|“||You can never defeat Hydra. We will always rise again.||”|
— Arnim Zola
HYDRA (former de-facto leader)
Arnim Zola is a Swiss scientist who uploaded his mind into a machine body. He is the main antagonist of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy trilogy episodes of Season 3: Web-Warriors and was a major antagonist of the first half of Season 4: Ultimate Spider-Man vs The Sinister 6. He was the former leader of Hydra, alongside Doctor Octopus.
In the present, he is the source behind the hacking of Amadeus Cho's Iron Spider armor. When Spider-Man and Iron Spider accidentally leave his cell open at the Triskelion, Zola's robot body activates. The next day, Zola tricks Iron Spider into bringing the ESP Box to him, allowing Zola to reassemble his body. While tracing Arnim Zola, Spider-Man and Iron Spider bring Agent Venom and Power Man to the Triskelion's underground laboratory where Zola unleashes his synthezoid army. In the nick of time, Robert Frank (the Whizzer) arrives to help. Whizzer tells the heroes to target Zola's ESP box. This causes Zola to lose control of the synthezoids, and the laboratory to explode.
Later, Zola replaces S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy staff and students at the Triskelion with Synthezoids, leaving only Spider-Man, Cloak, Agent Venom, and Rhino to fight. After most of the Synthezoids are defeated, Cloak tracks Dagger to the Tri-Carrier where Arnim Zola has the real agents. Zola then uses the Tri-Carrier to launch missiles which destroy the Triskelion as Spider-Man leads Cloak, Agent Venom, and Rhino into going after the Tri-Carrier.
Cho was placed in a stasis pod along with the other students. Spider-Man, Rhino and Venom team up to save their fellow classmates. Spidey breaks Cho out of his pod and borrows the Iron-Spider Armor to battle Arnim Zola.
In the two-part episode "HYDRA Attacks, Doctor Octopus collaborates with Arnim Zola where they use a miniature Octobot to hack into Swarm's nanites so that they can reform the S.H.I.E.L.D. Tri-Carrier into "HYDRA Island." Furthermore, they also had used the Goblin Formula to turn some HYDRA Agents into HYDRA Goblins as part of their plan to take over Manhattan. With help from Iron Spider, Agent Venom, and Scarlet Spider, Spider-Man was able to launch "HYDRA Island" to Saturn with Arnim Zola still on it while Doctor Octopus escapes.
Arnim Zola was able to return HYDRA Island to near Earth's orbit at the time when Doctor Octopus worked to remove the Venom symbiote from Flash Thompson. When he confronted Spider-Man, Arnim Zola's robotic body was stabbed by Scarlet Spider. During the course of this episode, Arnim Zola was shown to be annoyed with Doctor Octopus' obsession with defeating Spider-Man.
Doctor Octopus has turned against Arnim Zola and used Dr. Curt Connors' invention to convert HYDRA Island to Octopus Island. When Arnim Zola voices his anger at Doctor Octopus' betrayal, Doctor Octopus turns him off. Arnim Zola's robot body was last seen when Octopus Island crashes into the harbor.
When Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Scarlet Spider found Doctor Octopus, they interrogate him. Doctor Octopus revealed that Arnim Zola brought him into HYDRA in order to create a project called "Project Kaine". He also reveales that Arnim Zola and HYDRA island are still active at the bottom of the sea and that it is the key to Scarlet Spider's past along with the researches that Arnim Zola stole from Doctor Octopus.
Zola awakes from his slumber and attempts to destroy Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, before Ock left Spidey behind, leaving to be able to brainwashed Scarlet into Zola's bidding before Spider-Woman and the other Web Warriors arrived. Unfortunately, Scarlet, who now gains an immunity from being brainwashed by Zola, now has a complete control of the Slayers and the Web Warriors destroys Zola's system on HYDRA island to inactivate Zola without any trace behind. Due to Zola no longer in control of the HYDRA Island, it cost the Spider-Slayers' life when outside the pod they'd slept, except Scarlet, due to being the very perfect clone of Spider-Man and helped by Spider-Man and Spider-Woman to get the Slayers back to their pod and escapes the island without leaving behind. Unfortunately, Zola managed to upload to Spider-Man's communicator watch, but Spider-Man managed to risk his watch by throwing it to a deep ocean quickly, to make sure Zola cannot be found permanently.
Powers and Abilities
- Genius-Level Intellect: 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".
- Bio-Engineering: He has also created monsters called "Synthezoids" which are conditioned to do his bidding.
- Cybernetic Transformation: 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.
- Advanced Strength: His robotic body has superhuman levels of strength, being able to cripple Nick Fury just by tossing him.
- Magnetism: He was able to charge Iron Spider's armor with magnetic energy.
- Telekinesis: He has stated himself that that his ESP box gives him limited psychokinetic control over inanimate objects.
- Telepathy: 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. Atop his shoulders is an ESP Box, a psychotronic device which he uses to exert his control over his monster creations.
- Techno-Mind Transferal: Whenever his body is damaged or utterly destroyed, Arnim is able to send his personality to another piece of technology elsewhere, thus giving himself a form of immortality. This was seen when nothing else was left, Zola's mind went into an old TV Set.
- ESP Box: Without the ESP box present to transfer his mind, from one body to the other, he will finally die.
- Arrogance: His personality has a superiority complex, which causes him to consider himself above others. This in turn causes him to underestimate even the most powerful of foes, despite him knowing better, not to underestimate them. This has led to his defeat by Spider-man twice and Doctor Octopus turning on him and seemingly kill him as well. He is by far the most arrogant antagonist in the series.
- Technological Reliability: Without any digital technology to transfer his consciousness into, he can never escape the device he is already in. This is seen as how he was entombed in Hydra Island below the ocean. After escaping into Spider-man's wrist watch, spider-man threw it to the bottom of the sea.
f - flashback
m - mentioned
- Third animated appearance of Arnim Zola before his future fourth appearance in Avengers Assemble. His other animated appearances include The Super Hero Squad Show and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
- Due to Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man TV series being in the same universe, this the first shared animated universe series appearance of Arnim Zola.