of the last few surviving heads of HYDRA. His base of operations was discovered and attacked by the Avengers, leading to his capture and apprehension, before he was killed in his cell by Ultron. His death reduced HYDRA to just a few disorganized cells, with each one being led differently by its respective leaders, who disputed about HYDRA's future.
- "Imagine a man with the density of lead, with the volatility of cesium. The possibilities are endless. Can someone name another substance suitable for infusion? Yes, Mr. von Strucker."
"Why not use Red Skull's Tesseract? It's the greatest power source we've ever had."
"Intriguing. Looking to our past for inspiration."
- ―Daniel Whitehall and Wolfgang von Strucker[src]
Wolfgang von Strucker was born in a family of German barons which had a large influence in HYDRA. He attended the HYDRA Preparatory Academy and gained popularity among students due to his family name. As he was approaching graduation he attended a guest lecture on his last day given by one of the current HYDRA heads, Daniel Whitehall.
He listened as Whitehall introduced the Particle Infusion Chamber to the class, intended to be used to create their own super soldier stronger than Captain America and asked for a suggestion. Strucker suggested using the Tesseract which was used by Red Skull which Whitehall acknowledged. But his idea was criticized by Hale as it would blow their cover within S.H.I.E.L.D. and suggested using elements from the outer space which Whitehall appreciated for her forward thinking.
This made von Strucker jealous. Next day in the gym, Strucker had his friends play a prank on Hale for revenge. It agitated Hale to the point where she attacked Strucker and was in turn badly assaulted by his friends. Strucker graduated and was assigned to work on the Particle Infusion Chamber.
Head of HYDRA
Strucker kept his professional life, as a member of HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D., separated from his personal life and his son Werner. Though he made sure that Werner was very well financially supported, Strucker did not share his business with him, concerning HYDRA. Strucker had some overlapping interests with Hale who became a HYDRA undercover agent within the United States Air Force and often visited him, even though she actually hated him. During one such visit, Strucker beat Werner after Hale's daughter, Ruby Hale, hit her head while playing with Werner. This wasn't the only time Strucker beat his son.
Strucker eventually became good friends with Gideon Malick who considered him a great man. Malick was also the only other HYDRA head that Strucker's son Werner knew about. Strucker also made some business with the black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue. Over the years, he became the leader of the European faction of HYDRA. Von Strucker's involvement with Project Destroyer of Worlds and his experiments with the Particle Infusion Chamber resulted in Carl Creel attaining the ability to absorb any element and turn his skin into that same material.
Strucker had many vaults hidden around the world, filled with numerous mysterious artifacts. As one of the five most powerful leaders of HYDRA, Strucker knew the legend of HYDRA's origin and its true purpose. The vault in Zepkow, Germany contained a piece of the Monolith that was used by the Inhumans to banish Hive to the Maveth thousands of years ago, and which HYDRA hoped to use to bring him back to Earth to conquer it.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As one of the high-ranking members of HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D., Strucker was in charge of various science projects, including the research of the Tesseract. After the Battle of New York, Strucker desired the Scepter of Loki, so Alexander Pierce had Jasper Sitwell along with Brock Rumlow and his STRIKE unit go to the Stark Tower after the battle's end and they were given the Scepter by Black Widow. Howsoever, the Scepter was taken to the S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.A.T.I.O.N. facility where it was studied. After a HYDRA mole inside that facility informed Strucker that one of the scientists working on the Scepter, Mark Smith, was a potential HYDRA recruit, Strucker decided to recruit Smith personally. Following the successful recruitment of Smith into HYDRA, Strucker ordered him and another HYDRA mole to retrieve the Scepter. Smith and his HYDRA colleague retrieved the Scepter and transported it to the HYDRA Research Base in Sokovia.
Strucker's scientists began to power weapons using the Scepter. Although List considered the weapon's results to be remarkable, they were not to Strucker's satisfaction; he ordered List to recruit human volunteers among the rioters of Sokovia to get the results he desired. Many of the volunteers died in the experiments while the only two survivors, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, gained extraordinary powers as a result. Despite all the progress HYDRA made with the Scepter, they only managed to "scratch the surface", according to Strucker, because he believed the jewel in the Scepter was hiding many more secrets.
Out of the Shadows
The End of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Strucker established the research base in Sokovia and was informed of the destruction of the Triskelion, and the revelation of all of HYDRA's secrets inside S.H.I.E.L.D. by List. Strucker remained calm as Nick Fury had revealed to the public only the secrets he knew about and HYDRA's work with the Scepter remained unknown. Strucker told List that he would sacrifice a few facilities to keep their enemies off their scent for now.
List asked von Strucker about what he intended to do with the volunteers for their experiments, and Strucker ordered their bodies to be buried deep in the ground. List then asked him about the only surviving volunteers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. As they watched the twins display their newfound superpowers, Strucker replied that the Avengers would sooner or later meet them, and that with the age of spies and heroes at an end, in the age of miracles, nothing is more horrifying than a miracle.
