- Science could not save my body. My mind, however, that was worth saving. On two hundred thousand feet of databanks. You are standing in my brain.
- -- Arnim Zola src
Under the Red Skull
A biochemist working for the Nazi deep science division during World War II, Hydra, Arnim Zola was a man of many designs. However, unlike his fellow scientist Erskine, Zola's designs both ignored morality and were often impractical or impossible to design. This all changed when his commander, Johann Schmidt (aka the Red Skull, recovered the treasure of Odin's trophy room- the Tesseract. While they didn't understand the full potential of the Cube, Zola's experiments on it allowed its use as a power source to create all of his designs.
With Zola's suits, weapons, vehicles and equipment, Hydra became more powerful then ever, and they quickly abandoned the Nazi cause, using a Cosmic Cube powered turret to destroy the Nazi officers sent to check on them. While Zola was conducting experiments on various captured American soldiers - including Sergeant Bucky Barnes- to try and recreate the super-soldier serum, the American super-soldier Captain America arrived at their base to rescue the soldiers. While Captain America rescued the prisoners and fought the guards, the Red Skull took off in a single man rocket, but not before giving Arnim Zola the keys to his tricked-out car, mercifully allowing his top scientist to escape the self-destructing factory.
Captain America and his Howling Commandos progressively managed to destroy most major Hydra operations, preventing Zola any real ability to work on his scientific projects. Eventually he had to be moved via train car, which Captain America and his sidekick Bucky attempted to invade. In the ensuing battle, Bucky was thrown from the train and Captain America was rendered mostly useless by Tesseract-powered armored soldiers, though Zola was captured by Allied forces, and interrogated to the nature of Hydra's plans and locations.
Post World War II
The following year, still held captive after Rogers' final mission, Zola became cellmates with Doctor Johann Fennhoff. He approached him expressing interest in his work on psychological manipulation and asked for insight on a possible project.
Zola was later recruited to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of Project Paperclip, only to use his position to plant seeds of Hydra within the organization.
When he was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 1972, even with the current generation of technology at the time, he transferred his consciousness into over two hundred 1970s-era computers located in a secret bunker at Camp Lehigh, the same facility where Rogers had undergone military training. He also designed the 'Zola algorithm' used by Hydra in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Project Insight," which was designed to identify and target potential threats to Hydra's interests.
He was eventually tracked down by the revived Rogers and his new associate Natasha Romanoff, and began relating to them much of what Hydra had done in the years following World War II, as well as his own personal involvement. This was nothing more than a stalling tactic, and the deception was revealed as soon as Romanoff was alerted to an incoming missile targeted upon the base. Zola slammed the doors shut on the pair, but his attempt to have Captain America and Black Widow entombed with him failed. The missile ravaged the equipment that sustained his mind while his visitors hid from the blast in a service duct in the floor.
- Genius-level intellect: Arnim Zola has an amazing intellect. He was able to design advanced equipment and weaponry far beyond the technology level of his time. He later assembled a vast array of computer banks into which he was able to store his mind.
- Computer Body: Zola was able to transfer his mind on to a system of computers located in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base.
- Toby Jones portrays Dr. Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the Agent Carter season finale episode "Valediction".
- For more details of the apocryphal version of Arnim Zola seen in the video game Captain America: Super Soldier and other apocryphal media please see here: Arnim Zola (Apocryphal).
- At one point in Captain America: The First Avenger, Zola is testing some kind of camera which resembles the one in the body of his Earth-616 counterpart. Later in the movie, blue-prints for this body can be seen.
- 11 Appearances of Arnim Zola (Earth-199999)
- 1 Minor Appearances of Arnim Zola (Earth-199999)
- Media Arnim Zola (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 5 Images featuring Arnim Zola (Earth-199999)
- 2 Quotations by or about Arnim Zola (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Arnim Zola (Earth-199999)
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