BARON ZEMO: MARVEL'S MOST FIENDISH NOBLEMAN
By Kirsten Howard
The Marvel Comics version of Baron Zemo is quite different from the one in the MCU, but they both possess one very dangerous trait: a sense of purpose.
Helmut Zemo has outlived many a Marvel villain, both in the MCU and in the pages of Marvel Comics, often by sticking to his diabolical plans with the determination of a shark.
In the comics, he’s the 13th Zemo in a mostly despicable German bloodline.
The Zemo family acquired their land and the notorious Castle Zemo by pledging their allegiance to the German Empire.
Helmut Zemo has been the leader of several villainous gangs over the decades, including the Masters of Evil and Hydra.
Zemo was so fixated on taking down the world’s superheroes, he didn’t know what to do with himself after many of the Avengers seemingly disappeared.
Desperate to find a purpose, Zemo put together a new team of villains who would pretend to be superheroes until they found the right time to strike.
They were called the Thunderbolts, and Zemo directed their operations in the guise of his alter ego, Citizen V.
Zemo has regularly been a thorn in the side of Marvel superheroes everywhere by using his cunning, deception and genius-level intellect, rather than superhuman powers.
Much like Doctor Doom, he has also occasionally proved to be a useful collaborator when it suits him.
In the MCU, Helmut Zemo was introduced in Captain America: Civil War in order to sow distrust among the Avengers
Played by The Alienist star Daniel Brühl, Zemo was said to be a former Colonel with the Sokovian Armed Forces and a commander of EKO Scorpion.
He systematically established Tony Stark and Steve Rogers’ weaknesses over a number of years by digging up devastating secrets from their past.
Zemo returns in Marvel’s forthcoming Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes spinoff series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
After losing his family during the battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he will continue his mission to rid the world of superheroes.
But Zemo may well turn out to be an unexpected ally.