Central Rogues Gallery
Notable Aliases: The Bio-Fanatic, Scientist Supreme
First Appearance: Captain America #208 (April, 1977)
- Cephalothorax: Invoked. His robot body actually has its head in the normal place, but because it's a small and unobtrusive camera unit, whilst his whole chestplate is taken up by a video-screen broadcasting an image of his original human face, he looks like a walking head with arms.
- Dark World: Dimension Z is this, being a parallel dimension to our own, only accessible by Zola's transport device. He has used his biochemical research to mold this world into his own image.
- Evil Genius
- Evilutionary Biologist: His specialty in science is, as you'd expect, focused around biochemistry.
- For Science!: His main motive. He even explicitly invokes this trope word-for-word in Thunderbolts.
- Fourth Reich: Several of his most iconic plot lines have involved him trying to clone/resurrect Hitler and restore the Nazi Reich—or if not that, then just build a new one with Red Skull as the Fuehrer.
- Mad Scientist
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: His attractive daughter Jet does not take after hideous looks.
- Mobile-Suit Human
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Usually purple and orange.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Used to work for the Nazi as a biochemist before he turned himself into a cyborg.
- TV Head Robot: His classic robot-body is a two-fer; not only does it have the trope's chest-mounted TV screen broadcasting an image of Zola's original human face, but the actual robot body's head resembles a V camera.
- Villain Team-Up: While not a member of the Red Skull's circle per-se, he is much more open to the idea of working with him than most other villains, due to their shared history in WWII.
- Villain World: Captain America stumbles upon a pocket dimension which he has conquered and bent to his will, dubbing it Dimension Z.
- Would Hurt a Child: In Thunderbolts, he hired mercenaries to kidnap orphan children and bring them to his lab, where he would torture and experiment on them, turning the large majority of them into monsters.
Baron Von Strucker
Alter Ego: Wolgang Von Strucker
Notable Aliases: Sagittarius, Don Antonio Caballero, Emir-Ali-Bey, Agent Bronson, Supreme Hydra, Colonel F.T. Strang, Snakeskin
First Appearance: Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #5 (January, 1964) note ; Gambit Vol 3 #10 (September, 1999) note
Baron Heinrich Zemo
Alter Ego: Baron Heinrich Zemo
Notable Aliases: Baron Zemo, Dr. Heinrich Zemo, "Masked Demon"
First Appearance: The Avengers #4 (March 1964) note ; The Avengers #6 (July 1964) note
The first Baron Zemo introduced. He was a Nazi scientist responsible for putting Captain America on ice, and was created to be a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the Red Skull. He first appeared via a flashback in The Avengers #4 (July 1964) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and made his first full-on debut two issues later.
Heinrich was a sworn enemy of Captain America (despite having no appearances in the original Timely Comics), whose hood was permanently glued to his face after a confrontation with Cap led to a material called Adhesive X caused the mask to fuse to him. This drove him insane and made him evil(er).
Cap's archenemy from the Silver Age, created in a retcon. Dr. Heinrich Zemo was a Nazi scientist who created an adhesive (Adhesive X) that was nearly impossible to dissolve. In a tussle with Captain America, his purple hood was glued to his face by his invention and he swore vengeance. eventually being the one responsible for killing Bucky Barnes (initially) and putting Cap on ice.
Zemo fled as and When World War II ended and Hitler and the Nazis fell, Zemo survived the war (his experiments apparently slowed his aging) fleeing to South America. With an army of mercenaries loyal to him, Zemo enslaved a tribe of natives and lived as a king as he tried desperately to find a solvent that would remove his mask.
Years later, Heinrich would form the Masters of Evil as the Evil Counterpart of the Avengers upon learning the Captain America has resurfaced. With him as the lead, he would recruit the Black Knight, the Melter, and Radioactive Man, before inducting The Enchantress and the Executioner following their banishment from Asgard, and later Wonder Man (who underwent a HeelFace Turn). Heinrich, even without superpowers, was one of the Avengers' most dangerous foes.
In the final battle with Captain America, Heinrich was killed by an avalanche from the oncoming chaos. Bucky's death (at the time) was avenged. The Masters of Evil would disband, and reform again with new membership multiple times. Though he only appeared alive in fourteen issues, Heinrich still impacts the world of Marvel to this day. In particular, his actions played a major role in the stories of Captain America, Bucky Barnes (who would resurface as the Brainwashed and Crazy assassin known as the Winter Soldier), and his son, Helmut Zemo.
All in all, Heinrich is straight-up evil, just as you would expect for a Nazi scientist in an American comic book. His only thing that could be considered a redeeming trait is his love for his son, and even that gets marred by how much he abused him. He's just as bad as the Red Skull, and did things so inhumane that even his Nazi subordinates were disgusted by them.
- Archenemy: Was Captain America's during the first twenty issues of Avengers, and his actions continue to inform those of Captain America, Bucky, and his son, Helmut, to this day. His team, the Masters of Evil, were, and continue to be, the archenemies of the Avengers.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: The Zemo barony goes back several centuries, and most of them have been relative good folk (the second Baron Zemo was a total dickweed, but his tenure lasted all of two minutes before his son got rid of him), some were ineffectual, and one or two weak-willed. And Heinrich decided to throw in with the Nazis.
- Badass Bookworm: For a guy who spent most of his life in a laboratory, Zemo's a pretty capable fighter.
- Badass Normal: Zemo possessed no superhuman abilities, yet he could not only match Captain America in a fistfight, but led a group that included The Black Knight, The Enchantress, The Executioner, The Melter, and The Radioactive Man.
- Big Bad: Of the original Masters of Evil and any storyline involving them.
- Clingy Costume: Thanks to some Adhesive X, his mask was permanently stuck to his face. He could breathe and talk through it, but needed to use an IV to feed and drink.
