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Baron Zemo

Baron Zemo
Heinrich, the 12th Baron Zemo.
Art by Steve Epting.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Heinrich)
The Avengers # 4
(March 1964)
actual appearance:
The Avengers # 6
(July 1964)
The Death Ray of Dr. Zemo
Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #8 (July 1964)
Captain America # 168
(December 1973)
Created by (Heinrich)
Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Tony Isabella
Sal Buscema
In-story information
Alter ego Dr. Heinrich Zemo
Helmut J. Zemo
Team affiliations (Heinrich)
Legion of the Unliving
Masters of Evil
Nazi Party
Commission on Superhuman Activities
Masters of Evil
Secret Empire
Partnerships (Helmut)
Mother Superior
Red Skull
Notable aliases (Helmut)
Citizen V, Phoenix, Iron Cross, Mark Evanier
Abilities (Both):
Scientific genius
Master swordsman and hand-to-hand combatant
Skilled strategist
Superhuman strength, speed and agility
Slowed aging
Possesses the Moonstones

Baron Zemo is the name of two fictional characters, both supervillains, in various Marvel Comics comic books, notably Captain America and the Avengers. The original Baron Zemo was first seen in The Avengers #4 (March 1964); the second Baron Zemo first appeared in Captain America #168 (December 1973).

In 2009, Baron Helmut Zemo was ranked as IGN's 40th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1]

Daniel Brühl will portray Baron Helmut Zemo in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.

Publication history

The original Baron Zemo was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and was first seen in a flashback in The Avengers #4 (March 1964); the character did not actually appear in person and was not identified by name until The Avengers #6 (July 1964) and Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #8, in the same month. Zemo was retroactively added into the history of Captain America upon the hero's reintroduction to the Silver Age two issues prior. The character subsequently appears in The Avengers #7 (August 1964), #9-10 (October–November 1964), Tales of Suspense #60 (December 1964), and The Avengers #15 (April 1965), in which he is killed. After his death, Zemo appears in numerous flashbacks and time-travel stories, including The Avengers #21 (October 1965), Captain America #100 (April 1968), The Avengers #56 (September 1968), #58 (November 1968), Captain America #112 (April 1969), The Avengers King-Size Special #4 (January 1971), Captain America #168 (December 1973), The Avengers #131–132 (January–February 1975), Giant-Size Avengers #3 (February 1975), The Avengers (UK) #76 (March 1975), Fantastic Four Annual #11 (June 1976), What If? #4-5 (August, October 1977), Marvel Illustrated Books: The Avengers (June 1982), Captain America #297 (September 1984), #362 (November 1989), Spider-Man: Fear Itself (1992), The Avengers #353-354 (September–October 1992), Captain America Annual #11 (1992), Captain America: Medusa Effect #1 (March 1995), Untold Tales of Spider-Man #13 (September 1996), Thunderbolts #-1 (July 1997), Captain America & Citizen V Annual 1998, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #12 (August 1999), Captain America #3-4 (March–April 2005), #6 (June 2005), #10 (October 2005), New Thunderbolts #18 (April 2006), Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo - Born Better #3-4 (June–July 2007), Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #5 (August 2007), Avengers Classic #7 (February 2008), and Wolverine: Origins #20 (February 2008). The original Baron Zemo received an entry the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #13, the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #16, and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2004 Book of the Dead.

Fictional character biography

Baron Heinrich Zemo

Dr. Heinrich Zemo, 12th Baron Zemo was one of the top scientists in the Nazi Party. Zemo fought both Captain America and his allies the Howling Commandos during World War II. A brilliant and sadistic scientific genius, Zemo created many weapons of mass destruction for Hitler's army, including a large-scale death ray cannon, a disintegration pistol that was a miniaturized version of his death ray, and primitive androids of considerable strength and durability. Heinrich Zemo's intelligence was only matched by his sadism, as he routinely tested his deadly weapons on innocent people, both prisoner and civilian inside the Third Reich. This ultimately came to a head, during an early encounter with the Howling Commandos, when Zemo decided to test an experimental death-ray cannon on a nearby German town. The death-ray killed hundreds of innocent German civilians as a result, making Zemo a mass murderer. Though he arrogantly believed that he could frame the Allied Forces for his act of mass murder, Nick Fury and his fellow Howling Commandos exposed Zemo's role in the town's destruction, resulting in Zemo becoming a reviled figure throughout Europe, even amongst his fellow Germans.

