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Arnim Zola (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Revenge is good. As good a fire to move forward as any. Remember those who stood on your fingers as you climbed the craggy cliffs. Remember their faces. Remember their families. Quote2
-- Arnim Zola src

A rogue geneticist, Zola studied under Wladyslav Shinsky. In 1928, he attended a genetics conference along with Jonathan Drew, Herbert Edgar Wyndham, and Noah Black. Zola was the first human genetic engineer in history, basing his work on some papers from the Deviants. Later, Zola received secret aid from Phaeder and his son Maelstrom in developing genetic advancements. [1]

World War II

After this, Zola found supporters in the Nazi party in Germany, who wanted to use his discoveries to assure the existence and triumph of a "master race".

Zola aided the Nazi scientist Baron Zemo in creating a series of androids which could expand from the size of a doll to over six feet tall.

Accounts vary, but at some point Zola established a process by which a person could project their mind onto a cloned body (It is believed that it was one of his first projects). He presented this process to Adolf Hitler. One account shows that in 1944 Zola had already transferred his mind into his current, ESP box headed body.

Talking with the Red Skull he presented him with a pill to use to place himself in suspended animation. Zola then presented Hitler with a completed cloned body to which he could transfer his mind before death. After Hitler walked out, Baron Strucker, a fugitive, entered the room. Strucker invited Zola to take part in the establishment of HYDRA. Since around 1944, Strucker would think of Zola in his ESP-box body - this would support that Zola had switched bodies at this point.

However, while another account does show Zola in his ESP box on the day that Hitler's original body died, Hitler as the Hate-Monger would later recall Zola was still in his original body.

In any event, Zola prepared a series of bodies for Hitler to use in his new identity of the Hate-Monger. (Zola once told Captain America that surgeons had extracted Hitler's brain and that he had preserved it to create a new body for it. This story appears to be a ruse to hide the truth about the Hate-Monger. Since then, the truth behind the Hate-Monger has been discovered, and is known to Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and Nick Fury.)

Hitler, according to a soldier who was with him the day his original body died, supposedly recommended Zola's process to Baron Zemo. "like your Führer, Zemo", he said, "you will become... a God... Zola will see to that" . It appears that Zemo did not for some reason undergo the process.

The Red Skull has financed Zola's experiments since the end of World War II, allowing him to produce creations such as Primus and Doughboy - which would later help the Red Skull in his own schemes. Zola's association with the Red Skull led to their first fight against Captain America in the jungles of Central America following Captain America's encounter with Arnim Zola's creation Man-Fish. Captain America was captured, but he managed to escape. [2]

Modern Era

Arnim Zola (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 1 209 0001

Arnim Zola in Action

Zola has continued with his experiments at various locations around the globe, although his crimes against humanity had brought him to conflict with different self-proclaimed heroes, including Captain America many times and Deadpool. When fighting Deadpool, Zola created proto-husks of dead villains using their DNA; many of these were destroyed by Deadpool, except for four Gwen Stacy clones.

He tried to steal the discoveries of Dr. Bruce Banner by sneaking into an observatory. The observatory was destroyed in an explosion and Zola was believed to have died in it.

Inexplicably, Zola survived and fought Irish super heroine Shamrock. He did not count on Clover's probably-altering powers and his cybernetic body exploded. Zola threatened her in a parody-like tone - he made a reference to The Wizard of Oz and then insisted that he would came back, especially to a monthly series.

After the devastation caused by Onslaught, Zola collected humans from the rubble of New York City and endowed a girl with superpowers, creating Jolt.[3] Jolt would join the team Thunderbolts, who would eventually go on to stop Zola.

Zola later reunited with the Red Skull and criminal psychiatrist Doctor Faustus. He was instrumental in a plan to capture and brainwash S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter and manipulate her into assassinating Captain America. [4] Following Captain America's death, Zola took great interest when he discovered that Carter was pregnant with Cap's child. During her imprisonment at the Red Skull's lair at the Kronas, Zola subjected her to many experiments. It is believed that Sharon Carter miscarried her child while prisoner, but this remains unverified.

Carter escaped and avenged herself against the Red Skull by fatally shooting him in the chest. Arnim Zola downloaded the Skull's essence into a robotic body similar to his own.

Dimension Z

He later escaped to a "Dimension Z", which he ruled and filled it with many of his creations. Eventually, Captain America found Zola hiding that alternate dimension, where time moved at an incredibly faster rate as compared to Earth, and Zola had built a massive fortress, dubbing his new land Zolandia. Zola was making a massive army of genetically altered soldiers with the intent of conquering Earth. In the initial assault, Cap rescued a genetically engineered infant boy.[5]

In the decade stranded in Dimension Z, Cap raised the boy as his own son, Ian Rogers.[6] The two took up with the peaceful Phrox, and eventually led a rebellion to stop Zola's forces, now commanded by Zola's daughter, Jet Black. One of his creations, Captain Zolandia, was a mutated clone of Captain America, he had his memories and tried to kill both Cap and Ian.[7]

Ian was 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 sacrificed herself to destroy Zola and his fortress, allowing Cap and a now reformed Jet to escape back to Earth.[8]

Zola was later revealed to be alive as he opened a portal in New York to lead an invasion from Dimension Z as a part of helping the Red Skull's newest plan.[9] After a battle across New york City with his mutants and Unvengers,[10] he departed with his daughter after driving a wedge between her and her new lover, Sam Wilson.[11]


None, Mind transferred into a robotic body.


Strength level

Arnim Zola Strength is dependent on the robotic chassis he is currently housed in.[12][13][14][15] [16]


  • Zola's Robotic Body: Zola's conciousness has been transferred in to a robotic body allowing him a form of immortality. If a body is destroyed his mind is downloaded to a spare body. [12][13][14][15] [16]
    • ESP Box: Arnim Zola possesses the ability to mentally control his various genetic creations by means of the ESP Box mounted atop his torso and surgically attached to his central nervous system. Although most of the creatures possess limited intelligence and the capacity for creative thought, Zola can override their mental processes if he so desires. The ESP Box is a retractable device that can convert brain waves into electronic signals for transmission as telepathic commands within ordinary radio range. Normally, Zola is capable of controlling only his own organic creations, but if he remains linked to his support equipment, he can stimulate his own mental power to such a degree that he can create a psychokinetic network able to animate inorganic matter within radio range. Zola is unable to control natural organic life. The ESP Box also provides Zola with the following powers:
  • Zola deploys mental commands to his creations in the form of energy bolts of approximately 100,000 volts. Similar in purpose to the ESP Box, the prod is limited in range to 18 feet and can only work on his own organic creations.[12][13][14][15] [16]
  • Zola uses exotic weaponry, androids, and genetically engineered lackeys in his schemes. His androids (or "bio-servants") can host Zola's mind and life-force.[12][13][14][15] [16]

Discover and Discuss


  1. X-Factor Annual #3
  2. Captain America #208
  3. Thunderbolts #4
  4. Captain America Vol 5 #25
  5. Captain America Vol 7 #1
  6. Captain America Vol 7 #2
  7. Captain America Vol 7 #7
  8. Captain America Vol 7 #10
  9. Captain America Vol 7 #22
  10. Captain America Vol 7 #23
  11. Captain America Vol 7 #25
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #12
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #14
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Heroic Age: Villains #1
  17. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 14
  18. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 14

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