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Created in Dimension Z by Arnim Zola for an as of yet unknown purpose, Ian was rescued from his test tube by Captain America and was thought by his "father" to be dead. He and Cap were captured by the locals of the dimension, the Phrox, and were sent to be executed because they were thought to be servants of Zola. Ian was put on a chopping block, but Cap was able to break free of his shackles and managed to save Ian, being quickly struck down by the tribe's leader later. A member of the tribe took pity on them and begged their leader to let them live, saying that Cap didn't serve Zola because he had seen him fight his minions shortly before they captured them for trespassing. Their leader grudgingly agreed to let them live.
Eleven years later, he and Cap were still trapped in Dimension Z. After a battle between Captain America and Ian against Zola's army, Captain America was blasted off a cliff by Zola's daughter, Jet Black, and Ian was taken to Zola. Ian refused to serve Zola, but was brainwashed to hate Cap and love the will of Zola. After a long struggle, Captain America succeeded in breaking Ian's terrible brainwash as well, making him finally realize that Cap was the good one and Zola only wanted to conquer. During this reunion, however, Ian was shot through the throat by the newly arrived Sharon Carter, who thought Ian was a threat to Cap.
Ian fell into Zola's bio-mass tank, which contained the same material Zola used to make him. Since it was coded to regenerate, Ian was healed from Sharon's attack. After Cap and Jet Black left Dimension Z, he acquired Captain Zolandia's shield and began leading the Phrox against Zola's Mutates along with Sharon, who raised him like a mother. Legends of him grew and he became known as a Nomad: a man with no name, no face, and no home. During one of their raids at Zola's fortress, Sharon apparently died, but was actually captured.
Nomad later resurfaced in search of his adopted father so that they could stop Zola and his invading army from conquering New York City. After a brief fight with some members of the Avengers, Nomad was able to get to the now depowered and aged Rogers to let him know that he was alive and warn them of Zola's plan to invade from Dimension Z. Steve dispatched Nomad along with Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk to deal with the mutates. Easily defeating the first wave, they were then confronted by Zola's hyper-mutate team, the Unvengers.
Then, after Falcon saved New York from Arnim Zola's bomb, Ian saw his sister, Jet Zola, being accused by Sharon about exploiting Steve Rogers impairment and then stealing the Avengers' DNA to create the Unvengers. Offended by Sharon's words, Jet decided to get back to her father's side. Ian tried to convince her that she was making a terrible mistake, saying to stay with him and build a new life, but Jet was too much hurt and declined his offer.
All-New Captain America
Ian Zola, now under the name of Nomad, started to work with the new Captain America Sam Wilson. The brand new Cap first mission was neutralize a new Hydra basement that Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter discovered. There, after Sam defeated an Hydra agent, the new Captain missed a shield throw. Another Hydra agent picked it up, throwing it right on the face of another Hydra member. This guy revealed to be Ian himself, undercover. Ian commented the poor throw of Sam as the demonstration that Wilson wasn't the most adapt to become the new Captain, but he himself was the better candidate. Sam answered that Steve had his reasons to choose him, but Ian wasn't agree, saying it was only a matter of age and not of talent. Going on with the mission, the two tried to free an unknown kid that was drained of his blood by a gigantic machine for an unknown purpose. The machine was defended by Batroc the Leaper, that engaged a fight with Cap, nearly killing Sam Wilson. Ian saved Captain America, apparently killing the mercenary in the process. Wilson was furious with Ian, telling him that there's always a better way to do things. Ian answered that in Zolandia, where he was raised, you first worry about saving your friends, and after it you think what's the better way to neutralize your enemy. Then, the couple took the mysterious kid and ran away, going up with an elevator and reaching Floor B. There, many different enemies of Captain America were waiting for him.