- Cool Mask: His purple mask is quite cool. Good thing too, seeing as it is glued to his face.
- Emperor Scientist: Downplayed. Heinrich was the emperor all right, but of a tiny kingdom deep in the South American jungles.
- Evil Genius: To the point where even the Enchantress and the Executioner have to respect his intelligence.
- Evil Gloating: Guy just did not shut. UP. Most of what Helmut remembers of his childhood was dad rambling on about how one day they'd rise up again and crush their enemies and etc, etc...
- Evil Overlord: Of a stretch of South American jungle
- Evilutionary Biologist: Hitler might have been disdainful of experiments to increase human potential, but Zemo was not, as evidenced by his creation of Wonder Man.
- Fur and Loathing: Became part of his costume after his exile to the jungle.
- High-Class Glass: Zemo: Born Better reveals that he used to sport one before the mask got glued to his face.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Buried in a rockslide that was caused by his own gun misfiring.
- Killed Off for Real: Died in a rockslide during a battle with Captain America.
- Mad Scientist: Was one of Hitler's top scientists, and had no issues with experimenting on political prisoners.
- Nazi Nobleman: The twelfth Baron Zemo, and a high-ranking member of the Nazi hierarchy, second only to The Red Skull. He combines his belief in his own innate superiority with Nazi Master Race theory.
- Purple Is Powerful: Signifies his status as king of a jungle tribe in this case.
- Remember the New Guy?: Baron Zemo was a Nazi leader who fought against Captain America during World War II. However, his first appearance was in 1964, long after World War II ended. He was retroactively added as one of Captain America's major World War II enemies.
- Revenge: Motivated by a need to avenge himself on Captain America, who he blames for gluing his mask to his face.
- The Rival: He and The Red Skull were rivals for Hitler's favour, control over other Nazi superhumans, and the title of Captain America's archenemy.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wears purple in contrast to Cap's blue and red.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: The rivalry he had with the Red Skull is often given tones of this. He was a wealthy aristocrat, while the Skull grew up on the streets.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He appeared in the sixth issue of the Avengers and was killed off in the twentieth. His actions continue to influence Cap, Bucky, and his son, Helmut, to this day.
- Stable Time Loop: He's the subject of two.
- When Helmut was sent through time, at one point he winds up in Heinrich's lab in the early days of WW 2, he beats Heinrich up, and drops his hood at his feet, telling him to take it as a reminder.
- In a time-travel arc of Thunderbolts, Moonstone nearly kills him, but spares him partly to preserve the timeline (but also because she's feeling lazy that day), on the condition he has a son and names him Helmut.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: His death rays, Adhesive X, and other discoveries were far beyond what the real Nazi Germany was capable of.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For the Red Skull before it was decided to bring the Skull into the present day.
- Those Wacky Nazis: He's a Nazi through and through, unlike his son.
- Villainous Lineage: Arrogance and a penchant towards treating others as the lowest forms of life are definitely in the Zemo blood. Heinrich's interest in human experimentation actually began with his father, who conducted similar experiments during WWI.
Baron Helmut J. Zemo
Alter Ego: Baron Helmut J. Zemo
Notable Aliases: Baron Zemo, Citizen V, Phoenix, Iron Cross, Mark Evanier
First Appearance: Captain America #168 (December 1973) note ; Captain America #275 (November 1982) note ; The Incredible Hulk #449 (January 1997) note
Helmut Zemo was first introduced in Captain America #168 (December 1973) by Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella and Sal Buscema. In his first appearance, Helmut was known as Phoenix (not to be confused with that Phoenix), who wanted revenge on Captain America for his father's fall into madness and subsequent death. Before the incident, Heinrich loved his son, but afterwards, he abused him both emotionally and physically, and Helmut believed Cap to be responsible. After going toe-to-toe with Cap, as well as his friend The Falcon, Helmut's plan backfired and he fell into the vat of Adhesive X, causing his face to be horribly scarred and for the Phoenix to be reborn as the new Baron Zemo.
For many years afterwards, Baron Zemo would be a recurring antagonist as part of the Masters of Evil. In stark contrast to his father, who died after fourteen issues and remains dead to this day, Helmut is notable in that he simply refuses to die, ever. It's helped by the fact that he always has contingencies and is more of a Pragmatic Villain than his father being insane.
One of Helmut's most famous story arcs is the original Thunderbolts, where he posed as Citizen V (ironic since that was a hero who his father murdered) alongside the Masters of Evil to replace the Avengers following the Onslaught event. His attempt was to take over the world by having all trust put on the Thunderbolts before executing his master plan, but the others ended up becoming genuine heroes when they learned that Being Evil Sucks. This itself created problems. Since then, he's always been a prominent recurring foe. If the Masters of Evil are involved, Baron Zemo will likely lead them.
Helmut is a conflicted figure. He struggled with a Dark and Troubled Past thanks to said father, had to come to terms with Heinrich being a horrible father and an even worse man, and eventually disowned him, his ancestry, the Nazi ideology and all associated prejudices while becoming more of an Equal-Opportunity Evil villain. While always remaining on the villain side, he's much more charismatic and sympathetic than Heinrich ever was.
- Anti-Villain: Sometimes verges on this, though it's a case of Depending on the Writer.
- Arch-Enemy: After his father's death, he takes this role to Captain America and leads the Masters of Evil after inheriting the title.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's a baron after all, and believes his aristocratic heritage entitles him to rule.
- Avenging the Villain: Helmut's original motive was to kill Captain America because he killed his father. Eventually, Helmut came to the realization that actually, Heinrich was an awful father and an even worse person.