In an attempt to regain a level of anonymity, Zemo began wearing a reddish-pink hood over his face as he continued to build weapons for the Nazis. His activities ultimately drew the attention of Captain America, resulting in a confrontation just as Heinrich was ready to unveil his newest scientific breakthrough: Adhesive X, an extremely strong adhesive that could not be dissolved or removed by any known process at the time. It was only after the war that the adhesive-using villain Paste-Pot Pete found a way to neutralize it.

In order to ensure that the Nazis could not use Adhesive X against Allied troops, Captain America confronted Zemo in an attempt to destroy the limited supply. Captain America threw his shield at the vat to release the adhesive onto the ground. Zemo however was standing right next to the vat containing the chemical, which poured over his hooded face. The adhesive quickly seeped inside and permanently attached the hood to Heinrich's flesh, preventing Zemo from ever removing his hood.[2]

Though Zemo could still see through the eye holes of the hood, as well as hear, breathe, and speak through the thin fabric of the cloth that made up the hood, Zemo could no longer eat normally (due to the hood having no mouth hole) and had to be fed intravenously. Heinrich Zemo quickly recovered but having his hood permanently attached to his face drove the Nazi scientist insane. Adopting a new costume to go along with his new hooded face, Zemo went from becoming a normal, if not infamous, Nazi scientist to become an active field agent for the Third Reich, leading German troops into combat and espionage missions. His reputation in combat quickly grew and was rivaled only by the Red Skull; the two quickly became rivals, united only in their hatred for Captain America.[volume & issue needed]

When it became apparent that the Nazis would lose the war, the Skull sent Zemo to London to steal an experimental airplane. At this point the plane would do them no good, but the Skull made sure this knowledge was leaked to Captain America and his young sidekick Bucky so as to ensure that Zemo would be caught, ridding him of his rival once and for all. Captain America would not learn of Zemo's scheme for several weeks, by which time he would defeat Red Skull for the final time during World War II, burying Skull alive in a state of suspended animation. By the time that Captain America learned of Zemo's plot, it was too late and both Captain America and his sidekick Bucky were taken prisoner by Zemo. Zemo tied the two heroes to the experimental plane, which was now booby-trapped to explode, and launched to their deaths. Captain America fell from the plane as it exploded, and Bucky was apparently killed. Captain America landed in the Arctic Ocean and was frozen in ice for decades until recovered by the recently formed Avengers.[3]

Believing that he had killed his rival at long last, Zemo fled to South America as Hitler and the Nazis fell and World War II ended. Zemo abandoned his long-suffering wife and toddler son, Helmut, whom he had become emotionally and physically abusive towards, after the mask was permanently bonded to his face. With an army of mercenaries loyal to him, Zemo enslaved a tribe of natives and lived as a king as he tried desperately to find a solvent that would remove his mask. As decades passed, Captain America was ultimately revived by the Avengers, causing Zemo to renew his rivalry with the Captain, after finding out about Cap's revival from a newspaper his pilot brought him, as he brought him supplies and news annually in exchange for gold.[volume & issue needed] Among his attempts included sending agents to take the place of participants of a hand-to-hand combat demonstration with Captain America in order to capture him. As Captain America learned that Zemo was behind this attack, he sent a taunting message on Zemo's minions' communicator to provoke the villain into becoming more carelessly aggressive against him and thus provide an opportunity for the superhero to deal with the villain directly.[4]

