Baron Helmut Zemo, the 13th Baron Zemo and the son of Baron Heinrich Zemo, the master Nazi scientist and enemy of Captain America during World War II. Heinrich brought his son up to believe in the Nazi ideals of a master race, and that only the Zemo line should be ruling the world.
Learning of his father's death, Helmut, now an accomplished scientist and strategist himself, blamed Captain America, and adopted the guise of the Phoenix in order to kill him in revenge. Zemo was defeated, however, falling in a vat of chemicals, horribly disfiguring him.
He resurfaced years later as Baron Zemo, now working with Dr. Arnim Zola's monstrous creations. He allied with Primus, and kidnapped Steve Rogers childhood friend Arnold Roth in order to lure him into a trap. He forced the Captain to fight hordes of mutates before revealing that he knew his secret identity.
Baron Zemo returned now working with Mother Superior (Sin) and her father the Red Skull. He underwent tutelage and training from them both, and then kidnapped David Cox a friend of Captain America's and brainwashed him to fighting his friend. He also kidnapped Arnold Roth again, and directed a shared mental reenactment of fathers last World War II battle with Captain America. He turned against Mother Superior, but was overpowered by her psychic powers.
Masters of Evil
Helmut returns and continued to either try to take over the world or gain revenge on Captain America, but was always defeated by his archenemy. One scheme in particular led him to recreate his father's team of super-villains known as the Masters of Evil. Under his direction, the Masters of Evil succeeded in taking over the mansion headquarters for Captain America's super-team, the Avengers, in the Avengers' most serious defeat. Zemo was ultimately confronted by Captain America and was overpowered.
Helmut Zemo later married the villain known as the Baroness, a woman who once claimed to be a reincarnation of Heinrich Zemo. The two lived together in the Castle Zemo ancestral home and organized the Kinder. Named for the Nazi Wunderkinder (Wonder Kids, a.k.a. the Hitler Youth), the Kinder were a group of abducted children, who were originally captured as part of a white slavery ring by Damon Dran. Zemo and the Baroness picked 25 children whom they deemed worthy and adopted them into their home in Castle Zemo. These children were essentially brainwashed into developing a fanatical devotion to the Nazi Party in general, and Zemo and the Baroness in particular. Captain America and his partner Diamondback followed a lead on the missing children and defeated Zemo and the Baroness, freeing the children.
Zemo later put in motion plans to create a new Masters of Evil. During this time, however, Captain America and the Avengers were believed dead after seemingly sacrificing themselves to the psychic menace known as Onslaught. Baron Zemo was briefly despondent, devoid of purpose with the loss of his greatest foes. Instead, Zemo hit upon the idea of leading the Masters in masquerading as a new heroic super-team to replace the Avengers, accumulating public trust and resources until they were ready to strike. Zemo himself adopted the alias of Citizen V, a 1940s adventurer slain by his father.
Under Zemo's direction, the team, called the Thunderbolts, was accepted as New York's newest heroes far easier than they would have expected, and were soon given access to equipment used by heroes such as the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Using this new-found trust and equipment, Zemo nearly succeeded in taking over the entire world, but the Thunderbolts, wanting to continue as heroes, mutinied and Zemo barely escaped, despite his use of the reborn Avengers as mind-controlled pawns.
Zemo tried to affect his revenge on the Thunderbolts from his father's base in South America, but was ultimately unsuccessful. He was then confronted by a new Citizen V, claiming to be the true heir to the title, as Zemo never was. Zemo escaped capture, remained at large for several months.
Zemo was later targeted by the mysterious Scourge (in reality, Nomad working on behalf of a government agent, Henry Gyrich, when both were mind-controlled), who stalked Zemo in his headquarters and beheaded him. However, Zemo survived due to a fail-safe device engineered by his robotic associate Techno, a fail-safe which transferred Zemo's consciousness to a computer at the moment of his death. Techno, out of a perverse sense of humor, then transferred Zemo's consciousness into the comatose body of adventurer John Watkins III, who had operated as the modern Citizen V with a covert group known as the V Battalion. Once more hiding in plain sight as Citizen V, Zemo pretended to be the revived Watkins and assumed Watkins' former role as the leading agent of the V Battalion, a role which brought him into contact with various members of the Avengers and the Thunderbolts again. For a time, Zemo, as Citizen V, was offered leadership over the Redeemers, a team of super-agents organized by the Commission for Superhuman Affairs (the same organization that was manipulated to make Scourge).