- Badass Normal: Has no powers, but regularly fights the likes of Captain America and the Avengers. He usually has a contingency that will allow him to deal with his opponent's plans anyway; it's only when these contingencies fail (as happened during his battle with Moonstone at the end of the initial run on Thunderbolts) that he's in trouble.
- The Big Bad: Of his fare share of arcs, particularly those involving the Masters of Evil.
- Brain Uploading: He only survived being decapitated because Techno uploaded his consciousness to a computer.
- Butter Face: A rare male example. He has the body you'd expect of somebody who can keep up with Captain America in terms of physique... but that handsome form is contrasted by a hideously malformed visage. For a while, he had a young, dashing look again after hijacking the body of the Helmut from another Earth, but only two years later his face got disfigured again. When he got Carla Sofen's Moonstone, he used it to fix that, but when Melissa broke it again...
- Calling the Old Man Out: During his trip back in time, he ran into his father while the latter was gleefully doing mad science for the Nazis. Helmut had long since discarded any Nazi prejudices he had once had, and was fuming watching his father put down other races, the handicapped, etc. Finally he had enough and started beating the hell out of him while giving a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Quite the sign of Character Development for the guy who started out worshiping and avenging his father's memory.
- Captain Patriotic: At the beginning of the Thunderbolts, he disguised himself as Citizen V, supposedly the son of a previous hero who'd gone by that name, whom Zemo had killed. Zemo went the whole hog, even decking himself in a cape designed after the American flag.
- The Chessmaster: Zemo has a plan for everything, and lays them out months in advance.
- Cool Mask: Wears a tighter fitting version of his father's mask.
- The Cynic: Has a generally negative view of humanity.
- Daddy Issues: He loved his father, and his father loved him... until the Adhesive X incident, where he became outright abusive in every way. Originally, Helmut blamed Captain America. Now, he acknowledges that his father was just a horrible human being.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He once shot the Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe and a being way outside his normal weight class, through the head. Admittedly, there were mitigating circustances that allowed him to do this, and the Grandmaster did get better (because, hey, comics).
- Disney Villain Death: Many, many times (see Never Found the Body below).
- Evil Is Petty:
- He once broke into Avengers Mansion and tore up the only picture Captain America had of his mother.
- When he Seemingly killed Ian Rogers he recorded it and announced his intent to email a video of what happened to Steve.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Arranged the death of one of his ancestors during a time-travel jaunt, after he found out the man was a rapist and a mass-murderer who did it all For the Evulz. He later clashed with another ancestor when he thought he was harassing a girl (the two were actually in love, and he quickly apologised).
- Evil Genius
- Evil Is Petty:
- One of his nastiest acts of spite was destroying a box of Cap's treasured belongings, including some of his last links to the past, right in front of his eyes.
- What was his initial plan in founding the Thunderbolts? Pretend to be heroes, earn America and the world's trust, become famous and respected, and then gather knowledge on the other heroes to... sell to the criminal underworld? Eventually, Moonstone points out this is a freaking stupid plan.
- The Faceless: He rarely ever removes his mask, due to his face being horribly scarred in a accident.
- Facial Horror: His head has been slashed up so badly that it's practically a skull, with ribbons of flesh draping over his eyes and sliced-off cheeks and lips. The sight of his face visibly disgusts everyone in the original Thunderbolts.
- Freudian Excuse: Raised by his father to believe in his inherent superiority. There wasn't a lot of dad hugs down in that South American jungle, mostly just rants and lectures.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hideously disfigured beneath his mask.
- Grand Theft Me: After becoming a "ghost", his mind was transferred to the actual son of Citizen V (Techno noted it was basically him playing a joke). That is, until an energy conflict - the V-Batallion tried to teleport Citizen V as the body was being sucked into a portal - made his mind be expelled into Techno's machinery. But given he arrived at Counter-Earth, this meant Zemo could do a literal case of the trope, and took the body of his self from this world.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Cannot make up his mind which side he is supposed to be on. He even once took a bullet for Cap despite being his sworn enemy.
- In the Blood: The arrogance and the drive for control certainly are.
- Joker Immunity: Unlike his father, he can never seem to be put down for long.
- The Leader: Of the Masters of Evil and the Thunderbolts.
- Legacy Character: To his father, Baron Heinrich Zemo XII.
- Manipulative Bastard: Zemo's very good at getting other people to do what he wants, playing on their emotions and desires.
- Master Swordsman: One of the best in the Marvel Universe. Zemo's dueled the likes of Captain America and survived several decades worth of warfare on a time travel jaunt.
- Nazi Nobleman: Started out as one, though he's moved away from fascism in recent years. Nowadays his goals align more with Dirty Communists.
- Never Found the Body: During the run of Thunderbolts alone he was declared dead on four separate occasions, all of which turned out to be false. In each instance, his body was never found. By the fourth time, most of the team just assume he'll turn up eventually (not that they want him to).
- Noble Demon: He's much more noble than his father,for sure.
- Purple Is Powerful: Signifies his aristocratic leanings.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Purple, to oppose Cap's blue and red.
- Take Over the World: He insists it's to save it. Some people (like Songbird) aren't convinced.
- Taking the Bullet: Once leapt in the way of an energy blast an insane Moonstone aimed at Captain America. Messed his face up bad.
- There Are No Therapists: This guy is seriously messed up and would probably have turned out differently if he got professional help.
- Token Evil Teammate: Alongside Techno, he serves as this for the first iteration of Thunderbolts. While most members of the team fall somewhere between The Hero and the Anti-Hero, Zemo shows no signs of having softened whilst playing-hero, and alongside Techno manages to almost conquer the world and turn it into a Darwinist nightmare. He also constantly mocks his teammates for wanting to be heroes, calling them "weak" and "traitors to the cause" when they show the smallest signs of heroism outside of their pubic duties.
