Real Name: Harbin Zemo, Baron Zemo

Identity/Class: Human (Holy Roman Empire; 15th-16th century)

Occupation: Baron; formerly Granary charge-man and Ministerialis

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Albrecht Dürer, Kleinenshvitz, the people of Zeulniz

Enemies: Maria, unidentified Slav raiders, Hademar Zemo

Known Relatives: Hademar Zemo (son, deceased), Heller Zemo (grandson, deceased), Herbert Zemo (great-grandson, deceased), Helmuth Zemo (great-great-grandson, deceased), Hackett Zemo (great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Hartwig Zemo (great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Hilliard Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Hoffman Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Hobart Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Herman Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Heinrich Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, deceased), Helmut Zemo (great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson), Gretchen Zemo, Hilda Zemo, Heike Zemo, Isla Zemo, (extended family by marriages), Miss Klein, Wendell Volker, Fleischtung (distant relatives)

Aliases: Baron Zemo

Base of Operations: Castle Zemo in Zeulniz, South of Leipzig, Holy Roman Empire, 15th century

First Appearance: Avengers/Thunderbolts#1 (May 2004)

Powers/Abilities: Harbin Zemo possessed no powers beyond being in fit condition and was an above-average swordsman..

(Avengers/Thunderbolts#1 (fb)) – In 1480, Harbin confronted a group of Slav raiders that had come to pillage his town. He managed to kill most and drive off the rest. While hurt during the melee, he survived and promised a fellow townperson, Maria, that he would always defend them.

(Avengers/Thunderbolts#6 (fb)) – In 1489, Zemo, now a Baron (the first of his bloodline to receive that title), made his way through Zeulniz, much to the adoration of the townfolk. When Maria clumsily bumped into him accidentally, spilling some soup on him, Zemo went berserk and thrust his sword through her, killing her. He then demanded the rest of the crowd to treat him like the hero he is, and walked off.

(Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo - Born Better#1) - In 1503, Harbin Zemo was aged, and his son Hademar looked forward to the day that Harbin would pass on so that he could claim the barony. Harbin was well aware of his son's ambitions, but thought him unworthy of the title. At one point, Harbin posed for a woodcarving by the famous Albrecht Dürer, recommended to him by his servant Kleinenshvitz, whose father had also served him. Harbin ultimately passed away in his bed, but history recorded him as having died in battle.

Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza, Barry Kitson and Gary Erskine.

The use of Harbin in the prologue and epilogue of this limited series was intended to show the parallels between him and Helmut Zemo, his descendant who at the time was trying to be a true hero and save the world. By the end, when Zemo realized his mistake in trying things by others’ rules, we see that Harbin, still the “hero” of his town, was no longer the kind defender he once was.

This is a perfect example of why the use of Roman Numerals to clarify characters is inherently flawed. Until a few years ago, Heinrich Zemo would have been Baron Zemo I by that system. Heinrich is actually the 12th Baron Zemo in that line, and Harbin the first. However, we still don't know that there were never other Baron Zemos in the 20000+ years of the civilized world on Earth-616, or other planets, realities, etc.
Here ends the rant.

Profile by Madison Carter and Prime Eternal.

Harbin Zemo is connected by ancestry to:

Maria was one of the peasants in the village Harbin Zemo protected. She was killed by him when he was enraged by her accidentally spilling some soup on him.
--Avengers/Thunderbolts#1 (fb)

(Harbin Zemo) Avengers/Thunderbolts #1, page 1, panel 3
(Maria) Avengers/Thunderbolts #6, page 22, panel 3

Avengers/Thunderbolts#1 (May, 2004) - Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza (writers), Barry Kitson (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), Rom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers/Thunderbolts#6 (September, 2004) - Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza (writers), Tom Grummett (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo - Born Better#1 (April, 2007) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), Molly Lazer (editor)

Last updated: 09/29/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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