At the end of Captain America: Civil War, we learn that the Winter Soldier killed

Howard and Maria Stark (Tony's parents).

Why he was ordered to kill them?

Was Obadiah Stane a HYDRA member? Was he just connected to HYDRA? Was it simply a ploy by the Russians to disrupt US arms development?

Looking for an in-universe explanation.

  • 2
    Did Stane just take out a contract and HYDRA operated hit killing as a sideline business to make some extra dough? That said, that particular unit was operating under the cover of a soviet unit and so there are even more reasons.
    – ewanm89
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Hydra had Howard and Maria Stark assassinated in order to get their hands on a new version of the Super Soldier Serum.

As interesting a call-back as that would have been, the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark have nothing to do with Obidiah Stane and his thirst for power within Stark Industries.

Instead, as with a startling amount of things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this all ties back into the loss of the Super Soldier Serum after Steve Rogers successfully underwent the procedure. You'll remember that after Bucky has killed Howard and Maria Stark, he retrieves a number of sachets containing a blue liquid from the trunk of the car.

Here is a reminder of what those sachets looked like:

enter image description here

For reference, here is a picture of what the Super Soldier Serum from Captain America: The First Avenger looked like:

enter image description here

The liquid in the sachets that Bucky was sent to retrieve was a new version of the Super Soldier Serum, and was used by Hydra to create "the other Winter Soldiers" glimpsed at in Captain America: Civil War.

  • 15
    His target was the Serum, his orders were "No witnesses". Ergo, since the serum was in the Starks' car ....
    – DariM
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 20:16
  • What about in the comics?
    – miltonaut
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 3:10
  • 5
    @miltonaut I have no idea. The comics have no bearing on the films - for all I know, Howard and Maria Stark weren't killed by the Winter Soldier in the comics, and if they were, it might have had nothing to do with the Super Soldier Serum. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 8:46
  • 3
    @miltonaut "On the Ides of March, Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident. It has been hinted that the incident was not random and possibly arranged by the V-Battalion, but this has never been confirmed; earlier indications were that the accident was caused by Republic Oil, but this is also unconfirmed." (from Howard Stark Wikipedia page) Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 15:20
  • @SnoringFrog & Dr. R Dizzle - Thanks for the clarification!
    – miltonaut
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 11:57

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