General Zod is a male comic supervillain who features in DC Comics.
He operated in the Defense Corps on Krypton and was in charge of its protection. (DC Comics Presents v1 #97) During his service, he was called on defending his people from the threat of Zor-Mar who had been enslaving Kryptonians to his will through a mind controlling card. Dru-Zod defeated him by knocking the card from his grasp before he could take Fort Rozz. For his actions, Zod was promoted to commanding general in the military on Krypton. (DC Comics Presents v1 #84) He was later involved in oversight of a project that was looking to re-establish an astronomical observatory on the moon of Wegthor. During this time, he came to work with Professor Ken-Dal with the pair being joined by a young Jor-El who came to work on anti-gravity technology as part of the project. This culminated in the development of a ship constructed of gold where the issues of weight were to be resolved through the anti-gravity systems. The project drew much mockery by others who came to refer to it as Jor-El's Golden Folly though it ultimately proved to be a secret. (Superman v1 #233)
In time, he believed his world would be better under his direct command. (DC Comics Presents v1 #97) Among his schemes was the use of a duplicator ray to create an army of duplicates that he used to seize control of Krypton. (Adventure Comics v1 #283) These Inorganisms were sent as a force in the attempt to seize Fort Rozz but he was defeated by the Defense Corps. (DC Comics Presents v1 #97)
The captive Zod was then sentenced to the Phantom Zone where he was to be trapped there for 40 years by the jury for his traitorous crimes against the people. (Adventure Comics v1 #283)
Using their telepathic powers, the Phantom Zone criminals managed to take control of Charlie Kweeskill and used him to release them from the prison dimension. (The Phantom Zone v1 #1)
The Phantom Zone criminals later discovered another dimension that bordered on the hellish Phantom Zone. This allowed them to apply more influence in that realm that was inhabited by an advanced race of aliens called the Norkkans where they began to influence them. They telepathically came to control them when their dimension was visited by the Flash where they caused him to go on a rampage and attract the attention of Superman who similarly found himself in that dimension. (DC Comics Presents v1 #73)
Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events. Dru-Zod
Around 35 years ago, he responded to an incident at Kandor that came under attack from the extraterrestrial known as Brainiac. Despite his defence, they were not able defeat the villains Brainiac Probes who successfully managed to bottle the city whereupon they departed the planet. (Action Comics v1 #866) He lost 40 soldiers to the invader whilst 600 being trapped within the lost city of Kandor with General Zod wanting revenge against the Coluan. (Action Comics v1 #867) Among his achievements was decimating the doomsday terrorists before they could unleash their monster and leading the military against Brainiac when he targeted Kandor. (Action Comics Annual v1 #11)
The Council later dispatched Kryptonian Defense under Zod with the arrest of the scientists Non and Jor-El who were conducting forbidden experiments about their nature of their world. The scientists were banned from conducting any further work but Non decided to take his findings to the civilian populace where he revealed that the research had discovered an impending destruction of Krypton. General Zod attended one of these rallies where he became interest in Non's words and did not have the scientist arrested. This led to him and Ursa joining Non as part of a group that sought to save their world. In response, the Science Council dispatched agents to apprehend Non in the middle of the night where they lobotomised him with the former scientist left for two days in the Scarlet Jungle. He was recovered but his state left Zod enraged at the actions of the Council as he now contemplated a military coup. Zod attempted to convince Jor-El to join him but the scientist refused with the General along with his allies deciding to proceed with their plan. They struck at the Council with them killing five of its members before security forces apprehended them. Jor-El came in to request lenience and instead proposed that Zod, Ursa and Non be banished to the Phantom Zone instead. An angry Zod vowed that their fate only saved them and condemned Krypton where he stated that he would be free whereupon he would make Jor-El along with his son bow to him. (Action Comics Annual v1 #10)
Through Lor-Zod, the tether holding the Phantom Zone prisoners trapped was snapped and they were free to arrive on Earth. They rallied under General Zod who took over Metropolis and imprisoned the superheroes that challenged them whilst they built their fortress. Zod and Ursa kept their son with them as they surveyed their conquered territory though Lor-Zod had attempted to escape from them. A U.S. Army force was sent to confront the invaders but their ranks were decimated with Zod taking their leader and demonstrating his iron will to destroy any that opposed him by stating that he would kill his own child. Superman arrived on the scene where he allied with Lex Luthor who assembled a Superman Revenge Squad of supervillains who agreed to stop the Kryptonian threat. He saved Lor-Zod and continued his battle with the Kryptonian General who was unaware that Lex Luthor had created an effect that reversed the engines of the invaders rockets. This created a tether like effect whereby anything from the Phantom Zone was snapped back into that dimension leading to all the prisoners being pulled back. Zod vowed that he would get his revenge on Superman before he and his forces returned to their prison with Lor-Zod similarly being sent back to that dimension. (Action Comics Annual v1 #11)
