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I'm rewatching The Avengers. In Loki's lair, Selvig asks how Loki was able to acquire a large amount of soldiers and laboratory equipment and resources so quickly. To this Clint Barton replied

S.H.I.E.L.D. has no shortage of enemies.

Given the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier where we find out that

Hydra was not destroyed during World War 2, but have in fact infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at every level and are very much active.

Is there any indication that Hydra supported Loki's attacks in New York? If so, to what end?

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I would suggest that this answer cannot be given yet. In general the plot lines of each element of the MCU have been independent of the overall arc (whilst the characters haven't).

However, I would lean towards "no, there was no indication" as an answer. Mainly because the HYDRA infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a plot point for a film that came after the Avengers and secondly because S.H.I.E.L.D. is overseen by the World Security Council, and they (at least until TWS) were all non-Hydra, and they were the ones giving the orders to Fury during the New York incident.

All Loki had to do was brainwash a couple of high-ups in S.H.I.E.L.D. (whether or not they were HYDRA) to gain access to resources. It's possible in hindsight that Hydra may have made this a little easier, but this is retconning the events in light of further developments.

The above is a little fuzzy, but ultimately this is an evolving story and the repercussions of what occurred in TWS will no doubt be resolved in future installments of the MCU. It's too early to say anything definitive regarding this plot point.

  • Good answer. I would also tend to argue against Hydra assisting Loki, at least willingly - Loki could always have suborned them as he did Barton, of course - on the grounds that Hydra wants power for themselves. While Loki's actions helped steer the WSC in the direction Hydra wanted, that was dependent on Loki's plan failing. If Hydra had assisted Loki, he may very well have won. Serving Loki is something Hydra might resign itself to if he proved victorious, but it is not something they would willingly pursue. – James Sheridan Apr 17 '14 at 13:14
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    It can be noted that either there seems to have been a shift in members of the WSC between The Avengers and CA2 - or at least the actors who portrayed most of them. It's possible that some of the previous members were HYDRA. – phantom42 Apr 17 '14 at 13:21
  • It should also be noted that not all the soldiers and lab techs were necessarily S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliated. Hydra isn't S.H.I.E.L.D.'s only enemy. – jschabs Apr 17 '14 at 18:48
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    @phantom42 Nice predicition. A recent Agents of SHIELD episode has indicated that at least one member of the World Security Council in Avengers Assemble (one who wasn't present in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, incidentally) is part of Hydra. – Dr R Dizzle Nov 9 '15 at 11:50
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There is no conclusive evidence that HYDRA was "behind" the events of the movie The Avengers, but they at least took advantage of the situation.

We learn in The Avengers, that SHIELD is overseen by the World Security Council. One of the members is a then-unnamed character played by Powers Boothe. He is one of the members who issues an order to

detonate a nuclear device over NYC, supposedly in hopes of destroying the Chitauri (and maybe those meddling Avengers too).

who is this guy?

In The Agents of SHIELD episode Among Us Hide (S03E06), we learn that this same man is Gideon Malick, a ranking member of HYDRA.

Malick talks to Baby Strucker

HYDRA clearly has an interest in Alien/Chitauri technology, as they already had a

a Kree body, Diviners, and been experimenting on Inhumans, and the Cosmic Cube Tesseract in the past.

This is obviously continued with their research on Loki's scepter, the destroyed Chitauri Leviathans, and what appears to be early/cut footage, referenced in a childrens novelization of Age of Ultron, creating armor based on salvaged Chitauri armor.

alien rollerblade padding

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Hydra are at least responsible for some of the events of Avengers Assemble.

Be warned that this answer is going to be dropping spoilers from multiple areas of the Marvel Cienematic Universe, including Avengers Assemble, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Agents of SHIELD.

In Agents of SHIELD S3E6 "Among Us Hide...", it has been revealed that one of the members of the World Security Council during Avengers Assemble (the one that ordered the nuclear strike on New York City) is a member of Hydra. Interestingly, this member of the World Security Council was not present during the meetings of the World Security Council in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Although we don't know how involved Hydra were in Avengers Assemble, it should be noted that the Battle of New York allowed them to;

  1. Obtain Loki's scepter,
  2. Justify the creation of Operation INSIGHT,
  3. (Almost) kill Nick Fury and Maria Hill, and
  4. (Almost) kill all of the Avengers.

Even if it turns out that the highly trained soldiers that accompanied Loki in Avengers Assemble weren't Hydra goons (and I believe that they were), the reveal that one of the members of the World Security Council at the time was part of Hydra indicates to me that they had at least some hand in what happened.

Edit 19/11/2015: In Agents of SHIELD season 3 episode 8 "Many Heads, One Tail";

We learn that Hydra is significantly older than previously thought - they have been active using one name or another for hundreds of years, and their ultimate goal is to bring an ancient Inhuman back to Earth so that it can rule the world.

It seems worth pointing out that the experimentation on the Tesseract (which we know to be the Space Gem) in Avengers Assemble by SHIELD (which we now know to be infiltrated at a high level by Hydra at the time) could be seen as a way for them to try and harness the power of the Space Gem in order to fulfill what we now know to be their ultimate goal. This would then explain why they decided to work with Loki - he is the only person that they have ever heard of being able to control and use the Tesseract.

  • "Interestingly, this member of the World Security Council was not present during the meetings of the World Security Council in Captain America: The Winter Soldier." He was in at least some of the meetings, by video, in an uncredited speaking role for Powers Boothe. (I presume uncredited because they wanted the reveal in that Agents of SHIELD ep.) I hadn't known that, but was re-watching The Winter Soldier and said "Hey, wait, that's Powers Boothe!" :-) – T.J. Crowder Mar 29 '16 at 14:10
  • @T.J.Crowder I rewatched Captain America: The Winter Soldier recently, and I didn't see him at any point. Are you sure you aren't getting confused thanks to his appearance on the World Security Council in Avengers Assemble? – Dr R Dizzle Apr 29 '16 at 9:06
  • This page suggests I am confusing them. I could have sworn, though. I may have to go looking now. – T.J. Crowder Apr 29 '16 at 9:20

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