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Toby Jones as Arnim Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger

Who he is: Dr. Arnim Zola

His power: As a person, no powers, but after he uploads his consciousness into a computer mainframe, he basically operates like an A.I. that’s connected to the internet.


His Story: Zola, a Nazi scientist, first appears in Captain America: The First Avenger, where he works as the assistant to the Red Skull, helping him try to develop the powers of the Tesseract, which Red Skull had recently discovered. He soon learns they can use the cube to create intensely powerful weapons—and Red Skull announces they have outgrown the Nazis, and kills visiting officers, leading Zola to proclaim allegiance to Hydra (though his conversion looks a bit… coerced, shall we say). After Captain America raids numerous Hydra bases, Zola attempts to reach Hydra headquarters via an armored train but is captured by Captain America and his Howlin’ Commandos—though Bucky Barnes seemingly dies during the mission. Zola is convinced by Chester Phillips to reveal Red Skull’s plans. (During his brief incarceration, Zola temporarily shares a cell with Johann Fennhoff, a villain from season one of Agent Carter, as shown in the finale.)

From there, he’s recruited along with other Nazi scientists to go to work for America, via Operation: Paperclip. He enters S.H.I.E.L.D., but unbeknownst to the agency, continues his Hydra affiliation in secret. Zola works in the shadows on projects like the brainwashing of The Winter Soldier. He managed to upload his consciousness into a computer system as an A.I. user interface, where he worked to help bring other Hydra agents into S.H.I.E.L.D., building an army of double agents, long after his body dies in 1972. During the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it’s revealed to Black Widow and Captain America that Zola’s A.I. has been working to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., and hatched a plan to corrupt the organization, in service of Hydra. However, a bomb hits the bunker where Zola’s consciousness was stored, seemingly destroying him.


Played by: Toby Jones

Currently, Arnim Zola is: Deleted, so to speak.

Where will we see him next? Probably never, save a possible flashback—or trick reveal that his consciousness was stored elsewhere.


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