Helmut Zemo was a Sokovian (Native-German) Colonel who led a mostly peaceful life with a happy family, until Ultron attacked Sokovia and laid waste to his family. Although it was Ultron's attack that destroyed all that he loved, he blamed the Avengers for creating the mad android in the first place and set out on a path to destroy them from the inside. Now he has become one of the fourth incarnation of HYDRA's current leaders in the modern world, making sure to eliminate some of the loose ends from the previous incarnations for his own plans, much to the displeasure of his unknown rival, Sin.
It was he who manipulated Crossbones in temporarily breaking away from HYDRA for the sole purpose of igniting the chain of events that would lead to the signing of the Sokovian Accords and the split between both Avenger camps.
Powers and Abilities
Genius-level intellect: Helmut is a strategic and tactical genius, as well as a brilliant planner and organizer. He also has an impressive scientific and inventive ability, but not at the level his father was.
Expert Combatant: He is a masterful combatant, surpassing his late father in physical skill and prowess, but is only slightly under the level of Captain America.
Expert Swordsman: He is a world-class fencer portraying phenomenal skill ability with rapier, medieval broadswords, and possibly other weapons used in Medieval Europe.
Expert Marksman: Helmut is an Olympic-level marksman with firearms.
Expert Tactician: He is very skilled in field tactics, close range combat, and even turning the tide of any debate that he is involved in to his favor.
Master of Deception: Although he can be truthful in simple conversations with his peers, it is hard to deduce what Helmut is really thinking or planning in his mind. He can appear and appeal as an ally to any felon or hero, but may simply be using he or she do his bidding; it can vary from using them as a shield against another foe, or even getting him past security inside a highly secure structure such as the U.N. He has gone as far to earning respect and acceptance from former enemies such as Captain America to ensure the success of any scheme he hatches. Helmut Zemo is truly a dangerous individual who will travel any distance to achieve his goals.
Influential Expert: He is a dangerous influence to any individual he meets. He has used his ability to morally change persons with even the greatest of good intentions to ruthless human beings. His tactics have sometimes even caused individuals to question their own morality, and judgment towards other individuals.