Helmut Zemo is a male comic supervillain that features in Marvel Comics.
Helmut Zemo was the son of Hilda Zemo and the son of Heinrich Zemo who worked for the Nazi's as a scientist during World War II where he worked to advance the cause of the Third Reich. Both him and his mother loved his father who operated as Baron Zemo who was condemned by the Americans. Upon becoming the most hated man in Germany, Baron Zemo began to wear a mask to conceal his identity with one of his actions being the development of Adhesive X. During the war, Captain America arrived and fought with Baron Zemo with the tank containing the adhesive being shattered which fell on Heinrich Zemo that permanently fixed his mask to his face. The event caused Heinrich Zemo to be driven mad as a result and left him in a rage where he took out his anger on his own family with him striking his son Helmut. The love shown to Helmut was gone forever with Heinrich leaving his wife Hilda with Helmut's mother believed dying shortly afterwards as she did not want to live without him. (Captain America v1 #168)
Seeking revenge, he took on the masked identity of the Phoenix as he sought to kill Captain America. (Captain America v1 #168)
Despite the fall, he survived with Helmut's costume protecting him but as he was not wearing a mask the chemicals badly disfigured his face. As a result, this intensified his vendetta against Captain America with Helmut deciding to embrace his fathers legacy by becoming the new Baron Zemo. (Captain America v1 #277)
He was secretly operating in New York where he sought to establish a secret weapon cache for Hydra. This saw him arrange for Agence Byzantine transport highly advanced weapons to him but the shipment was intercepted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Baron Zemo was forced to abandon the operation when S.H.I.E.L.D. deployed the Hulk against the cache who worked alongside Daredevil with Helmut departing the scene through a teleporter. (Indestructible Hulk v1 #10)
Personality and attributes
Helmut saw his childhood as being idyllic with his mother being a kind woman and his father was a god to him. He believed that the bonding of Adhesive X to his face had driven him insane which transformed his gentle nature to rage and his love to blind hatred. (Captain America v1 #277)
Powers and abilities
With the Baroness, he at one point had a group of abducted 25 children named the Kinder (German: Children) that were brainwashed into valuing family values, love and honor for their adoptive parents. Thus, they were trained to hate those that they perceived would take that away from them allowing him to direct their actions. These children tended to refer to the Baroness as Mater and Helmut as Vater that were the German words for mother and father. During this time, they resided at his home in Castle Zemo and willingly followed his commands. (Captain America v1 #431)
- Helmut Zemo was created by Tony Isabella and Sal Buscema where he first appeared as Phoenix in Captain America v1 #168 (December, 1973) then made a cameo appearance as Baron Zemo in Captain America v1 #275 (November, 1982) before fully appearing in Captain America v1 #276 (December, 1982).
- The character operated as Citizen V in Thunderbolts Annual #1997 (August, 1997).
- He was the second Baron Zemo with him being based on the first that was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
- In Old Man Hawkeye v1 #7 (2018), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit the world of Old Man Logan that was designated as Earth-807128. This one was shown to had infiltrated the Thunderbolts by taking the identity of Citizen V where he worked alongside the heroes whilst working to bring them down. Through his new position, he gained the weaknesses of Earth's heroes and helped organise the planet's supervillain community to stage a devastating ambush that murdered most of them. During the betrayal, the Thunderbolts turned against the Avengers with Zemo revealing his true identity and that this ploy was part of his revenge against Hawkeye for ousting him in the past. Rather than kill Barton, he left him to live out of spite allowing the villains to dominate the planet in the next 45 years. At some point, he suffered strokes that left him in a crippled state where he could only move in a wheelchair and could communicate by typing words on a keyboard. His condition was kept a secret from his rivals as he ruled the Weapon X facility as he devoted his resources in recreating he Super-Soldier Serum and also watching the life of Clint Barton where he enjoyed seeing the former Hawkeye become a failure in life. He was ultimately killed by Hawkeye when he sought revenge for the death of his friends where he discovered Zemo's true condition and shot his body with numerous arrows to avenge the death of Natasha Romanova.
In other media
- In The Avengers: United They Stand, the younger Baron Zemo appeared in the animated television series in the episode "Command Decision" where he was voiced by actor Phillip Shepherd. It was shown that he admired his father and was with him when the villain was attempting to flee from Captain America. His son hid in the bushes whilst his father battled the superhero where stray shots triggered an avalanche which buried Baron Zemo under rocks thus killing him. His son vowed revenge and blamed Captain America for his fathers demise whereupon he assumed the mantle of Baron Zemo. He later formed the Masters of Evil with the intention of destroying Captain America.
- In Avengers Assemble: Ultron Revolution, Helmut Zemo appeared in the animated television series where he was voiced by actor David Kaye who provided him a German accent whereas he provided an American accent in his guise as Citizen V. In "Sneakers", he took over the security systems in Wakandan to turn the defensive drones against the population as he followed Black Panther and Ant-Man into the underground catacombs to the chamber holding the Amulet of the Crocodile Spirit. Helmut intended to claim the relic and succeed where his own father failed by taming its power for himself.
- In Captain America: Civil War, Colonel Helmut Zemo appeared in the 2016 live-action film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he was portrayed by actor Daniel Brühl.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the Helmut Baron Zero appeared as a character in the Facebook video game with his own Dossier.
- Captain America:
- Thunderbolts v1:
- Indestructible Hulk v1:
- Captain America: Steve Rogers v1:
- Old Man Hawkeye v1: