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Baron Zemo(pop culture)
Though Baron Heinrich Zemo was one of Adolf Hitler's most brilliant scientists, his main infamy comes from having slain Bucky Barnes, aide to the World War II superhero Captain America in a story penned by Stan Lee and rendered by Jack Kirby (Avengers #4, 1964). Zemo's research for Hitler yielded a “death ray” that was a precursor to today's laser beam, which was destroyed in a raid by Sergeant Nick Fury's Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #8, 1964). After this, Zemo often wore a red hood in an attempt to hide his identity, even from the Germans. However, Zemo's most notorious achievement was “Adhesive X,” a glue so strong that no force known to man could dissolve it. Late in the war, the Allies' super-agent Captain America and his aide Bucky were sent to destroy Zemo's research. They were captured during the ensuing battle, but not before Zemo was doused with “Adhesive X,” causing his hood to adhere permanently to his face. Late in the war, Zemo was ordered to London to steal a topsecret drone rocket being developed by the Allies. Captain America and Bucky were overcome by Zemo's forces when they tried to stop him, and were tied to the plane as Zemo stole it. The resulting explosion killed Bucky, though Captain America escaped. Decades later, Zemo, who had relocated to South America, again met Captain America when he realized the original “Cap” had not perished. Driven by fervent hatred of the man who trapped him under the hood that still clung to his face, Zemo first assembled a group of costumed acrobats to attempt to kill the Star-Spangled Avenger (Tales of Suspense #60, 1964). When this failed, Zemo united a group of supervillains under the name the Masters of Evil in an attempt to occupy the attentions of the Avengers, whom Cap had joined, while Zemo unsuccessfully attempted, to kill Captain America. Zemo later kidnapped Rick Jones, Cap's new partner, to lure the Avenger to his death. Captain America freed Jones, but Zemo was killed in a landslide of his own creation (Avengers #15, 1965). A later attempt to blackmail the world with a “solar ray” from an orbiting satellite was thought to have been staged by Zemo, but was actually the plot of the slain Baron's pilot, under Zemo's name. Besides Adhesive X, Baron Zemo's personal arsenal consisted of a disintegrator gun—possibly a smaller application of his “death-ray”—and a cadre of androids which he used as bodyguards and combat troops. He was also a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. In recent years, the Baron's son, Helmut, the thirteenth Baron Zemo, has assumed his father's title and tried to take revenge upon Captain America for his father's death. This plot failed, though the new Baron Zemo escaped and constitutes a threat to the world at large.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.