To that end, Heinrich formed the Masters of Evil to serve as a villainous counterpart to the Avengers; the other founding members included the original villainous Black Knight, the Melter, and the Radioactive Man, who were gathered by his pilot. He tried to have Adhesive X spread over New York, but the Teen Brigade seized Zemo's pilot, preventing him from speaking, then tied him up to stop him causing trouble. They switched the adhesive with remover made by Paste-Pot Pete. Zemo used his sceptre's hypno-ray on the Teen Brigade, placing them under his control. He then battled Captain America using combat skills he had gained, but Captain America began to beat him. The pilot freed himself from his bonds and shot at Captain America from behind. Captain America heard the sound and dodged the bullet, though his skull was grazed. Giant-Man was able to stop the pilot from killing Captain America, thus capturing him. Zemo was tricked into opening a container of tear gas while in his helicopter during his escape back to South America. He was later joined by the Enchantress and the Executioner, who had been exiled to Earth from Asgard by Odin. The Enchantress hypnotized Thor into attacking the Avengers, while the Executioner had disguised himself as a former ally of Zemo and lured Captain America to South America to fight Zemo. Iron Man broke Thor out of this trance and the Masters of Evil were sent to another dimension by Thor. Later Zemo created the superstrong Wonder Man with his ionic ray, and told Wonder Man he would die within a week unless given an antidote which Zemo possessed. Wonder Man was able to capture the Wasp and lead the group into a trap where they were defeated. Wonder Man, however, sacrificed himself to save the Avengers.[5]

In his final battle with Captain America, Zemo lured the Captain to his jungle fortress by kidnapping Avengers ally Rick Jones using an attractor ray. His Masters of Evil were broken out of prison and attacked the Avengers, forcing Captain America to go on alone. Zemo raised a glass cage containing Rick out of the ground as Captain America fired at his men, hoping Captain America would kill Rick, but the gunfire only broke open the cage. Zemo tried attacking with his men, but Captain America was able to use a rockslide caused by his shield to block them. In the ensuing battle, Captain America used his shield to deflect the sun's rays and cause Zemo to shoot blindly. His ray gun's shot hit a rock, starting an avalanche that killed him, and Captain America felt that Bucky's death had finally been avenged.[6]

During Hercules' journey to the underworld, Baron Heinrich Zemo was seen in Erebus, gambling for his resurrection. He was later seen as a member of Pluto's jury (alongside Abomination, Armless Tiger Man, Artume, Commander Kraken, Iron Monger, Jack O'Lantern, Kyknos, Nessus, Orka, Scourge of the Underworld, and Veranke) for Zeus' trial.[7]

Baron Helmut Zemo

Zemo's legacy was revived by his son, Helmut J. Zemo, 13th Baron Zemo who was born in Leipzig, Germany. His father taught him the idea that the Master Race should rule the world. Helmut was originally an engineer until he became enraged when reading a report about the return of Captain America. Helmut would ultimately follow in his father's footsteps as a supervillain using his family's money and his own scientific know-how to recreate his father's work.

He first surfaced under the alias of The Phoenix, and captured Captain America to get revenge upon him for the death of his father. He was presumed deceased when he fell into a vat of boiling, specially-treated Adhesive X. As he had not been wearing his mask when he fell into the vat, his face was hideously scarred by the boiling Adhesive X, giving his face the appearance of molten wax.[8]

He resurfaced years later as Baron Zemo, first allied with Arnim Zola's mutates. He allied with Primus I, and kidnapped Captain America's childhood friend Arnold Roth in order to lure Captain America into a trap. He forced the Captain to battle hordes of mutates before revealing that he knew the Captain's secret identity.[9]

Zemo later encountered Mother Superior and her father the Red Skull.[10] Zemo underwent tutelage by Mother Superior and the Red Skull, and then kidnapped Captain America's friend David Cox and brainwashed him to battle the Captain.[11] Zemo then kidnapped Arnold Roth again, and directed a shared mental reenactment of Heinrich Zemo's last World War II encounter with Captain America.[12] Zemo then battled Mother Superior, but was psychically overpowered.[13]

Most notably, he formed a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil. This fourth Masters of Evil was formed to strike at Captain America through the Avengers; they invaded and occupied Avengers Mansion and crippled Hercules and the Avengers' butler Edwin Jarvis. Zemo captured Captain America and the Black Knight. Zemo battled Captain America, but fell off the Mansion roof.[14]

Zemo later hired Batroc's Brigade and psychic detective Tristram Micawber to help him locate the five fragments of the Bloodstone in hopes of restoring his father to life. Zemo battled Captain America and Diamondback, but fell down an inactive volcano in Japan.[15]

Zemo was again believed dead,[volume & issue needed] though he eventually returned, now married to a woman named Heike who had once called herself The Baroness and had claimed to be the reincarnation of Heinrich Zemo.[volume & issue needed]

File:Helmut as Citizen V.jpg
Helmut Zemo as Citizen V. Art by Mark Bagley.