- Unlucky Thirteen: He's the thirteenth Baron Zemo.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his mind, at any rate, after some Character Development, he becomes determined to take over the world for its own good. That doesn't mean that he's not an Axe-Crazy terrorist who's willing to perform some truly heinous actions for the sake of the "greater good."
Zemo: I would never have hurt a world I worked so hard to save.
- Taken to the highest extreme possible. When he actually did have the power to implement whatever change he might have wanted, Songbird shut him down with the intention of killing him out of not trusting him. What were what he believed could have been his last words?
- Western Terrorists: More like this than a Nazi.
- Wicked Cultured: When being held at swordpoint by his worst ancestor, an evil aristocrat who believed only in the absolute of power, said ancestor's son (who'd struck up a friendship with Zemo) asked what was more absolute than power. Zemo's answer? "To be, or not to be."
- Worthy Opponent: Sometimes sees Captain America this way, and definitely sees Sharon Carter this way.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: He's good at incorporating the gambits of others into his plans, as evidenced by his deft manipulation of Moonstone when they were both members of the Thunderbolts.
Batroc the Leaper
Alter Ego: Georges Batroc
Notable Aliases: The Leaper, Monsieur Lapin
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #75 (March, 1966)
Outside of Captain America, Batroc is a supporting character in The Unbelievable Gwenpool, where he acts as a mentor and father-figure for the protagonist.
- Anti-Villain: Although he is a mercenary and often serves morally ambiguous causes (or even downright evil ones), he is a Noble Demon with a personal code of conduct, who at the very least does not personally stoop to the more base kinds of villainy. His relationship with Cap is more or less an honest Nothing Personal.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's French rather than the traditional Japanese or Chinese, but he's got the classic attitude of wanting to prove his martial arts skills are supreme.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: in older comics, his speech was peppered with French phrases, expressions, and curses, often grammatically incorrect (i.e. "nom du chien!" instead of "nom d'un chien"). This is averted in more modern versions, where he often speaks nothing but French, and does so accurately.
- Badass Beard: His goatee is just as badass as he is.
- Badass Mustache: A pointy mustache to go with his goatee.
- Badass Normal: He's a bit of a joke to many, but Batroc's still capable of giving the likes of Captain America and the Winter Soldier a decent fight.
- Beard of Evil: His goatee.
- Captain Ethnic: Downplayed, but in his flatter portrayals, Batroc is basically a generically French supervillain — which is why his super identity revolves around his skill at savate, French kickboxing.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted and defied. Batroc's a lot of things—badly dressed, snobby, in over his head—but cowardly has never been one of them.
- Deadpan SnarkerTaskmaster: Venom came to Earth disguised as Spider-Mans old costume but now he lives on some bro named Eddie.Batroc: Venom is Spider-Man's laundry?
- Even Evil Has Standards: Turned against Mr. Hyde when he tried to blow up New York City.
- French Jerk: Depending on the Writer. He is generally portrayed as fairly nice (by villain standards), but in some stories he is a real jerk.
- Friendly Enemy: Towards Captain America.
- Graceful Loser: He doesn't appear to resent Cap at all for his many defeats. Not even when Cap costs him one billion dollars.◊
- Gratuitous French: It's recently been revealed the Batroc deliberately plays up his French accent and mannerisms as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Hired Guns: He's a villain only because he finds the greatest profit is to be made through illegal activity or working for those who want illegal things done. He has no personal motivation towards villainy himself.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain
- Le Parkour: His fighting style's reliance on mobility means he often performs these kinds of actions either to get around or to gain the upper hand in a fight.
- Noble Demon: Batroc won't hesitate to turn against a client who tries to trick him into committing crimes he would not otherwise have agreed to.
- Only Sane Man:
- His appearance in the "Who Is The Black Panther?" comic has shades of this, as he's one of the people recruited by Ulysses Klaw to conquer Wakanda under the leadership of a religious fanatic. He's entirely willing to do the dirty work, but relentlessly lampshades the moral, logical, and historical flaws in the inspirational speeches behind the invasion and enjoys trolling his less bright colleagues along the way.
- The Unbelievable Gwenpool series also likes to hand him all the points and even half the lampshades about all the absurdity going on and the antics of the main character that nobody seems to notice much.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He literally only commits crimes for the payroll; he's not a bad guy on a personal level, and he won't take jobs that he finds morally offensive.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Purple and orange.
- Villainous Rescue: Repeatedly saved Captain America from death. One time in particular Cap was going to be killed by a pack of sharks, Batroc grabbed a knife and dived in because he couldn't stand the thought of "so great a fighter dying so ignominiously." He was able to kill a shark, and its bleeding body distracted the pack long enough to let them both escape.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Cap this way.
Alter Ego: Brock Rumlow
Notable Aliases: Bingo, Bing, Frag, Mr Bones
First Appearance: Captain America #359 (October, 1989) note ; Captain America #360 (October, 1989) note ; Captain America #362 (November, 1989) note
- Ascended Fanboy: A particularly ghoulish version of this trope, Crossbones was in fact a huge fan of the Red Skull before his idol offered him a job.
- Ax-Crazy: Crossbones is a threat to everyone around him, and takes joy in hurting others.
- Badass Normal: A good enough fighter to keep up with Captain America, despite his lack of superhuman powers. Averted for a bit while he was a member of the Thunderbolts, gaining some sort of energy beam power from inhaling corrupted Terrigen Mists. It appears to have been only temporary, however.
- Bald of Evil: Sometimes.
- Cool Mask: Crossbones' skull mask apes his employer's face.
- The Dragon: To the Red Skull. The Skull is the brains, while Crossbones acts as the physical threat.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: Wants a fascist dystopia ruled by Sin and The Red Skull.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Clearly cares about Sin, going to great lengths to keep her safe. There's also his obsessive loyalty to the Skull to take into consideration.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Possibly. It's hard to tell, due to the fact that it's written, not spoken, but Crossbones seems to have some issues with the way the Red Skull raised Sin.