Afterwards, the Bottle City of Kandor was freed where it was restored to its normal size on Earth though prejudice and suspicion from humanity resulted in the death of Zor-El. In response, his widow Allura In-Ze decided to take Kandor into orbit on the other side of the sun from Earth where a planetoid was formed through Kryptonian technology with this being New Krypton. During this time, she also came to free Zod, Ursa and Non where their sentence to the Phantom Zone after they were pardoned from their sentence. (Action Comics v1 #873) General Zod then resumed his former post at Allura's discretion where he was made the leader of the military. (Superman v1 #684) Upon learning this, Superman attacked him but was surprised to find that Zod was hailed a patriot as well as a hero and that his appointment was supported by all the inhabitants of New Krypton. Thus, Superman had to depart the scene whilst General Zod continued with his duties in the defence of his world. (Action Comics v1 #874)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of history was created with a different series of events. Dru-Zod was the child of scientists who were travelling through a remote section on Krypton when their ship crashed into the jungle. His parents were killed by the ferocious wildlife but the boy survived for a year by himself. He was then found by young scientists Jor-El and Zor-El with the brothers taking him back to civilization. In time, Zod joined the military where he managed to rise to the rank of Colonel. (Action Comics v2 #23.2)
During the fight with Hal Jordan, Zod lost and was apprehended but was released under the command of the Guardians of the Universe who felt that hostilities were not needed. An angry Zod as a gesture of good faith returned the Green Lantern stolen ring and demanded that they leave Jekuul which they complied but warned that they would be watching the House of Zod. Afterwards, it was revealed that despite his defeat that the General had accomplished what he wanted namely having the Eradicator hack into the captured Power Ring for detailed information about the various inhabited worlds nearby along with a map of he universe with this all being part of the next stage of his plans. (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps v1 #41)
Whilst on Jekuul, he began to experience visions of the formation of a New Krypton by the unity of his House with that of El and those of Kandor with them all being killed by Rogol Zaar. This led to Zod journeying to Earth after learning that it had vanished and him going into the Phantom Zone to battle Zaar when he learnt that the villain had been responsible for the destruction of Krypton. (Superman v5 #5) Together, Zod and Superman battled Zaar but in the midst of the fight Kal-El was transported out of the Zone back to Earth. This led Zod alone against Rogol Zaar who ultimately defeated him and then rallied the criminals in the Phantom Zone for a renewed attack against Earth. (Superman v5 #6)
In the aftermath, Zod came to mourn for the people of Kandor City but then sought a means for their resurrection. He came to learn of the Lazarus Pits on Earth and sought to use them to bring about the Kandorians return. To achieve this, he sought out Ra's al Ghul where he made his request but the Demon's Head refused. This sparked a conflict between the two with Zod looking to find one of the pits for resurrecting the people of Kandor. He managed to find a pit within a hidden temple and placed the shrunken inside thus bringing about the resurrection of the Kandorians who were in the grips of madness. (Batman/Superman v2 #7) The miniature Kandorians then attacked everyone around them that included Zod with this only ending when Ra's used a red-sun grenade to deprive them of their power. This allowed Zod to place them within the bottle city but then the Demon's Head used his sword to slice through it in an effort to destroy Kandor as it was a threat. This enraged Zod who prepared to kill the human but he was convinced to let him live by Batman whereupon he warned Superman to never return to Jekuul. In reality, Zod had removed half the populace of Kandor and put them in to safety whilst he tested the Lazarus Pit with the others. He then gave Kandor to his son in an effort to teach him the importance of the city to the House of Zod. (Batman/Superman v2 #8)
Personality and attributes
He claimed that the defense of his people was always his first concern which was something he shared with Jor-El. According to Zod, the conflict between him and Jor-El emerged over means and methods used to achieve that end but ultimately that the pair wanted the same thing. (Superman: World of New Krypton v1 #1)
