- "It's not a world of spies anymore. Not even a world of heroes. This is the age of miracles, Doctor. There is nothing more horrifying than a miracle."
- ―Wolfgang von Strucker to List
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was one of the most powerful and notorious leaders of 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 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 S.H.I.E.L.D. from Loki 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 War on HYDRA 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 before he was killed in his cell by Ultron, which effectively 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
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. Von 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, von Strucker had his friends play a prank on Hale for revenge. It agitated Hale to the point where she attacked von Strucker and was in turn badly assaulted by his friends. Von Strucker graduated and was assigned to work on the Particle Infusion Chamber. Eventually, von Strucker became a HYDRA undercover agent within S.H.I.E.L.D..
Head of HYDRA
- "My father, so rarely, let me see any of his world."
- ―Werner von Strucker
Von 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, von Strucker did not share his business with him, concerning HYDRA. Von Strucker had some overlapping interests with Hale who became a HYDRA undercover agent within United States Air Force and often visited him, even though she actually hated him. During one such visit, von Strucker beat Werner after Hale's daughter, Ruby Hale, hit her head while playing with Werner. This wasn't the only time von Strucker beat his son.
Von Strucker eventually became good friends with Gideon Malick who considered him a great man. Malick was also the only other HYDRA head that von Strucker's son Werner knew about. Von 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 has many vaults. I know them all."
- ―Grant Ward
Von Strucker had many vaults hidden around the world, filled with numerous mysterious artifacts. As one of the five most powerful leaders of HYDRA, von 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.
- "There will soon come a time where we will make our own destiny."
- ―Wolfgang von Strucker
As one of the high-ranking members of HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D., von Strucker was charged with various science projects, including advanced weaponry. After the Battle of New York, von Strucker desired the Scepter of Loki, the God of Mischief. As such, 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. With the Scepter acquired, von Strucker began to study it in the S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.A.T.I.O.N. facility. After a HYDRA mole inside that facility informed von Strucker that one of the scientists working on the Scepter, Mark Smith, was a potential HYDRA recruit, von Strucker decided to recruit Smith personally. Following the successful recruitment of Smith into HYDRA, von 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.
Von Strucker's scientists began to power weapons using the Scepter. Although List considered the weapon's results to be remarkable, they were not to von 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; Pietro and Wanda Maximoff gained extraordinary powers as a result of the experiments. Despite all the progress HYDRA made with the Scepter, they only managed to "scratch the surface", according to von 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.
Von 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. von Von Strucker remained calm as Nick Fury had revealed to the public only the secrets he knew about and HYDRA's work with the Scepter was unknown. Von Strucker told List that he would sacrifice a few of the 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 von 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, von 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 von Strucker was overseas, so he asked Sunil Bakshi who the American leader of HYDRA was. He learned that Daniel Whitehall was that person. Von 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. Von 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 von Strucker was in Eastern Europe. Sometime later, von 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 von Strucker was pleased with the news.
Von Strucker ordered his cell to work on research of the Scepter, a Leviathan's corpse and the Chitauri Armors and guns, successfully reverse-engineering the Chitauri tech to be used by HYDRA's troops 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, von Strucker's actions also attracted the attention of the Avengers due to Phil Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s interference.
Just when von Strucker and List were on the verge of their greatest breakthrough, the Avengers assaulted the HYDRA Research Base. Von Strucker ordered his men to deploy the HYDRA Tanks against the attackers. Though List wanted to send out the Maximoff twins, von Strucker claimed they were not ready to fight. Believing that his men could still hold the attackers, von 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 von Strucker and his men practically defenseless. Von Strucker decided to surrender, ordering List to delete all the data they had collected. Von 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, von Strucker was confronted by Captain America. Von Strucker offered no resistance, saying that he knew when he was beaten. When Captain America asked von 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 von Strucker by hitting him in the chest with his shield.
Imprisonment and Death
Later, von Strucker was apprehended by NATO and imprisoned in the penitentiary facility. While von Strucker was incarcerated, Ultron found him and demanded to know where he could locate Vibranium. Once von Strucker informed him that he could get it from Ulysses Klaue, Ultron murdered von Strucker by hitting his head hard against the wall, painting the word "PEACE" on the prison wall with von Strucker's own blood - a direct message to the Avengers. Von Strucker was confirmed dead on WHiH World News five days later.
HYDRA Power Struggle
Despite his somewhat meaningless death, von Strucker was still remembered by his successors as one of HYDRA's greatest leaders. Von Strucker and List's deaths left HYDRA fractured and weak, until Grant Ward started a campaign to reunify HYDRA, for which he recruited von Strucker's son, Werner von Strucker. In his attempt to discover the last Strucker's hidden vault, Ward made an alliance with Gideon Malick and attempted to return Hive from Maveth to Earth.
Like all of HYDRA's leaders, von Strucker had little to no morality at all. He was perfectly 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, von 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 von Strucker was one of the reasons why HYDRA went off the rails. Neverthless, von Strucker was regarded by many, like Kebo, as one of HYDRA's greatest leaders, yet they felt his death was meaningless.
During his adolescence, von Strucker proved himself to be an arrogant and over-confident individual with a tendency towards bullying and misogyny. His heritage as a von 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, von Strucker quickly decided to sacrifice a few HYDRA bases to keep the Avengers from discovering the location of his Sokovian base 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.
- Handgun: As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and a HYDRA operative, von Strucker always carried a handgun which served as his personal side-arm.
- HYDRA Preparatory Academy: Back in the day, von Strucker attended the hidden preparatory academy affiliated to HYDRA, together with Hale and Jasper Sitwell. Eventually, von 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., von Strucker was stationed at the facility where S.H.I.E.L.D. researched the Chitauri technology. von Strucker then approached Mark Smith and met him at the facility, offering him to join HYDRA.
- HYDRA Research Base: Von 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., von 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 von Strucker was arrested by NATO.
|Appearances for Wolfgang von 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 join an ancient society known as HYDRA and take control of it.
Behind the Scenes
- Wolfgang von Strucker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the second live-action incarnation of the character, following an incarnation portrayed by Campbell Lane.
- Wolfgang von 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 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.
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.18: Rise and Shine
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.13: Principia
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.06: Among Us Hide...
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude - This Scepter'd Isle
- ↑ Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 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.: 2.18: The Frenemy of My Enemy
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.19: The Dirty Half Dozen
- ↑ WHIH Newsfront Top Stories
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.08: Many Heads, One Tale
- ↑ 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'