Shortly afterward, the Redeemers were confronted by the Thunderbolt's archenemy, Graviton, who proceeded to slaughter the heroes before attempting to reshape the world in his own image. Zemo escaped and decided to reactivate his former Thunderbolt teammates, MACH-3 and Songbird, as the Thunderbolts had disbanded at the time. The remaining founding Thunderbolts, Meteorite and the Fixer, initially agreed to serve Graviton in order to be spared, but they soon switched allegiances. Through a mixture of surprise tactics and negotiation, the Thunderbolts managed to fight Graviton to a standstill and revealed that the aliens known as the P'Tah were using Graviton's energies to open a portal to the P'Tah's dimension. The Thunderbolts fought back the P'Tah invasion, but it took Graviton's dying effort to cause the portal to implode, sending himself and the P'Tah back. At the same time, the V Battalion tried to teleport Zemo out of the area. The combination of energies interfered with Zemo's presence in Citizen V's mind, and Zemo's presence was shunted to the mechanical systems of the Fixer.
Graviton saved the Thunderbolts by using his powers to send them to the planet known as Counter-Earth, a duplicate of Earth orbiting the opposite side of the sun where Captain America and the Avengers were after seemingly sacrificing themselves. Although, Fixer knew he contained the disembodied consciousness of Zemo, Zemo purposely kept his presence a secret from the other Thunderbolts. Surreptitiously, Zemo and Fixer confronted Zemo's counterpart on Counter-Earth, the German hero Iron Cross, and Fixer placed Zemo's mind within his counterpart. Zemo confronted his counterpart's father, who was embarked on a global takeover scheme and killed him, wishing to conquer the world in his own right.
Zemo then invited the Thunderbolts to join him in conquering Counter-Earth. The rest of the team, however, wanted to save the troubled world rather than conquer it. Zemo began aiding them in their efforts, initially to win over converts to his cause of ruling civilization, but found himself coming to regard the business of world-saving as an intriguing avenue to achieve the same goals.
The Thunderbolts went on to revive the flying city of Attilan and populate it with refugees and survivors of the war-torn and nearly-destroyed world. The Thunderbolts became renowned for their heroism and efforts to solve the world's problems. They were hailed by many to be the world's saviors, often leaving Zemo flushed with unexpected feelings.
Eventually, the team encountered a spacecraft whose engines emitted a radiation that began eating the Earth from the inside and confronted a being born of that very radiation, Anomaly. The teen rebel soldiers called the Young Allies arrived to show the Thunderbolts that the void created by the machine was linked to the other Earth and claimed only one planet could survive. Zemo was ready to use Anomaly to pull the real Earth into the void, destroying it. The rest of his Thunderbolts, however, embarked on a plan to combine their powers to punt the alien ship off the Earth and sever the link between the worlds. However, in order to complete this plan, the Thunderbolts needed to be inside the void in order to keep it clear of the real Earth as it closed. By so doing, they would reemerge from the void on the real Earth, forfeiting their roles and place on Counter-Earth.
Immediately upon exiting the void, the Thunderbolts confronted their former teammates, Hawkeye and Songbird, who had formed another version of the Thunderbolts on Earth and were also trying to plug the real Earth's counterpart to Counter-Earth's spacecraft. The two teams of Thunderbolts combined forces to plug the void and shunt the alien ship from Earth.
After much discussion, Hawkeye agreed to leave the Thunderbolts to Zemo's leadership, reluctantly coming to agree that Zemo had proved he had potential to be a hero. Zemo congratulated his team, claiming to be embarking on a new mission, based on his experiences on Counter-Earth, to serve the best interests of the world at large, even though it would mean they would have to rule it in order to save it.
Zemo led the Thunderbolts in many acts of questionable heroism, where the ends justified the means. In fact, Zemo’s ultimate plan involved the creation of "The Liberator", a device that would drain abnormal uses energy throughout the world. He hoped this would reduce global threats, eliminate superhuman terrorism, and stabilize the world’s status quo. The Thunderbolts succeeded in launching the Liberator, only to be challenged by the Avengers. Feeling betrayed, Moonstone absorbed the powers that The Liberator had harnessed, combining them with her already-increased powers. As she battled the Avengers, however, her emotional state combined with her near-cosmic power began to threaten the entire planet. The Thunderbolts and the Avengers teamed up to confront Moonstone. During the battle, Zemo blocked Moonstone’s blast of energy from striking Captain America, which left him hideously scarred once more. Ultimately, the teams defeated Moonstone by removing the alien gems that gave her powers. Zemo grabbed the two moonstones, shouting to the Avengers that they had made a mistake in destroying his vision, and he teleported away.
