Real Names: Helmut and Heinrich Zemo
First Appearance: Heinrich – Avengers #4 (March, 1964)
First Appearance: Helmut – Captain America 168 (December, 1973)
Powers: Slowed Aging, Gifted scientist, Marksman, and Swordsman
Affiliation: Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil
Love Interests: Heinrich – Hilda Zemo
Love Interests: Helmut – Heike Zemo
Did you know: There has been a total of 13 Zemo’s throughout history
A Little History
This biography will cover 2 versions of Baron Zemo:
- Heinrich Zemo – Father to Helmut
- Helmut Zemo – Son of Heinrich
Heinrich was a leading scientist in Hitler’s army and responsible for the development of 3 key things:
- The Death Ray
- Adhesive X (a virtually irremovable adhesive)
- Compound X (slows down aging)
For his part in the War, Heinrich would garner praise from his family, and hatred from the Allies. As a result of the Allied Victory, Heinrich walked away disgraced by those closest to him and forgotten by the Allies.
With Captain America and Bucky thought to be killed in an airplane explosion, Heinrich retreated to South America where he began to study science. It wouldn’t take long before Heinrich abandoned his wife and son, both of which he had become abusive to. Eventually, Heinrich and an army of mercenaries enslaved a local tribe. He would live like a King amongst these people all-the-while searching for a solvent to remove his mask.
Heinrich learned that Captain America did, in fact, survive the explosion and their rivalry would renew itself. As a consequence of Captain America’s Avengers, Heinrich formed the Masters of Evil. After numerous battles and a long history, Heinrich finally met his demise after an ill-advised blind ray-gun shot deflected off a rock, causing an avalanche that wound up burying him.
Helmut consequently blamed Captain America for his father’s death, underwent combat training and took up the guise of Baron Zemo. He reappeared under the guise of Phoenix, captured Captain America and looked to finally get his revenge. Unfortunately, he fell into a vat of Adhesive X, permanently burning and disfiguring his face instead. He now wears the iconic purple mask.
Over time, Helmut took up partnerships with the likes of the Red Skull, Arnim Zola, Batroc and his Brigade, and, of course, his Masters of Evil.
There would even be a time when the Masters of Evil would masquerade as heroes under the title, “The Thunderbolts.” Zemo would use this heroic advantage to gain public trust and resources until he deemed such a time that he could unleash his evil plot. What he didn’t account for what his Masters of Evil actually enjoyed being heroes and wound up turning on him.