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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
For other uses, see Baron Zemo (disambiguation)

"I have no intention to leave my work unfinished."
― Helmut Zemo to Sam Wilson[src]

Baron Helmut Zemo is a former Colonel with the Sokovian Armed Forces and a commander of EKO Scorpion. Following the Battle of Sokovia, Zemo became a criminal mastermind who sought revenge against the Avengers after losing his family and became obsessed with destroying them. Knowing he was no match against the Avengers, Zemo had planned to have them destroy themselves, by framing the Winter Soldier for killing T'Chaka, which caused Captain America to defend Barnes from the world. That action had caused their Avengers Civil War, in which Iron Man led their manhunt for Barnes and Zemo allowed Stark to discover that Barnes was responsible for his parents' murder. With the Avengers now in ruins, Zemo tried to shoot himself but was captured by Black Panther and given to Joint Counter Terrorist Centre for his imprisonment.

Following eight years of incarceration, Zemo was broken out of prison by Bucky Barnes, to assist him, and Sam Wilson, in tracking down the Flag Smashers. Zemo agreed, intending to put an end to super soldiers for good. Zemo took Wilson and Barnes across Madripoor, where Zemo met and killed Wilfred Nagel, the creator of their new serum. When Zemo found the Flag Smashers in Latvia, he would destroy all but one of their remaining serum vials. Zemo had then been involved with the clash between John Walker and the Dora Milaje, as they both intended to take him into custody, during which Zemo quietly escaped. Zemo returned to the Sokovian Memorial, where he made amends with Barnes, before being handed to the Dora Milaje to continue the rest of his sentence within the Raft. As Zemo remained in the Raft, Oeznik had then assassinated the three remaining Flag Smashers, following Zemo's orders.

Biography

Early Life

Aristocratic Family

"I'm a baron, Sam. My family was royalty until your friends destroyed my country."
― Helmut Zemo to Sam Wilson[src]

Helmut Zemo was born in 1978 in Novi Grad, the capital city of Sokovia, and hailed from an aristocratic family, from which he inherited the title of baron. The family had connections to the Madripoor criminal underworld, and were in possession of a collection of antique automobiles that were passed down by generations.[1] During his youth, Zemo would visit a building in Latvia, which he had greatly admired.[3]

EKO Scorpion

"Zemo ran EKO Scorpion, a Sokovian covert kill squad."
F.R.I.D.A.Y. to Tony Stark[src]

Zemo during his time within EKO Scorpion

In adulthood, Zemo became the commander of EKO Scorpion, an elite Sokovian paramilitary tactical unit. Despite the nature of his job, Zemo was able to form a family, marrying a woman and having a son, Carl. Zemo and his family lived a happy life within Novi Grad while also maintaining close relationships with his father within the Sokovian countryside. Carl developed a fascination with the Avengers and had expressed a desire to Zemo to see them, specifically Iron Man, in action.[2]

Battle of Sokovia

"I told my wife, 'Don't worry. They're fighting in the city. We're miles from harm.' When the dust cleared, and the screaming stopped, it took me two days until I found their bodies. My father still holding my wife and son in his arms. And the Avengers? They went home."
― Helmut Zemo to Black Panther[src]

When Ultron had attacked, Zemo and his EKO Scorpion squad were called upon to defend Sokovia. Zemo sent his family to take refuge with his father outside of Novi Grad, where he believed they would be safe. Despite this, his wife, son and father were killed, and Zemo found their bodies two days later. Although Ultron was defeated by the Avengers, Zemo blamed them for his family's deaths, developing a hatred for their apparent lack of concern for innocent lives, and vowed to destroy the team. Knowing he could not hope to win by force, Zemo sought to manipulate the Avengers into destroying each other.[2]

Avengers Conflict

Questioning of Vasily Karpov

Zemo manages to find and trick Vasily Karpov

"HYDRA deserves its place on the ash heap, so your death would not bother me. But I'd have to use this book, and other bloodier methods to find what I need. I don't look forward to that. You'd only be dying for your pride."
― Helmut Zemo to Vasily Karpov[src]

To initiate his plan, Zemo located Vasily Karpov, one of the former leaders of the Winter Soldier Program, who was in hiding as HYDRA had been wiped out. Having discovered Karpov's location, Zemo knew he would be unable to easily break into Karpov's home. As such, he faked a car crash and asked Karpov to invite him inside to discuss the matter in private, rather than contacting the police.

Zemo questioning and torturing Vasily Karpov

Once Karpov had opened the door, Zemo attacked and subdued him before tying him upside down above his sink slowly filling with water. Using his hammer to bust through the walls of Karpov's cellar, Zemo found and took the Winter Soldier Book from Karpov's HYDRA files and had introduced himself while still speaking politely with Karpov. Zemo had then demanded information about their assassination of Howard and Maria Stark which had occurred in the year 1991.

Zemo leaves a defiant Vasily Karpov to drown

Despite Zemo making his intentions very clear that he would not stop until he had obtained the information he needed to exact his revenge, noting that his loyalties did not lie within HYDRA, Karpov refused to help him. Seeing that Karpov would not speak with him, Zemo then left the tap running and walked out of Karpov’s house with his new stolen belongings while Karpov gave the HYDRA salute before then drowning inside of his sink, as Zemo abandoned him.

Zemo frames the Winter Soldier for a bombing

Using all the information he had obtained, Zemo then proceeded to frame the former Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes, into taking the fall for a bombing which then killed the Wakandan king T'Chaka. The timing of events coincided with the signing of the Sokovia Accords, the new framework that would place any enhanced people under government oversight, and a burgeoning cause for some friction between Captain America, who refused oversight, and Iron Man, who supported it.[2]

Mission Preparation

Zemo awaiting the arrival of Theo Broussard

"Ich konnte es riechen, bevor ich die Tür öffnete."[4]
"Wieder Speck und schwarzen Kaffee. Ich kann dich etwas anders machen, wenn du magst."[5]
"Das ist wunderbar.[6]"
― Helmut Zemo and Maid[src]

Having been hunted across the world for his apparent involvement in T'Chaka's death, Bucky Barnes was eventually caught and subdued, as part to the efforts of Everett Ross' men and War Machine and, into the custody of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre.[2] Knowing this, Zemo awaited the arrival of Theo Broussard while he listened to his late wife's voicemail message before greeting Broussard.[7]

Zemo memorizing the HYDRA control words

Zemo then brought Broussard back to his own hotel room where he proceeded to murder him and hid his body inside the bathtub. While practicing reading the trigger words from the Winter Soldier Book he would need to gain full control of the Winter Soldier, Zemo was then interrupted by the arrival of his breakfast, not allowing the woman to enter so she did not see Broussard's corpse or the bomb that he had made. Zemo then had an ally deliver the bomb to a power station.[2]

Activating the Winter Soldier

Zemo interviews the captured Bucky Barnes

"Желание, Ржавый, Семнадцать, Рассвет, Печь, Девять, Добросердечный, Возвращение на Родину, Один, Товарный вагон. Солдат?"[8]
"Я жду приказаний.[9]"
― Helmut Zemo and Winter Soldier[src]

Arriving inside the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building, Zemo had found Bucky Barnes was locked in the contained cell with his robotic arm tightly fixed down with Zemo soon managing to get past security and posed as the psychiatrist Theo Broussard, who was supposed to evaluate his mental state before Barnes was sent into Wakanda to await his trial for the murders of T'Chaka and many others. Knowing that their cameras were on him, while people like Everett Ross were watching him closely, Zemo began by doing his true evaluation of Barnes' mind while awaiting news on the next stage of his plans.