Zemo was sent back in time, traveling through the centuries, and encountering every key events of his forefathers of the Zemo lineage. In 1503, Zemo inspired the young Heller Zemo to kill his corrupt father, Hademar, and fulfilling his role as the third Baron Zemo. During the Seven Years' War, Zemo saved the life of Elsbeth Kleinenshvitz, the Jewish wife of Hilliard Zemo, from an anti-Semitic execution. In 1879, Zemo secretly became the traveling guard of Hobart Zemo; however, he failed to save Hobart's life during a civilian uprising. During World War I, Zemo met his grandfather Herman Zemo and witnessed him utilizing chemical warfare against British forces which were led by Union Jack. Finally in his journey, Zemo came face to face with his father during his tenure as a Nazi. This resulted in a violent fight between father and son before the younger Zemo escaped back to his time.
Upon arriving in the present, Zemo was greeted by his distant cousin Wendell Volker, who was responsible for bringing Zemo to his correct timeline by killing distant relatives of Helmut Zemo and intended on killing the baron himself. But Volker hesitated and could not go through with it. He then attempted to kill himself, but Zemo stopped him and chose to offer his tutelage to Volker.
Zemo resurfaced to challenge the new Captain America, James (Bucky) Barnes (Captain America's World War II sidekick). Zemo was responsible for revealing to the public that Barnes had originally been the Winter Soldier, after seemingly dying in the explosion that left the original Captain America, Steven Rogers, in suspended animation, until Tony Stark asked him to replace the, then, dead Rogers. Zemo stated that Barnes was simply given his role as Captain America and that he would have to prove his worth to wear the mantle.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Slowed Aging: Like his father, Zemo makes use of the Compound X serum to retain his youth and vitality, despite his considerable chronological age.
Helmut also gains a variety of highly potent abilities when using the moonstones.
|Power Grid |
Genius-level intellect: Helmut is a strategic and tactical genius, as well as a brilliant planner and organizer. He also has an impressive scientific and inventive ability, but not at the level his father was.
Expert Combatant: He is a masterful combatant, surpassing his late father in physical skill and prowess, but is only slightly under the level of Captain America.
Expert Swordsman: He is a world-class fencer portraying phenomenal skill ability with rapier, medieval broadswords, and possibly other weapons used in Medieval Europe.
Expert Marksman: Helmut is an Olympic-level marksman with firearms.
Expert Tactician: He is very skilled in field tactics, close range combat, and even turning the tide of any debate that he is involved in to his favor.
Master of Deception: Although he can be truthful in simple conversations with his peers, it is hard to deduce what Helmut is really thinking or planning in his mind. He can appear and appeal as an ally to any felon or hero, but may simply be using he or she do his bidding; it can vary from using them as a shield against another foe, or even getting him past security inside a highly secure structure such as the U.N. He has gone as far to earning respect and acceptance from former enemies such as Captain America to ensure the success of any scheme he hatches. Helmut Zemo is truly a dangerous individual who will travel any distance to achieve his goals.Influential Expert: He is a dangerous influence to any individual he meets. He has used his ability to morally change persons with even the greatest of good intentions to ruthless human beings. His tactics have sometimes even caused individuals to question their own morality, and judgment towards other individuals.
Normal human male with Intensive regular exercise.
EquipmentHe sometimes wears circuitry in his hood guarding against psychic assault, and occasionally uses weapons or traps incorporating his father's Adhesive X, which forms an unbreakable bond with any substance unless it is subjected to a special solvent. Zemo has recently usurped Karla Sofen's moonstones, alien power gems which enable him to manipulate energy on a massive scale for effects such as strength/durability augmentation, space warp creation, gravity manipulation, light manipulation, molecular phasing, and more.
Zemo makes use of much of the same devices invented by his father, including particle, formula, and adhesive X, as well as his dad's disintegrator gun and anti-psychic headband. In close-combat, he prefers an Adamantium sword. He also makes use of various energy weapons and mind-control devices.
- 174 Appearances of Helmut Zemo (Earth-616)
- 52 Images featuring Helmut Zemo (Earth-616)
- 13 Quotations by or about Helmut Zemo (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Helmut Zemo (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Helmut Zemo (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Baron Zemo
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Captain America #168
- ↑ Captain America #275
- ↑ Captain America #290
- ↑ Captain America #293
- ↑ Captain America #295
- ↑ Captain America #299
- ↑ Avengers #273
- ↑ Avengers #277
- ↑ Thunderbolts Annual #1997
- ↑ Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #1
- ↑ Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #2
- ↑ Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #3
- ↑ Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #4
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Vol 1
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