- Evil Counterpart: Thematically, one could argue that Crossbones is similar to Bucky or Nomad in that they're both devoted sidekicks to the Skull and Captain America, respectively.
- Evil vs. Oblivion: He helps the heroes defeat Sin upon learning she is planning to use the the Serpent's hammers to destroy the world instead of only terrorizing it.
- Eye Scream: During a fight with Bullseye, Crossbones knocks out one of Bullseye's teeth. Bullseye spits the tooth into his eye.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Just another angry street kid who ended up enrolling in Taskmaster's school for supervillains. He got a job with the fake Red Skull, who sent him to attack Arnim Zola and the real Red Skull. He impressed the latter, and the rest, as the cliche goes, is history.
- Guns Akimbo: Regularly.
- HeelFace Turn: A forced one as a member of the Thunderbolts. He went back to being evil as soon as possible.
- Hero Killer: For the Badass Normal set. If Crossbones shows up it's time for you to start running. Taken to an unusually literal level when he fired the shot that killed Captain America.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards The Red Skull. He initially worked for Albert Malik, the Communist Red Skull, only to defect to the original when he found out he was following a fake.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Crossbones doesn't have much of a rein on his temper. Though compared to his girlfriend he's downright stable.
- Hate Sink: At one point he was recruited into the Thunderbolts to be an in universe example so that the rest of the team could have someone they all agreed on to hate as a means to bring them together.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The huge guy to Sin's tiny girl.
- Knife Nut: Prefers knives at close range.
- Lightning Bruiser: As big and as fast as you can get without superhuman powers.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Expresses the sentiment that Humans Are Bastards and deserve to be oppressed on account of that.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Crossbones is every bit as strong as his huge physique and heavily muscled frame would indicate.
- Obviously Evil: Just look at his costume.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Horrifically inverted when the Red Skull is feeling depressed and Crossbones tries to cheer him up by reminding him of all his evil accomplishments.
- Professional Killer: Became a hitman after graduating from Taskmaster's academy.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: What he did to Diamondback back in his gang leader days, when she wanted to join him.
- Sadist: Like Sin and The Red Skull himself, Crossbones derives far too much pleasure from killing and hurting others.
- Skeleton Motif: Wears a skull mask and bone patterns on his costume.
- The Social Darwinist: Shares his boss' belief that the strong have a right to prey on the weak.
- Teens Are Monsters: Got his start as a street gang leader.
- Those Wacky Nazis: A Neo-Nazi skinhead before he met up with The Red Skull.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Red Skull.
- Unholy Matrimony: They aren't married, but Crossbones and Sin have a thing for each other.
- Villainous Friendship: Type III with The Red Skull. The Skull might not see Crossbones as anything other than useful muscle, but Crossbones worships the ground The Skull walks on, and has a full blown Freak Out when he dies.
- Villainous Valour: Has twice stood his ground in fights with Wolverine, who outclasses him in just about every respect.
Alter Ego: Johann Fennhoff
Notable Aliases: Doctor Benjamin, Fat Man, Gabby Hayes
First Appearance: Captain America #107 (November, 1968)
- Beard of Evil: He sports an impressive beard, which is used to highlight his "Evil Psychiatrist" act.
- Compelling Voice: Can force people to do what he wants with just a vocal command.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Like most villains Faustus finds the Red Skull vile. When he realizes the Skull is going to kill him for his failures in one of his plots he helps Sharon Carter escape and comments he would not leave anything he cares about in the Skull's custody regarding the Skull's plans for Sharon's child.
- Evil Genius: Played this role in Red Skull's organization along with Zola.
- Fat Bastard: Notably portly, and it plays into why he's a poor combatant who relies on mind-controlled mooks to do his dirty work.Dr. Faustus: I understand more about the human mind and its workings than anyone on this planet, boy. Do you truly think I care if you call me fat?
- Herr Doktor: He's an Evil German (well, Austrian) Doctor — of Psychiatry rather than Medicine, but it still counts.
- Mind Rape: His specialty is using a combination of his Compelling Voice and his psychiatric training to brainwash and manipulate people into doing whatever he commands, usually serving his villainous goals in some way
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: A professional psychiatrist... who misuses his psychiatric training to turn people into his criminal lackeys or just rob them.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His codename is shared with a famous Elizbethan play's portrayal of Dr. Faust, a German scholar who made a Deal with the Devil for unlimited knowledge.
- Pet the Dog: His release and mind wipe of Sharon Carter, which helped bring down the Red Skull's organisation, and moved her past her trauma. He also plays a major role in helping Bucky when he's on trial (using his brainwashing powers to compel the DA to beat the shit out of the bailiff, which puts the DA in the position of either denying mind control exists and hurting his own career or acknowledging it and giving Bucky a major advantage.)
- Psycho Psychologist: Even if he's not an ardent believer, he's still a psychiatrist with Nazi sympathies... plus, the whole mind-controlling supervillain thing.
- The Starscream: Was more willing to defy the Red Skull then anyone else in his organization.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Not as committed as Zola or The Skull, but still prone to these sentiments.
Alter Ego: Karl Morgenthau
First Appearance: Captain America #312 (December, 1985)
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Subverted. While he is a terrorist that wants to abolish national borders, he's more of an anarcho-syndicalist.
- Badass Normal: A capable athlete, and master of shotokan karate-do. Though when compared to some of Cap's other enemies, he seems a bit lacking in this department.
- The Cowl: Comes with cowl and cape.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Stopped one of his own plans when he discovered it was being funded by the Red Skull.
