In a recent interview, Captain America: The First Avenger director held up his phone to the camera, and in the process flashed the Hydra logo to viewers. (The above pic comes from Comic Book Movie.) Hydra is effectively the anti-S.H.I.E.L.D., a “world-wide subversive organization dedicated to global domination.” Hit the jump for a bit more info about the evildoers, and what role they might play in the cinematic Marvel universe.
Courtesy of the official Marvel site:
Hydra is a world-wide subversive organization dedicated to global domination. At its height, Hydra was the most extensive, powerful, and dangerous such organization in history. Hydra is almost entirely composed of men, with some notable exceptions, such as former member Lara Brown, the daughter of a Supreme Hydra, and so-called Madame Hydra, who later became known as the Viper. Hydra agents wear green costumes with cowls concealing the entire head except for the mouth and chin. Their organization takes its name from the many-headed serpent-like monster known for its ability to grow two heads immediately to replace any head that was severed. Hydra prides itself on its ability to regroup and rebuild itself, allegedly mightier than before, after any major defeat. Indeed, the organization has now endured for four decades.
CBM indicates that Red Skull — the Captain America big bad played by Hugo Weaving — will work for both Hydra and the Nazi party in the patriotic superhero flick. They further speculate that Hydra will play a major part in the Marvel Universe, and will “more than likely” be featured in The Avengers. Given my limited knowledge of the series, I’ll defer to CBM’s nominal expertise, though I invite you to add to the pot of collective knowledge in the comments.