Ian and Sam engaged a difficult battle with every new Hydra agent there. With the priority of saving the mysterious kid, Ian told Cap to leave with him, while he was going to handle the whole thing. Cap did what Nomad told him, with Crossbones following him, and Zemo revealing that the blood Hydra needed was Ian's one. While flying, the kid's name was discovered, being Lucas. The young boy then told Wilson that they're in Bagalia, a nation run by criminals. Then, Sam revealed that they were teleported by the elevator they took while they were in Ecuador's Hydra Basement. Lucas was revealed to not be a Hydra prisoner, but one of Hydra's agents. He shot Wilson and returned to Baron Zemo. Back to Zemo's castle, Ian was trapped and there Zemo told him the whole truth: after the Terrigen Mist came to Earth, creating new Inhumans, Hydra started to search them trying to make them their agents. When they found Lucas, they analyzed his blood, discovering it contained a toxin capable of sterilizing human beings. After developing an antidote and dispersing it to every Hydra agent across the world, they were ready to spread Lucas' blood across the globe so they could begin the great leveling. Then Ian asked Zemo why was the Baron telling him the whole plan, with Zemo answering that he was doing it because he wouldn't be able to stop it, cutting his throat next. Then Zemo photographed a dead Ian with the intention of sending the photo to Ian's father Steve Rogers.
After Sam thwarted Zemo's plans to release fleas infected with Lucas' blood upon the world, Zemo was ready to strike him with his sword, but Ian struck Zemo first, buying Sam enough time to save Lucas' life as he was piloting a damaged aircraft that was going to fall. While fighting Ian, Zemo contacted Taskmaster, as he was Hydra's last operative standing, only to learn he was being paid a whole lot more of money than Zemo was going to pay him by Misty Knight to not launch the pod containing Lucas' blood into the atmosphere. Then Zemo was knocked out by Cap who asked how Ian had survived. Ian explained it was something to do with the bio-gel Zola made him with, as long as he has a supply of it within his armor, his body will fix itself, later claiming he discovered it when he fell into a vat of the bio-gel after being shot in the neck by his mom. After telling Sam Hydra's contingency plan to spread Ian's blood worldwide (in which Baron Blood, who drank a lot of Lucas' blood, was going to self-detonate in the atmosphere), they both went to take the Infinite Elevator to France but were abruptly attacked by Batroc who survived his fall. Ian stayed behind to deal with him as Sam went to deal with Baron Blood.
After defeating Batroc, Ian turned his attention to an already recovered Zemo. They fought viciously, the battle ending with Zemo hitting Ian with his own Horde Crusher, stunning him temporarily. As Zemo was about to push the button to detonate Baron Blood, Ian threw Zemo's sword into his back, mortally wounding him. Ian watched as Zemo crawled on the floor, bleeding to the death, saying that sometimes doing the right thing means killing the necessary people, which Zemo agreed. Then, the Hydra base they were in self-destructed itself.
Ian managed to escape its detonation using the Infinite Elevator and ended up landing in the Hydra Empire domain. Noting everything was different, Nomad approached a teenage graffiti artist and asked when Hydra took over. Confused, the young man said the city was founded by Hydra. A roving squad of Hydra guards with jetpacks saw them, and they tried to escape, but the young man ended up being caught by them as Nomad wasn't able to rescue him. Realizing that Hydra's control was too ingrained to be a thing of weeks or even years, but generational, Nomad decided to return to the Infinite Elevator to try and find a way home, but changed his mind and stayed to save the boy as he was caught because of him.
Later, Nomad rescued the graffiti artist, as well as other prisoners, from a bio-factory, where they would be burned alive and used for parts. While resting on a rooftop, the graffiti-artist introduced himself as Chris Miller, and claimed that he would help Nomad get in contact with the resistance mere seconds before he was decapitated by a thrown round shield. The owner of the shield, wearing a cross between a Hydra guard uniform and the Captain America costume, announced that the escapees were being rounded up as he spoke. Enraged, Nomad attacked the newcomer, angry that he was perverting the legacy of Captain America. The attacker paused when he saw Nomad's face, but the reason why wasn't clear until Nomad managed to knock his helmet out - revealing the man to be his analog, who angrily exclaimed that whatever his father had cooked up for him, there was only one Leopold Zola.
