Arnim Zola

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Arnim Zola
Arnim Zola.PNG
Arnim Zola
Art by Steve Epting
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Captain America #208 (Apr 1977)
Created by Jack Kirby
In-story information
Partnerships Red Skull
Notable aliases The Bio-Fanatic
Abilities Genius-Level Intellect
Expert Biochemist
Robotic Expert

Arnim Zola is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in the Marvel Comics universe. He is a master of biochemistry, and an enemy of Captain America and the Avengers.

Publication history[edit]

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[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

A copy of Zola, who had been impersonating Professor Walsh who was Brian Braddock's mentor, dies at Meggan's hands.[5]

During the X-Men: Endangered Species storyline, Arnim Zola was among the nine supervillain geniuses recruited by Beast to help him reverse the effects of Decimation.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

During the AXIS storyline, Red Skull tells Arnim Zola that everything is in place on his end. Zola is confronted by his daughter Jet Zola who refuses to return to her father's side. Falcon sneak attacks Zola. Ian finds and frees Sharon Carter, only to learn that Zola has a bomb strong enough to destroy all of New York City. Falcon removes the telepathic antenna on Zola's body to stop him from controlling the bomb, but it only sets it to activate. Falcon takes the bomb high into the sky above New York before it goes off.[11]

Arnim Zola 4.2.3[edit]

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.[12]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Arnim Zola has no natural superpowers, but he is a scientific genius and biochemist 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 robot body which lacks a head. Instead, Zola's face is located via holographic projection on his chest. Atop his shoulders is an ESP Box, a psychotronic device which he uses to exert his control over his monster creations. The ESP Box grants Arnim Zola with a mind-control ability, a mind ray, and a mind transfer ability. In a limited effect, the Box can also be used as an offensive weapon. Whenever his body is damaged or utterly destroyed, Arnim is able to send his personality to another one stored elsewhere, thus giving himself a form of immortality.[13]

Other versions[edit]

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.[14] 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.[14] 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.[14]

A short time before the Liberators attacked the United States,[15] 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.[14]

A young, apparently fully human named Arnim Zola III appeared in Ultimate Mystery, as a member of Roxxon's brain trust.[16]

In other media[edit]


  • A young Arnim Zola appears in a flashback in the The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Wrath of the Red Skull". He was seen in a flashback giving Red Skull a wedgie back when he was Pink Skull.
  • Arnim Zola appears in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Grant Moninger. In "The Man in the Ant-Hill," Arnim Zola was seen as an inmate at the Big House. In "The Breakout," Arnim Zola escapes during the mass-breakout. In "Living Legend," Baron Heinrich Zemo reunites with Arnim Zola where they unleash Doughboy on New York. After Doughboy was defeated, Baron Zemo finds Arnim Zola pinned under Executioner as Enchantress proposes an offer to Arnim Zola.
  • Armin Zola appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Agent Carter episode with Toby Jones reprising his role from the films. Around the end of the episode "Valediction," Johann Fennhoff (who has a special device that is keeping his mouth shut) is placed in a prison cell where he meets his cellmate Arnim Zola. Zola mentions being a fan of Fennhoff's work while giving him a pencil and paper so they might collaborate, telling him the advantages of the American justice system.


Toby Jones as Arnim Zola in the 2011 film, Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • Toby Jones portrays Arnim Zola in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe movie series produced by Marvel Studios.
    • First appearing in Captain America: The First Avenger, Zola is a Hydra scientist who helped the Red Skull harness the Tesseract's power. Later captured by Captain America, Zola is forced to reveal the location of the Red Skull's base to Colonel Chester Phillips.
    • As revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Zola took advantage of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Operation Paperclip to create a new incarnation of Hydra that slowly takes over the organization. Having also experimented on Bucky prior, Zola personally oversees the young man's transformation into the Winter Soldier. Suffering a terminal illness in 1972, Zola had his consciousness transferred into a '70s era supercomputer located in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in New Jersey. From there, Zola masterminded S.H.I.E.L.D./Hydra's "Project Insight" as a means 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, stalling them in a sacrificial attempt to kill them with a missile sent by his Hydra allies. The destruction of Zola's host supercomputer is ultimately meaningless when Captain America and his allies foil "Project Insight" and expose Hydra within S.H.I.E.L.D., effectively leading to the agency's downfall. Though Pierce's dialogue suggests that Zola was indeed lost in the missile strike, his consciousness may still have transferred itself to another computer, leaving his return open.

Video games[edit]

  • Arnim Zola appears in the video game Captain America: Super Soldier, voiced by André Sogliuzzo.[17] Captain America is briefed on Project: Master Man and how Dr. Arnim Zola has unlocked the secrets of the human genome as one step towards immortality. During Captain America's fight with the Sleeper, Arnim Zola used his Zola Bots (which resembled Arnim Zola's android body) to attack Captain America. In the post-credits, Arnim Zola unplugs from his defeated Zola Bots. Red Skull orders him to get back to work, stating that they will be seeing Captain America again soon enough.


  1. ^ Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #9 - 11
  2. ^ Captain America #209 (May 1977)
  3. ^ Thunderbolts #1-4
  4. ^ Deadpool Vol. 3 #0
  5. ^ Excalibur v.1 #36
  6. ^ X-Men: Endangered Species #1
  7. ^ Captain America vol 5 #25-42
  8. ^ Captain America #600
  9. ^ Captain America: Reborn #4
  10. ^ Captain America v7 #1-10
  11. ^ Captain America Vol. 7 #24
  12. ^ Secret Avengers #18
  13. ^ Captain America #38 (2008)
  14. ^ a b c d Ultimates Annual # 2 (2007). Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Millar, Mark (w), Hitch, Bryan (p). The Ultimates 2 #9. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ Ultimate Mystery #3-4. Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ Jim Reilly (2010-10-05). "Captain America: Super Soldier Announced". Xbox 360 IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  18. ^ [1]

External links[edit]