He had planned to usher in the eleventh millennium of Krypton's civilisation by becoming its planetary ruler and to discipline the population for an inescapable mission of conquering the stars. (The Phantom Zone v1 #1) He came to blame Jor-El for the destruction of their homeworld as he felt that had he worked with Zod then together they would have saved their world. In fact, he resented being called a criminal and instead saw himself as being a rebel that tried to save Krypton. Upon being freed, he intended to turn the Earth into a New Krypton with the surviving Kryptonian people. (Action Comics v1 #846)
Zod had stated that he would destroy all those who would defy him with even his son not escaping his wrath. (Action Comics Annual v1 #11)
His enmity with Superman stemmed largely from his hatred of his father Jor-El who had imprisoned him in the Phantom Zone. For decades, he had seen Kal-El's life on Earth and could never understand him degrading himself by living like the sub-Kryptonian humans. In fact, he saw Kal-El having abandoned his culture and instead embraced that of mankind. (Action Comics v1 #846)
General Zod had a long-standing enmity with the Coluan known as Brainiac for his attack on Krypton and wanted revenge on him for the Kryptonian deaths he caused along with the theft of Kandor. (Action Comics v1 #867)
One of his ancestors was Dru-Zod I who was an Admiral in the Stellar Navy generations ago at the height of the Kryptonian Empire. Another figure in his family was Har-Zod who once had a central role in government at the same time. (Superman v1 #669)
As a result, his wife came to be known as Ursa-Zod. (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps v1 #41)
The city of Kandor was noted to hold a special place for him and it was said that the House of Zod began there. (Batman/Superman v2 #8)
Powers and abilities
Creations of General Zod included:
- Inorganisms : imperfect clone duplicates that were created and formed an army for use against his enemies. (DC Comics Presents v1 #97) The unliving hordes were imperfect duplicates of Zod himself where they were composed of inorganic matter and imbued with only the most rudimentary of intelligence that made them the ideal troops for him. (The Phantom Zone v1 #1)
On Krypton, he was once the head of military defence of the planet until he turned against the ruling council. (Action Comics v1 #846)
Among his followers were deadly manhunters that were called the Hounds of Zod. (Superman: The Man of Steel v1 #111)
- General Zod was created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp where he made his first appearance in Adventure Comics v1 #283 (April, 1961).
- In Superman: Last Stand on Krypton (2003), Im-Zod appeared in an Elseworld's story of where Krypton never exploded where he was furious at his world turning back on their Kryptonian heritage. He allied with Lex Luthor against Kal-El but was later killed by Luthor.
- In Countdown v1 #30 (2007), in this version of the Multiverse resided Earth-15 where Zod was this planets version of Superman. On this Earth, he was a hero though this world was entirely peaceful leaving little for him to do beyond monitoring it. This version of Zod was killed by an alternate version of Superboy Prime who killed this Superman, his wife and unborn child along with Earth-15s Justice League.
- In Earth 2 v1 #25 (2014), the Post-Flashpoint continuity showed a new version of Earth-2 whose Krypton had dark skinned members of the house of Zod that were scientists that tried to warn the impending destruction of their world but were executed for their speech. Their child Val-Zod was taken in by Jor-El and his wife Lara where he was given a home among them. When Krypton's destruction came, Val-Zod was sent into an escape pod that launched with three others where they headed towards Earth.
- In Superman: Earth One v1 #3 (2015), an alternate version of the character was shown to reside on Earth-1 in the Multiverse. This version was Zod-El who was the brother of Jor-El where he harboured ambitions to rule Krypton. He instituted a coup against the Science Council and asked for Jor-El's aid but his brother refused. This resulted in years of brutal civil war with Zod-El's forces ultimately losing the conflicting. However, Zod-El himself fled Krypton for the neighbouring world of Dheron whose natives were enemies of Kryptonians. He offered them technology and the means to defeat their hated enemy in exchange for their aid where he had them launch probes to Krypton's surface to trigger a cataclysmic chain reaction that destroyed his homeworld. The only survivor was his nephew Kal-El who was launched towards Earth as a baby with Zod-El setting his craft in pursuit so that he could complete his revenge against his brother.
In other media
- In Superman, General Zod appeared in the 1988 animated series in the episode "The Hunter" where he was voiced by actor René Auberjonois. He was shown as a prisoner in the Phantom Zone alongside Ursa and Gamora who observed from their other dimensional prison the activities of Superman. Faora had found a chemical pool in the Phantom Zone with the three Kryptonians using their combined willpower to shape a hunter that would seek out and destroy Superman. Upon the creatures creation, Zod informed the Hunter that Superman resided in Metropolis and dispatched the beast that managed to pierce through the Phantom Zone to arrive on Earth.
