For the 50th Wave of Marvel Minimates, DST did a fan poll to determine which characters would be included. Today we’re going to look at the army builder from the wave, Nova Corps Centurion, as well as the villain(s) they’re packaged with, Baron Zemo II and the variant Baron Zemo I! Read on!
Baron Zemo I
Dr. Heinrich Zemo created deadly weapons for Germany during World War II, and his plotting led Captain America to be frozen for decades. He later formed the original Masters of Evil to defeat his old foe.
Baron Zemo was selected to fill the “villain” category in the fan poll. This version is the variant. I’m always up for classic villains and they don’t get any more villainous than Heinrich Zemo. This guy has literally no redeeming qualities. Zemo dates back to World War I, one of the few Marvel characters who was active during that time period. I do need to point out that technically, this isn’t Baron Zemo I, Heinrich is actually the 12th Baron after Harbin, Hademar, Heller, Herbert, Helmuth, Hackett, Hartwig, Hilliard, Hoffman, Hobart and Herman (sense a pattern here?) in that order. This is why the OHOTMU no longer uses numerical designations for characters as things can retroactively change. And even still, characters like Vulture not only have multiple well-known versions, but also Western and Golden Age characters that used the same name. So for clarity’s sake we’re just going to call him Heinrich Zemo. Zemo survived into the Modern Age by use of “Compound X” to form the Masters of Evil and fight the Avengers. Ever wonder why all of these Golden Age characters survived into the Modern Age? Zemo was created in the 1960’s so at the time it was totally plausible that he was alive during WWII. Now? Not so much. It’s kind of lazy but there’s really no way around it. See also: Infinity Formula.
Zemo is actually responsible for the accident that was believed to have killed Captain America and Bucky at the end of World War II so yeah, he’s pretty important. Zemo’s only previous figure was a Marvel Legend. Here, he comes with his disintegration gun and a holster attached to his skirt piece. I really love the furry boot tops that he has, the sculpt has a nice texture and they would be great for a Santa Claus custom! Zemo’s hood is of course a brand new piece which I guarantee will never be reused. The hood has the same fur texture as the boots and sculpted fabric grooves. Cool! Zemo’s hood removes to reveal a scarred face:
Zemo is the inventor of “Adhesive X” the strongest glue known to man. This stuff is like the Adamantium of glue. The poor goof accidentally glued his hood to his face, so you initially never see what he looks like. To the best of my knowledge, we never actually see Zemo’s scarred face but if you’re a customizer reading this you probably at some point have super glued your fingers together and ripped skin separating them, just imagine that on your face. Ouch! The scarred head actually comes in handy later. A lot of villains created back then had purple color schemes and this purple really makes Heinrich pop in a collection. The skirt restricts his movement slightly but Zemo’s not the kind of character who you’re going to be putting into action poses. All of these Minimates include clear display stands. DST really nailed this classic Kirby design.
Classic Avengers villains are always welcome. Hopefully DST will give us some Masters of Evil to fight alongside their boss! I give Zemo an 8/10.
What’s better than one Zemo? Two. You might say one was “Born Better.” Which brings us to…..
Baron Zemo II
The son of Heinrich Zemo, Helmut blamed Captain America for the death of his father, creating a new Masters of Evil and attacking Avengers Mansion. Under his mask, his face is horribly burned by Adhesive X.
Helmut Zemo is not only one of my favorite villains but one of my favorite Marvel characters period so this review might be a little biased. I voted for him in the fan poll so it’s great that he won the villain category. Zemo is decked out in his Masters of Evil garb. His only prior figures were a Marvel Universe and a Marvel Legend in his modern look. This costume is a sleek redesign of the Kirby original. Helmut’s first costume was a completely different one from when he used the name Phoenix. No relation to the X-Men’s Phoenix. See why we don’t use numerical designations? For some history on the Zemo family I strongly recommend you check out the Thunderbolts: Baron Zemo – Born Better miniseries. It’s a fantastic look at the lineage and Helmut’s quest to redeem the Zemo name. Helmut is a bit of a narcissist and wants to prove that he’s better than his families violent and destructive legacy. Thunderbolts did great work with Zemo’s redemption quest which is why I was a little bummed when Ed Brubaker reverted him to villainy. Brubaker’s reasoning was that far too many villains turned good and the scales needed to be balanced, a claim I don’t even disagree with but damn, Thunderbolts-era Zemo was so much more interesting.
Zemo comes with the same gun as dad and also a sword for slapping around Captain America. Unfortunately, no holsters or scabbard. He gets the same furry boots and also furry shoulder rings which would be PERFECT for a Fandral (hint hint). The puffy sleeves first seen on 90’s Storm are used and thankfully the shoulder rings do not restrict the movement at all. I normally hate sculpted arms and legs but I always liked this piece in moderation. In a smart move, his head is not a slipover mask but a tampo on a plain head. A slipover would probably be too bulky. The crown slides over and fits snug. Helmut Zemo’s scarred face you actually do see quite often so if you want this Zemo unmasked, just switch heads with dad.
I really love this Minimate. This Zemo also needs some Masters of Evil to order around or better yet, some Thunderbolts. Make it happen DST, we need to be able to recreate Avengers Under Seige! 9/10
Nova Corps Centurion
The Nova Corps was originally the military and exploration force of Xandar. When Xandar was destroyed, the Corps expanded its scope, enlisting non-Xandarians and policing entire galaxies.
Nova Corps won the army builder slot for this wave. I was a little bummed since I was never a fan, I wanted Mindless Ones! Oh well, some day. The Nova Corps are pretty much Marvel’s answer to DC’s Green Lantern Corps. They’ve gotten a bit of a bump in popularity thanks to Marvel’s re-imagining of the cosmic books with Annihilation and also via the mega blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I’m not too familiar with The Corps however I am a huge New Warriors fan so it’s cool that we get Richard Rider Nova as a part of the deal. Rider is from Hempstead, NY where I grew up so I always felt an attachment to the guy.
We get three different looks for the unmasked Novas. As far as I know, the guy with the black hair and the blue alien aren’t based on any specific character. The brown hair is Richard Rider. Since Minimates have mix and match parts, feel free to mix and match to make your own Nova Corps. Skrulls, Kree, Skeletons, Goblins, Muppets, Spongebob, you name it. The blue is a regal navy blue befitting the intergalactic police. The gold has a metallic sheen however I wish it were just a tad brighter. I absolutely love the helmet, it looks like it popped straight off the page. I have a weakness for helmets/hats that don’t have hair or ears attached because they can exist on their own as accessories for cool photos like the above. The first Nova Minimate had eye holes cut out and blank eyes underneath which was awkward when you took the helmet off. Thankfully, that’s fixed here.
The Novas get those annoying Wolverine shoulder pads that never stay put. Really hoping DST retires these soon for a solid piece. In addition to the normal display stands, the Nova Corp also get a single foot flight stand for take-off. They look really cool when you have a bunch of them in flight. I limit my army builders at five a piece as shown, gotta draw the line somewhere. We’ve gotten a bunch of Nova’s since these, but in this reviewer’s humble opinion you can’t beat the original design.
Not being a huge fan of the Nova Corps, I’m just happy we got a classic Richard Rider. However, I ended up liking these guys a lot more than I thought I would. 8/10
Overall this is a great set and the fan poll was a great idea. Two new major villains and an army builder that doubles as a New Warrior. These are still relatively easy to find, so Goo-Gone that hood off of your face and fly down to your local comic store human rocket style and add these to your collection!
Pictures and review by BigVis497