And if the finale of What If … features a comedic-precise Arnim Zola
In What if …? Season 1 finale, Arnim Zola finally downloads himself into a new body that references his portrayal in the comics.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for What if …? Season 1, Episode 8, “What If … The Watcher Breaks His Oath?”, Streaming now on Disney +.
The final of What if…? Season 1 sees the Watcher finally breaking his oath of non-interference by reuniting a motley group of heroes to prevent Ultron from taking control of the multiverse. The Guardians of the Multiverse fight the killer robot in all dimensions, but even after apparently managing to destroy his Infinity Stones, Ultron proves too strong. As he is about to destroy the heroes once and for all, Black Widow pulls an ace out of the hole: the artificial consciousness of Arnim Zola.
In the previous episode of the series, a digital copy of Zola was collected by Black Widow and Hawkeye. The latter died before they could defeat Ultron, but Black Widow escaped with Zola. Upon her return in this episode, Widow is finally able to upload Zola into Ultron’s body by shooting an arrow in his eye, allowing the former Hydra scientist to take over and kick out the intelligence. artificial rogue. Zola then possesses the body, his face appearing on his chest, and he engages Killmonger in a fight against the Infinity Stones.
Zola’s appearance once he took over Ultron’s body is a clear reference to his notoriously bizarre look in the source material from the comics. The comedic version of Zola attempted to extend her lifespan by creating a digital copy of her consciousness, uploading herself to an Android body. Zola’s new body features a device called the ESP Box located where her head should be, with her face projected onto her chest instead.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Zola similarly digitized his consciousness, he was never able to transfer into a body. A copy of him in a computer bank at Camp Lehigh was memorably encountered by Captain America and Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Black Widow and Hawkeye made a deal with another copy of him in Siberia in the previous episode. Interestingly, Zola’s robot body was originally intended to appear in The ant Man‘s flashback opens, but he was eventually removed from the scene.
Zola’s appearance at the height of What if…?The finale finally gives viewers an adaptation of her body from the comics. While her face appearing on the chest is the most obvious scream, the fact that Black Widow uploads it to the body by shooting an arrow through one of Ultron’s eyes appears to be a reference to the ESP Box giving the body comical the appearance of having only one eye. Unfortunately for Zola, he can’t use the body for long, as Doctor Strange Supreme traps him and Killmonger in a pocket dimension, forever fighting for the Infinity Stones.
The unexpected appearance of Zola’s robot body also opens the door for the villain to return in a future MCU project. With the previous episode revealing that there are multiple copies of Zola in computer banks across the world, it’s not impossible that the Mad Scientist could make a comeback, especially given the focus of the last two episodes of What if…? Season 1 spot on him. Hopefully he will return in the near future, fully equipped with an android body and ready to continue spreading the word about Hydra.
To see the comic body of Arnim Zola, What if …? Episode 9 is now streaming on Disney +.
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