- In the Legion of Super Heroes, a character appearing as the Silver Age Zod was shown in the animated series in the episode "Phantoms". The Legion had been sent into the Phantom Zone by Drax where the Kryptonian criminals within it attacked them with Zod among their number though he was not referenced by name.
- In Smallville, two different versions of the character appeared in the continuity.
- In Season 5, General Zod appeared as a supporting antagonist where he was a dictator from Krypton that had been banished to the Phantom Zone. He was only able to interact in the physical world by possessing host bodies.
- In Season 9, Major Zod was introduced as the leading antagonist where he was portrayed by actor Callum Blue. This version if the character was actually a clone from a younger point in his existence who had the memories of the original until his genetic sample had been taken.
- In Supergirl, Zod was referenced in the live-action television series set in the Arrowverse where he was native to Earth-Thirty Eight and was portrayed by actor Mark Gibbon. He was shown to had been one of Superman's greatest foes in the past who was killed. According to Mon-El, Zod emerged in the future again where he became a foe of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- In Justice League Action, General Zod appeared as a villain in multiple episodes in the animated television series where he was voiced by actor Jason J. Lewis.
- In Krypton, Zod appeared in the setting of the live-action television series where he was portrayed by actor Colin Salmon. A time-travelling Zod came to Krypton's past before its destruction where it was revealed that he was the son of Lyta-Zod and Seyg-El.
- In Superman II, Zod appeared as the primary antagonist of the movie where he was portrayed by actor Terence Stamp.
- In the DC Extended Universe, General Zod made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Man of Steel, Zod appeared as the primary antagonist where he was portrayed by actor Michael Shannon. He was shown as being a member of Krypton's military who was a friend of Jor-El. General Zod took those forces loyal to him in an attempt at a coup and intended to steal the Codex that served as the Genetic base for cloning his race. He attempted to enlist Jor-El to his cause but the scientist refused as he intended to send his natural born son to another world free from the rigid rule on Krypton that was facing an imminent the explosion from its core. Zod saw this as blasphemy and attempted to have Jor-El detained but his old friend took the Codex and imprinted it on his son. General Zod attempted to take the Codex back but failed though not before killing Jor-El though he was too late to stop the scientist's son Kal-El's ship from leaving Krypton. For his crimes, Zod and his supporters were arrested where they were put in stasis on a prison ship that was sent into the Phantom Zone. After the destruction of Krypton, he was freed from stasis and he along with his fellow criminals retrofitted the Prison ship with a Phantom Drive as they moved through Krypton's abandoned colonies. This was until they received a Kryptonian beacon on Earth and plotted a course for the world.
- In Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, General Zod made a brief appearance in the live-action movie set in the same universe as Man of Steel where his body was shown and portrayed by actor Michael Shannon. The body was in custody of the U.S. military for study until Lex Luthor convinced the government to provide him the corpse for study. Through Kryptonite, he managed to take finger skin off Zod's body in order to access a crashed Kryptonian ship allowing him to activate its systems. From there, he had Zod's body placed inside a chrysalis in the genesis chamber and mixed his own DNA to create a forbidden Deformity that Luthor called Doomsday to battle Superman.
- In Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the character made a minor appearance in the animated movie where he was voiced by actor Bruce Thomas. General Zod was the premier military ruler on Krypton and attempted to power his stockpile of weapons by tapping into the planetary core against the advice of the scientist Jor-El. This act led to a destabilization of the planet that faced imminent destruction. Zod along with some of his soldiers stormed Jor-El's laboratory where he had built a ship with an incubator pod that had an egg from his wife Lara and awaited his genetic material to produce an offspring. However, Zod's forces apprehended him and the General himself imprinted the egg with his own DNA thus making a child of him and Lara. The ship was then launched into space where the newborn landed on Earth where he was taken in by Mexican immigrants and became the superhero known as Superman. Zod along with the rest of the planet Krypton were killed following their world's destruction.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Zod appeared as a downloadable character for the video game where he was voiced by actor Nolan North. He did not feature in the story mode but had his own backstory as well as ending. Zod had two skins available to him for players with one being his ordinary one and treatment other based on the character in Man of Steel.
- In The Last Days of Krypton, General Dru-Zod was a Commissioner who was the son of Cor-Zod who was the former head of the Kryptonian Council.
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