HYDRA is impossible to dismantle as, like the saying goes, cut off one head and two more take its place. However, the heads themselves are also often tough to kill. Red Skull was revealed to have survived on Vormir for decades in Avengers: Infinity War and Arnim Zola outlived death by transferring his consciousness into a computer in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. At least until Camp Lehigh was destroyed, and his mind with it. Or was it?
A new rumor is pointing to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier featuring an appearance from Dr. Zola. The story comes from Charles Murphy, who notes that his current information on the matter is vague and given that all that’s known is that “Zola is involved” in the Disney Plus TV show in some form, Murphy puts forward two possible explanations.
The first is obvious: that Zola’s consciousness survived Lehigh’s destruction. Perhaps a copy of his artificial mind was simply stored elsewhere. Bringing him back this way could allow for the villain’s classic robotic body, with the Teletubby-like stomach-screen, to feature in the MCU for the first time. Concept art was already designed for it, after all, for an ultimately scrapped role in Ant-Man.
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The second option Murphy presents, meanwhile, is much more out of left-field. The writer posits that maybe it’s not Arnim who turns up in Falcon but rather his daughter, Jet Zola. The character has a complicated backstory in the comics – she was created during the doctor’s time in Dimension Z – but it would be easy to strip this back and simply introduce her as a descendent of Zola’s, maybe his granddaughter, out for revenge.
Toby Jones debuted in Captain America: The First Avenger before reprising the part in Winter Soldier. He also made a cameo in Agent Carter season 1. His presence was alluded to in Avengers: Endgame as well, though he didn’t appear on screen. But he’ll soon voice the character in the first episode of Marvel’s What If…? animated series, which will see Peggy Carter take the Super-Soldier serum and become Captain Britain.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently filming so, with any luck, some more concrete news on Zola’s possible role in it will arrive in time.
Source: Murphy's Multiverse