Zemo shuts off all the power within the facility

As Zemo continued with the evaluation, he questioned Barnes about the horrors that he had seen throughout his life in World War II and as an assassin for HYDRA, only for Barnes to insist that he did not want to talk about this. Before he continued, Zemo then received the text giving him a warning just before all the power around the facility was shut off, including the cameras, before Zemo then told Barnes that it was time to discuss his home, which he had while serving HYDRA.

Zemo manages to activate the Winter Soldier

Zemo then re-activated Barnes' Winter Soldier Program training by using the HYDRA manual he procured from Barnes' former handler Vasily Karpov, which led to Barnes breaking free of his restraints to stop Zemo's plans, ripping his arms free and punching the glass to try and get away. Zemo was able to finish saying the codewords just as Barnes broke free, resulting with Barnes finally falling under his control. Zemo requested a mission report on Howard Stark's death.

Zemo gives the Winter Soldier his next orders

Having obtained all the information that he needed about the deaths of the Stark family as well as the Winter Soldiers that he intended to use as bait in the next part of his plan to destroy the Avengers, Zemo had then ordered the Winter Soldier to fight and destroy anyone who attempted to stop him before getting into a helicopter and escaping, believing that this escape attempt would seemingly prove his guilt for both the bombing and the murder of T'Chaka to the entire world.

Zemo being confronted by Captain America

As the Winter Soldier obeyed all of his orders, Zemo then lay on the ground, as if he had been assaulted himself in order to maintain his cover. While the Winter Soldier remained out of sight for an ambush, Zemo was then confronted by Captain America and Falcon who had attempted to save Barnes. Seeing Zemo lying on the ground, Rogers suspected something was wrong as he had demanded to know what Zemo wanted, and was told that he wanted to see an empire fall.

Zemo making a swift escape from Sam Wilson

However, before Rogers could put Zemo into his custody, the Winter Soldier charged forward and attacked, knocking Sam Wilson down to the floor before using his Prosthetic Arm to then throw Rogers down an elevator shaft. As Zemo had checked if Rogers had been killed by the impact, Wilson awoke and chased the fleeing Zemo, who ran up the flights of stairs, with Wilson close behind. Eventually Zemo made it outside to Berlin where he ditched his jacket and disappeared.[2]

Killing the Winter Soldiers

Zemo listens to his wife's final voice message

"If it's any comfort, they died in their sleep. Did you really think I wanted more of you?"
"What the hell?"
"I'm grateful to them, though. They brought you here."
― Helmut Zemo and Winter Soldier[src]

Once the Avengers' co-leaders had gathered forces for their factions and fought each other to a near-standstill over their continued tensions surrounding the Winter Soldier's escape and how it impacted the Sokovia Accords, Zemo continued his plans as he prepared to travel to Siberia in order to seemingly to reawaken the five remaining soldiers from the Winter Soldier Program from their cryostasis.

Zemo catches a plane towards Siberia, Russia

While waiting for transport out of Germany, before his involvement in all the chaos could be exposed, Zemo had again listened to the last voicemail message left by his deceased wife to remind himself of his motives against the Avengers following the Battle of Sokovia, as they destroyed his family. Boarding the plane towards his next destination, Zemo made his escape from Berlin and soon arrived in Moscow, and had then proceeded to travel into the Siberian region of Russia.

Zemo prepares to locate the HYDRA facility

Having arrived and hired his snow plow to make it through the harsh weather towards the HYDRA Siberian Facility, where he had learned from Vasily Karpov that the Winter Soldier had been kept, Zemo then contacted his hotel back in Berlin and requested his usual breakfast, knowing that the maid would find Theo Broussard's corpse, allowing all of those who had been tracking him down to learn his true identity and follow him, so the final stage of Zemo's plan could happen.

Zemo discovers the remaining Winter Soldiers

Zemo eventually arrived at the HYDRA Facility where Karpov worked for decades and all of found the Winter Soldiers including Josef, who were still held inside Cryostasis Chambers, peacefully awaiting their next orders. While he had awaited the arrival of Captain America and the Winter Soldier, who were being followed by Iron Man, Zemo killed all five soldiers with a single bullet into the head each while they slept before then finding a sealed room for him to wait for his enemies.[2]

Fall of the Avengers

Zemo reveals his location to the three heroes

"I lost everyone. And so will you. An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again. But one which crumbles from within? That's dead. Forever."
― Helmut Zemo to Captain America[src]

While he waited in his bunker, Zemo witnessed the arrival of his three enemies as he turned on all the lights and revealed the dead Winter Soldiers, questioning if they believed that his plan was to have more of the Winter Soldier in the world. Once Zemo revealed his location, Captain America had then attempted to subdue him by launching his Shield directly at Zemo, only for it to bounce off the bunker wall.

Zemo commenting at Captain America's flaws

Zemo then calmly noted that if they killed him then they would never learn why he had brought them there, before Captain America then questioned why he killed innocent people, including T'Chaka, simply to bring them to this location. Facing his enemy, Zemo told Captain America that he had thought about nothing else for over a year, and he had studied everything about him, before joking that he was glad to see that he had green in his eyes, which Zemo called a flaw.

Zemo showing footage of the Starks' murder

Captain America deduced that Zemo was Sokovian, questioning if this what his revenge was about, only for Zemo to note that Sokovia was a failed state even before it was destroyed by the Avengers, as he explained that he was there because he made a promise, before explaining that due to the Avengers, he had lost everybody he cared about. Zemo then put on the video that he had obtained, noting that the only way to completely destroy an empire, was from within.

Zemo explains everything for Captain America

Zemo watched on while footage of the Winter Soldier tracking down and killing Howard and Maria Stark played in front of them, much to the complete horror of Tony Stark. Just as Zemo had planned, seeing his parents being killed by the Winter Soldier drove Stark into a fit of rage, made worse as Rogers revealed that he had always known this, resulting in Stark furiously attacking his former allies to kill the Winter Soldier, while Zemo then quietly escaped during all of the chaos.[2]

Success and Capture

Zemo explains his backstory to Black Panther

"Justice will come soon enough."
"Tell that to the dead."
"The living are not done with you yet."
Black Panther and Helmut Zemo[src]

Zemo awaited the result of the ensuing battle in the snow, content that he had split the Avengers apart as their leaders fought to the death. While overlooking the landscape, Zemo listened to his wife's final voicemail one last time, before deleting it. Black Panther had then found Zemo and they discussed his involvement in the demise of T'Chaka, which had almost led to Black Panther killing the innocent Winter Soldier for revenge due to all of Zemo's manipulations.

Zemo being finally subdued by Black Panther

Seeing the rage of Captain America and Iron Man, Black Panther had refused to allow himself to be consumed by revenge, seeing it within Zemo's heart. Believing his scheme to be complete regardless, Zemo attempted his suicide by placing his gun under his chin; however, the Black Panther stopped him in time by catching the bullet in the palm of his Panther Habit and putting Zemo in a choke hold.[2] Zemo was then bound up by Black Panther, who took him to be arrested.[10]

Everett Ross' Prisoner

Zemo being held under Everett Ross' custody

"So, how does it feel? To spend all that time, all that effort and to see it fail so spectacularly?"
"Did it?"
Everett Ross and Helmut Zemo[src]

Despite his suicide attempt being prevented, Zemo succeeded with his mission to divide the Avengers, with Captain America being forced to go on the run, while Iron Man struggled with the choices he had made. Having been arrested for all his crimes against the Avengers, Zemo was then left to be mocked in a containment cell by Everett Ross at the headquarters of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre in Berlin, Germany.

