While the Red Skull is a literal Nazi, it’s a little harder to pin the label on the 13th Baron Zemo, Helmut. His father, Heinrich, was a Nazi scientist who entered comic history fighting Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos, but while Helmut is definitely squarely on the bad guy side his primary motivation, at least initially, was ol’ fashioned revenge against the man he blamed for the death of his father, Captain America. That is to say, he blamed Cap for killing his dad, not that Cap was his dad. Commas are a thing.
As a Master of Evil and one of the founders of the Thunderbolts (while in disguise as Citizen V), there’s no doubt that Zemo belongs with the Cabal, even if his choice of attire is a little unusual. The deep cut purple v-neck and magenta ski mask combo may be all the rage at Whistler this year, but the coronet with a fluffy bomber jacket is so last season.
Painting Zemo was a pleasure. The way model is posed – sword out, noble bearing, challenging an opponent and questioning their audacity to be so brazenly heroic in the presence of Zemo – in such a way that brush access isn’t hampered anywhere, and the opportunity to dip into colors not frequently used is a breath of fresh air.
Of course, living in Ontario, the real happy moment for me was when the coffee cup came out as well as it did. I know it’s a tiny detail, but dammit, it’s my tiny detail, and a few folk have actively recognized it as a Tim Horton’s cup, so it means I did something right, even if it’s on a bloody tiny scale 😉
In terms of rules, a few times now I’ve referred to Zemo as being a glass cannon, but really, his cumulative defensive stats are better than Crossbones. Sure, he has one less total health, but the additional resilience to energy and mystic attacks will serve him well as he closes. Stack on Strategic Genius for an extra defensive reroll while you’re at it.
Add to that the Master Swordsmansuperpower, which can be used both offensively and defensively, allowing you to reroll any number of attack or defense dice. Perhaps Helmut isn’t quite as squishy as one would immediately think.
His speed is remarkable – Using the Long template for a basic move, the Charge superpower adding a bonus Long move with an attack, and then also being able to pull a Medium move out of Steel Rush means Zemo is well suited for hit and run tactics, dashing out to strike and then skipping back into cover (or at least out of range of his target’s immediate melee threat).
In the end, Baron Zemo can provide some great gameplay as well as a fun painting experience. He’s part of the Core Box for Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and as far as I’m concerned, should be one of the first on your painting tables.