Baron Helmut Zemo was a nobleman and scientist whose father was Baron Heinrich Zemo, one of the founders of Hydra. He sought to carry his father's legacy and recreate the super-soldier serum and create an army powered by the serum. Zemo attempted to formulate his own version of the serum, but it was imperfect, leading his test subjects to turn into hulking abominations. Thus, Helmut resolved to find his father's perfect serum to achieve his goals.
To achieve this goal, the now-elderly Zemo placed his father's old nemesis Captain America under a special state of hypnosis that forced him to relive his final days with Bucky during the war against Hydra. Zemo followed Captain America to Castle Zemo in order to find his father's version of the super soldier serum, but was briefly interrupted by Iron Man and Black Widow. Injecting the two Hydra soldiers flanking him with his crude serum, he followed Captain America to his father's laboratory, where he injected himself with the super soldier serum and youthanized himself, also taking the other remaining vial of the serum for his own use. Donning a hood reminiscent yet different from his father's, Zemo fought the other two Avengers, easily able to handle them due to his enhancements. However, Captain America broke out of Zemo's mental control thanks to Bucky materializing himself as Cap's conscience telling him that the events playing out in his mind weren't the ones that actually occurred. Captain America joined the fight and was evenly matched with Zemo until the baron fired his pistols at the walls of Castle Zemo, causing it and the cliffside they fought on to crumble. Zemo leapt after the serum that fell out of his suit, with Captain America in hot pursuit. As both super-soldiers fell, Cap quickly grabbed Zemo's hand, but Zemo refused his help to pull him up, stating he wanted to maintain his father's legacy, forcing Cap to release his grip. Zemo fell into the rocky waters, but Iron Man's scans showed that he had disappeared.
Powers & Abilities
- Medically Enhanced Attributes: Helmut Zemo started out as an old man, due to having aged since World War II, but his father's version of the super soldier serum gave him super-enhanced physical and biological parameters on par with Captain America.
- Enhanced Strength: His raw strength is considerable able to fend off Black Widow in direct combat.
- Enhanced Mobility: He is highly agile and evasive, able to effectively dodge and maneuver against multiple enemies with impressive acrobatics.
- Enhanced Resilience: Zemo is highly resilient, able to take a direct hit from Iron Man's tazers and fight on unhindered, likes showing considerable stamina.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: The healing capacities Zemo gained are also considerable, imbuing him with such vitality and enhanced metabolic efficiency that it was able to rejuvenate him to his physical prime in both health and appearance, likewise slowing his aging process. It also allows him to heal much faster and efficiently than a normal human and an immunity to llness.
- Swordsmanship: He is a remarkable swordsman, able to use a blade with lethal accuracy and strength.
- Genius-Level Intelligence: Baron Helmut Zemo has claimed to be a genius. He was capable of creating a super soldier serum, which was capable of turning human beings into hulk sized abominations with superhuman physical attributes. He is also a master of ancient hypnosis techniques, which are even able to bypass Captain America's iron willpower.
- Marksmanship: He has shown a remarkable proficiency with his signature fire arms.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: As a Baron, he has advanced training in various martial arts. He displays his advanced combat skills while fighting Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America.
- Zemo will be a member, possibly the leader, of the supervillain team, the Masters of Evil. Both Heinrich and Helmut Zemo led several iterations of the Masters in comics and other media.
- Zemo's role will possibly reflect his role in Captain America: Civil War, which the third season will adapt to tie-in. However, his Civil War counterpart was confirmed to not be wearing the purple hood in his first appearance.
- In the comics, Zemo's father Heinrich developed a serum called Adhesive X, an extreme form of superglue (as noted by Black Widow) which after accidental exposure became the reason Heinrich never took off his hood. Later on in his life, Helmut was exposed to the serum as well, disfiguring him, though it doesn't appear to be the in-show reason for why they never showed his full face after his youthanization and empowerment.