Zemo comments on breaking up the Avengers

Ross taunted Zemo by explaining that if he ever tried to escape or even raised his voice in protest, he would receive a painful electric shock. Ross then asked Zemo how it felt to see his plans fail so spectacularly after spending so much time and effort and Zemo had simply replied by asking him, "Did it?"[2] By 2024, Zemo had been transferred to a prison in Berlin, remaining closely monitored while continuing to serve his sentence in solitary confinement.[11]

Chasing Super Soldiers

Interrogation and Escape

Zemo gets a surprise visit by Bucky Barnes

"You are assuming HYDRA has something to do with this, which is why you came to me, which means you are desperate. Luckily for you, I know where to begin."
― Helmut Zemo to Bucky Barnes[src]

During his imprisonment within the Berlin Correctional Facility, Zemo received a visit from Bucky Barnes, to which Zemo had immediately responded by speaking all the words he had memorized from the Winter Soldier Book, attempting to reactivate Barnes' programming. However, Barnes explained that this no longer worked on him, which Zemo admitted that he had already known, but had simply wanted to see how Barnes would react upon hearing those words.

Zemo closely studies Bucky Barnes' eyes

Stepping closer to the glass, Zemo looked in Barnes' eye, claiming he still saw the Winter Soldier inside of him. Changing the subject, Zemo noted that Barnes had the luxury of being kept in a Cryostasis Chamber during his imprisonment, to which Barnes insisted that it had not been a pleasant time. Zemo apologized to Barnes, insisting that his actions in framing him for T'Chaka's murder had never been personal, while just calling him a means towards an end goal.

Zemo learns about the Super Soldier Serum

Barnes had told Zemo that somebody had managed to recreate the Super Soldier Serum, much to Zemo's surprise, as he deduced that Barnes had assumed that it was HYDRA who was behind this, which was why he came to see him. Noting that Barnes must be desperate, Zemo explained that he knew where to begin their investigation, but said nothing more, making it clear to Barnes that he would refuse to assist him if he was forced to continue his imprisonment.

Zemo exits his cell as the alarms are set off

Barnes asked Zemo about the book that he was reading, to which Zemo explained was by Niccolò Machiavelli. Zemo had then slid the book to Barnes, who examined it and returned it, before leaving the facility. As Barnes departed, Zemo found that he had managed to slip a key card inside of the book. Shortly after Barnes had left, the alarms across the facility began to go off, as Zemo was able to take advantage of this and excited a cell, while two prisoners fought.

Zemo manages to sneak out from the prison

As he made his way through the facility, Zemo had brutally subdued Menz and stole his uniform, which had allowed him to make his way through the facility without being questioned, while he used the key card to make his way through the doors, while still keeping his face hidden from all the security cameras. Having allowed riot guards past him, Zemo then pulled the fire alarm, forcing an evacuation from the prison, during which Zemo used the riot and alarm to escape.[1]

Reunion with Enemies

Zemo returning into his family's garage

"I spent years hunting people HYDRA recruited to recreate the serum. Because once it's out there, someone can create an army of people, like the Avengers."
― Helmut Zemo to Sam Wilson[src]

Having successfully escaped from their Berlin Correctional Facility, Zemo had then returned into his garage, where he was greeted by Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, with Wilson being horrified to see that Barnes had assisted with Zemo's escape and demanded that Zemo be taken back to prison, while Barnes insisted that they needed him. As Barnes and Wilson argued, Zemo attempted to make a point, only for Barnes and Wilson to demand that he remain silent.

Zemo grins at Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes

Zemo stood by, as Barnes argued that Wilson had previously broken the Sokovia Accords to stand by his side along with Steve Rogers, and requested that he do it again, while Zemo argued that he was invaluable, to which Wilson simply ordered him to shut up. Wilson then reluctantly agreed to Barnes' plan to allow Zemo to help them, demanding that Zemo not make a move without permission, which Zemo agreed to, while Wilson questioned where they would start.

Zemo collecting all of his former belongings

Zemo then brought Barnes and Wilson into the garage and began going through the cars, explaining that they had been collected by his family over generations. As he collected these guns and other equipment, Zemo explained that he had spent years hunting all of the people that HYDRA had recruited to recreate the Super Soldier Serum, noting that once the serum was out there, other people like the Avengers could then use it to create armies of super soldiers.

Zemo explaining his intentions to Sam Wilson

While he was talking, Zemo noticed his mask within one of the cars and collected it. Zemo had then told Barnes and Wilson that he had ended the Winter Soldier Program once before, and had no intention of leaving all his work unfinished, and they would have to scale the ladder of low-lifes. Zemo had explained that the first stop would be Selby who he was still connected to, promising that once they had gone through her, they would eventually be able find their target.[1]

Traveling to Madripoor

Zemo leading Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson

"They become symbols. Icons. And then we start to forget about their flaws. From there, cities fly, innocent people die. Movements are formed, wars are fought. You remember that, right?"
― Baron Zemo to Bucky Barnes[src]

Having reclaimed his possessions, Zemo led Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson to his private jet, with Wilson expressing his surprise about Zemo's wealth, to which Zemo explained that he was a Baron, and his family have been Sokovian royalty before his country was destroyed by the Avengers. Zemo then reunited with Oeznik, who expressed his delight upon seeing Zemo again after so many years, before leading them all onboard the plane and then taking off.

Zemo is flown onboard his own private jet

Once airborne, Zemo got champagne from Oeznik, who apologized that this might be a little warm, noting that they might not have any good food left, to which Zemo suggested that they give the bad food to Barnes and Wilson. Zemo then noted that they did not know what it had been like to be locked inside of the Berlin Correctional Facility, before then acknowledging that Wilson was held inside the Raft and therefore may understand what it had been like for him.

Zemo's life gets threatened by Bucky Barnes

Although Wilson tried to ask where they were going, Zemo became fascinated while reading Barnes' notebook, as he questioned who Nakajima was. In response, Barnes launched out from his seat and grabbed Zemo by the throat, vowing to kill him if he ever touched the notebook again. Zemo apologized, noting that he understood that it was a list of names of all the people he had wronged as the Winter Soldier, while Barnes warned Zemo not to push his luck any more.

Zemo praises Marvin Gaye's music style

Wilson then noted that the book had belonged to Steve Rogers, who wrote Wilson's recommendation of Marvin Gaye inside there, although Barnes insisted that he only liked his music from the 1940s. Although Barnes tried to dismiss the point, Zemo insisted all Gaye's music was a masterpiece, which Wilson agreed with. Zemo acknowledged how much they admired Rogers, before noting that when he met him, he realized there was a danger with these people becoming symbols.

Zemo explaining where they would be going

Zemo went on to insist that people like Rogers got put on pedestals, and people would forget about their flaws, which had resulted in the formation of groups like the Avengers, who caused innocent people to die in their wars, noting how they destroyed Novi Grad during their conflicts. Zemo compared this to World War II, asking Barnes if he remembered being sent to Germany to stop Red Skull, before asking if they had wanted to live in a world full of people like Red Skull.

Zemo tells Bucky Barnes to be Winter Soldier

Zemo informed them that they were going to Madripoor, while Wilson questioned what this place was, to which Barnes had explained that it was an island in Indonesia, with Zemo noting that it was a lawless place. However, Zemo then explained that they could not walk inside Madripoor as themselves, as members of the Avengers would likely draw far too much attention, as Zemo informed Barnes that he would actually have to become the Winter Soldier once again.[1]

Tensions with Criminals

Zemo leading their team towards Madripoor

"Every kingdom needs its king. Let's just pray we stay under his radar."
"Do you know him?'
"Only by reputation. In Madripoor he is judge, jury, and executioner."
― Helmut Zemo and Sam Wilson[src]

Upon arriving on the outskirts of Madripoor, Zemo listened, as Sam Wilson had complained about the clothes he had been given, insisting that he looked like a pimp, to which Zemo claimed that only an American would see a black man dressed like this as a pimp. Zemo assured Wilson that he had been dressed up as Smiling Tiger, who Wilson would be disguised as during their time within Madripoor.

