Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the Swiss scientist turned Nazi turned giant face in a robot’s stomach: Arnim Zola
Appearances in Heroclix: Fantastic Forces, Deadpool
First Appearance: Captain America #208
Team Affiliations: Hydra
Powers: Genius biochemist and scientist; Specially modified robot body grants: Superhuman strength and durability, ESP Box, Mind control
Created By: Jack Kirby
Arnim Zola was a Swiss biochemist. After discovering research from the secret race, the Deviants, he became one of the first human genetic engineers. He quickly found a place within the Nazi party of Germany, using his new found discoveries to help some of their research efforts. One of the first inventions he perfected was a device that allowed brain patterns to be imprinted on a clone brain. Zola used this machine on Adolf Hitler, creating the Hate-Monger. Zola also used this device to create his infamous series of robotic bodies, which has allowed him to continue to be active since World War II.
Zola has been an occasional ally of the Red Skull, creating several creatures for the super-villain including Primus, Doughboy, and Man-Fish. He also unwittingly created the hero known as Jolt. After the Superhuman Civil War, Zola helps kill Captain America. He also reverse-engineers a device he received from Dr. Doom that manages to separate Red Skull’s mind from the body of Aleksander Lukin and into one of Zola’s robot bodies.
After Steve Rogers is able to return to life, his death having been a complicated affair that simply left his mind traveling through time, he tracks Zola to an alternate dimension known as Dimension Z. Time in Dimension Z moves faster than time on Earth. As a result, Zola has been able to build an incredible power base, including a fortress an army of genetically altered super soldiers.
Rogers is able to rescue the genetically engineered infant son of Zola. Cap then spends the next decade raising the boy named Leopold as his own son. They join one of the native species of the dimension and lead a rebellion against Zola. During these battles, Zola’s daughter Jet Black and Leopold battle with Leopold being brainwashed into following Zola only to be shot by Sharon Carter shortly after breaking this control. Carter sacrifices herself to destroy Zola and his fortress, which allows Rogers and a reformed Jet Black to return to Earth. Because of the differences in the dimensions, though Captain America spent a decade in Dimension Z, he returned only seconds after leaving Earth.
Arnim Zola assists Red Onslaught, the Red Skull with Xavier’s mind, in a plan to destroy New York City with a bomb. Unfortunately, Jet Zola refuses to join her father and helps the Falcon and Sharon Carter foil the plot. Zola is later part of the Hydra High Council that assists Red Skull’s clone in using Kobik to rewrite Captain America’s history. Zola develops a virus that forces the Vision to join Hydra’s Avengers and is even part of a ploy that brainwashes the Hulk into working for Hydra.
During Spider-Geddon, Zola takes a team of Hydra agents to locate Superior Octopus’ base and return him to the fold. After some clone hijinks, Octopus is able to defeat all of Zola’s men and dismantles Arnim’s body, leaving him paralyzed. Octopus then tells Zola to return to Hydra with a message: leave him alone or face similar consequences.