The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is upon us. While many collectors are targeting Sam and Bucky comics, astute hobbyists will watch the keys of Baron Helmut Zemo.
As I write this, we are days away from the Disney+ premiere of FATWS. After the success of WandaVision, every key issue associated with that show got a steroid cocktail. Each week, the market was in upheaval after the numerous Easter eggs planted by the creative team. That has put collectors on alert heading into Marvel’s next hit, FATWS.
Overall, not much is known about the plot of FATWS. However, Marvel made it official last year that Baron Zemo would escape his SHIELD prison cell and torment the show’s heroes. The original Baron Heinrich Zemo debuted in Avengers #4, which makes that issue out of reach for many. The next best thing is to aim for the second iteration of the character, Baron Helmut Zemo, and his key collectibles.
Here’s your shopping list.
Disguised as “The Phoenix,” Helmut Zemo would torment Captain America and Falcon beginning in 1973’s Captain America #168. Although he is not revealed to be Zemo until later, this is still Helmut’s first appearance. That makes it the prime target of many collectors, though prices are not outrageous. Even at a 9.6, these are selling for less than $300.
As the Bronze Age was drawing to a close, Helmut finally put on the classic costume and officially became the second Baron Zemo in the pages of 1982’s Captain America #275. It took until the second issue before Cap learned Zemo’s true identity, bringing Helmut Zemo’s story full circle from his days as Phoenix.
We know that Daniel Bruhl will reprise his role as Baron Zemo for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but that could be just the beginning. Even before Bruhl’s FATWS casting was official, there was word on the internet (which is 100% true, right?) that Marvel Studios had its collective eye on the Thunderbolts. That was two years ago, but the rumors have only gotten louder since then, especially with Bruhl portraying Zemo for the Disney+ series.
In the comics, Zemo led the first incarnation of the Thunderbolts. He masqueraded himself as Citizen V as he led a team of villains pretending to be superheroes. The Thunderbolts brand would live on past this lineup. Eventually, it would become a team of anti-heroes, though Marvel did recycle the original Thunderbolts idea with the Dark Avengers in the early 2000s.
However Marvel chooses to bring the Thunderbolts to life – or even if they are added to the MCU – this issue will continue to rise in value since it is the first use of the team name, “Thunderbolts.”
What will become of Baron Zemo in the MCU? Will he survive The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Considering the history with other onscreen villains, it is doubtful. Still, he could build a large following along the way and possibly introduce the Thunderbolts. If the rumors turn out to be true and the Thunderbolts get their own franchise, these issues could take on a whole new life.