In Captain America: The Winter Soldier™,

Arnim Zola's consciousness is revealed to be within a super-computer in a bunker

Wouldn't it be reasonable for him to have copied himself elsewhere? Wouldn't this have caused the same or similar issues as Ultron? In Avengers:Age of Ultron™,

Vision provides the power to force & lock Ultron out of the Internet

But wouldn't Zola have the same advantage of self-replication & infiltration, albeit with less potency perhaps? Do we have any indication that he wasn't destroyed along with that bunker, and isn't still nefariously scheming away on some AWS server somewhere?

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    Which other parts of Zola would you like to see, exactly? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 13:37
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    That Zola program was ooooooold. Like, running-on-hundreds-of-rolls-of-tape old. In the absence of any information to the contrary, I don't think he could have been copied to any other machines, or replicate through the internet. His code would simply be non-compatible. Maybe they could have updated his software, but that would likely have been very risky to his "mind" (read: core program). He seems limited to writing software, like the Insight program, that can be taken elsewhere, rather than being able to move freely himself.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 13:48
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    @Nerrolken They managed to plug a USB stick into him, I don't see why in a world of aliens, monsters and AI the transfer of a digital consiousness from tape would be too difficult. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 14:04
  • @DrRDizzle Anything's possible in a comic book world, but only if the writers say so. Otherwise, we have to assume real-world standards. Given that Zola didn't (to our knowledge) upload anywhere else, we have assume the real-world obstacle that a program designed for that hardware couldn't run on modern computers. The writers could change that at any time, but until then, it seems the most likely answer.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 14:09
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    Silliness aside, if he had any authority in Hydra, he surely would have had someone get the necessary hardware together to at least back him up. Especially, if he purposely drew Cap & Widow there to blow up that bunker. Once he's backed up, I think all he would need is an emulator & compute space. I don't think it's unreasonable at all to think that an organization like Hydra could write at least a hacked-together emulator. People on the internet do it for fun. An alternative is that Hydra had reason for not saving him. Maybe the program was not fully intelligent and only had limited use.
    – xdhmoore
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


We have seen no indication of the continued existence of Dr. Arnim Zola in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

However, an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. You are correct in thinking that after Dr. Arnim Zola transferred him mind into a computer, he could have been able to replicate himself an almost infinite number of times all over the world.

For all we know, he is still out there somewhere and trying to rebuild the Hydra that was destroyed after Steve 'Captain America' Rogers exposed Hydra in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, the list of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe films doesn't leave much room for Dr. Arnim Zola until some point after the two part Avengers: Infinity War is concluded in 2019.

But we might see him before that in some capacity. The final scene of season one of Agent Carter saw the return of Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola in SSR custody in 1946. With a second season of Agent Carter confirmed, I wouldn't be surprised to see Dr. Arnim Zola make an appearance in that at some point, showing us how he managed to set up his own Hydra within SHIELD.

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    I supposed it's possible that the supercomputer where Zola is has been "locked away" from the broader internet, or at least restricted, to prevent someone from getting into it from outside... or that he's subsequently put himself into a TV in some robot's stomach...
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 14:08

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