Zemo reminding everyone of the current plan

While they got closer to Madripoor, Zemo commented on the smell, before insisting that they would remain in character, no matter what happened, as their lives depended on it. They were then collected by a car, as Zemo pointed out high-town, but insisted that they had to go to low-town for their mission, with Wilson commenting on their lack of friends in Madripoor, which Zemo smiled at. During the drive towards Madripoor, several motorcycles surrounded their car.

Zemo follows Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes

Once they had arrived inside of Madripoor's centre, Zemo had led Wilson and Bucky Barnes through the streets, passing armed guards and secret dealings along the way, as he then took them all past the Princess Bar and instead took them inside the Brass Monkey. Once inside, Zemo spoke to Barnes in Russian, questioning if he would be ready to comply, which Barnes did not respond to. Zemo had then brought the group to the bar, where the Bartender mistook Wilson for Smiling Tiger, while Zemo explained that their plans had changed, and they needed to speak with Selby about their business, which the bartender was skeptical about, unsure of their true intentions.

Zemo and Sam Wilson get a drink at the bar

Zemo had then stood by as Wilson was offered Smiling Tiger's usual drink, which included the insides of a snake, much to Wilson's horror, which Zemo drank with him, despite Wilson's discomforts. However, while they were stood at the bar, Zemo was then approached by one of Brass Monkey's henchmen, who had explained that Zemo was not welcome there, to which Zemo insisted that he did not have business with the Power Broker, but suggested they talk with him in person.

Zemo is threatened by Power Broker's goons

Zemo pointed to Barnes to make his point, while the henchman soon recognised Barnes as Winter Soldier, noting that haircut. Once the henchman walked away, Barnes commented on the Power Broker, to which Zemo noted that every kingdom like Madripoor needed a king, suggesting that they should try and stay under his radar. As Wilson questioned if he knew him, Zemo explained that he only knew Power Broker by his reputation, calling him judge, jury and executioner.

Zemo forces Bucky Barnes to fight for him

Zemo saw that more of Power Broker's men had arrived, while Zemo ordered Barnes to attack. Zemo stood by and watched on, as Barnes unleashed his Winter Soldier brutality upon the henchman, crushing a man's wrist with his Prosthetic Arm, with Zemo pushing guards into his path and watching him subdue them. As guns were armed, Zemo had ordered Barnes to stop, noting that they had to stay in character, before the bartender then said that Selby would see them.[1]

Meeting with Selby

Zemo goes towards his meeting with Selby

"Tell us what you know about the Super Soldier Serum and I give you him, along with the code words to control him, of course. He will do anything you want."
"Now, that's the Zemo I remember."
― Baron Zemo and Selby[src]

Having been granted access, Zemo went upstairs inside the Brass Monkey to meet with Selby, who insisted that Zemo should not have come into her bar and made demands, to which Zemo insisted that he had actually been making an offer. While Selby noted that a lot had changed since his last visit, she had then questioned exactly how and when Zemo had been able to escape from the Berlin Correctional Facility, to which Zemo simply claimed that people like them always found a way to escape.

Zemo and Selby discussing their new deal

Selby then greeted Sam Wilson, having mistaken him for the Smiling Tiger, although she noted that he was taller than she expected him to be, before questioning what Zemo's offer was. Zemo explained that he wanted Selby to tell them everything they knew about the Super Soldier Serum, and he would give her the Winter Soldier in exchange, as Zemo walked over to Bucky Barnes, who did not react, promising that he would give Selby the code words that would control him.

Zemo continuing to humiliate Bucky Barnes

Zemo then continued to mock Barnes, by caressing his face while promising that he would do anything that Selby required of him, with Selby noting that this was more like the Zemo she had remembered, noting that she was glad she did not have him killed. Selby informed Zemo that the Super Soldier Serum was on Madripoor, where it was being developed by Wilfred Nagel, who had been recruited by the Power Broker to work on the serum, but things did not go to plan.

Zemo being informed of Wilfred Nagel's work

Zemo asked if Nagel was in Madripoor, although Selby explained that she would not be giving up this information for free, insisting that he would not be able to find Nagel without her. However, before the negotiations could continue, they were interrupted when Wilson's phone rang, much to Zemo's frustration, as Selby demanded that he answer the call on speaker. Zemo listened as Wilson answered the call from Sarah Wilson, but attempted to keep his cover intact.

Zemo insisting that they have to escape

Although Wilson had been able to maintain his cover for most of the conversation, this fell about when Sarah called out to Cass Wilson, before calling him by his first name. Hearing this, Selby demanded that they be killed, only for a sniper's gunshot to strike Selby through the chest, killing her. Once they had subdued the guards, Zemo had rejoined Barnes and Wilson who insisted that Selby's death would be pinned on them, while Zemo considered their next move.

Zemo tries to escape from the Brass Monkey

Once they got outside, Zemo noticed the mercenaries around them were getting texts, offering a reward for their deaths. Before they could get clear, an assassin began shooting at the three of them, as Zemo ran down the road, separating himself from Barnes and Wilson. Once they reunited, Zemo saw them being saved by the same sniper, whom Zemo had referred to as a guardian angel, before Sharon Carter stepped out of the shadows, holding Zemo at gunpoint.

Zemo getting threatened by Sharon Carter

Carter had noted that Zemo had cost her everything, as Zemo stood behind Wilson who insisted that they needed Zemo's help to find the supplier of serum. Zemo listened as Carter had complained that her actions in stealing Captain America's shield and the EXO-7 Falcon to stop Zemo resulted with her being forced to go on the run. However, Barnes requested Carter's help, as she reluctantly offered to protect them in high town, noting that her feud with Zemo was not over.[1]

Hidden by Sharon Carter

Zemo admires Sharon Carter's achievement

"You know the whole hero thing is a joke, right? I mean, the way you gave up that shield, deep down, you must know it's all hypocrisy.'
"He knows. And not so deep down."
Sharon Carter and Baron Zemo[src]

Zemo had followed Sharon Carter back to her Art Gallery, where Carter explained that she had made her money hustling in stolen art works ever since going on the run. Although Sam Wilson had believed that Carter was lying and sold fake art, as Zemo corrected him, and explained that the gallery did sell the stolen art by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, which Bucky Barnes also agreed with.

Zemo discusses the hypocrisy of the heroes

While Wilson and Barnes were given newer clothes by Carter, Zemo got himself a drink, and listened while Wilson asked why Carter had not returned to the United States of America, to which Carter insisted she would be arrested if she returned. As Carter questioned if Wilson had given up Captain America's shield, because he understood the hypocrisy, which Zemo agreed with, before Carter asked about John Walker as the new Captain America, which Barnes scoffed at.

Zemo listens as Sharon Carter agrees to help

Carter noted that Barnes had always believed in patriotic world view, jokingly noting how he had been Captain America's best friend in World War II, before he was Zemo's pet psychopath. Zemo listened on as Wilson explained how the Flag Smashers had stolen the Super Soldier Serum, noting that Wilfred Nagel was their lead, who worked for the Power Broker. Although she warned them to stay out of this, Carter agreed to help them, if Wilson helped to clear her name.

Zemo enjoys himself at Sharon Carter's party

With Carter agreeing to help, she explained that she would host her party with some connected people, and advised them to stay out of trouble, as Zemo shrugged and commented on causing trouble. At Carter's party, Zemo had spent some time at the bar, and admired the art, while under the close watch of Barnes, while he had enjoyed stepping on the floor and dancing. Eventually, Carter rejoined Zemo, Barnes and Wilson, explaining that she had located Nagel.[1]

Ambush at Buccaneer Bay

Zemo goes in search of Wilfred Nagel's lab

"Supercharged."
"You're going back to jail."
"Do you want to find Karli or not?"
― Baron Zemo and Sam Wilson[src]

Zemo followed Sharon Carter to the Buccaneer Bay shipyard on the outskirts from Madripoor, with Zemo and Sam Wilson agreeing that Madripoor knew how to party, based on the previous night, although Carter warned that there was still a bounty on their heads. Carter had then led them to a container where Wilfred Nagel seemingly was, giving each of them an earpiece so they could stay in contact, while she would stay outside to keep watch as they confronted Nagel.

