The World Security Council knows nothing about HYDRA’s takeover of SHIELD, but it is very likely do know that as we saw The winter soldierDr. Zola’s consciousness was downloaded to an old computer.
So SHIELD not only had the cube itself, but also access to the man who successfully exploited his weapon potential. Yes, he looks like a Commodore 64 game now, but he could probably have helped SHIELD̵
Somehow, SHIELD figured out how to cheat death with a computer that is less powerful than an iPhone 6, but they still can’t crack how to use the Tesseract, even with the help of Zola’s Cyberghost? And in retrospect, HYDRA’s plan seems shockingly bad; Spending decades of fueling political unrest until humanity is ready to sacrifice its own freedoms is devastating, but they have already had access to a goddamn infinity stone and
the technology to arm it. Why didn’t they move? in front to the 21st century? Why not just build a giant Tesseract-powered jet of death in the 1970s instead of sneaking around for decades?
Sure, we could just make this a little hiccup in storytelling and carry on with our lives – but maybe there is an answer that makes perfect sense in the world of history. Couldn’t it be that all of this is simply due to incompetence? That SHIELD / HYDRA has grown into a bloated organization that has sunk into its own bureaucratic sluggishness and is unable to do anything? Anyone who has ever worked for a large company knows that even the simplest projects are likely to be delayed, stalled, and finally abandoned due to gross mismanagement. This could be the most assignable part of the entire Marvel universe.
Just because they have overwhelming friends does not mean that SHIELD and HYDRA would not necessarily fall victim to the same systemic mistakes as other major government operations. Even our law enforcement agencies in the real world have had some weirdly absurd mistakes over the years. The CIA once accidentally left a lot of real explosives under an actual school bus two whole days. The FBI once put a student on a no-fly list because an agent “ticked the wrong boxes” on a form. Expecting SHIELD not to fall victim to a large corporation’s institutional mistakes is harder to believe than a giant purple alien killing people with magical jewelry.
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Top picture: Marvel Studios