Zemo, having abandoned Heike to prison, organized a new team of Masters of Evil when the Avengers and Fantastic Four disappeared during the Onslaught crisis and were presumed dead. These Masters of Evil took false identities and called themselves the Thunderbolts.[16] Leading them under the alias Citizen V (a twist of irony, as Heinrich Zemo had killed the original Citizen V during World War II) Zemo planned to have the Thunderbolts gain the world's trust in order to conquer it.[17] The public took a liking to the team much more quickly than Zemo, or any of the other Thunderbolts, expected and soon most of them came to like the feeling of being heroes.[volume & issue needed]

When the missing heroes returned, Zemo had the Thunderbolts' true identities leaked, forcing them to flee with him into deep space to assist his plan to conquer the world through mind control.[volume & issue needed] However, most of the Thunderbolts rebelled and foiled Zemo's plan.[volume & issue needed] Zemo went into hiding and plotted revenge on his former teammates (who were trying to win back the public's trust by being true heroes).[volume & issue needed] After another of Zemo's plans was foiled by Captain America and a new Citizen V (Dallas Riordan),[volume & issue needed] Helmut was killed by the new Scourge of the Underworld,[volume & issue needed] though his mind was transferred via bio-modem technology into the body of a comatose John Watkins III, grandson of the original Citizen V.[volume & issue needed] Now in possession of Watkins' body, Zemo again played the role of Citizen V, this time as a member of the V-Battalion,[volume & issue needed] until the Thunderbolts' final battle with Graviton, during which his consciousness was removed from Watkins' body and transferred, in electronic form, into his ally Fixer's mechanical "tech-pack".[volume & issue needed]

On the artificial world Counter-Earth - the same world to which the Avengers and Fantastic Four had previously vanished - the Thunderbolts encountered Zemo's counterpart in that world, Iron Cross.[volume & issue needed] Fixer transferred Zemo's mind into his double's un-mutilated body.[volume & issue needed] Zemo then took up leadership of the Thunderbolts who were on Counter-Earth;[volume & issue needed] when this group was reunited with their teammates who had remained on the normal Marvel Universe Earth,[volume & issue needed] Hawkeye briefly resumed leadership,[volume & issue needed] but then left the team to return to the Avengers.[volume & issue needed]

For a while Zemo remained the leader of the Thunderbolts.[volume & issue needed] In 2004's "Avengers/Thunderbolts" limited series he attempted to take over the world again — this time with the belief that he could save the world by taking it over.[volume & issue needed] Zemo now seems to be motivated by a twisted altruism rather than his original selfish desires; he feels he has grown beyond his father in that regard.[volume & issue needed] However, the Avengers foiled his scheme,[volume & issue needed] his teammate Moonstone went berserk,[volume & issue needed] Zemo's new body was blasted while he attempted to protect Captain America,[volume & issue needed] and he left the team and went into hiding after obtaining Moonstone's twin alien gems, two artifacts of great power.[volume & issue needed]

Cover for the second printing of Thunderbolts #104. Art by Tom Grummett.

Zemo had been manipulating the United States government, the New Thunderbolts, the Purple Man, the Squadron Sinister, and a host of other relatively obscure Marvel characters.[volume & issue needed] His goals are unknown, but he is clearly still motivated by a desire to save the world by taking it over, or at least manipulating it towards what he perceives as a beneficial future. Zemo has also, apparently through trial and error, learned how to use the power of the moonstones in various ways, from simply generating raw energy, to transporting himself and others through time, space, and dimensions, to viewing possible future events through dimensional rifts—and, apparently, to repair his damaged face (or, to at least to create the illusion that it was undamaged).[volume & issue needed] He has also recruited members of both his original and subsequent incarnations of the Thunderbolts to his cause, as well as eventually bringing the current team of Thunderbolts around to joining him.[volume & issue needed] The group resides in what Zemo calls his "Folding Castle", a structure that he has connected to various other places around the world by dimensional portals.[volume & issue needed]