Zemo finding and confronting Wilfred Nagel

Zemo stood by as they entered the container, only to find it empty, although Carter insisted that it was the right one. Zemo had then gone to the back of the container, and noticed that it contained a hidden doorway, which he was able to open, leading Wilson and Bucky Barnes into Nagel's Laboratory. Entering, Zemo stayed back as Wilson and Barnes raised up their guns, and soon found Nagel working on the Super Soldier Serum, before turning off his music.

Zemo listening to Wilfred Nagel's explanation

Although Nagel tried to force them out, he stopped once he saw Barnes, recognising him as Winter Soldier, while Nagel introduced Zemo, noting that Nagel would have heard of Zemo. While Nagel attempted to suggest they make a deal, Carter warned them on the radios that bounty hunters were arriving. Zemo listened as Nagel explained that HYDRA had recruited him into their Winter Soldier Program, continuing their work after the Winter Soldiers had failed.

Zemo quietly searching Wilfred Nagel's lab

Zemo began searching the lab, while Nagel went on to explain that, following HYDRA's downfall, he was recruited into the CIA, who had samples of another test subject's blood, which he used to recreate the serum, claiming to have done what no scientist since Abraham Erskine had done. Wilson questioned how they had never heard about this, to which Nagel explained that he had been killed in the Snap before he could complete his work, which was abandoned.

Zemo swiftly shoots and kills Wilfred Nagel

Zemo listened to Nagel explained that he had come to Madripoor following the Blip, where the Power Broker funded his work, noting he had created twenty vials of the serum, before Karli Morgenthau stole them. While Nagel spoke about Morgenthau seeking help for Donya Madani, Zemo quietly found a gun. Once Carter stormed in, warning that they were out of time, Zemo took his chance and shot Nagel, killing him before Wilson and Carter took the gun away.

Zemo returning to battle the bounty hunters

However, before he could be confronted, Zemo was able to escape as a rocket struck the side of the lab, causing an explosion which knocked everyone off their feet, allowing Zemo to escape during the chaos. While Wilson, Barnes and Carter found themselves cornered by the bounty hunters, Zemo was able to get on top of a container, where he donned his mask, and shot an exposed gas valve, causing a massive explosion which had killed several of the bounty hunters.

Zemo manages to kill more bounty hunters

As the surviving bounty hunters recovered from the explosion, Zemo was able to leap down from the container and catch them off guard, as he grabbed one bounty hunter and used him as a human shield, before shooting and killing the other three. With that, Zemo kicked over the bounty hunter he had used as a shield, and executed him, before looking through the flames at Barnes, Wilson and Carter, who used the moment as their chance to escape, while Zemo had run.

Zemo returning with their getaway vehicle

As he explored the shipyard, Zemo eventually came across one open container, and discovered a sports car inside, as Zemo removed his mask and stole the car. Zemo then regrouped with Barnes, Wilson and Carter in the car, with Wilson insisting that Zemo would go back to the Berlin Correctional Facility for killing Nagel, only for Zemo to note that they needed him to find Morgenthau. With Carter staying behind in Madripoor, Zemo then gave Barnes and Wilson a lift.[1]

New Leads

Journey into Latvia

Zemo flies to Latvia onboard his private jet

"She a supremacist. The very concept of a Super Soldier will always trouble people. It's that warped aspiration that led to Nazis, to Ultron, to the Avengers."
"Those are our friends you're talking about."
― Baron Zemo and Sam Wilson[src]

Following their escape from Madripoor, Zemo brought Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes to his private jet, where he made food while they discussed the legacy of Captain America's shield. Once Zemo rejoined them, Wilson explained that Donya Madani had been found dead in Riga, as Zemo explained that he knew a place to go to, while also noting he looked forward to meeting Karli Morgenthau.

Zemo discusses the current state of Sokovia

Zemo flew the group to Riga in Latvia, where they had walked down the streets, as Zemo discussed what became of Sokovia, noting it had been torn apart by it's neighbours in the wake of Novi Grad's destruction at the hands of Ultron and the Avengers, and seemingly erased from the map. Zemo had then questioned if either Wilson or Barnes had ever even gone to visit the Sokovian Memorial, but noted they would have never bothered to show their respects.

Zemo being separated from Bucky Barnes

They then arrived at their destination, only for Barnes to inform them that he would be going on a walk and would join them later. Although Zemo and Wilson were surprised by this decision, they had allowed Barnes to leave and went inside of the building without him.[1] Once in the building, Zemo had taken some time to have his shower, until Barnes returned, as he explained that he had encountered the Dora Milaje, who had come from Wakanda to recapture Zemo.

Zemo learning Wakanda is searching for him

As Barnes insisted that he was not followed there, Zemo questioned how he could be sure, to which Barnes insisted that he would have known. Zemo had then commented on how sweet it was for Barnes to defend him, although Wilson ordered him to be quiet, insisting that nobody was defending him, also commenting on how he murdered Wilfred Nagel, although Zemo advised they not continue discussing Nagel's death, with Wilson insisting that there was no denying this.

Zemo comments on the Flag Smashers' fight

However, they were then interrupted by Barnes, who told them that the Flag Smashers had just bombed the GRC Supply Depot out in Lithuania, resulting in the deaths of three people, as Zemo noted that Morgenthau was clearly getting worse. Zemo insisted that he had the will to complete their mission and kill Morgenthau, questioning if they did as well, to which Wilson insisted that she was just a kid, although Zemo had claimed Wilson was being too hopeful about her.

Zemo comments on the Super Soldier Serum

Zemo had suggested that Morgenthau was a supremacist, explaining that the concept of a super soldier would always trouble people and claimed that this mind set had previously led to the Nazis, as well as the Avengers and Ultron. In response, Wilson had acknowledged that Morgenthau was radicalised, but insisted that there was one peaceful way to stop her. However, Zemo insisted that the desire to be a super soldier could not be separated from their supremacist ideals.

Zemo acknowledges Steve Rogers' virtues

Zemo continued to claim that anybody who took the Super Soldier Serum got on the path to supremacy, insisting that Morgenthau may not stop until she was killed, or had killed them. However, Barnes suggested that Zemo could be wrong about his theories, noting that Steve Rogers had never been corrupted after he had taken the Super Soldier Serum, which Zemo had acknowledged was true, not noted that there had never been another case like Rogers.

Zemo prepares to leave to the camp

Frustrated, Barnes suggested they hand Zemo to the Wakandans, to which Zemo also noted that they would lose their guide as a result. Changing the subject, Wilson acknowledged that Madani had been a pillar of the community, comparing her to his aunt who had passed away, and was given a large funeral, suggesting that Morgenthau would likely attend this funeral for Madani. Zemo agreed, as he took his tin of turkish delights, which he had called irresistible.[3]

Search for the Funeral

Zemo arriving into the Resettlement Camp

"Turkish delight, it was always my son's favorite. My old friend, Donya, passed away. Did you know her?"
"Yes."
"I would like to pay my respects."
― Helmut Zemo and Brave Girl[src]

Seeking to learn where they could find the Flag Smashers, Zemo had joined Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes as they visited the GRC's Resettlement Camp. Zemo expressed regrets over the state of the building, noting how he used to visit there for parties and dinners, acknowledging that he had not known the politics at the time, but remembered it being beautiful. Wilson then went to investigate.

