Arnim Zola

Arnim Zola

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 biochemist and scientist
Specially-modified robot body grants:
Mind control
Mind ray
Mind transfer

Arnim Zola is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books by Marvel Comics. He is a master of biochemistry and is an enemy of Captain America and the Avengers. He first appeared in Captain America #208 (April 1977), created by writer/artist Jack Kirby. He was originally a Nazi biochemist during World War II and survived into the modern age by transferring his conscious mind into the body of a sophisticated robot which protected his mind by storing it in its chest and displaying a digital image of Zola's face on its chest plate.

Arnim Zola was a biochemist during World War II, experimenting with genetic engineering. His skills as a geneticist drew the attention of the Red Skull who used him in an attempt to create super soldiers. One of his experiments led to the brain of Adolf Hitler being copied into a being later known as the Hate-Monger. In order to survive the end of World War II Zola managed to transfer his mind into a robot body and later enabled his mind to survive by uploading itself to various networks as the robotic body was destroyed.

Arnim Zola has appeared in television cartoons and also appeared in live-action movies as portrayed by Toby Jones.

Publication history

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:

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 known as the Deviants. He finds a ready home among the Nazi party, who see his experiments as a means to ensure the existence of the 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.[2] During one such experiment, Zola collects humans from the rubble of New York City after the devastation caused by the being known as Onslaught. Zola endows a teenager with superpowers, creating the hero known as Jolt, who is eventually stopped by the Thunderbolts.[3] Zola also collected DNA samples of Captain America at the time when Red Skull's body began to age rapidly,[4] and used this template to create a new body for his ally.[5]

As part of another experiment, he collects the DNA of Basilisk, Ben Parker and May Parker, Bird-Man, Bucky Barnes, Cheetah, Cyclone, Gwen Stacy, Kangaroo, Mirage, Porcupine, Red Raven, Ringer, 5 of the Salem's Seven, Turner D. Century, and Whizzer and then uses them to create Proto-Husks that are destroyed by Deadpool.[6]

A copy of Zola, who had been impersonating Brian Braddock's mentor Professor Walsh, dies at Meggan's hands.[7]

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.[8]

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 Red 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 Red Skull out of Lukin but his body is destroyed by the Grand Director. Red Skull is stuck in one of Zola's robot bodies.[9]

Stuck in a computer somewhere, Zola is located by Norman Osborn. He informs 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.[10] By the time Zola rebuilds the machine in Castle Doom, Sharon Carter is brought to him so that he can transfer the Red Skull's mind into her body.[11]

Eventually, Captain America finds Zola hiding in an alternate dimension, Dimension Z, where time moves at faster rate than on Earth. There 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 breaks 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 only seconds have passed since his arrival in Dimension Z.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

Powers and abilities

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.[15]

Other versions

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.[16] 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.[16] 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.[16]

A short time after the Liberators attacked the United States,[17] 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 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.[16]

A young, apparently fully human named Arnim Zola III appeared in Ultimate Mystery, as a member of Roxxon's brain trust.[18]

In other media



Toby Jones as Arnim Zola in the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger.

Video games



  1. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #9 - 11
  2. Captain America #209 (May 1977)
  3. Thunderbolts #1-4
  4. Captain America #293-300
  5. Captain America #350
  6. Deadpool Vol. 3 #0
  7. Excalibur v.1 #36
  8. X-Men: Endangered Species #1
  9. Captain America vol 5 #25-42
  10. Captain America #600
  11. Captain America: Reborn #4
  12. Captain America v7 #1-10
  13. Captain America Vol. 7 #24
  14. Secret Avengers #18
  15. Captain America #38 (2008)
  16. 1 2 3 4 Ultimates Annual # 2 (2007). Marvel Comics.
  17. Millar, Mark (w), Hitch, Bryan (p). The Ultimates 2 #9. Marvel Comics.
  18. Ultimate Mystery #3-4. Marvel Comics.
  19. Jim Reilly (2010-10-05). "Captain America: Super Soldier Announced". Xbox 360 IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  20. "Galactus Lands in New LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Trailer - Marvel Heroes Games - News -".

External links

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