"…And a Phoenix Shall Arise!" (1973/12/01) from Captain America 168 (December 1973); Reprinted in Thunderbolts: Marvel's Most Wanted
Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: Extreme
Summary: Captain America and The Falcon are attacked by a costumed lunatic named The Phoenix who claims he is seeking vengeance. With Cap in his power, the Phoenix reveals himself to be Helmut Zemo, son of Baron Heinrich Zemo.
Continuity: Flashbacks show Helmut's childhood with his parents and, briefly, how he came to seek revenge on Cap. If Helmut seems younger here than in comparable scenes from "The Medusa Effect" (1943/01/01), consider it a lapse in Helmut's recollections.
Zemo ends this encounter with an apparently fatal plunge into a vat of Adhesive X. In fact, Zemo escapes through a secret panel, but the incident mauls his face, leading him to don a mask and costume similar to his father’s, and to begin using the name Baron Zemo (source: "In Thy Image", Zemo/Next).
For a radically different version of Helmut's first battle with Cap, see the Marvel Adventures/Marvel Age page.
Comments: Journeymen Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella and Sal Buscema coast through an uninspired story. Cap is in his most annoying, introspective mode and falls into the most obvious of traps. The Falcon is dull as usual and demonstrates no particular skill in battle. The art is surprisingly rough and the Phoenix’s costume is really ugly. At least the flashbacks are insightful.
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This page was revised on June 26, 2007
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