Zemo exchanging candy for some answers

While Wilson was upstairs, Zemo approached some of those local children, singing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep as he walked over, before placing his Turkish Delights for the children, noting how this had been his son's favourite. While one Brave Girl took the candy, Zemo told her that his old friend Donya Madani had passed away, and he had questioned if the girl knew where Madani's funeral would be, as he simply claimed to want to pay his final respects at the funeral.

Zemo returns with the information he needs

Zemo had managed to convince the brave girl to whisper in his ear, telling him where and when Madani's funeral would be. Once he had his information, Zemo noted that Wilson and Barnes were watching him, telling the children that they were very bad men, and could not be trusted, as he gave all the children the rest of the candy. Having convinced the children to stay silent, Zemo returned to Wilson and Barnes, while commenting on how cute the children were.[3]

Tensions with Bucky Barnes

Zemo makes some more tea while they talk

"Leaving you to turn on me once we get to Karli? I prefer to keep my leverage."
"You wanna see what someone can do with leverage?"
― Helmut Zemo and Bucky Barnes[src]

Returning back into his residence, Zemo had made some tea, while Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes explained that they had not gotten any information about Donya Madani's funeral, with Wilson noting that this was because Karli Morgenthau was the only person who had been fighting for them. Zemo listened to Wilson commenting on how Morgenthau's ideals had come from the world's reaction to the Snap, where countries worked together for a common good.

Zemo notes when Donya Madani's funeral is

Zemo brought over their teas, as Wilson noted that this all changed once the Blip brought everyone back, with Morgenthau hoping to get the world all working together again, although Barnes questioned if Mogenthau's motives were all that different to Zemo's. Barnes then questioned what the Brave Girl told Zemo, as he just explained that Madani's would be in the afternoon. Barnes then noted that the Dora Milaje were still coming for him, suggesting that he keep talking.

Zemo getting threatened by Bucky Barnes

However, Zemo suggested that Barnes would leave him to the Dora Milaje once they got to Morgenthau, as he noted that he had wanted to keep his leverage. In response, Barnes furiously grabbed Zemo's drink and smashed it, making his clear threat to his safety, only for Wilson to advice Barnes not to engage with Zemo, noting he would just exploit him and tilt his head in a mocking way. While Wilson went to make a call to Sharon Carter, Zemo offered Barnes cherry tea.[3]

Destroying the Serum

Zemo being confronted by Captain America

"We'll deal with you later."
"I'm sure it'll all come to an agreeable conclusion. My associate is just up ahead."
Captain America and Helmut Zemo[src]

Having learnt where Donya Madani's funeral would be held by that afternoon, Zemo walked there along with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. However, along the way, they were confronted by Captain America and Battlestar, as Captain America insisted that Karli Morgenthau for them to be risking the mission like this, while also questioning why they freed Zemo from the Berlin Correctional Facility, only for Wilson to insist Captain America calm himself down.

Zemo ignores Captain America's demands

As Captain America became more agitated, Zemo explained that he knew where Morgenthau was going to be, although Captain America stopped his path and demanded answers. As Wilson explained that it would be at a memorial, Zemo had walked past, having spotted the Brave Girl who would lead them. Zemo ignored Wilson and Captain America, while they debated whether Captain America should take Morgenthau by surprise, or if Wilson should try and talk her down.

Zemo asks the brave girl for the directions

Eventually, Battlestar convinced Captain America to go along with Wilson's plans, with Captain America insisting that they would deal with Zemo later, who noted that he was sure it would all come to an agreeable conclusion. Approaching the girl, Zemo handed her some money, telling her to give it to her family, before she led them to the GRC's Resettlement Camp, where Madani's funeral was, as they snuck through in and were pointed to Morgenthau's location.

Zemo is left handcuffed by Captain America

Despite him assisting them, Zemo was then handcuffed to the wall by Captain America, who also gave Wilson ten minutes to speak to Morgenthau, while Zemo had noted that Captain America was being understandably aggressive with him. While they waited, Zemo began noticing Captain America becoming impatient, complaining that this was a bad idea, with Barnes insisting that the ten minutes were not done yet, which had only annoyed Captain America further.

Zemo sees Captain America lose his temper

Zemo watched on, while Captain America attempted to rush in and to arrest Morgenthau, only to be blocked by Barnes, with Captain America noting his jealously of Barnes being the super soldier, before insisting that Wilson needed his backup to deal with Morgenthau, even suggesting that she may have already killed Wilson. Eventually, Captain America and Battlestar had stormed past Barnes to arrest Morgenthau, while Zemo used this opportunity to escape.

Zemo attempting to shoot Karli Morgenthau

As a result of Captain America's interference, Morgenthau had then attempted to escape from the facility, only to run directly into the path of Zemo, who immediately shot her into the stomach. However, Morgenthau survived these shots, and was able to leap behind some cover, while Zemo continued shooting at her, only to lose her bags as she ran, dropping her vials of Wilfred Nagel's Super Soldier Serum as a result, as Zemo had soon realized what he was looking at.

Zemo gets knocked out by Captain America

Seeing that it was the Super Soldier Serum, Zemo wasted no time in smashing the vials under his boot, intending to ensure that the world would be rid of groups like the Flag Smashers and Avengers, while ignoring Morgenthau's pleads for him to stop. While Zemo smashed the vials, Morgenthau escaped with the help of Nico, only for Zemo to then finally be stopped from his rampage when Captain America threw his shield at Zemo's head, which knocked Zemo out.[3]

Escaping the Dora Milaje

Zemo recovering from their previous battle

"You can't hold out hope for Karli. No matter what you saw in her, she's gone, and we cannot allow that she and her acolytes become yet another faction of gods amongst real people. Super Soldiers cannot be allowed to exist."
― Helmut Zemo to Sam Wilson[src]

Having returned to his residence, Zemo recovered from the blow to the head by drinking a whiskey and wearing a wet cloth over his eyes. Zemo then asked Sam Wilson if he had ever been offered their Super Soldier Serum, which Wilson denied, to which Zemo had gone on to ask if Wilson would have accepted it if he was. With Wilson insisting that he would not have, Zemo call this impressive, before claiming that Wilson could not hold out hope for Karli Morgenthau's redemption, since it was already too late.

Zemo comments on the super soldiers' risks

Zemo claimed that Morgenthau was beyond any redemptions, and they could not allow her, nor the Flag Smashers to turn themselves into gods, as he believed Super Soldiers should never be allowed to exist. However, Wilson noted that Zemo was also talking like a god, before questioning if Bucky Barnes should not be allowed to exist as well. They were interrupted by Barnes' return, who insisted there was something wrong with Captain America, which Wilson agreed with.

Zemo watches the Dora Milaje arrive for him

While Zemo watched Wilson and Barnes debating who should have been given the shield, they were interrupted as Captain America and Battlestar arrived and attempted to arrest Zemo. However, Wilson refused to surrender Zemo, noting that Captain America had ruined his talk with Morgenthau and that Zemo had actually proved himself useful to them. Before Captain America could challenge Wilson to a fight, Nomble then threw her Vibranium Spear between them.

Zemo making his escape as the fight begins

Zemo witnessed Ayo and Yama also arriving, while Ayo insisted that Zemo would be taken into the custody of the Dora Milaje, although Captain America refused. As tensions rose, Zemo continued to drink his whiskey, as he had watched the Dora Milaje fight against Captain America and Battlestar, with Wilson and Barnes reluctantly joining the clash. Zemo then took his opportunity, while the fight progressed, to quietly step in the bathroom and escape through a hidden hole.[3]

Amends with Bucky Barnes

Zemo standing at the Sokovian Memorial

"I took the liberty of crossing off my name in your book. I hold no grudges for what you thought you had to do. Goodbye, James."
― Helmut Zemo to Bucky Barnes[src]

Despite managing to escape Latvia, Zemo knew that he would be apprehended soon enough, and so he fled back to Sokovia, to visit the Sokovian Memorial and pay his respects. Soon enough, while Zemo was standing by the memorial, he was interrupted by the arrival of Bucky Barnes, with Zemo noting that he thought Barnes would have arrived sooner. Zemo told Barnes that he did not need to worry about him, since he had decided not to kill him, with Barnes then noting his own sarcastic relief about Zemo's decision.