- Meaningful Name
- Omniglot: Speaks English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Esperanto. The French, German, and Italian might be justified by growing up in Switzerland.
- Patriotic Fervor: Inverted. Flag-Smasher is an anti-nationalist who hates patriotism and wants to bring about an end to the era of nations.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Categorically refused Cap's offer of redemption, determined to stay the course until the end.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Thinks that a world without nations or divisions will be a perfect place to live, and will do anything to make that dream a reality.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to abolish nations and bring peace to the world, but he would kill anyone for the cause.
- Western Terrorists: Operates as the leader of terrorist group ULTIMATUM, striking out at symbols of nationalism.
Grand Director (William Burnside; legally changed to Steven "Steve" Rogers)
Alter Ego: Steven Rogers (legally changed from William Burnside)
Notable Aliases: Captain America of the 1950's, Steve, Prof. Rogers, Grand Director, "Captain Un-America" (by Barnes only), The Flag, "Commie Smasher"
First Appearance: Young Men #24 (December, 1953) note ; Captain America #153 (September, 1972) note ; Captain America #231 (March, 1979) note
Dr. William Burnside was a history professor and Ascended Fanboy of Captain America. After voluntarily exposing himself to a flawed replica of the original Super Soldier Serum, Dr. Burnside legally changed his name to Steve Rogers, and underwent plastic surgery to resemble Rogers. Serving as the Captain America of The '50s, he battled Soviet supervillains such as the Russian Red Skull. Tragically, the flawed serum he took eventually drove him mad, turning him into a paranoid Knight Templar who saw enemies of his idealized vision of America everywhere he looked. Placed in suspended animation until the technology to cure him became available, Burnside was freed by Dr. Faustus, who easily exploited his "future shock" to brainwash him into becoming the Grand Director of National Force, a domestic terrorist organization opposed by (the original) Captain America and Daredevil.
See Captain America: Title Character for more info.
Alter Ego: Samuel "Starr" Saxon
Notable Aliases: Mister Fear, Starr Saxon, Sam Saxxon, Metal-Head, Machine-Mutt, Machinesmitty
First Appearance: Daredevil #49 (February, 1969) note ; Daredevil #54 (July, 1969) note ; Marvel Two-In-One #47 (January, 1979) note
Dr. Samuel Saxon became fascinated with robotics since found an inert Doombot in the subway at the age of 14. He eventually earned a doctorate in robotics, but certain eccentricities made technology firms reluctant to hire him. He did, however, get the attention of the Tinkerer, who hired him as an informal apprentice. Together they created an android assassin named Plastoid, who was deployed against Daredevil. Saxon later challenged Daredevil as the second Mister Fear, but after sustaining life threatening injuries in battle, he was turned into a cyborg. Initially horrified by his new existence, Saxon eventually embraced it, becoming the transhuman supervillain Machinesmith.
- Alliterative Name: Samuel "Starr" Saxon
- Bald of Evil: Completely bald.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Which remain even after becoming more machine than man.
- Camp Gay: The guy sure is flamboyant and confirmed to be gay.
- Emergency Transformation: Back when he fought Daredevil, Saxon accidentally fell from a great height, and was only saved by his robots, who program-recorded his brain into a computer. Saxon wasn't happy about this development, going so far as to work around his self-preservation protocols through Suicide by Cop at the hands of Captain America.
- Enemy Mine: Teamed up with the Iron Man family during Iron Man 2020, helping Tony fight Arno.
- Evil Mentor: The Tinkerer was one for him early in his criminal career.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- HeelFace Revolving Door: He became Tony Stark's assistant for a while, but returned to his villainous ways shortly after The Crossing.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: At one point, Machinesmith wanted to end his cybernetic existence, but found that he'd installed safeguards against it. So he devised an elaborate Suicide by Cop plan to have Captain America do it instead. It didn't stick.
- Robot Hair: He had Big Ol' Eyebrows and mutton chops that both basically are spikes on his robotic body.
- Robot Master: Robots are his specialty, especially Ridiculously Human ones that resemble other characters. They're advanced enough to copy his brain into a computer on their own accord.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: As Mister Fear, he was an enemy of Daredevil, but after turning into Machinesmith, he became mostly a Captain America foe.
- As tensions increase between humans and synthezoids, Machinesmith becomes something of a Magneto-like foil for Machine Man and Jocasta.
- Virtual Ghost: As a living program, Machinesmith is able to transmit himself along an infrared laser beam into virtually any electronics system at will, allowing him to transfer from one robotic body to another.
- We Can Rebuild Him
Madame Hydra / Viper
Alter Ego: Ophelia Sarkkissian
Notable Aliases: Warrior White Princess, Meriem Drew, Leona Hiss, Mrs. Smith, Madame Hydra, Madame Viper
First Appearance: Captain America #110 (February, 1969)
Alter Ego: George Tarleton
Notable Aliases: Big Head, Chairman, Damocles Rivas, Gerlach, M.O.D.O.C. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing), M.O.D.O.F. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Fun), M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), Mister Potato Head, Moddy, The Saint, Scientist Supreme
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #93 (September, 1967)
The Red Skull
Alter Ego: Johann Shmidt
Notable Aliases: Captain America, Supreme One, Rote Schädel, Dell Rusk, Mickey Flynn, Aleksander Lukin
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #7 (October, 1941)
Red Skull II
Alter Ego: George John Maxon
Notable Aliases: John Maxon
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (December, 1940)
Maxon is an American businessman and Nazi agent who leads a ring of spies and saboteurs and serves as an agent of Johann Schmidt (the true Red Skull). He faces Captain America during two of the latter's first missions. Maxon is thought killed during the second encounter, though he would reappear for one last encounter with Captain America.