As a result of Civil War storyline, Iron Man asked Zemo to begin recruiting villains to his cause,[volume & issue needed] which Zemo had begun doing some time before, unknown to Iron Man.[volume & issue needed] However, he met up with Captain America and informed him that he really had reformed. He showed the Captain his face, once again scarred, to remind him of his earlier sacrifice, and gave him a key that would allow him to escape from the super-human prison being constructed if Captain America would allow his Thunderbolts to fight the Squadron Sinister.[volume & issue needed] He also gave the Captain all his old mementos, destroyed by Zemo in 'Avengers Under Siege', which he had gone back in time and rescued with the help of the Moonstones. Finally, the Captain agreed.[volume & issue needed]

Zemo, always told as a child that he was superior, now believes his father's Nazi ideals to be untrue, and that the only way to become superior is through righteousness. After helping Captain America, he remarked to his father's portrait that the man would be displeased with today's good deeds. Zemo—once again wearing his unscarred face—then revealed to Songbird that she was going to betray him and he was going to sacrifice himself in their upcoming battle with the Squadron Sinister. He told her that he would not die, but that he would become superior through his sacrifice, "by living forever."[volume & issue needed]

Zemo has now revealed his true nature in Thunderbolts #108, where he saved the Wellspring of Power from the Grandmaster, who planned to use it for his own ends. Believing that all of his visions were subject to the flow of time, and that nothing was set in stone, Zemo defeated the Grandmaster, and boasted to his teammates that the power was now all his—and theirs. He insisted that he would use it to help the world, despite the consequences for doing so. Songbird, who had temporarily lost her powers during the final battle, was told by Zemo " is when your betrayal would have come." However, the vision of her betrayal turned out to be true after all. Using a simple opera note to crack the moonstones, Songbird sent Zemo into a whirlwind of cosmic time/space. Just before he was completely sucked into the vacuum, he screamed out that he "would never have hurt a world he worked so hard to save".[volume & issue needed]

The limited series Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo - Born Better (2007), written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Tom Grummett, explores the history of the Zemo barony. Baron Helmut Zemo, sucked into the vacuum, wakes into medieval Germany (1503), witnessing Harbin Zemo's death and his succession, while in the present an academic called Wendell Volker and Reed Richards deduce that Helmut has traveled in time. Captured and taken prisoner as a leper, Helmut Zemo manages to inspire Harbin's twelve-year-old grandson Heller Zemo, to kill his father Hademar Zemo and fulfill his destiny as the third (and most enlightened and progressive) Baron Zemo. When Heller goes into the hidden cell to free his "muse", he discovers that Helmut has somehow disappeared. Helmut makes jumps to 1556 where he fights alongside Heller's son Herbert Zemo, later again to 1640 where he slays Herbert's son Helmuth Zemo, and later to 1710 where he narrowly escapes being killed by Helmuth's son Hackett Zemo.[volume & issue needed]

Meanwhile in the present, Volker reveals that the Zemo bloodline isn't just limited to Helmut's immediate family but in fact Harbin's descendants are spread out all over the world. Wendell visits Miss Klein, a descendant of a bastard child of Hilliard Zemo, the eighth Baron Zemo and his Jewish lover Elsbeth Kleinenshvitz. Hilliard becomes baron after the death of his father Hartwig Zemo in the Seven Years' War. In the past Helmut sees Hilliard and Elsbeth in love, realizing that the residual energy of the Moonstone is drawing him into the present, but forcing him to stop and live every key moment of Zemo's lineage. Zemo manages to save Elsbeth, sentenced to death by the Diet because of her Jewish ancestry and her wealthy family, but in the present Volker kills her distant descendant, convinced that his actions can pull Zemo in his proper place into the time-stream.[volume & issue needed]