Zemo getting confronted by Bucky Barnes

While Barnes made it clear that he had a gun, Zemo then explained that Karli Morgenthau had become radicalised beyond the point of redemption, noting that he had warned Sam Wilson about this, but Wilson had not listened, comparing Wilson's stubbornness to Steve Rogers. Zemo then noted Barnes that HYDRA had programmed him to kill, so he knew what had to be done about Morgenthau, in order to ensure that the Flag Smashers did not complete their mission.

Zemo gets held at gunpoint by Bucky Barnes

Although Barnes claimed that he appreciated Zemo's advice, he insisted that they would stop Morgenthau in their own way, which Zemo scoffed at, noting that he was afraid Barnes would say that. Zemo then witnessed Barnes clicking his gun, before aiming it at Zemo's head, seemingly prepared to execute him. Willing to die and be reunited with his wife and son, Zemo did not resist, and instead nodded in approval to Barnes, giving him permission to shoot.

Zemo learning Bucky Barnes will not kill him

However, when Barnes had pulled the trigger, the gun simply clicked, much to Zemo's surprise. As Barnes raised up his Prosthetic Arm, he dropped all of the gun's bullets down onto the floor. Zemo was then surrounded by the Dora Milaje, who had arrived to take him into their custody, with Zemo then smiling at Barnes as he realized what was happening. Zemo then told Barnes that he had already crossed off his own name out of his list, believing that they had both now found their closure from everything that they put themselves through.

Zemo is taken into the Dora Milaje's custody

Having accepted his defeat, Zemo had claimed to hold no grudges against Barnes for this decision to hand him over to the Dora Milaje rather than executing him, and said his final goodbye to him, before being taken away by Nomble and Yama, while Barnes spoke to Ayo about the situation. Zemo was then taken back onboard of the Dora Milaje's Royal Talon Fighter, where they intended to take him to the Raft, where Zemo would live out the rest of his life behind bars.[12]

Zemo is imprisoned inside of the Raft

Prior to his arrest, Zemo ensured his own agenda for ending the Flag Smashers would not go unfinished. To that end, Zemo had employed Oeznik to set off his bomb on an armored truck carrying Dovich, Gigi and DeeDee after their failed attack on the GRC. While imprisoned in his cell at the Raft and continuing to read his books, Zemo heard the news of the vehicle bombing on his radio and smiled at the prospect of hearing his mission was fulfilled, and relaxed on his bed.[13]

Personality

"I have experience. And patience. A man can do anything if he has those."
― Helmut Zemo to Vasily Karpov[src]

Helmut Zemo was a member of a death squad in the Sokovian Armed Forces and managed to build a happy family despite the nature of his job. However, the war between the Avengers and Ultron resulted in the death of his whole family, and he became consumed with anger and hatred. Despite knowing the Avengers were not the villains of that war, Zemo nevertheless held them responsible. Without any means or resources to take the powerful group head-on, he wished to destroy the Avengers from the inside, ensuring that they are forever crippled, if not dismantled outright.

While he is a very vengeful man, he is actually more the ultimate personification of manipulation as he is able to carefully plan and execute all the steps required to manipulate the 'pieces' involved to do his bidding, whether if said 'pieces' realize it or not. His use of psychological warfare was so brilliant that he was able to compensate for previously unaccounted factors--including the death of T'Chaka and Black Panther joining the fray, and turn these seemingly rogue factors into means to further his plans.

Despite his relentless attempts at trying to destroy the Avengers, Zemo is ultimately not without a conscience. He first tried to interrogate Vasily Karpov, but stated that if he did not get the mission report from the officer, then he would resort to more violent means that he would not enjoy. Zemo also sincerely apologized to T'Challa for accidentally killing his father, and even opened up to him about why he wanted the Avengers destroyed. This caused even T'Challa, a man who had wanted Zemo's death the most, to sympathize with his current situation, and even spare him, as he realized that revenge would have completely consumed and destroyed him, as it did with Zemo.

Zemo intended to kill himself after avenging his family, as he had little else to live for, and only T'Challa's timely intervention stopped him from shooting himself. Zemo kept a voice message of his late wife on his phone as one of the last connections from his former life that he held onto, which he often played over. He deleted the message as he was about to commit suicide--a sign that he was ready to join his family.

As a person out to destroy what he sees as an empire, he ironically is fearful of loss despite being someone who has little else to lose. His plans required careful planning and execution, which in turn require extreme levels of patience and focus with loads of contingencies ready at hand, as the slightest mistake or oversight could easily result in the complete failure of his endeavor.

Like most who are out for vengeance and has committed horrible acts to do so, he feels no joy and finds no solace despite the fact that his plans ultimately succeeded while he is comes out alive. At the end of his journey, Zemo's motivation to live dissipated and he is overcome by grief and guilt, seeing death as the only way out of his misery and make amends for the atrocities he wreaked.

Despite his intense demeanor and capability for extreme violence and destruction, Zemo possesses a lighter side to his personality. Despite his career as a soldier, he was a family man who was a loving husband and father to his wife and son respectively, and shared a close bond with his own father. This mellow side even extends to his hobbies, as he is passionate about car collecting, the arts, and when given the chance to relax in Madripoor, even danced at a nightclub.

Although Zemo hates the Avengers, he respects Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, the latter two of which he worked alongside after escaping prison and even seemed to enjoy a bit. Zemo goes on to explain he hates the Avengers as a symbol - super-soldiers like Rogers were put on a pedestal, and are dangerous when left unchecked, as their very power represents supremacist ideals. Rogers was an exception as he does not abuse his power or get corrupted - likewise for Barnes, as he is a victim to HYDRA, who used him against his will. As Sam is an ordinary human trying to do the right thing, like Zemo, he has nothing against him.

Zemo told Wilson and Barnes that he held no grudges toward despite the two being Avengers - though despite his word, he does playfully slight them whenever possible, telling the Latvian kids that they are very bad people, attempting to control Bucky, and pointing they can't turn him over to the Dora Milaje since he was their lead on the Flag Smashers. However, despite his actions, Zemo has nothing but gratitude towards Wilson and Barnes, who allowed him to briefly have a life again, as well as accomplish his mission of destroying the remaining Super Soldier Serums.

Zemo is also an honorable man. Aside from being forced to escape from the Dora and killing Wilfred Nagel, which was inevitable, he showed no intent of betraying Wilson and Barnes, as much as he teases manipulating them. Later, when Barnes confronted Zemo at the Sokovian Memorial, Zemo peacefully accepted that Barnes might shoot him - and when Barnes revealed it was a bluff to buy time for the Dora to catch him, Zemo showed no anger or resistance, but rather told him he respected his decision and bid him a well-wishing farewell before he is taken to the Raft to be imprisoned.

