|Helmut Zemo, Having Embraced his Father's Ideals|
|Position||One of the Leaders of HYDRA
Leader of the Masters of Evil Colonel in the Sokovian Military (Formerly) Independent Terrorist (Formerly)
Helmut Zemo was a Sokovian (Native-German) Colonel who led a mostly peaceful life with a happy family, until Ultron attacked Sokovia and laid waste to his family. Although it was Ultron's attack that destroyed all that he loved, he blamed the Avengers and set out on a path to destroy them from the inside.
Helmut was born in 1978 in Novi Grad, the capital city of Sokovia to Hilda and Heinrich Zemo. His father was the latest in a long line of German noblemen who were part of the ancient society known as HYDRA, in which they were leading members. During World War II, Zemo was the head of HYDRA's biological weapons division, however, their plan to annihilate the Allied forces was thwarted by the Howling Commandos. After the war was lost, the Zemo family broke ties with HYDRA and relocated to Sokovia. Helmut received the very best education, excelling in science, and becoming a gifted engineer. When Helmut was young, his father only told him certain aspects of his heritage, keeping many secrets from him. But when he was old enough, Heinrich revealed their true family history and the legacy of Baron Zemo.
Later in his life, Helmut would enlist in the Sokovian Armed Forces, and rise through the ranks becoming a Colonel and the Commander of EKO Scorpion. At the same time Helmut managed to start a happy life with his wife Heike, even having a son of their own. Helmut also kept in touch with his father outside of Novi Grad. His happiness would not last forever as in 2015, the genocidal robot known as Ultron attacked Novi Grad, and in the chaos Helmut would lose his wife, son, and even his father. Helmut then was consumed by hatred and a need for vengeance, blaming the Avengers for their crimes and vowing to destroy them whatever the cost. At first Helmut came to the conclusion that no matter how many followers he gathered that the Avengers could defeat any army he could muster, and so he made plans to mastermind the chain of events that would lead the Avengers to destroying themselves.
Ripping the Avengers Apart!
Determining that attempting to overpower the Avengers would be a futile effort, Zemo orchestrated a series of events designed to have them turn on each other and tear apart the team from within. He launched his plan by using Brock Rumlow, a mercenary with a grudge as deep as his own, as a suicide bomber to cause a very public incident in which the Avengers would come out looking like the instigators of the bombing. A subsequent bombing attack in Wakanda, at the signing of the Sokovia Accords, fomented further discord within the team, effectively fracturing it into two opposing factions. His final effort to destroy the team involved drawing the two faction leaders, Tony Stark and Steven Rogers, to a cold war era installation in Siberia where he could reveal to Stark how his parents had been murdered, thereby causing Stark to turn on Rogers. In this final phase of his plan, Zemo attempted to take his own life, but was prevented from doing so by the intervention of T'Challa who had secretly followed Rogers to Siberia.
Depression and Imprisonment
Helmut Zemo was subsequently moved to an extreme security containment cell designed to hold an enhanced individual. There he was informed that any escape attempt, or even simply raising his his voice too loud, would result in him receiving an electric shock. He simply absorbed the news and looked on unmoved. Over the course of several months Zemo was left with nothing to do but reflect on his past and future. At first, Zemo still wanted to kill himself so that he might be reunited with his family, but during his imprisonment, Zemo heard rumbling from the guards of various super hero groups such as the Defenders, or the Secret Warriors. Zemo then realized that his mission was not yet complete as more heroes and teams would eventually rise to take the Avengers place.
One day, Helmut was visited by the secretary of defense Dell Rusk accompanied by Everett Ross because of security precautions. Rusk requested permission to speak to the prisoner alone, seeing that he was confined in such a secure cell. Everett ordered that their entire conversation and that room be monitored for any escape attempt, yet Rusk was prepared for such attempts and set up a fake recording that broadcast-ed on the security camera's along with fake audio while the real conversation would change everything for Helmut.
The secretary recognized Helmut as a brilliant and skilled young man, with something driving him, something that he could not see. Helmut had no idea what the secretary was talking about, until he ripped off his mask and revealed himself to Helmut as the Red Skull. Helmut was shocked at this revelation, thinking that the Red Skull had died decades ago, and the Red Skull stated that he was dead in the eyes of the world and most importantly the Avengers. Helmut was intrigued as to why the Red Skull wanted to see him, and the Red Skull answered that he wanted to help Helmut, because of a dept that he owed to his father. Helmut did not understand how and why the Skull knew his father, and the Skull told Zemo that if he wanted to learn more to go to the bathroom. After the meeting concluded Red Skull put his mask back on and deactivated the jamming equipment, leaving Helmut to question what he had just witnessed. Eventually Helmut did use the restroom and was shocked to see a secret doorway used by the Red Skull to place a surgically altered HYDRA agent to take Zemo's place while the real Zemo escaped through the passage way.
New Mission and Mentor
After being liberated by his prison with the help of the Red Skull, Helmut was taken to HYDRA's true base of operations. Upon arriving Zemo demanded to know how the Skull knew his father, and the Skull took Helmut to the HYDRA archives where he showed Helmut the records of his fathers actions during WW2, and told him the truth of his heritage, along with the fact that Heinrich was closest thing he ever had to a brother. Helmut didn't believe the Skull at first and saw it as manipulation, until the Skull played a recording that Helmut's father left him in the event of his death. In the recording, Baron Heinrich Zemo tells his son the truth, his reasons for keeping their heritage hidden, the Baron that flows through all Zemo's, and to put his faith in the Baron if he had no where else to turn.
After receiving this shocking and life changing news, Helmut asked the Red Skull to show him what it meant to be a Baron. The Red Skull then took Helmut under his wing, and stated that Helmut was right, the new HYDRA was weak and deserved to be destroyed, but their HYDRA would be stronger than any terrorist organization on the planet. The Skull instead of putting Helmut on a soldiers position made Zemo one of his second in commands, where Zemo could be taught the ways of properly building HYDRA. In addiction Zemo was shown a program that his father had started during WW2 called the Masters Initiative. The Skull then told Helmut that he felt that the program required a Zemo's touch to be properly complete. After embracing his father's heritage and needing to conceal his identity from the Avengers, Helmut acquired a mask resembling his fathers and at last claimed his birth right as the new Baron Zemo.
Powers and Abilities
Super-Soldier Serum: With HYDRA's revised Super Solider Serum injected into his system, Helmut has been granted with abilities the same level as Captain America, including:
- Enhanced Strength: Baron Zemo possesses strength above peak-human athlete.
- Enhanced Mobility: Baron Zemo possesses the ability to move & react faster than peak-human athletes.
- Enhanced Resilience: He became far more tolerant to physical trauma & pain than peak-human athletes.
- Healing Factor: Zemo's healing & regeneration have been greatly accelerated. He managed to rejuvenate his youth in such a way as well as have a greatly extended lifespan.
- Master Strategist: Helmut Zemo is a strategist clever enough to orchestrate a series of events designed to fragment the world's premiere superhero team, the Avengers, all while keeping himself undetected by some of the worlds biggest intelligence gathering agencies. He is not above personally committing murder, nor does he have any qualms about causing mass civilian casualties if such things suit his plans.
- Expert Combatant: He is a master of hand-to-hand combatant
- Expert Swordsman: He is a world-class fencer portraying phenomenal skill ability with rapier, medieval broadswords, and possibly other weapons used in Medieval Europe.