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Unlimited Highlights

Unlimited Highlights: Baron Zemo

The violent and violet-clad villain takes center stage in this week's Unlimited Highlights!

By Ben Chabala

Every week we'll pick a handful of awesome comics from the thousands available through Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. From creator spotlights to editor's picks and more, this'll be your spot to find something new and cool.

Now, because Baron Zemo continues to tear Bucky's life apart in CAPTAIN AMERICA #609, we're spotlighting the multi-generational villain, giving you his greatest triumphs and most bitter failures.  These telling tales of arrogance, conceit, and bitter genius paint a picture of a bloodline trapped in its own supposed greatness, and the men that have succumbed to that legacy.

AVENGERS #15 (1963)
AVENGERS #15 (1963)

During World War II the Third Reich boasted some of the most brilliantly heinous minds the world had ever known, Baron Heinrich Zemo not the least among them. His arrogance, intellect, and nearly insane fervor for the fuhrer made him one of Captain America's most dangerous foes. Flash-forward to the present day and the purple-garbed maniac, with the Masters of Evil, still seeks to destroy his star-spangled foe, this time through his newest sidekick, Rick Jones. With Earth's premiere super team occupied with an unrelenting onslaught by ferocious foes, only Captain America stands between Rick Jones and certain death at Zemo's hands. Who will triumph in this battle nearly fifty years in the making?


They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and in Baron Helmut Zemo's case, this couldn't be more true. After his father, Baron Heinrich Zemo, died in combat with Captain America, Helmut Zemo swore revenge. Now all his years of plotting and planning have come to fruition. The Avengers fight for their lives against the newly formed Masters of Evil. Hercules lies beaten and bloodied in a coma. Jarvis hangs to life by a thread. The Wrecker, Goliath, and Moonstone mean to finish the Avengers permanently. Will Helmut Zemo succeed where his father met failure? Will he destroy Earth's Mightiest Heroes?


With the planet still reeling from the events of Onslaught's assault on New York and the Earth's heroes disappeared to another dimension in the disaster, the Big Apple finds itself unprotected. Costumed defenders stalk the city streets no longer and criminals run rampant through the city streets, looting and destroying. But just when all hope appears lost, a new team of super heroes steps up to bat. They call themselves the Thunderbolts, and they bring justice like lightning! Led by the mysterious Citizen V, they aim to fill the void left after the Onslaught nightmare. They will defend the city. But something sinister lurks just beneath the surface of these new vigilantes shiny new masks. Are they true heroes, or merely a band of brigands posing as some?


Baron Helmut Zemo plotted and planned for years to destroy the Avengers, and very nearly succeeded on multiple occasions. He came within inches of death, faced defeat after defeat, and humiliation at the hands of thunder gods, iron men, and super patriots. Now one of the Avenger's founding members, Tony Stark, wants Zemo and his Thunderbolts to help recruit super villains onto his pro-registration army. The T-Bolt's first job? Hunt down Mach IV's old Beetle armors. Now Zemo's Thunderbolts bring justice like lightning for Tony Stark, and give Cap yet another reason to watch his back!


Chains clank in the darkness; the smell of wet hay hangs in the air, and a solitary figure leans shackled against a dungeon wall, contemplating his fate. Helmut Zemo finds himself thrust into the past, to the very beginning of his lineage. His one companion just so happens to be his ancient ancestor, Heller Zemo, a mere child, but blessed with an eager mind. Helmut becomes his teacher, or more appropriately, his muse. What will he discover about his family, about his blood, about himself in the dark ages? And more importantly, will he ever find his way back to the present?


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MORE IN Unlimited Highlights See All

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I enjoy the current T-Bolts, but I really miss Zemo and the original Thunderbolts. Songbird, Moonstone, Mach-V, and Fixer are back in the title currently. It would be awesome to see Jolt (on counter-earth still?) and Atlas (Initiative?) reunited with the others.