Art by Steve Epting
|First appearance||Captain America #208 (Apr 1977)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Alter ego||Arnim Zola|
|Notable aliases||The Bio-Fanatic|
Telepathic control of genetic creations
Created by Jack Kirby, Arnim Zola first appeared in Captain America #208 (April 1977), followed by issues #209-212 (May–August 1977) of the same title.
The character subsequently appeared in Super-Villain Team-Up #17 (June 1980), Captain America #275-277 (November 1982-January 1983), The Avengers Annual #13 (1984), X-Factor Annual #3 (1988), Captain America #350 (February 1989), Marvel Comics Presents #24 (July 1989), Excalibur v.1 #36 (April 1991), Captain America #383 (March 1991), #387 (July 1991), #393-396 (October 1991-January 1992), Captain America Annual #11 (1992), Marvel Comics Presents #106 (1992), Fury #1 (May 1994), Captain America #437 (March 1995), Iron Man/X-O Manowar: Heavy Metal #1 and X-O Manowar/Iron Man in Heavy Metal #1 (September 1996), Thunderbolts #4 (July 1997), #24 (March 1999), Wolverine #139 (June 1999), Thunderbolts #33 (December 1999), Captain America #50 (February 2002), Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury (2005), Marvel Holiday Special #2006, Captain America #24 (January 2007), #26 (July 2007), X-Men #200 (August 2007), The Uncanny X-Men #488 (September 2007), Cable & Deadpool #45 (November 2007), Thunderbolts: International Incident (April 2008), Captain America #34-36 (March–May 2008), and #38 (July 2008), Wizard Deadpool #0, and Invaders Now! #2 (November 2010).
Arnim Zola received an entry in the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1 (January 1983), The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #1 (August 1985), and All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12 (2006).
Fictional character biography
Arnim Zola was a Swiss biochemist during World War II who became one of the first human genetic engineers in history after finding papers and equipment used by the offshoot race of humanity, the Deviants. He finds a ready home among the Nazi party, who see his actions as the ability to ensure the existence of a master race.
One of his first accomplishments is the creation of a brain pattern imprinting device, which allows a person's mental essence to be projected into a cloned brain. Zola uses this machine on Adolf Hitler, creating the Hate-Monger.
The Red Skull also financed some of Zola's experiments, allowing him to produce such creations as Primus, Doughboy, and Man-Fish in the jungles of Central America. During one such experiment Zola collected humans from the rubble of New York City after the devastation caused by the being known as Onslaught. Zola endowed a teenager with superpowers, creating the hero known as Jolt, who brought the Thunderbolts to stop him.
As part of another experiment, he collected the DNA of Basilisk I, Ben and May Parker, Bird-Man II, Bucky, Cheetah, Cyclone, Gwen Stacy, Kangaroo I, Mirage, Porcupine I, Red Raven, Ringer, 5 of the Salem's Seven, Turner D. Century, and Whizzer and then used them to create Proto-Husks that were destroyed by Deadpool.
In the aftermath of the Superhuman Civil War, Zola joins the Red Skull in his newest attempt to kill Captain America, which succeeds. Afterwards, while the Skull is busy with his plans to control America with a puppet government, Zola attempts to reverse-engineer a mysterious device given to him by Doctor Doom, as well as craft a device that will separate the Skull's consciousness from the mind of Aleksander Lukin, which was the result of misuse of the Cosmic Cube. He manages to unlock the device's secrets and has a brainwashed Sharon Carter hooked up to it. However, she breaks off the connection, just as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents storm the base. Zola quickly transfers the Skull out of Lukin but his body is destroyed by the Grand Director. The Skull is stuck in one of Zola's robot bodies.
Stuck in a computer somewhere, Zola is located by Norman Osborn. He informs Osborn, the current director of H.A.M.M.E.R., that Captain America is locked in space and time on the date of his supposed death. Doom's machine was meant to bring him back for an unknown purpose but because of Sharon, he has become unstuck in time, causing him to relive the events of World War II. By the time Arnim Zola had rebuilt the machine in Castle Doom, Sharon Carter was brought to him so that he could transfer the Red Skull's mind into her body.
Eventually, Captain America finds Zola hiding in an alternate dimension, Dimension Z, where time moves at an incredibly faster rate as compared to Earth, and Zola has built a massive fortress where he is making a massive army of genetically altered soldiers with the intent of conquering Earth. In the initial assault, Cap rescues a genetically engineered infant boy (Zola's son, Leopold). In the decade stranded in Dimension Z, Cap raises the boy as his own son, Ian. The two take up with the peaceful Phrox, and eventually lead a rebellion to stop Zola's forces, now commanded by Zola's daughter, Jet Black. Ian is later captured by Zola, and brainwashed to accept Zola as his father again, but eventually broke out of his control, only to be shot by Sharon Carter. Eventually, Carter sacrifices herself to destroy Zola and his fortress, allowing Cap and a now reformed Jet to escape back to Earth, where relatively only seconds have passed since his arrival in Dimension Z a decade earlier.