Abilities

"You killed innocent people in Vienna just to bring us here?"
"I've thought about nothing else for over a year. I studied you. I followed you."
Captain America and Helmut Zemo[src]
  • Master Tactician: Helmut Zemo, as the former intelligence officer and commander of the elite Sokovian paramilitary tactical unit EKO Scorpion, is a brilliant tactician, being able to mastermind a series of events in order to get his revenge against the Avengers for their role in the destruction of Sokovia and the death of his family. He was also smart enough to manipulate the Avengers into destroying themselves, which he succeeded in doing, with Iron Man and Captain America starting the Avengers Civil War, and the organization comes out fractured. Although he had the option of releasing the other brainwashed Winter Soldiers from their sleep at the HYDRA Siberian Facility, he deemed that releasing the assassins would result in the Avengers joining forces to fight Zemo, instead of their division. Zemo, along with Thanos, was the only other strategist that had succeeded in defeating the Avengers. Zemo later withheld information regarding the location of Donya Madani's funeral so Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes would not turn him over to the Dora Milaje, stating he would prefer to maintain his leverage.
"When S.H.I.E.L.D. fell... Black Widow released HYDRA files to the public. Millions of pages. Much of it encrypted. Not easy to decipher."
― Helmut Zemo to Vasily Karpov[src]
  • Master Hacker: After Black Widow released all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s and HYDRA's files on the Internet, Zemo was able to hack and decrypt the files pertaining to the Winter Soldier Program.
  • Expert Engineer: Zemo was able to build an EMP bomb that was able to take out Berlin's power plant.
  • Thief: Zemo was easily able to pickpocket Barnes' list and escape from Walker's handcuffs.
  • Multilingualism: Zemo can speak his native Sokovian, as well as English, German, and Russian. He is fluent enough with English to conjure a convincing American accent.
  • Expert Combatant: Zemo's extensive military and black ops background gave him an adequate degree of knowledge on close-quarters combat, to the point where he was able to easily take down Vasily Karpov. While escaping from prison, he easily subdued a guard, and took down several mercenaries in Madripoor.
  • Expert Marksman: Zemo's military background gives him experience with various firearms, from handguns to rifles to shotguns. He was able to kill the Winter Soldiers with a single shot to the head for each one. He killed Wilfred Nagel with a single round, shot and killed several mercenaries in a close quarters fight, and shot a gas tank to make it explode. He also shot Karli Morgenthau, though she survived and escaped due to her enhanced biology.
  • Expert Acrobat: Zemo is an agile individual. He was able to skillfully jump down and descend from several shipping containers, as well as implement his agility in combat against several mercenaries.

Equipment

Weapons

Zemo preparing to commit suicide

  • Smith & Wesson 6906: Zemo took this weapon up to Siberia while he was preparing an ambush on the Avengers, killing the Winter Soldiers with it, before successfully manipulating Iron Man into attacking Captain America and the Winter Soldier, in retaliation for the assassination of Stark's own parents at the hands of the Winter Soldier. With his personal mission finally completed, Zemo had gone back outside of the facility to listen to his wife's final voice message for the last time, and attempted to use this gun to commit suicide. However, Black Panther then prevented Zemo from shooting himself, in order to make Zemo face his justice for all of his crimes.
  • Desert Eagle Mark VII: Zemo keeps a gold-plated pistol in the trunk of one of his vintage cars.
  • Taurus PT100: Zemo keeps another pistol in the trunk of one of his vintage cars.
  • Revolver: Zemo also keeps a revolver in the trunk of one of his vintage cars.
  • IWI Masada: Zemo found a pistol in Madripoor and pointed it at criminals before being confronted by Sharon Carter.

Zemo shoots and wounds Karli Morgenthau

  • CZ P-10: Having managed to find this gun hidden inside of his lab, Zemo had used this handgun to shoot and kill Wilfred Nagel, and had later used it to great effect during the shipyard ambush, shooting a gas tank to explode and took out multiple mercenaries with it. He later used it to shoot Karli Morgenthau, as he found her attempting to escape the GRC Camp, forcing her to hide from Zemo's gunshots, and dropping her vials of the Super Soldier Serum, which Zemo proceeded to destroy.
  • Steyr M9-A1: While being attacked by bounty hunters in Buccaneer Bay, Zemo had managed to disarm a mercenary of his pistol and used it to kill another, before then shooting and killing the mercenary who he took it from.
  • 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun: Zemo also keeps a shotgun in the trunk of one of his vintage cars.
  • AK-103: Zemo carried this rifle as the standard weapon for all members of EKO Scorpion, during operations. He even appeared once in a photograph posing with the rifle.

Other Equipment

  • Mask: Following his escape from the Berlin Correctional Facility, Zemo returned to his family's garage to collect his belongings, including a purple balaclava mask. Zemo would done this mask to hide his identity, when he was attacked inside of Wilfred Nagel's Laboratory, as Zemo proceeded to slaughter the bounty hunters that were chasing him, before he removed the mask upon finding a car to escape in.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Zemo wore this vest as the standard armor for all members of EKO Scorpion, during operations. He even appeared once in a photograph posing with the vest.
"Everything HYDRA put inside me is still there, all he had to do was say the goddamn words."
Winter Soldier to Captain America[src]

Zemo stealing HYDRA's Winter Soldier Book

  • Winter Soldier Book: Zemo had stolen this book from Vasily Karpov's house in Cleveland, Ohio, after he had tortured and drowned Karpov. The book had contained all information about the Winter Soldier Program, including several trigger words that Zemo had used to activate the Winter Soldier's HYDRA-created thought patterns while Barnes was in custody in Berlin, causing him to then go on a furious rampage.
  • Bucky Barnes' List: In order to gain a better understanding of him, Zemo quietly stole the list of names that Bucky Barnes had been writing in his notebook, with Zemo questioning who Y. Nakajima was in the list, causing Barnes to furiously reclaim the book. Zemo also crossed out his own name from the list, believing that he and Barnes had achieved closure from each other.
  • Super Soldier Serum: During his attempting assassination of Karli Morgenthau, Zemo had noticed that she had dropped her remaining vials of the Super Soldier Serum. Unwilling to allow this serum to be used again, Zemo proceeded to destroy all but one of the vials, which was taken by John Walker after he stopped Zemo's rampage.

Vehicles

This section requires expansion

Facilities

"So our first move is grand theft auto?"
"These are mine."
Sam Wilson and Helmut Zemo[src]
  • Helmut Zemo's Garage: Inherited from his aristocratic family, Zemo became the sole proprietor of a family garage, which housed a fleet of antique automobiles passed down throughout the generations.
This section requires expansion
"He wanted to know about Siberia. Where I was kept. He wanted to know exactly where."
Winter Soldier to Captain America[src]
This section requires expansion

Prisons

Zemo getting imprisoned by Everett Ross

This section requires expansion

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Helmut Zemo

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, Helmut Zemo is a German Baron and the son of Heinrich Zemo and Hilda Zemo, and by extension of this is a descendant of Harbin Zemo, Hademar Zemo, Heller Zemo, Hilliard Zemo, and Herman Zemo and the thirteenth baron of the Zemo bloodline. Outside of having led HYDRA and some incarnations of the Masters of Evil, Helmut Zemo masqueraded himself as Citizen V when working as a member of the Thunderbolts. After having been severely disfigured, Zemo uses a purple mask to cover his scars.
  • Zemo appears to have a taste for bacon and black coffee, ordering it every day while staying in a hotel.
  • Zemo is an avid car enthusiast and collector, and possess a car collection that he inherited from his family.
  • Zemo loves Marvin Gaye and considers Trouble Man a masterpiece that is "complete, comprehensive" and "captures the African-American experience".
  • Zemo is left handed.

Behind the Scenes

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Baron Zemo.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of quotes related to Baron Zemo.
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.03: Power Broker
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Captain America: Civil War
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.04: The Whole World Is Watching
  4. Translates from German to: "I could smell it before I opened the door.
  5. Translates from German to: Side of bacon and black coffee again. I can make you something different, if you like.
  6. Translates from German to: This is wonderful.
  7. Captain America: Civil War Deleted Scene
  8. Translates from Russian to: "Longing, Rusted, Seventeen, Daybreak, Furnace, Nine, Benign, Homecoming, One, Freight Car. Soldier?
  9. Translates from Russian to: Ready to comply.
  10. Avengers: Infinity War Prelude
  11. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier 1.02: The Star Spangled Man
  12. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.05: Truth
  13. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.06: One World, One People

External Links