Grant Ward knew that Strucker was overseas, so he asked Sunil Bakshi who the American leader of HYDRA was. He learned that Daniel Whitehall was that person. Strucker was not able to attend the biannual meeting of HYDRA leaders held at the mansion of Octavian Bloom; he sent List in his place instead. Von Strucker, through List, sent his condolences on the death of Daniel Whitehall and expressed his wish to see Sunil Bakshi in the position formerly held by Whitehall. Strucker also advised the other HYDRA leaders to stop underestimating S.H.I.E.L.D..
When Phil Coulson arranged for the remnants of HYDRA leaders to kill each other, von Strucker became one of the last high commanders of HYDRA. List confirmed to Bakshi that Strucker was in Eastern Europe. Sometime later, Strucker was called by List who informed him that he managed to capture Mike Peterson and Lincoln Campbell, two enhanced individuals who could become a great asset to HYDRA and Strucker was pleased with the news.
Strucker ordered his cell to work on research of the Scepter, a Leviathan's corpse and the Chitauri Guns, successfully reverse-engineering the Chitauri tech to be used by HYDRA's troops in the form of the HYDRA Exo-Suits and greatly upgrading HYDRA's arsenal. Using the power of the Scepter, HYDRA scientists had even experimented with A.I., from which they designed advanced mechs. However, Strucker's actions also attracted the attention of the Avengers due to Phil Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s interference.
As Strucker and List were on the verge of their greatest breakthrough, the Avengers assaulted the HYDRA Research Base. Strucker ordered his men to deploy the HYDRA Tanks against the attackers. Though List wanted to send out the Maximoff twins, Strucker claimed they were not ready to fight. Believing that his men could still hold the attackers, Strucker decided to continue the fight, which caused heavy damage in Novi Grad.
However, Iron Man destroyed the base's energy field, shutting down the force field around the main building, leaving Strucker and his men practically defenseless. Strucker decided to surrender, ordering List to delete all the data they had collected. Strucker intended to give the Avengers HYDRA's weapons, hoping to keep them too occupied to find the secret laboratory where he and List did the majority of their work and where the Scepter was located. His last order to his men was to keep resisting the Avengers.
When the Avengers broke into the base, Strucker was confronted by Captain America. Strucker offered no resistance, saying that he knew when he was beaten. When Captain America asked Strucker about the survivors of HYDRA's experiments, Wanda Maximoff appeared, using her powers to throw him down the stairs. Captain America quickly recovered and knocked out Strucker by hitting him in the chest with his shield.
Later, Strucker was apprehended by NATO and imprisoned in the penitentiary facility. While Strucker was incarcerated, he overheard some noise coming from outside of his cell, which he assumed to be HYDRA having come to rescue him. However, Strucker was shocked to discover that it was actually Ultron who had found him. Ultron had then demanded to know where he could locate Vibranium, which Ultron needed for his plans.
Once Strucker had informed Ultron that he could get a massive supply of Vibranium from Ulysses Klaue, Ultron had then murdered Strucker by hitting his head hard against the wall, painting the word "PEACE" on the prison wall with Strucker's own blood - which was meant as a direct message to the Avengers, who he knew would be looking into this. Strucker was confirmed dead on WHiH World News five days later.
HYDRA Power Struggle
Despite his death, Strucker was still remembered by his successors as one of HYDRA's greatest leaders. Strucker and List's deaths left HYDRA fractured and weak, until Grant Ward started a campaign to reunify HYDRA, for which he recruited Strucker's son, Werner von Strucker. In his attempt to discover Strucker's hidden vault, Ward made an alliance with Gideon Malick and attempted to return Hive from Maveth to Earth.
Strucker was known to be callous about the loss of human life, as he fine with performing experiments on human beings, not worrying about how many of them would die, as he believed that the results gathered from the experiments would contribute to HYDRA's cause. He was also unconcerned about the civilian casualties in Novi Grad during the Attack on the HYDRA Research Base.
According to Gideon Malick, Strucker understood that protecting assets was more important than flaunting them, as he would never foolishly put an untested young operative in play without proper training. However, in the opposite, Hale claimed that Strucker was one of the reasons why HYDRA went off the rails. Nevertheless, Strucker was regarded by many, like Kebo, as one of HYDRA's greatest leaders, yet they felt his death was meaningless.
During his adolescence, Strucker proved himself to be an arrogant and over-confident individual with a tendency towards bullying and misogyny. His heritage as a Strucker and devotion to the glory of HYDRA's past made him relatively popular amongst the student body of the HYDRA Preparatory Academy as well as the HYDRA leadership as he was pre-selected to eventually become a head of HYDRA. He and his clique would often harass less popular students such as Jasper Sitwell and Hale by demeaning them in a variety of manners.
- Expert Tactician: When Project Insight failed in its objective and HYDRA's existence was revealed to the world, Strucker quickly decided to sacrifice a few HYDRA bases to keep the Avengers from discovering the location of his base in Sokovia, so he and List could continue with their research of the Chitauri tech and the Scepter undisturbed. When his base was attacked by the Avengers, he ordered his soldiers to concentrate their fire on the weaker Avengers, hoping to force them to close ranks so they could be all attacked at the same time.
