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While everyone knows about Captain America’s origins these days, many of his rogue gallery are still unknown. With the exception of Red Skull, the modern movie audience has yet to see many of the villains Cap has fought from World War 2 to today. One of his most notable is Baron Zemo, who has a history as rich and as long as Cap himself. Here’s some facts to know about the original Baron Heinrich Zemo.
1. The original Baron Zemo was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and introduced to readers in Avengers #4 back in 1964.
2. His character was made to be the reason why Captain America was frozen in the Arctic only to be thawed out in modern times.
3. Baron Zemo, while at first a singular character, would later be retconned into a title. The one that battled Captain America in World War 2 was Baron Heinrich Zemo, the 12th Baron Zemo.
4. His outfit is most recognized for the purple hood he wore to cover his face. He also wore it in an attempt to disguise himself after destroying an entire German town.
5. Baron Heinrich Zemo was a top Nazi scientist that clashed with Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos as well as Captain America throughout World War 2. Zemo was behind the creation of numerous weapons, such as death rays and disintegration pistols. His most notable creation was Adhesive X. Besides sounding awesomely villainous, it was a super strong adhesive that had no dissolvent. Truly diabolical epoxy.
6. Adhesive X was also Zemo’s greatest tragedy, as a vial of it exploded in his face during a fight with Cap. The substance coated his mask and caused it to become permanently stuck to his face. This drove him slowly insane and fed into his utter hatred for Captain America.
7. After this defeat, he crafted himself an outfit to go with his new hood and teamed up with Red Skull to wage war across Europe against Captain America.
8. Captain America, and sidekick Bucky, had infiltrated Zemo’s castle to retrieve a stolen airplane. It was a trap set by both Baron Zemo and the Red Skull and the two heroes were captured. Both were tied to the plane, now armed with explosives, but Cap managed to fall away from the plane, leaving him to fall into the ocean to be frozen and Bucky dead.
9. With his victory over Captain America, Zemo fled when the War was lost and hid away for decades, dedicating his time to finding a way to get his mask off. However, he discovered that Captain America had survived the explosion and went back into the business of being a nemesis.
10. To combat the Avengers, Zemo founded a group of villains called the Masters of Evil. With a roster that included Radioactive Man (not the Simpson’s one), Enchantress, and Executioner, the Masters of Evil clashed with the Avengers.
11. During one instance, Zemo created future Avenger Wonder Man and held his life ransom in exchange for fighting on the side of the Masters of Evil. Eventually, Wonder Man sacrificed himself to save the Avengers and “died” but would be revived later as a full-time Avenger.
12. Zemo’s death finally occurred in Avengers #15 when Cap blinded him by using his shield to deflect the sun’s rays. With Zemo blinded, he fired madly in all directions causing an avalanche of rocks that kills him.
13. The Zemo named lived on, however, in Heinrich’s son Helmut J. Zemo. Even though he was abandoned, he still took his father’s ideals about a “Master Race” to heart. Zemo took up the mantle and costume of his fallen father and took up the fight against Captain America and the Avengers.