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Quote1 My father...! How I have besmirched his memory. He was the greatest scientist in the Third Reich... With a heart as expansive as his intellect...Captain America destroyed him! You gave me such live, father. All I ever wanted was to avenge you and, in so doing, sanctity your memory. Quote2
Helmut Zemo[src]

Baron Heinrich Zemo , Ph.D, was the 12th Baron Zemo, a title of German nobility. His family pledged his loyalty and service to the German Empire in return for Castle Zemo and land that they could pass to their heirs.[7] He became a scientist working for the Nazi's during World War II.[8] His hood was permanently affixed to his head due to immersion in Adhesive X.[1] He escaped to South America following the war to continue his experiments.[9] He survived to the modern age, forming the Masters of Evil, a team of villains created to take down the Avengers,[1] but which ultimately failed, leading to his death.[5]


Early Life[]

Baron Heinrich Zemo was born in 1900, the 12th Baron Zemo. He lived most of his life at Castle Zemo in Zeulniz, Germany. He received the very best education, excelling in science. Becoming one of the leading scientific minds in Europe.[10] He served as a soldier during World War I.[10]

Zemo joined the Nazi Party early in its existence. It was during this time that he met and married a woman named Hilda; together they had a son, Helmut. He was at first a loving husband and father, but this would change overtime.[10] In 1933, Zemo travelled to the United States to meet Dr. Nikola Tesla. He used his research to help develop Teleforce, his powerful laser weapon.[11]

Heinrich Zemo (Earth-616) from Mystery Men Vol 1 5 001

Baron Zemo

World War II[]

On the outbreak of World War II, Zemo quickly became one of the Nazis' top scientists and the most wanted Axis agent.[10] In November 1941, Zemo arrived in Tunisia to help his fellow Nazi operative Baron Wolfgang von Strucker against the U.S. Army. Here, Zemo first met Captain America and Bucky.[12]

One of his first public activities occurred when Allied Sergeant Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos invaded Zemo's castle to destroy Zemo's "death ray" in 1942. Zemo was defeated, but managed to escape.[13] However, the defeat left him vilified throughout the world, and even in Germany, where Zemo took his wife and son, Helmut, into hiding. Zemo began wearing a cowl to disguise himself.[14]

Also in 1942, Zemo acquired a sample of Vibranium that had accidentally been transported to the past from the Baxter Building. The Fantastic Four traveled back in time and teamed up with the Invaders who defeated him and returned the sample to its proper time.[15][16]

Zemo was working on his invention known as Adhesive X when Captain America invaded his laboratories. In the course of destroying the only supply, the adhesive covered Zemo's cowled head, which became permanently affixed. As a result, Zemo was consumed with a violent, insane hatred for Captain America and mankind in general.[1]

Captain America and Bucky helped Baroness Hilda Zemo find Baron Zemo in 1943. He has built the Medusa Effect, which is a massive weapon capable of decimating the United States Air Force.[11] The same year, Zemo faced the hero Citizen V in Poland, and strangled him to death with his own hands in order to break the spirits of his followers, the V-Battalion.[17]

Later that year while in Austria Zemo captured and dissected the first Human Torch to learn the source of his powers. He used his artificial DNA to create his own army of Inhuman Torches. He sent a squad to attack the Invaders.[18] The time travelling Thunderbolts helped defeat the creatures by trapping them under a snowfall and tearing them apart. They then went and rescued the Torch and destroyed Zemo's lab.[19] Zemo led many missions of sabotage and terror against the Allies, often clashing with Captain America.

In 1945, Zemo was issued orders from the Red Skull to sabotage an experimental drone that was planned to be launched from an island on the English Channel. Captain America and his sidekick Bucky tried to stop such plan, but they were captured by Zemo.[20][21][22] Zemo then launched the plane, and when the heroes chased after it, Bucky was apparently killed when a bomb Zemo had placed aboard the plane exploded, and Captain America was thrown into the ocean which led him into a period of suspended animation.[21][23][22]

Soon after, Zemo left Germany and his family in the final days of the war, hiding away in a base he had constructed in the South American jungle.[22]

Resurgence and Death[]

Over the following decades, Zemo constructed a device to use his death ray against entire cities. About the same time, Captain America reappeared, joining the super-team called the Avengers.[22] Zemo created his own team of super-villains, calling them the Masters of Evil, in order to destroy the Avengers, but they failed. He recruited Amora, the Enchantress, Skurge, the Executioner, Radioactive Man, Melter, and Black Knight (Nathan Garrett).[1] Their scheme to turn Thor against the other Avengers failed,[24] as did their plan to use Wonder Man as a pawn to try and gain their trust.[25] Finally, Zemo had his Asgardian allies free Black Knight and The Melter from jail (though Radioactive Man had been deported to his native China). He joined them in various crimes.[26][27][28][29]

While his Masters battled the Avengers, Zemo captured Rick Jones, then acting as Cap's partner. Cap and Zemo dueled in South America. Blinded by the glare from his opponent's shield, Zemo fired his death ray wildly, causing a rock slide that resulted in his death.[5] Heinrich was survived by his son Helmut, who would try to get revenge on Captain America,[30] and eventually adopted the mantle of Baron Zemo.[31]

Legion of the Unliving[]

