Marvel: 10 Characters Baron Zemo Created In The Comics | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The father and son legacy of Baron Zemo has had their hand in the creation of quite a few heroes and villains in the Marvel universe over the years.
Heinrich and his son Helmut have both taken on the mantle of Baron Zemo over the years to become one of Captain America and the Avengers’ greatest enemies. Heinrich Zemo’s scientific genius led to a number of dangerous experiments that began in World War II which led to the creation of horrifying monsters and even a number of supervillains.
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While Baron Zemo was indirectly involved in the creation of heroes like the Winter Soldier, there are quite a few other characters who gained powers through Heinrich’s technology or who were assembled and given costumed identities by his son Helmut.
Heinrich Zemo began his dark experiments as one of the Nazi’s mad scientists during World War II which led to his adoption of the recognized hood of Baron Zemo. This would later become permanently affixed to his face by his own invention known as Adhesive X. It was during this time that a time-lost team of Thunderbolts encountered one of Zemo’s hidden labs.
He had captured the synthetic body of Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch which he used to create his own army of monsters known as the Inhuman Torches. While the Inhuman Torches could have turned the tide of the war, the American Thunderbolts (as they called themselves to hide their true origins) were able to defeat the Torches and free Hammond’s body.
Heinrich Zemo held a lasting grudge against Captain America because he blamed the Sentinel of Liberty for the accident that left him fused to the purple hood of Baron Zemo. This meant most of his villainous actions after the war were in an effort to get back at Captain America, which led him to create the Army of Assassins.
He trained a group of agents to replace a team of athletes who were putting on an exposition with Captain America. The assassins used Zemo’s “Iron Fist” device as well as his poisonous Formula X chemical weapon in an attempt to kill Captain America, though he was able to stop them easily with the help of Rick Jones and they were incarcerated.
When Captain America was found and thawed by the Avengers to gain a new team of heroic allies, Heinrich Zemo also returned and decided to create his own villainous team to match his old foe, called the Masters of Evil.
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His first iteration of the team included other Avengers foes like Radioactive Man, the Melter, and the Black Knight. His second featured Asgardians like Enchantress and her Executioner alongside a newly created villain (more on him soon) before he gathered the members from both versions in a final attack against the Avengers that also inevitably failed.
Simon Williams was the brother of the criminal known as the Grim Reaper, whose advice caused Williams to lose his company after he was caught embezzling money. This made him the perfect candidate for Baron Zemo’s plans to take on Iron Man and the Avengers with his Masters of Evil.
He freed Williams with the help of the Enchantress and used him as a test subject for his new “ionic ray” experiment. This turned Williams into a powerful ionic being known as Wonder Man, though he turned on the Masters of Evil and joined the Avengers instead.
Wonder Man wasn’t the only character who was empowered by the iconic ray, as Zemo’s technology was also used by Enchantress to transform a mercenary smuggler named Erik Josten into the first Power Man. Josten worked alongside Enchantress but soon struck out on his own, eventually taking over the identity of Goliath when his powers changed and he was able to alter his size.
He then took on the heroic identity of Atlas when he joined with the Thunderbolts as his ionic powers further mutated. Count Nefaria used similar tech to empower himself which allowed him to gain control over other ionic beings like Wonder Man and Atlas. Atlas even once shared his ionic powers with Dallas Riordan/Vantage, highlighting the instability of Zemo’s process.
Helmut Zemo followed in his father’s footsteps as the 13th Baron Zemo from a long family line, though he didn’t share the same aptitude for science as Heinrich. This led him into a partnership with the robotic geneticist named Arnim Zola, who had also worked alongside his father Heinrich.
Together they kidnapped an abused man named Edward Whalen off the streets and subjected him to a new experiment that altered his DNA and transformed him into Vermin. He became a rat-like monster who gained control over other vermin-like creatures like rats or even stray dogs, though he can still sometimes revert back into his human form.
It’s not always the Zemo’s who are directly responsible for the creation of new monsters, as proven by police officer Angela Cairn’s transformation into the monstrous Nocturne. Cairn was grieving over the loss of her partner during an attack by Vermin, which put her on the trail of other mutates that had been created by Zemo and Zola.
RELATED: 5 Reasons Why Baron Zemo Is Captain America’s Deadliest Villain (& 5 Why It Will Always Be Red Skull)
One of those mutates was able to capture Cairn and used Zemo’s transformative machine on her which was able to dive into her subconscious and use her darkest fears to build her new form. This led to her transformation into a mute, bat-like form with powerful empathic abilities who took the name of Nocturne and dedicated herself to protecting other mutated creatures like herself.
During Helmut Zemo’s reign as Baron Zemo, he organized a few different versions of the Masters of Evil to carry on his father’s legacy and launch his own nefarious plans. Following the loss of teams like the Avengers and Fantastic Four during the Onslaught incident, he reformed the Masters as a new team of costumed heroes in an effort to fool the mourning public.
He founded the Thunderbolts and created new costumed identities for himself and the villains in their ruse to gain the public’s trust in his plans for world domination. However, the Thunderbolts’ time as heroes changed their perspective and they decided to turn on Zemo in order to stop his plans and find redemption as full-time heroes.
When Clint Barton was growing up in the circus, he was trained first by the Swordsman and then Buck Chisholm/Trickshot who taught him to be the master archer known as Hawkeye. Clint’s younger brother Charles “Barney” Barton chose to join the FBI instead and went on a number of undercover assignments that ultimately led to his death.
However, he was kept alive in suspended animation and later found by Baron Zemo, who hired the original Trickshot to train Barney in archery so that he could replace the dying archer and take out his brother Hawkeye. Barney became the new Trickshot and later worked with Norman Osborn’s second team of Dark Avengers before he reconciled with his brother.
While the original Beetle identity was created by Abe Jenkins who would go on to become the Thunderbolt known as Mach-X, his armor would be worn by a few other characters after his heroic rebranding. When Bucky Barnes took over as Captain America following Steve Rogers’ apparent death, Baron Zemo returned with a plan to expose the Winter Soldier’s dark past.
He enlisted Janice Lincoln who was the thrill-seeking daughter of crime boss Tombstone and had a new Beetle armor created for her by his long-time associate The Fixer. Janice then struck out on her own as the new Beetle and joined with Boomerang’s Sinister Six before she founded her own version of the Sinister Syndicate alongside other female villains.
NEXT: The 10 Deadliest Leaders Of Hydra, Ranked
Entertainment reporter, writer, and all-around geek, Scoot Allan has written for print and online media sources like Geek Magazine, GeekExchange, GrizzlyBomb, WhatCulture, and the Urban 30 before joining CBR, ScreenRant, GameRant and The Gamer as a staff writer. He enjoys salad but prefers french fries.


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