Helmut next ends up in 1879 where he stays for several weeks working his way up to be part of Hobart Zemo the tenth Baron Zemo's traveling guard. Hobart is killed during a civilian uprising shortly after German emperor William passes legislation to curb the socialist party. Helmut jumps forward in time before he can save Hobart his great-grandfather. Helmut next arrives during World War I during a battle between British forces led by the original Union Jack and German forces led by Helmut's grandfather Baron Herman Zemo (the 11th Baron Zemo). Helmut witnesses Herman's men slaughter the majority of the British forces with mustard gas. Later, Helmut goes with Herman and his men to find Castle Zemo has been reduced to rubble by the war. Helmut travels forward in time again to his father's tenure as a Nazi during World War Two.[volume & issue needed]

Back in the present, Wendell Volker discovers that Castle Zemo had been restored in the present. Wendell tours the castle with a local German police man and an Interpol agent named Herr Fleischtung, and then Wendell murders both men. Wendell has apparently murdered several Zemo relations in the belief that this spilling of Zemo blood would bring Helmut back to the present.[volume & issue needed]

After battling his own father in the past, giving him the inspiration to take up the Zemo mantle, Helmut returns to the present and manages to convince Wendell not to kill him as well, instead taking what is discovered to be his cousin under his wing, as he sets out to do something new for the world.[volume & issue needed]

Following the events of the Siege crossover as seen in the Heroic Age storyline, Luke Cage assumed control over the Thunderbolts and had Fixer impersonate Zemo as a test to see which ones of his new teammates would betray the team if offered a chance to escape.[18] Later on, it was revealed that Fixer was keeping in secret contact with Zemo while working on the raft.[volume & issue needed] During the Fear Itself event, Zemo gave Fixer key info on the mutant army threatening Chicago.[volume & issue needed]

Having spent his time on the sidelines, watching Norman Osborn's rise to power with the intent of waiting to see what Norman would do with control over the Thunderbolts (and later SHIELD), Baron Zemo reappeared following the events of The Siege, when Osborn ultimately was defeated by the Avengers. A chance encounter at the Thunderbolts' former base in Colorado with the Ghost led to him learning that Bucky was still alive and was the new Captain America. Zemo confronted his rival Sin and discovered how Bucky had survived his father's death trap only to become a trained Soviet assassin (granted one under intense mind control) who killed scores of people for his Russian handlers. But most alarming as the fact that Zemo discovered that Captain America had not only forgiven his partner for his crimes, but had actively covered them up even after Bucky blew up a huge chunk of New York, killing several dozen SHIELD agents in order to restore power to a Cosmic Cube fragment.[19]

Baron Zemo recruited Jurgen "Iron-Handed" Hauptmann (of Red Skull's Exiles), as well as a new female version of the Beetle and Fixer to expose Bucky's sins to the world. This included drugging Bucky with nanites that caused him to behave irrationally and attack police officers and leaking to the media, not only detailed files revealing the acts of terrorism he committed as a mind-controlled pawn of the Russians, but video footage as well of him being trained by his handlers. Zemo ultimately kidnapped Bucky and took him to his father's island where Bucky originally "died". There Zemo confessed that he did what he did, not out of a desire to finish the job his father started, but out of jealousy over how Captain America and his allies quickly forgave Bucky for his crimes, yet continue to scorn Zemo, who had reformed and saved the world on numerous occasions.[20] Zemo then forced Bucky into a similar deathtrap as the one his father put Bucky in, modified though in order to allow Bucky a chance to escape. Zemo then escaped from the island unharmed.[21]

Zemo has since turned his eye towards Hawkeye, who he blames for usurping control over the Thunderbolts from him. Zemo makes a deal with Hawkeye’s former mentor Trick Shot (whose cancer had returned) to train Zemo’s mystery acquaintance to become a master archer in exchange for medical care. When the training was complete, Zemo reneged on the deal. Trick Shot (on the brink of death) was delivered to Avengers Tower to serve as a message to Hawkeye. Before he died in his former pupil's arms, Trick Shot warns Hawkeye of the threat he will soon face.[22]

In the pages of Avengers Undercover, Baron Helmut Zemo has become the new leader of the Shadow Council's Masters of Evil following the death of Max Fury.[23] He later becomes the new leader of HYDRA and enters into conflict with Sam Wilson, the new Captain America.[24] Using the toxic blood of an Inhuman boy named Lucas, Zemo plans to sterilize the human race and distribute a cure to only a small portion of those infected, thus forcibly solving the planet's problems with overpopulation and lack of resources.[25]

Powers and abilities

Baron Zemo has a gifted intellect, with certain scientific expertise, excellent marksmanship, and extensive training in hand-to-hand combat. He is also a highly accomplished strategist and leader. Helmut has circuitry in his headband designed to disrupt psionic manipulation. He carried various rifles, and sometimes carries a hand-held spray-gun for Adhesive X, the most powerful bonding agent ever invented.