Arnim Zola 4.2.3
A flawed copy of Arnim Zola's consciousness in a robot body is recruited by the Shadow Council. He faces the Secret Avengers who are investigating the Shadow Council's mining operations inside of a "bad continuum" (a malformed reality). Although he is defeated by the Secret Avengers, his fate afterwards is unknown.
Powers and abilities
Arnim Zola has no natural superpowers, but he is a scientific genius specializing in genetics and cloning. He is not only capable of creating exact clone copies of his "clients", he has also created monsters which are conditioned to do his bidding.
Zola's most noticeable feat was performed upon himself. He constructed a specially modified body which lacks a head. Instead, Zola's face is located—via holographic projection—on his chest, and atop his shoulders is an ESP Box, a psychotronic device which he uses to exert his control over his monster creations. In a limited effect, the Box can also be used as an offensive weapon.
In 2007 Arnim Zola appeared in Ultimates Annual # 2, written by Charlie Huston. Just like his Earth-616 incarnation he was also a Nazi biochemist. His role in World War II was to make a cadre of special master race troops so as to serve as Adolf Hitler's bodyguards. Captain America was able to infiltrate Arnim Zola's facility and kill his first experimental monster, which Zola dubbed "Siegsoldat" ("Victory soldier"). The experiment's dead body then fell on Arnim Zola, seemingly killing him. Zola did not die and the O.S.S. rescued him so as to harvest his intellect on the post-war super soldier program. Later they mapped his brain and created an artificial intelligence out of it before the tumors he had could degrade his mind.
A short time before the Liberators attacked the United States, a white survivalist group called the Marauders attacked the military base where Arnim Zola's AI was being held and stole it, along with some other weaponry. Arnim Zola was then able to convince the leader of the Marauders to allow Zola to commence experiments on him. Zola mutated the man until he was approximately 20-foot (6.1 m) tall and installed armor plating (and Zola's AI brain) on him with a hologram of Zola projected from the chest and was called Uber-Siegsoldat. He then took over the Marauders and got them to gather people for his experiments. Captain America and the Falcon were sent after him and were able to defeat him by freeing the people he had kidnapped, who promptly tore apart his body, whereupon Captain America collapsed a support strut onto the Zola AI.
In other media
- Arnim Zola appears in the live-action television film Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., portrayed by Peter Haworth. He appears as an elderly wheelchair-bound HYDRA chemist.
- A young Arnim Zola appears in a flashback in the The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Wrath of the Red Skull".
- Arnim Zola appears in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Grant Moninger.
- Arnim Zola appears in the film Captain America: The First Avenger, portrayed by Toby Jones. Zola is a HYDRA scientist who works with the Red Skull to harness the Tesseract's power. Plans for Zola's robotic body can be briefly seen while he is escaping from HYDRA's fortress during Captain America's liberation of several POWs. He is captured by Captain America and is presumably still in the Allies custody by the end of the film.
- Jones reprises the role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is revealed that after being captured at the end of The First Avenger, Zola was recruited to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. through Operation Paperclip, but he used this opportunity to plant seeds of HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D., thereby slowly taking over the organization. Before his death from an unnamed illness in 1972, his consciousness was transferred into a 70's era supercomputer located in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in New Jersey. He is revealed to be the mastermind behind S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Project Insight", which is used to identify and target potential threats to HYDRA's interests. Zola reveals all of this to Captain America and Black Widow when they find the supercomputer housing his consciousness in New Jersey; the computer is destroyed by a missile meant for Captain America and Black Widow, apparently killing Zola. Zola also appears briefly in Bucky's flashbacks, as he slowly remembers how he was transformed into the Winter Soldier.
- Arnim Zola appears as the main antagonist in the video game Captain America: Super Soldier, voiced by André Sogliuzzo.
- Arnim Zola is featured as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. He is featured in the 10th Spec Ops.
- Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #9 - 11
- Captain America #209 (May 1977)
- Thunderbolts #1-4
- Deadpool Vol. 3 #0
- Excalibur v.1 #36
- X-Men: Endangered Species #1
- Captain America vol 5 #25-42
- Captain America #600
- Captain America: Reborn #4
- Captain America v7 #1-10
- Secret Avengers #18
- Captain America #38 (2008)
- Ultimates Annual # 2 (2007). Marvel Comics.
- Millar, Mark (w), Hitch, Bryan (p). The Ultimates 2 #9. Marvel Comics.
- Ultimate Mystery #3-4. Marvel Comics.
- Jim Reilly (2010-10-05). "Captain America: Super Soldier Announced". Xbox 360 IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Arnim Zola at Marvel.com
- Arnim Zola at Marvel Wiki
- Arnim Zola 4.2.3 at Marvel Wiki
- Arnim Zola at MarvelDirectory.com