- Expert Scientist: Strucker was in charge of a project that gave volunteers extraordinary abilities. Along with List, HYDRA gave powers to some people through research of the Scepter and Chitauri tech. They gave Pietro Maximoff his enhanced speed powers and unlocked Wanda Maximoff's latent chaos magic abilities.
- Bilingualism: Strucker was fluent in his native German, as well as English.
- Handgun: As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and a HYDRA operative, Strucker always carried a handgun which served as his personal side-arm.
- Scepter: The Scepter was stolen for Strucker by Mark Smith and allowed him to perform experiments for HYDRA on people, such as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff.
- Mind Stone: Strucker rand tests on the Mind Stone inside the Scepter and exposed various volunteers to it, including Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, who were the only two who survived exposure to the stone. Wanda had the abilities of the Scarlet Witch activated within her, and Pietro gained super strength, so Strucker continued studying the Maximoffs.
- Monolith: Strucker had kept a shard of the Monolith hidden inside his family vault, where he was regarded as one of HYDRA's greatest weapons, as he would allow HYDRA to free Hive and take over the world. As with the other items kept in the vault, Strucker kept it secret and safe until his death, at which point Gideon Malick and Grant Ward took possession of it.
- HYDRA Preparatory Academy: In his youth, Strucker attended the hidden preparatory academy affiliated to HYDRA, together with Hale and Jasper Sitwell. Eventually, Strucker was approached by Daniel Whitehall who assigned him to work on the Project Destroyer of Worlds.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.A.T.I.O.N.: Being the sleeper agent within S.H.I.E.L.D., Strucker was stationed at the facility where S.H.I.E.L.D. researched the Chitauri technology. Strucker then approached Mark Smith and met him at the facility, offering him to join HYDRA.
- HYDRA Research Base: Strucker established the HYDRA research facility in Sokovia, outside Novi Grad. Obtaining the Chitauri technology, such as the Scepter from S.H.I.E.L.D., Strucker and List researched it and experimented on test subjects, such as Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. However, the facility was attacked by the Avengers, and despite HYDRA's resistance, the base was occupied and Strucker was arrested by NATO.
- Von Strucker Family Vault: Strucker had a vault in which he kept various objects, including a shard of the Monolith, one of the HYDRA's greatest weapons. Strucker kept the vault as secret until his death, when Grant Ward and Gideon Malick entered and took the Monolith.
|Appearances for Baron Strucker|
In chronological order:
- In the non-canon video game Captain America: Super Soldier, Wolfgang von Strucker is an officer of HYDRA during World War II. He commands the HYDRA troops stationed at Castle Zemo and eventually clashes with Captain America in 1944.
- In the comics, Wolfgang von Strucker was a World War II German soldier who often clashed with Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos. When Adolf Hitler ordered his men to kill von Strucker in 1944, the Red Skull helped him to escape from Germany so he could travel to Japan and take control of HYDRA on his behalf. Von Strucker eventually decided to desert the Red Skull too and over the years became one of the greatest adversaries S.H.I.E.L.D. had ever faced.
Behind the Scenes
- Baron Strucker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the second live-action incarnation of the character, following an incarnation portrayed by Campbell Lane.
- Baron Strucker was included in the early drafts of Captain America: The First Avenger, but as Stephen McFeely recalls, his inclusion was ultimately rejected when they decided that the appearance didn't do "justice" for him, leading McFeely and Christopher Markus to finally settle on Red Skull and Arnim Zola.
- Thomas Kretschmann was uncredited for his appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- One of the concept artworks for Avengers: Age of Ultron, drawn by Josh Nizzi, shows an image of a cyborg-like Wolfgang von Strucker with the appearance of actor Vincent Cassel, possibly suggesting that Cassel was intended to play von Strucker before Thomas Kretschmann was cast.
- Although Thomas Kretschmann reportedly signed a multi-picture deal to reprise his role as Wolfgang von Strucker in further installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-Avengers: Age of Ultron, von Strucker hasn't made another appearance as of yet aside of an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (where he was played by Joey Defore instead of Kretschmann), especially considering that he was killed-off in Age of Ultron.
- Ross Kohnstam was a stunt double for Joey Defore in the role of Wolfgang von Strucker.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.18: The Frenemy of My Enemy
- Avengers: Endgame - Cantina Creative
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.18: Rise and Shine
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.13: Principia
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.06: Among Us Hide...
- Guidebook to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.08: Many Heads, One Tale
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude - This Scepter'd Isle
- Avengers: Endgame
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier Mid-credits Scene
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.07: The Writing on the Wall
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.11: Aftershocks
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.19: The Dirty Half Dozen
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Deleted Scene
- WHiH Newsfront: 1.02: WHIH Newsfront Top Stories
- WandaVision: 1.02: Don't Touch That Dial
- Captain America: Super Soldier
- Villains 'Baron Zemo' And 'Baron Strucker' Were In Early Captain America: TFA Drafts!
- Thomas Kretschmann Reveals He's Signed Up for More Marvel Past 'Avengers 2'