The Moonstones grant Helmut Zemo a massive array of superhuman powers such as energy/gravity/light manipulation, molecular phasing, strength/durability augmentation, the ability to create spatial warps, flight and more.

Other Baron Zemos

Besides Heinrich Zemo and Helmut Zemo, there were other Baron Zemos that came before them in order of succession:

  • Harbin Zemo - The first Baron Zemo who was around in 1480.[26]
  • Hademar Zemo - The second Baron Zemo who was the son of Harbin Zemo and the greediest of the Zemos. He was killed by the guards (acting under Heller Zemo's orders) at his inauguration.[27]
  • Heller Zemo - The third Baron Zemo who was the son of Hademar Zemo and the most progressive of the Zemos.[27]
  • Herbert Zemo - The fourth Baron Zemo who was the son of Heller Zemo. He was assassinated by his own generals.[28]
  • Helmuth Zemo - The fifth Baron Zemo who was the son of Herbet Zemo. He was assassinated by a time-displaced Helmut Zemo.[28]
  • Hackett Zemo - The sixth Baron Zemo who was the son of Helmuth Zemo.[28]
  • Hartwig Zemo - The seventh Baron Zemo who was the son of Hackett Zemo.[28]
  • Hilliard Zemo - The eight Baron Zemo who was the son of Hartwig Zemo.[28]
  • Hoffman Zemo - The ninth Baron Zemo who was the son of Hilliard Zemo.[29]
  • Hobart Zemo - The tenth Baron Zemo who is the son of Hoffman Zemo.[29]
  • Herman Zemo - The eleventh Baron Zemo who is the son of Hobart Zemo.[29]

Other versions

Avataars: Covenant of the Shield

The Avataars: Covenant of the Shield miniseries, set in a sword and sorcery version of the Marvel Universe, features Dreadlord, an alternate version of Zemo, as its main villain. Dreadlord was previously Zymo of Z'axis, a general who fought in the Worldwar. When Z'axis lost the war, Zymo adopted a new identity - and swore that he would not remove his hood until Z'axis triumphed once again.

Larval Zooniverse

In Spider-Ham's reality, Baron Zemo is depicted as a zebra named Baron Zebro.[30]

Marvel Noir

In the Marvel Noir universe, Baron Zemo is one of a group of Nazis led by Baron von Strucker, who repeatedly battle adventurer Tony Stark in the 1930s.[31] This Zemo is revealed to be Howard Stark, who has been chemically brainwashed by a combination of zolpidem, ethanol, chloromethane, and "ophentonyl", the acronym forming the name. Strucker says that Stark is not the first Zemo, and that they all wear the hood so no-one from their former life will recognize them.[32]

Marvel Zombies

In the Marvel Zombies limited series, Baron Zemo and his team of Thunderbolts are seen attacking Thor who is aided shortly thereafter by Nova. Zemo shows up prior to Nova's arrival as Thor destroys Zemo's teammate Moonstone (using the codename Meteorite) by smashing her head completely. His only appearance is of him with a torn mask and the teeth and milky eyes of the Marvel Zombies and he proclaims loudly "Meteorite!"