Nomad was outmatched by his analog and had his spine broken, but managed to escape to the sewers when Leopold thought him dead. He was found by a woman (later revealed to be that domain Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter's daughter, Ellie) and taken to the underground base of the resistance. At first he was believed to be part of a plan of Zola to take the resistance down, but convinced them otherwise by revealing his origins to the resistance leader, the former Captain Hydra Steve Rogers. Rogers then decided to include Nomad in their plan to destroy Zola and was explaining it to him when Venom and his Vipers attacked. All the members of the resistance were killed, with the exception of Nomad and Ellie, who managed to escape. However, Venom had infected her with a symbiote moments before she escaped and it was a matter of time until she became a new Viper.
With the resistance dead, Ellie lost her faith in defeating Hydra and building a better world for the Hydra Empire citizens as her father dreamed, but Nomad convinced her to not give up as her father wouldn't if he were in their place. Even because they still had a chance to destroy Zola as they were in possession of the device Tony Stark designed to trap Zola's consciousness into one body, enabling him from escaping death.
Later, Nomad and Ellie headed undercover towards the Temple of Hydra, but were easily discovered. However, Zola commanded his men to not attack them and guide them to him. Once they entered his tower, Zola revealed to them he needed the substance inside Nomad's armor to grant regeneration to his son Leopold, and tried to convince them to surrender it in exchange for a place in his nation. He even used the corpse of Steve Rogers to try and dissuade them, but it only made them angrier and they attacked him. Despite Zola gaining the upper hand and defeating them both, Nomad managed to use the device created by Tony on Zola, trapping him inside Steve Rogers' corpse. It was then that Ellie started to scream in pain as the symbiote that infected her started to take control over her, infuriating Ian. He launched himself on Zola, both breaking through a window to the outside of the tower. As he was about to kill Zola, Nomad was attacked and almost fell from the tower, but managed to hold on a gargoyle. He then saw his attacker, Leopold Zola, who was accompanied by Hydra's deadly Avengers.
Seeing he couldn't win that fight, Nomad jumped from the tower and had his fall broken by Ellie, who took control over her symbiote. While escaping Hydra's Avengers, Nomad told Ellie they had nothing to fight for there and convinced her to go back to his reality with him through the Infinite Elevator. However, Hydra's Avengers reached them, and in the ensuing battle, Ellie was trapped inside one of Dr. Mindbubble's dream bubbles, but was rescued by Nomad. Fighting their way through Hydra's Avengers, they finally reached the Infinite Elevator, but Ellie was shot by the Iron Baron. Trying to prevent their escape, Iron Baron launched missiles at them and accidentally destroyed the tower the Infinite Elevator was in. Soon afterwards, Hydra's Avengers found out that their efforts were futile as Nomad and Ellie managed to escape Hydra Empire.
Enhanced Conditioning: Has shown above peak human levels of physical & mental abilities.
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Speed
- Enhanced Intellect
- Accelerated Healing
- Enhanced Longevity
Master Martial Artist: Ian is a skilled martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant. He received training from his adopted father Captain America (Steve Rogers) in multiple martial arts, and acrobatics.
Skilled Shield Fighter: Ian is proficient with his father's shield. He is able to throw it with near perfect aim striking multiple targets in a single throw and achieving a boomerang-like return after throwing it at single person or object.
Skilled Acrobat: He is an Olympic level athlete and acrobat capable of many difficult acrobatic feats.
- 32 Appearances of Leopold Zola (Earth-616)
- 7 Minor Appearances of Leopold Zola (Earth-616)
- Media Leopold Zola (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 45 Images featuring Leopold Zola (Earth-616)
- 4 Quotations by or about Leopold Zola (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Leopold Zola (Earth-616)
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