|For alternate versions of Arnim Zola, see Arnim Zola's Character Hub|
Doctor Arnim Zola is a former HYDRA scientist who was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. and had his consciousness uploaded onto a computer. After Ultron gained the Infinity Stones and set off to wipe out all life across the universe, Black Widow and Hawkeye found Zola and uploaded him into an arrow in order to defeat Ultron. The arrow was later shot into Ultron, allowing Zola to destroy him and take control. However, now inside Ultron's body, Zola fought Erik Killmonger for the stones, leading to Doctor Strange trapping both of them in a pocket dimension for eternity.
During World War II, Arnim Zola was a member of HYDRA and worked closely with the Red Skull. As a part of the Operation Paperclip, Zola was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. after the end of the war, however, he received a terminal diagnosis and passed away in 1972. Zola's mind was transferred into a complex computer system on Camp Lehigh and the HYDRA Siberian Facility, where he remained from that point onward, aiding HYDRA undetected.
In 2014, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff found a data bank with Zola's analog consciousness at Camp Lehigh. However, this data bank was destroyed, leaving only one left in Siberia to supervise the Winter Soldier Program experiments held there.
In 2015, following the Ultron Offensive, Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton traveled to the HYDRA Siberian Facility and found the last remaining copy of Zola's mind. Zola identified the pair and was immediately informed about HYDRA's fate, with Romanoff and Barton requesting his help to stop Ultron, the one responsible for destroying the world HYDRA was supposed to conquer. While Zola refused at first, he quickly changed his mind when Barton threatened to drop liquid over the last computer in the world containing his memory.
With Zola now on their side, Romanoff tricked some Ultron Sentries into coming to their location, and once the Sentries arrived, Barton shot the arrow containing Zola's consciousness into one of the Sentries, transferring Zola into the Sentry so he could hack the Ultron "hive mind" and shut down Ultron once and for all. However, the Sentries soon overwhelmed them and Barton sacrificed himself so Romanoff could escape with Zola. Once outside the facility, Zola assured Romanoff that he tried to erase Ultron, but couldn't due to him having left their universe.
After Natasha Romanoff joined the Guardians of the Multiverse when they came to her universe to stop Ultron, Zola finally fulfilled his goal of avenging HYDRA. With Captain Carter's help, Romanoff shot the arrow containing Zola's consciousness into Ultron's eye. Downloading into Ultron, Zola made his presence known to the android and specified his intentions to delete him for destroying the world HYDRA should have conquered. Zola then corrupted Ultron's system and finally deactivated him permanently.
However, Erik Killmonger took the armor and the Infinity Stones for himself, failing to convince the others to use the Stones to "fix" their respective universes. As Killmonger prepared to kill the Guardians, Zola resurfaced and told Killmonger his intentions to use the Infinity Stones for himself due to now having Ultron's body. Killmonger refused and Zola engaged him in a tug of war for the Stones. Realizing that their mission was never meant to stop Ultron but to separate the Stones, knowing what to do, Doctor Strange used the Time Stone to freeze Zola and Killmonger in time and The Watcher encased them in a pocket dimension. The Watcher then told Strange that he must make the sacrifice to stand watch over the pocket dimension, observing Zola and Killmonger in their reality bubble for all eternity, from the Mirror Dimension and ensuring that they would never escape, a task which Strange accepted.
Zola is a genius but highly deceptive in order to get what he wants, yet still fearful of death. After Ultron had launched a campaign against all life in the universe, Zola had no more purpose, resulting in his stasis for some time. He decided to work with Black Widow and Hawkeye in order to exterminate Ultron, but once presented with the Infinity Stones alongside the Guardians of the Multiverse, Zola sought the Stones' power, distracting him so Doctor Strange could trap him.
Powers and Abilities
- "This is a fascinating change of pace, yeah? It has been a long time since I have had legs. I’d like to make this a permanent condition. This is far nicer than my human body ever was."
- ―Arnim Zola[src]
- Synthezoid Physiology/Mind Stone Enhancement: After assimilating himself into Ultron's body, the combination of the vibranium and the cosmic energy from the Mind Stone grants Zola a wide plethora of incredible powers.
- Superhuman Strength: As a synthezoid composed of vibranium, Zola possesses superhuman strength.
- Superhuman Durability: The vibranium composition of Zola's body allows him to withstand attacks of immense force with no visible damage to his exterior.
- Superhuman Speed: To be added
- Superhuman Agility: To be added
- Superhuman Stamina: To be added
- Superhuman Reflexes: To be added
- Longevity: To be added
- Computer Interaction: After having his consciousness uploaded to multiple mainframes, Zola is capable of gathering and downloading information, using it to his advantage.
- Telekinesis: During his standoff with Erik Killmonger, Zola was able to pull the Infinity Stones towards himself.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Zola was a brilliant scientist and engineer, being able to upload his entire mind into 1970s computers.
- Master Scientist: Arnim Zola was the greatest scientist amongst those who worked for the Third Reich, and later HYDRA.
- Master Engineer: Zola designed many weapons years ahead of his time.
- Bilingualism: Zola was fluent in his native German, as well as English.
- Zola's head being projected on Ultron's torso after he takes over his body is a reference to Arnim Zola's regular appearance in comics, where he is shown as a robot body with a screen displaying Zola's head on its chest.