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Baron Zemo appears only in Ultimate Comics: Thor, a prequel to The Ultimates, and is seen opening the gates to Asgard wanting thousands of Third Reich soldiers to attack Asgard, and is also recruiting Ice Giants.[33] However, it's later revealed that this Zemo is actually Loki in disguise.[34] Helmutt Zemo,[35] a German Nazi soldier is his second-in-command, and is the one to summon Loki in present day during the first volume of the Ultimates, using the Norn Stones. Upon his escape from The Room With No Doors, Loki murders the elderly Zemo.[36]

Marvel MAX

In Deadpool MAX, a heavily altered version of Baron Helmut Zemo appears in the first storyline. This version of the character is an American white supremacist who claims to have descended from German nobility, despite having come from a working class home. He fosters a hatred of minorities due to his father having had an affair with a black woman, as well as the irrational belief that Jewish doctors killed his mother with poisoned water. He founds a survivalist retreat dubbed "Whiteland", and plans to use sarin gas on his own followers to incite a race war across the United States. His plans are foiled when Deadpool infiltrates the compound and accuses Zemo of possessing Jewish ancestry, which distracts Zemo's henchmen long enough for Deadpool to shoot them and then snap Zemo's neck.[37]

In other media



Video games

  • Baron Heinrich Zemo appears in Captain America: Super Soldier, voiced by Steven Blum. Although he never appears himself, he is heard in Diary Entries that the player collects, revealing his family history, and his alliance with Red Skull's forces to awaken the The Sleeper beneath Castle Zemo (which Hydra has commandeered before the game). In the Nintendo DS version of the game, he appears as a voice on the radio though his face is still shown to the player.
  • Baron Heinrich Zemo makes an appearance as one of the villains on the Captain America table DLC for Marvel Pinball.


  • Baron Helmut Zemo received a toy in the Secret Wars toyline in 1984-1985, despite the fact that Zemo did not appear in the comic series on which the line was based.
  • Baron Heinrich Zemo received a toy in the Mojo Series (Series 14) of the Marvel Legends toy line.
  • The Baron Zemo Unmasked variant (Series 14 of Marvel Legends) is not that of Heinrich Zemo, but the face of his son Helmut, from a story line where the Red Skull had Helmut dress up as his father (Heinrich). This occurred in Captain America # 297.
  • Baron Zemo has appeared in Hasbro's Marvel Universe action figure line in late 2013.
  • A new Marvel Legends Baron Zemo figure has been produced as part of the Captain America Marvel Legends line in early 2014, as one of two figures appearing under the "Soldiers of A.I.M." banner (the other being an A.I.M. Soldier).


  1. ^ Baron Zemo II is number 40 , IGN.
  2. ^ Avengers #6
  3. ^ Avengers #4
  4. ^ Lee, Stan; Kirby, Jack (December 1964). "The Army of Assassins Strikes!". Tales of Suspense 1 (60). 
  5. ^ Avengers #9
  6. ^ Avengers #15
  7. ^ Incredible Hercules #129
  8. ^ Captain America #168
  9. ^ Captain America #275-278
  10. ^ Captain America #290
  11. ^ Captain America #293-294
  12. ^ Captain America #295-297
  13. ^ Captain America #299
  14. ^ Avengers #273-277
  15. ^ Captain America #357-362
  16. ^ Thunderbolts #1
  17. ^ Thunderbolts Annual 1997
  18. ^ Thunderbolts #144-145
  19. ^ Captain America #608
  20. ^ Captain America #608-6012
  21. ^ Captain America #609-612
  22. ^ Hawkeye: Blindspot #1
  23. ^ Avengers Undercover #1
  24. ^ All-New Captain America #1
  25. ^ All-New Captain America #2
  26. ^ Avengers/Thunderbolts #1
  27. ^ a b Thunderbolts Presents Zemo - Born Better' #1
  28. ^ a b c d e Thunderbolts Presents Zemo - Born Better #2
  29. ^ a b c Thunderbolts Presents Zemo - Born Better #3
  30. ^ Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
  31. ^ Iron Man Noir #1
  32. ^ Iron Man Noir #4
  33. ^ Ultimate Thor #1
  34. ^ Ultimate Thor #2
  35. ^ Ultimate Thor #1
  36. ^ Ultimate Thor #4
  37. ^ Deadpool MAX #3
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Lang, Brent (April 13, 2015). "‘Captain America: Civil War’ First to Use New Imax/Arri 2D Camera (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  41. ^ Jones, Alice (April 22, 2015). "Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'". The Independent. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 

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