The San Diego Comic-con 2019 gave us a sneak-peek of the upcoming Disney+ TV show 'Falcon & the Winter Soldier' with a major reveal of the costume of the villain 'Baron Zemo'. We don't know if he was disintegrated in Thanos's snap but he's still here, all the victims came back after all.
Daniel Brühl who plays the villainous Zemo posted two screenshots of the teaser, himself as the bearded Zemo and in his purple masked outfit. Here, we explore the villain who split up The Avengers in the Civil War extravaganza.
Zemo's first name is a little tricky if you're not a Marvel fanatic. The Zemo we witnessed in Civil War is the second Baron Zemo named 'Helmut Zemo'. The first is actually his father 'Baron Heinrich Zemo' who appeared in the comics since March 1964, and his legacy lived on after his death in his son who first appeared in 1973.
The Birth of the Evil Mastermind
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Helmut Zemo is a former Colonel of the Sokovian Armed Forces and the commander of EKO Scorpion, an elite Sokovian paramilitary tactical unit. He got married and was a father to his son 'Carl'who was a big fan of The Avengers. He lived happily in Novi Gard, the capital of Sokovia, with them. Then one day, he was called upon for a huge task. His EKO Scorpion squad was to assist the Sokovian defense during Ultron's attack on Sokovia.
Despite believing his family would be safe outside Novi Gard, Zemo's family perishes by the end of the battle where The Avengers defeat Ultron. After discovering their bodies, he blames The Avengers for their demise and makes a mortal vow to destroy them. He becomes completely obsessed and a terrorist mastermind.
The Devious Manipulative Plan
Knowing full well that a normal person is never capable of tearing down a strong group of superheroes by force, Zemo comes up with the manipulative plan to take them down from within. With his tactician skill, he would create a whirlpool and result in the heroes to be cracked from within the center.
Winter Soldier is the first one that Zemo comes to use. He frames 'Bucky Barnes' for the death of the Wakandan king 'T'Chaka' in the bombing during the signing of Sokovia Accords of which 'Iron Man' and Captain America were on two different sides. In order to frame the Winter Soldier, he obtains a plethora of information from the former Winter Soldier Program's leader Vasily Karpov's Winter Soldier Book among his HYDRA files. The priority was information on the assassination of 'Howard' and 'Maria Stark' in 1991, but Karpov never spoke and was ultimately murdered.
There's havoc in Vienna after the bombing and Bucky is being hunted across the world and eventually subdued at Joint Counter Terrorist Center by Everett Ross' men and 'War Machine' in an epic chase.
Rejuvenating The Winter Soldier
To proceed with the plan and make the two groups of Avengers clash, Zemo has to release Bucky from his prison. For that he waits for the psychiatrist, 'Theo Brussard' who was supposed to check on Bucky before being sent to Wakanda for his trial, and murders him in his hotel. He memorizes the trigger words from the Winter Soldier Book required to control Bucky afterward and also makes another bomb.
He disguises himself as the psychiatrist and goes to Bucky's cell and actually evaluates his mind to throw off any suspicion on him until his allies cut off the base power supplies. Then he triggers Bucky's Winter Soldier Program and before Bucky can attempt stopping his plan, Zemo completes the code words and takes Bucky under his will.
With the command over The Winter Soldier, Zemo obtains the information on Howard Stark's death and then orders him to kill anyone that tried to stop him. Of course, Steve Rogers and Falcon try to apprehend Brussard posed by Zemo and ask what his plan was but Bucky charges into them. They only get the answer, "I want to see an empire fall". Zemo escapes when being chased by Falcon into the streets in Berlin.
The Fall of the Avengers
There already were two factions of The Avengers before the bombing in Vienna and Captain America's decision to protect Bucky from everyone on the opposite side amplified the tension between them. He's officially caused the breakdown and a near standstill battle occurs and knowing that Zemo flees to Siberia.
Zemo then contacts the hotel where Brussard's body was, to let The Avengers learn of who he wasn't and lure them to come to him in the HYDRA Siberian Facility where the other five winter soldiers were held in Cryostasis Chamber. He killed all of them with a bullet in each of their heads while in sleep and waited in a sealed room for the two Avenger leaders to arrive at the location.
Captain America, The Winter Soldier and Iron Man arrive at the facility and Zemo introduces himself to them and explains what he did against them. He then plays a surveillance footage of Bucky under the control of HYDRA murder Tony's parents in 1991. Enraged by that, Iron Man begins by thrashing Rogers to the ground. An emotional fight to the death occurs between the three as Zemo escapes the scene.
As Zemo waits in the snow for the result of the fight, he listens to the recording of his wife's last voicemail one last time before deleting it. 'Black Panther' finds him and learns of his father's death caused by Zemo, for which he almost killed Bucky. He resists the temptation to avenge his father having witnessed The Avengers' destruction.
Zemo believes his mission is complete even with the fight still happening and tries to kill himself per his promise after destroying The Avengers. He puts a gun under his chin but Black Panther catches the bullet with his Panther Habit before it could do anything to Zemo. Black Panther thus binds Zemo and arrests him.
Zemo is charged for his crimes against The Avengers and is locked in a cell at Joint Counter Terrorist Center where he is mocked and taunted by Everett Ross. When asked how he felt after seeing his plan fail, he simply smiled and replied, "Did it?"
Falcon & the Winter Soldier Preparations
The result of Zemo's actions against The Avengers clearly left its mark with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark 'not in speaking terms with each other' in the Avengers: Infinity War. Even if they were not dead, they still were in two different corners of the world.
Although the introduction of Thanos did restore them to at least be in speaking terms, the remnant remains. Steve is no longer the Captain America. The responsibility is on Sam Wilson's shoulders from now on after being handed the shield from the original captain.
With all his connections with the Winter Soldier, it is fitting for Zemo to come after him and Captain America. The Avengers have 'assembled' again after their big clash with Thanos. So, there's still more from Zemo as Wilson and Bucky move on to their independent adventures from The Avengers after the Thanos apocalypse. He's not done yet. As Brühl mentioned in the Comic-con footage,
“I can’t imagine what you all must be thinking. A villain seizes control of the panel and you expect me to threaten some unspeakable act of violence. I simply wanted to say hello to some old friends. Gentlemen, I’ll be seeing you very soon."
Zemo gets his own costume in the cinematic world. Here's the design made by the Director of Visual Development of Marvel Studios, Andy Park, in 2016. It is already expected to be used in the 2020 movie.