While going through Marvel's Book of the Dead--2004, I came across one of the few super-villains with the good taste to stay dead: the original Baron Zemo or Doctor Zemo as he was called. In Avengers #6, he formed the Masters of Evil which for some reason, included the Melter but I digress. Zemo's backstory was that he was an important Nazi scientist who invented an early laser aka the "death-ray". He became so hated by even the Germans that he hid his face with a funky magenta hood though never changed his name! He created a super-strong glue, Adhesive X, with no way to dissolve it. In a battle with Captain America and Bucky, he gets doused with the stuff and his hood is permanently glued to his head! Other Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe have stated that he had to get his nourishment and hydration intravenously, making him a poor dinner guest.

It was Zemo who was responsible for the bomb-plot that resulted in Cap being frozen for decades and Bucky being killed. (Since this is for the Mister Silver Age forum, Bucky is hereby declared D-E-A-D!) The Nazi With No Face flees Germany after the war and founds a small empire in South America, keeping himself fit with Compound X. When Cap is revived in Avengers #4, Zemo somehow knows it's his enemy, not one of the three men that assumed the identity! In #6, with the afore-mentioned Masters of Evil, he paralizes Manhatten with Advesive X which he has no way to reverse! Cap and Giant-Man are stuck to the pavement as the uber-glue soaks through their boots! All seems grim until the Wasp remembers the runt of Marvel's recurring villains, Paste-Pot Pete, later the Trapster, as an expert on glues and adhesives. Pete, still in jail, co-operates with the Avengers, telling them that he has an universal solvent already made that should work. And it does and Zemo even wonders if it could allow him to remove that foul-smelling hood! But he does nothing to try it and escapes to bemoan his fate!

Props for Stan Lee for using a villain from Strange Tales with no connection to the Avengers play a part in this battle between super-groups! But C'mon! Zemo had decades to try to counteract Advesive X and Paste-Pot Pete had the solution (barrels full) just lying around! It just seemed a quick way to solve a problem in the story. Almost as quickly as they killed Zemo off on the last page of #15, an ill-conceived end for the foe who dominated the first two years of the title!

There were Zemo imposters, stints in the Legion of the Unliving and his son the second Baron Zemo who as the Phoenix in Captain America #168 also ran afoul with Adhesive X in a very different way!

But Zemo started Marvel's best villain group, invented the process that created Wonder Man and the first Power Man/Smuggler/Goliath III/Atlas and keeps popping up. In the Avengers' current cartoon, they merged the two Zemos.

Two things though, even if they got the hood off, what condition would his skin be in? And how was he able to stop his beard and hair from growing long and out?

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Um ... Look over there!
Perhaps the solvent didn't work on Zemo's hood because it has been on for several years at that point.
Philip Portelli said:

"Two things though, even if they got the hood off, what condition would his skin be in? And how was he able to stop his beard and hair from growing long and out?"


Who said he did stop his beard and hair from growing long and out?

 

I would expect his skin under the mask to be an unholy mess. 

 

 

He genetically altered lice to feed on hair and slipped a breeding couple in through his eye holes.

Paste Pot Pete/The Trapster has taken a lot of heat over the years for being a feeble villain, and this is one of the reasons why.

 

"I've got adhesives that will do anything.  Marvel Universe, prepare to face my wrath as I steal anything that isn't nailed down"

 

"But...people would pay you millions for your inventions..."

 

"Never mind!  I have the power of the paste!!!!!!  I'll happily abscond with hundreds...nay, thousands of dollars!"

 

Years later...

 

"Y'know, maybe I should have patented that paste...I could be sitting on a beach in South America now..."

He devised the paste while working under contract for Stuck on You Adhesives, and they would have claimed the rights if he'd revealed the formula. Worse, he'd personally offended Olive la Motte, the Glue Queen, and she would have made sure he didn't even get a bonus. (He refused to lay down in a mud puddle for her so she could step over it.)

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

. . .  I also thought that [Baron Zemo] wore the mask at first because it gave him a way to walk among his people and spy on them.  


According to Baron Zemo himself---from "Masters of Evil", The Avengers # 6 (Jul., 1964)---the reason why he originally wore the mask was this:

 

"I was Hitler's greatest scientist!  But I was so hated, even by our own people, that I found it necessary to wear a hood to conceal my identity!  If my victims knew who I was, nothing could have saved me from their vengeance!"

Nazis were such great villains, because it was possible to believe almost anything about them, and most of it was probably true. The Silver Age had the benefit of occurring only 20 years after WWII, so the connection was still very fresh and plausible.

I imagine the adhesive worked like a dipilatory to kill all this hair follicles. But the notion that he had to eat intravenously because the mask kept him from eating is pretty extreme. If it was that tight and impenetrable, how did he even talk or breathe?

Wouldn't wearing a mask bring him more enemies than eliminate some? "I don't see the guy who I hate, so I'll bet it's the guy in the mask!" seems more likely than "I really hate one Nazi but I don't know who it is, and I can't hate the guy with the mask unless I get a positive identification."

BTW, Buck IS dead. You can look it up.

-- MSA 

Mr. Silver Age said:

 But the notion that [Zemo] had to eat intravenously because the mask kept him from eating is pretty extreme. If it was that tight and impenetrable, how did he even talk or breathe?


I never thought much about Zemo and taking nourishment before; I simply bought into the intravenous thing.  But I just realised from your post, Mr. S.A., that Marvel crossed its own wires.

 

Marvel insisted that Zemo's hood was porous enough to permit breathing and speech.  O.K., I'll buy that, as far as it goes.  But if the baron can speak and breathe, despite the hood, that means that his Adhesive X did not harden as it bonded, the way many conventional adhesives do.  And I will buy that, seeing as how we're talking about comic-book "super-science."

 

But if the mask is thin enough to be porous and the adhesive did not harden, why the blazes did Zemo not just cut a slit in the blasted thing right where his mouth was?  Then he could have chowed down at the Pizza Hut buffet to his heart's content.

It may have been porous enough to breath but if it were glued to his mouth and lips, he shouldn't be able talk normally. Maybe the German accent covered it up!

IIRC, the scene where Zemo gets adhesified, only the mask gets stuck on! Not his lab coat, gloves, shirt, pants, etc., saving him from the awkward situation of having the same underwear on forever! That would make anyone a super-villain!!

As far as "popular" Nazis go, I can't imagine the Red Skull being the life of the party, either!

Old Paste-Pot Pete used his paste similar to Spidey's web. Did the Web-Spinner deliberately make his web temporary or could he have made a stronger formula if he wanted? Someone mentioned this before but why wasn't Peter discovered by Tony Stark or Norman Osborn?

Perhaps we should pass a resolution on the Mr. Silver Age page that , here at least, Bucky is dead!

Peter did make the webbing temporary deliberately, as he didn't want anyone to be stuck in it forever..  At one point when he was hard up for money, he wanted to sell his webbing.  The people he showed it to were extremely impressed until they discovered that it dissolved after an hour, at which point they sent him on his way.

 

Oh, and Peter did work for Osborn after meeting Harry.  That ended when Osborn became the Goblin again and remembered that Peter was Spider-Man.


Philip Portelli said:


Old Paste-Pot Pete used his paste similar to Spidey's web. Did the Web-Spinner deliberately make his web temporary or could he have made a stronger formula if he wanted? Someone mentioned this before but why wasn't Peter discovered by Tony Stark or Norman Osborn?

 

Yes, that was his reason to make the webbing dissolve in an hour. I should have asked "Why didn't he create a stronger formula?"

And Peter never developed a way to remove the webbing sooner. You had to wait the hour!

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