Sins of the Father!

Baron Zemo

Real name: Helmut Zemo
First appearance: Captain America 168 as The Phoenix; Captain America 276 as Baron Zemo; Incredible Hulk 449 as Citizen V
Presumed Killed In: Captain America 168, Captain America 301, Captain America 360. One bath in Adhesive X, one dive into an active volcano, and one gee-he-wasn't-really-dead-just-out-cold retconn.
What's His Problem? The son of infamous Nazi war criminal turned super-villain Baron Heinrich Zemo, Helmut Zemo was literally born to be bad. His father taught him that the Zemos were superior beings destined to subjugate their fellow men, and that any means were justified in pursuit of this end. Though initially reluctant to embrace the twisted Zemo philosophy, Helmut was attracted to the personal power his father's lifestyle promised. This seed of evil blossomed into full-blown madness when Helmut heard of his father's death in battle with the heroic Captain America, who had been responsible for the elder Zemo's disfigurement decades earlier. Swearing vengeance, Helmut stalked Captain America as The Phoenix but barely escaped that battle with his life. Defeated and disfigured like his father before him, Helmut returned in his father's hooded guise as Baron Zemo and began an obsessive quest to destroy Captain America and all that he held dear. When Captain America seemingly died in battle with Onslaught, Zemo embarked on a new career as Citizen V, the dashing leader of the super-heroic Thunderbolts (secretly Zemo's Masters of Evil). Thus disguised, Zemo and his criminal cohorts are amassing the trust and support of an adoring public until such time as they are ready to strike.
Abilities: Zemo is an accomplished scientist; though not especially innovative or inventive, he has studied and become proficient in the techniques and technologies of his father and other leading scientific minds. He is a gifted organizer, strategist and combat tactician with a commanding personality and strong leadership skills. An adept and agile unarmed combatant, Zemo is also skilled in the use of handguns and swords. He remains youthful and physically vital despite his advanced age thanks to periodic immersion in his father's life-prolonging "Compound X" formula.
Weapons: Zemo has been known to carry a variety of weapons, both conventional and high-tech. He often makes use of his father's inventions, notably the super-strong bonding agent called Adhesive X. As Citizen V, his trademark weapon is a sword.
Favorite Quote: "I am a Zemo. And a Zemo never surrenders. All defeats are merely setbacks, all enemies merely obstacles to be overcome. It is my destiny--my birthright--to triumph. To rule. And rule I shall." (Thunderbolts '97. A down-and-out Zemo whips himself into shape with a rousing pep talk.)
Thing Captain America Says To Him Most Often: "Your hand, man -- give me your hand!" (Variations on this have been uttered at least four times; despite Cap's best efforts, Zemo has taken two dips in Adhesive X and two serious tumbles, one off the roof of Avengers' mansion, the other into the mouth of an erupting volcano. As yet, the 13th Baron displays no fear of heights...)

Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Zemo has dedicated his life to the destruction of Captain America. This has also brought him into repeated conflict with the good Captain's friends and allies, notably the Falcon and the Avengers.
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: Helmut's momma loved him, and his dad would be proud of the way he turned out. Zemo also has the respect of many criminal colleagues. Geneticist Armin Zola aided him during his first Baron Zemo outing, an adventure that resulted in the death of Arnie Roth's best friend Michael and put Steve Rogers at odds with his oldest pal from the War years. Zemo's best buddies are his fellow Masters of Evil; the original Baron Zemo founded the Masters (the criminal answer to the Avengers) and Helmut has taken over as their leader. One Master in particular, Goliath, is an old ally of the Zemos and fanatically loyal to both Barons. The Baron also led Batroc's Brigade during the Bloodstone saga, which pitted him against the Red Skull's agent Crossbones. Helmut's wife Heike was devoted to the Baron, embracing his twisted ideals and helping him raise a multi-cultural family of adopted children to fight the "bad man," Captain America. Like Helmut, she survived immersion in a vat of Adhesive X; one can't help but wonder where the love of Helmut's life is right now! -- editor not-going-to-mention-her-Crimson-Cowl-theory Jeanne.
Most Despicable Act: Zemo has many acts of murder, mayhem and callous cruelty under his belt, but one of his nastiest was the siege of Avengers Mansion: Zemo led the Masters in seizing the Avengers' headquarters, decimating the building and brutally torturing its occupants, all just to torment Captain America.

by Sean McQuaid


Baron Zemo Mug Shots!


Captain America 168
1973

Captain America 277
1983

Thunderbolts 2
1997


The Many Falls of Baron Zemo!

(*ahem*)
Baron Zemo went out on a ledge
Baron Zemo fell over the edge
All of Cap's partners and even Cap's pal
Couldn't peel Zemo out of his cowl.


Vat of Adhesive X

Roof of Avengers Mansion

Mouth of Active Volcano


Vat of Adhesive X
(revisited)



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