No dual identity
Place of Birth
Weisshorn Mountain, Switzerland
Captain America #208
Needing funds to continue his research, Zola presented his first invention, the creation of device that would transfer someone’s essence to a cloned body, to Adolf Hitler, who agreed to become his patron. This device and partnership allowed Hitler to survive World War II as the Hate-Monger. Zola also used it on himself, not only allowing him to survive into modern times but to also replace his normally frail body with a stronger, android one.
Zola also found a patron in the Red Skull, but otherwise he kept his existence a secret, performing experiments in a hidden fortress in the jungles of Central America. Captain America, on the trail of the Red Skull, managed to find Zola’s hidden laboratories, only to be captured by the first of Zola’s intelligent creations, Primus and Doughboy. Captain America escaped, but Zola later used Doughboy and Primus to capture Captain America and the woman Donna Maria Puentes, who he wished to use for genetic experimentation. He was overthrown, however, by Primus, who fell in love with Donna Maria. Captain America used the distraction to battle Zola, a fight that destroyed Zola's castle and forced them all to flee.
Zola’s continued partnership with the Red Skull led to a the creation of a Cosmic Cube, although it merely served as a containment vessel and the essence of the Hate-Monger became trapped inside at the same time S.H.I.E.L.D. stormed the site and destroyed the villain’s lair. For a later scheme, Zola created a cloned body of Captain America for the Red Skull, which the Skull used to rejuvenate himself after his body died of old age.
Zola later severed ties with the Skull to embark on his own agenda of experimentation and villainy. Although he prefers to work alone and in secret, Zola has been known to take on others as assistants, such as he did with Edward Whelan (although Whelan would object to Zola’s use of human test subjects and became a victim himself, becoming Vermin).
When working on his own, it is usually for the pure fascination of genetic research, no matter how cruel or unusual his means. One time, Zola assembled several wolf-related heroes and villains, which included John Jameson’s reversion to his Man-Wolf identity. When Captain America tracked Jameson, he was briefly captured by Zola and transformed into a wolfman himself, although he escaped and managed to destroy Zola’s schemes and rescue Jameson and the other victims. Another time, Zola purchased refugees of the city-wide rampage caused by Onslaught from the Rat Pack, and he subjected them to hideous experiments. One of his victims, Jolt, escaped to find the Thunderbolts, who returned to defeat Zola.
Zola is also not above working with new patrons, such as the Secret Empire. The Empire used Zola to find individuals with a genetic makeup that could be transformed into an army of dissidents with which to take over the world. Such an individual was Charcoal, although the Empire was stumbled onto by the Thunderbolts who managed to bring down the subversive Empire.
More recently, Captain America and his ally Thor (actually, Erik Masterson in the guise of Thor) tried to infiltrate one of the Red Skull's safehouses, and Zola used Doughboy to try to capture the two. Masterson used his hammer to destroy Doughboy, and Zola escaped. However, Zola re-created Doughboy to be used as his vehicle of transportation when capturing the then-ruler of Madripoor, the Viper, which brought Zola into conflict with Wolverine and Cable. The heroes battled Primus and others of Zola's creation until they were unceremoniously dropped from Doughboy and Zola, the Viper, and his creations escaped.Arnim Zola took over control of the Hydra organiztion, replacing many of it's operatives and soldiers with his own cloned creations, and made Hydra commandos that were clones of Happy Hogan in a plot to destroy Tony Stark and get his hands on new technology.