Following a clash with the Avengers, the time-travelling villain Kang assembled the Legion of the Unliving, a group of presently-deceased people pulled from time a moment before their deaths, including Baron Zemo.[32] After being tasked with guarding Kang's prisoners, Immortus and Rama-Tut, Zemo confronted Hawkeye. After being freed by the Avenger, Immortus devolved Zemo into protoplasm. Immortus proceeded to reverse Kang's actions, erased the memories of the battle from the members of the Legion, and sent them back to their moments of their death. He originally intended to omit Zemo, until Hawkeye convinced him to have the Baron returned to normal.[33]


During Hercules' journey to the underworld of Hades, Baron Zemo was seen gambling for his resurrection.[34] He was later seen as a member of Pluto's jury alongside Nessus, Orka, Armless Tiger Man, Abomination, Jack O'Lantern, Scourge of the Underworld, Cobalt Man, Kyknos, Artume, and Veranke for Zeus' trial.[35]


Power Grid[42]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Short Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Genius


  • Slowed Aging Thanks to his special Compound X, Zemo's aging has been slowed by a significant amount, bordering on immortality. This has allowed him to retain his youthful vigor, vitality, and appearance well into his old chronological age.[36][9]


Genius Intelligence: Baron Zemo was a brilliant scientific genius who made great advances in the field of laser technology, the development of adhesives, genetic manipulation, and the creation of androids. It has been said that Zemo's genius enabled him to construct technology centuries in advance of conventional science.[36][9]

Skilled Combatant: Before and during his decades in South America, Zemo trained himself in various forms of unarmed combat, including karate. He remained a formidable master of these skills until the end of his life.[36]


Mask permanently bonded to his Face: Baron Zemo's hood was permanently affixed to his head due to immersion in Adhesive X. Zemo could see through the hood's eye holes, and it was thin enough to allow him to hear normally. The hood had no openings for the nose or mouth, but was porous enough to allow Zemo to breathe. He could no longer eat, and for the rest of his life, Zemo had to take nourishment intravenously.[36]



  • Particle X: Zemo's "Particle X" was a specialized form of energy that would instantly disable any form of machinery or anything mechanical.[36]
  • Adhesive X: The most infamous of Zemo's weapons was "Adhesive X", an adhesive which could be removed by means of a chemical formulated by the Trapster[36] and, later- at least according to Captain America- to an antidote developed more recently (either by the Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D.)
  • Formula X: A special gas that could instantly tranquilize anyone affected. Its victims could be affected not only through inhaling it, but also by having it enter through the pores in their skin.[36]
  • Baron Zemo's Headband: A headband that blocked against telepathic attack and concealed technology that allowed him to mentally operate some of his creations.[36]


  • Disintegrator Gun: Zemo carried a disintegrator gun as a hand weapon. The ray emitted from this gun did not directly attack its target through heat, impact, or force, but would loosen its molecular bonds, disintegrating it instantly.[36]


  • In his original appearance in 1964, Zemo had been living in South America for less than 20 years, so no explanation was needed for his survival from World War II. Due to Marvel's sliding timescale, he was later retconned to have used a secret formula that slowed his aging, allowing him to survive for many more decades.[36][9]
  • When she was pulled into the Land of the Dead by Samhain, the spirit of Baron Zemo was one of those encountered by the Scarlet Witch.[37]
  • Baron Zemo's corpse was temporarily reanimated by his son and the Batroc's Brigade in Captain America #362.
  • When the Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to warp reality, he temporarily brought back various deceased heroes and villains, including Baron Zemo.[38]


  • In the X-Men: Hellfire Club mini-series, there is a mention of twin sisters with the last name Zemo back in 1915. They may have been Heinrich's sisters, aunts or cousins.[39]
  • When Deadpool and Bullseye first crossed swords, they battled in Baron Zemo's tomb. During the fight, Bullseye attempted to strangle Deadpool with Zemo's large intestines.[40]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Avengers #6
  2. Captain America #299
  3. Thunderbolts #0
  4. Fabian Nicieza intended to name the 9th Baron Zemo Hoffman but did not get the chance to do so in the script for Zemo Born Better.[1]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Avengers #15
  6. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #16
  7. Avengers/Thunderbolts #1
  8. Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #3
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #1
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Thunderbolts Presents Zemo Born Better #34
  11. 11.0 11.1 Captain America: The Medusa Effect #1
  12. Wolverine: Origins #20
  13. Sgt. Fury #8
  14. Captain America #255
  15. Fantastic Four Annual #11
  16. Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1
  17. Captain America / Citizen V '98 #1
  18. Thunderbolts #164
  19. Thunderbolts #165
  20. Captain America (Vol. 5) #4
  21. 21.0 21.1 Captain America (Vol. 5) #6
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Avengers #4
  23. Captain America (Vol. 5) #14
  24. Avengers #7
  25. Avengers #9
  26. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #3
  27. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #56
  28. Avengers Classic #67
  29. Avengers Classic #910
  30. Captain America #168
  31. Captain America #275
  32. Avengers #131
  33. Giant-Size Avengers #3
  34. Incredible Hercules #129
  35. Incredible Hercules #130
  36. 36.00 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04 36.05 36.06 36.07 36.08 36.09 36.10 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead 2004 #1
  37. Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #5
  38. Captain America #448
  39. X-Men: Hellfire Club #3
  40. Deadpool (Vol. 3) #28
  41. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #1
  42. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead 2004 Vol 1 1