MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Baron Zemo, the Sokovian special forces officer who targeted the Avengers, has been rotting in a German prison, but recent events will reignite him with a ferocity.”
Helmut Zemo was introduced into the MCU as the primary antagonist of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Though still associated with Captain America, Helmut’s story was rather changed from that of his comics counterpart. Yes, he was still a master schemer largely fueled by revenge, but he was seemingly just a pedestrian on the sidelines of a larger tragedy, not the megalomaniac heir to another megalomaniac, who had a personal vendetta against Captain America in particular. He was, however, one of the MCU’s most fully-crafted villains, and, since he was also one of the few not to be killed at the end of his introductory appearance, there was plenty of room to bring him back in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, for another rather fabulous run with the character. And, along the way, we also got to see him reclaim a little bit more of his comics background, since the show revealed that Zemo was, as he always has been, a Baron.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Baron Zemo is figure 6 in the Disney+-themed assortment of Marvel Legends. He’s the third figure based on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and also the first figure for the MCU version of Zemo in this line (not terribly surprising, since he was just a fairly average looking guy in Civil War). Zemo is seen here in his full-on, more classically Baron Zemo-inspired attire, which served as is main look on the show, and is also by far his most distinctive appearance thus far. It’s a definite update and change from his comics gear, which has always been a little more on the fantastical side, but it captures the feel of the character very strongly, and just really looks cool. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. The articulation on the figure isn’t quite as strong as some more recent offerings, but it works well enough for the sorts of poses a character like Zemo needs to be able to pull, and it doesn’t impact the layout of the sculpt too badly. He also has the pin-less set-up on his arms, which makes him look a little cleaner. Zemo’s sculpt is largely new. The legs are shared with the Coulson mold, but otherwise it’s all new. It’s a pretty decent offering, all things considered. There’s a lot of pretty nifty detail work going on, and the head’s got a pretty solid likeness of Daniel Brühl. On one hand, I sort of wish he had a more playful expression, given the character’s almost goofy charm, but at the same time, the slightly more serious look is probably more versatile, and therefore a bit more appropriate. The paint work on Zemo is decent, though not without its slight oddities. The most notable weird thing is definitely the hair, which is slightly purple for some reason. Not sure why, but I’d guess it was some sort of mix-up in terms of coloring at the factory. It’s not the worst thing, and it honestly is easy to miss for the most part, but it’s slightly strange to be sure. Otherwise, the paint’s pretty straight forward, and generally a good match for the source material. Zemo probably makes out the best of this whole assortment when it comes to accessories. He’s got an alternate masked head, two sets of hands (a pair of fists, and a grip/pointing combo), a gold pistol, the book containing Winter Soldier’s programming, and the final piece to Captain America’s wings. It’s a pretty nice selection of parts, and generally makes for a good variety of looks. Technically, the gun’s not really right, since it’s a re-use of the Yon-Rogg piece again, which makes it a little more space age-y than it maybe should be, but I like it’s general design enough that I’m not terribly bothered by it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Zemo’s impressed me as a character since Civil War, but that movie didn’t really give him much to go on in terms of a look for action figures. His new design is way more toyetic, and was certainly high on my list from the time it was shown off. His figure translates that design into toy form pretty nicely, and gives us one of the MCU’s best villains in proper action figure form. He’s definitely a fun one.