Red Skull III
Alter Ego: Albert Malik
Notable Aliases: Senator Joseph McRooter
First Appearance: Young Men #24 (December, 1953)
A Communist agent who took on the identity of the Red Skull in order to form his own spy ring in the fifties, Albert Malik was the nemesis of William Burnside, the then-current Captain America. He was eventually killed by the real Red Skull when the latter reclaimed the title.
- Commie Nazis: Prior to the retcon that established him as an impostor, he was intended to be the real Red Skull, who had survived World War II and joined up with the Soviets to carry on the Nazis' battle against international capitalism and globalism.
- Dirty Communists: Was a Soviet agent rather than a Nazi.
- Killed Off for Real: Hasn't been seen since his death at the hands of the real Red Skull.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He found out there were two C.I.A. agents in his organization. So he order Karl Fiers/The Finisher to sabotage their airplane, killing them and orphaning their son, as well as framing them as traitors to the U.S.A.. The C.I.A. agents were Richard Parker and his wife Mary Parker, and their son is Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.
- Villainous Friendship: After the retcon, the Malik character was established to have one with Stalin, similar to the original Skull's relationship with Hitler (although not nearly as close, given Stalin's more distrustful personality). Unfortunately for him, this also meant that he was purged together with other close Stalin supporters after the dictator's death, and had to go underground in exile.
Alter Ego: Sinthea Schmidt
Notable Aliases: Erica Holstein, Mother Superior, Red Skull, Sister Sin, Skadi
First Appearance: Captain America #290 (February, 1984)
The daughter of the Red Skull and a washerwoman who died in childbirth, who follows in her father's footsteps. Synthia Schmidt was raised by the Skull himself and one of his loyal henchmen, Susan Scarbo (AKA Mother Night, his occasional lover), and trained and educated to be his aide and successor; the old-fashioned Skull had desired a male heir, and was originally very disappointed with his daughter, but she has since proved herself enough to earn his grudging respect. She is just as demented as her dad, if not indeed even more so, typically running the Serpent Squad on his behalf, and has been romantically involved with Crossbones. During Ed Brubaker's run she had been disfigured, and taken over her father's role as The Red Skull for a while before his return and later her disfiguring undone by Kobik.
- Abusive Dad: As Sin says herself, the only parental thing the Red Skull did for her was give her a name. Though to some extent, this varies with the writing, as does the degree of her resentment against him.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Took up her father's identity after he died.
- Arch-Enemy: To Sharon Carter. They both have very good reasons to hate each other, though most readers will agree that Sin "started" it.
- Ascended Extra: The character who would become Sin was originally an incredibly forgettable generic straw villain from the early Comics Dark Age, with a completely different name, costume, power set, and indeed, personality and appearance. She was reused once, in a goofy plotline that involved Captain America de-aging into a teenager, then never again for some time. But Ed Brubaker wrote her into his plots (and substantially rewrote the character while at it), and from then on she's been a somewhat major villain.
- Ax-Crazy: Dear God. Like father, like daughter, if the random cross-country massacre with her equally Ax-Crazy boyfriend didn't clue you in that she is very mentally unwell.
- Badass Normal: Naturally, In the Blood for a child of the Red Skull.
- Big Damn Kiss: With Crossbones, when she went with the team that rescued him out of S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Made villainous by the fact that her team had shot their way through a small army of S.H.I.E.L.D. Red Shirts on the way, and she literally still had their blood on her hands.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Was brainwashed by S.H.I.E.L.D. into forgetting who she really was.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Though sometimes she's more interested in showing the old man up.
- Dark Action Girl/Faux Action Girl: Sin's very good at shooting up civilians, police officers, and other red shirts. How well she handles herself when confronted with trained opponents like Captain America, the Winter Soldier, or even Sharon Carter seems to vary from issue to issue, something Winter Soldier called her out on in Brubaker's run. Deadpool managed to take her down with a single punch.
- Depending on the Artist: She's been drawn as everything from a dark-haired, vaguely Asian-looking waif to a Celtic-appearing Fiery Redhead (as illustrated here). The latter model stuck through the Brubaker run, and seems to be the "canon" one for the time being.
- Dragon Ascendant: Following her father's apparent death, she took on the Red Skull identity.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Crossbones, of course. Also her father, though this is not demonstrated with the same consistency.
- Evil Red Head: Bright red hair, totally insane.
- Friendship Moment: With the Red Skull, when his mind was trapped in one of Arnim Zola's armatures. He's horrified that she should even see him like this, but she soothes him and gives him a new red skull mask to put on over the robot body's "face." She and Crossbones promise him that they'll fix it all and get him a real human body again.
- Guns Akimbo: Typically charges into battle with two pistols.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Sin will explode at the drop of a hat, which typically results in a lot of civilian casualties.
- Hero Killer: It looked like she killed Bucky in "Fear Itself". Turns out she almost did, but Cap faked his death.
- Hidden Depths: Brubaker flip-flops on it. The original character created way back in the 1980s was just a raving lunatic; Brubaker's version seemed to have more depth when introduced, but was then mostly written as a generic Stupid Evil villain who eventually got captured by H.A.M.M.E.R. and Gitmo'd. However, when she cuts a deal with Osborn and is released in the Captain America Reborn miniseries, she's much smarter and less randomly angry/violent and has more personality again. Maybe prison was good for her?
- Hot-Blooded: She often has no impulse control whatsoever.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Crossbones' huge guy.
- Idiot Ball: Very often in the Death of Captain America arc. Less often in at least some subsequent appearances.
- Kick the Dog: Her brutalization of Sharon Carter was definitely this, as was her and Crossbones' crosscountry murder spree prior to it. The way she enjoys watching the possessed Captain America beating up Sharon is far subtler, but certainly also qualifies.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Specialises in this.
- Knife Nut: Her favourite weapon.
- Lack of Empathy: Subverted, in that she does show some empathy, but only for her friends and family. For anyone else, she might as well be playing the trope totally straight.
- Legacy Character: Took up her father's identity as the Red Skull.
- Master of Disguise: Not to the extent her father does it, but good enough by most standards.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Sin's a psychopathic madwoman with borderline suicidal urges and a hell of a father complex. She's been institutionalised on at least one occasion because of this.
- Mood-Swinger: To a bipolar degree, switching between manic joy, rage, and depression.
- Moral Myopia: It's probable that she isn't a complete psychopath, since she does seem to genuinely care about at least some people (notably, her father and Crossbones). However, her moral in-group would appear quite small; she doesn't give much of a damn about the sheeple, and even less about anyone who actively tries to get in her friends' way.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Sin" encapsulates everything about her pretty well.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: One possible interpretation. Sin can act pretty random, but depending on the story, it often turns out that her "stupid" villainy serves some useful purpose. For example, the "pointless" killing spree with Crossbones mentioned previously? It turned out to be part of a ploy to lure out and capture the SHIELD case officer they needed to interrogate for vital information. Her idea, and it worked.
- One-Man Army: Man-and-Girl army with Crossbones in some stories. She easily defeats hordes of Mooks, but seems to have much more trouble with named characters.
- Parental Substitute: Mother Night was a maternal example to Sin (we never see her biological mother). Though considering how the Skull treated her, Mother Night was her only parental figure.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Like her father, she's fairly slightly built, but much stronger than she looks.
- Psycho for Hire: When Sin isn't working for herself, she's usually shooting people to pieces on behalf of her father.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Type B, Sin comes off like a sadistic teenager, which she pretty much is.
- Sadist: Even moreso than her father or Crossbones. For Sin hurting people is her raison d'etre.
- Skull for a Head: Lost her face after the events of Captain America: Reborn until recently restored by Kobik.
- Smug Snake: Due to her taunting of the helpless Sharon Carter. She also tends to assume she is more formidable then she actually is.
- The Sociopath: Gives the impression of a low-functioning one, with little to no empathy, no impulse control, violent mood swings, and an inability to plan ahead.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Literally, in this case. Precisely how weirdly spelled her name is has varied over the years; the variant "Sinthea" is common online, and has apparently appeared in some older ancillary material. "Synthia" seems to be the version used nowadays, however.
- Also, her German-American last name. The correct spelling is "Schmidt," but it's often misspelled "Shmidt," sometimes even in official materials.
- Split-Personality Takeover: A nightmarish example. S.H.I.E.L.D. had brainwashed Sin into believing she was the innocent Nice Girl Erica Holstein, who then got kidnapped by Crossbones and forcibly deprogrammed. You could argue it was wrong to "change" Sin that way, that "Erica" was a lie and that she should be given back "her own" life, and her friends and family were certainly glad to have her back, but it's absolutely horrible to read from "Erica's" POV how she's first tortured and abused by a maniac, and then slowly begins to realize that she is, for all intents and purposes, dying, and soon she'll be another person, with a monster wearing her face.
- Symbol Swearing: She isn't the only one who does it in Brubaker's stories, but she seems to get a disproportionate amount of it.
- Teens Are Monsters: Mentally Sin's still the teenager she was aged past.
- Thicker Than Water: In Captain America Reborn she's shown to respect and care about her father, even though they haven't always agreed on everything in previous stories. Red Skull is nicer to her than in the previous storyline, too.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Depending on the Writer. Sometimes Sin shares her father's vision for the world. Other times she seems more interested in causing general chaos and anarchy.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her Faux Action Girl days seem to be behind her since she became Red Skull IV.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Played with. The Skull is memetically ugly, because he wears a grotesque mask; under it, he is in fact quite handsome, and Sin actually resembles him somewhat closely. She's still more attractive than he is, though, for the obvious reasons.
- Underestimating Badassery: Her enemies tend to dismiss Sin as a shallow Stupid Evil girl who's maybe an above-average fighter and little else. Sometimes they're right, but there's surprisingly much method to her madness, with apparently random For the Evulz villainy often actually serving a non-obvious but completely rational purpose. There are some signs that she might even be playing up her "psychotic girl" act on purpose in order to keep invoking this.
- Unholy Matrimony: A common-law example, with Crossbones.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Towards her father.
- Younger Than They Look: She was aged to adulthood when she was a girl, which also gave her psychic powers. She was aged further to an old woman, then de-aged again to a young adult, losing her powers in the process. Her hormones being so out of whack probably helps explain why shes so crazy.
Alter Ego: Tony Masters
Notable Aliases: Barney Toastmaster, Captain America, Chief Warrant Officer T. McWilliams/Ground Crew Chief McWilliams, Tasky
First Appearance: Avengers #195 (May, 1980)
Alter Ego: Phineas Mason
Notable Aliases: Dr. Walker, Hophni Mason, Mr. Fixit, The Terrible Tinkerer, Tink
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (May, 1963)
Phineas Mason is a brilliant inventor and engineer skilled in robotics. Bored with his mundane existence running a machine repair shop, Mason reinvented himself as gadget themed supervillain the Tinkerer. After battling Spider-Man and barely escaping with his life, the Tinkerer decided to stick behind the scenes and avoid any unnecessary physical risk to himself. While he occasionally deploys robotic creations to do the dirty work in his own criminal schemes, he primarily works as an armorer and mechanic for the greater supervillain community, repairing and upgrading their equipment for a nominal fee.
See Spider-Man: Central Rogues Gallery for more information.
Alter Ego: James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes
Notable Aliases: Bucky, Winter Soldier, Captain America
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March, 1941) note ; Captain America #1 (January, 2005) note ; Captain America #34 (January, 2008) note
See Bucky Barnes for more info.