|Real name:||Dru-Zod II|
|First Appearance:|| Adventure Comics #283 (April, 1961)|
Action Comics #845 (January, 2007)
|Created by:|| Robert Bernstein|
|Affiliations:|| Kryptonian Military Guild|
Phantom Zone Criminals
Formerly Kryptonian Defense Council
|Portrayed by:|| Rene Auberjonois (Voice)|
In Krypton's final days, General Zod served as the appointed leader of military defense for the Kryptonian Science Council. Upon learning of the scientific experiments being conducted by Jor-El and his mentor Non, Zod (accompanied by his lieutenant, Ursa) led a raid on Jor-El's laboratory and placed both men under arrest for charges of heresy. The Kryptonian Science Council believed that Jor-El's theories regarding the planet's imminent destruction was causing uncivil panic. Soon after the arrest, Zod learned that Jor-El was actually correct and that the Science Council had lied to him. Ursa and he defected from the council and joined with Non in his quest to warn Krypton's civilian populace of their penultimate fate. Zod and Non grew close, but soon after, the Kryptonian council members apprehended Non and performed a lobotomy on him, turning him into little more than a mindless savage. Zod was incensed. He abandoned all loyalty to the council and swore revenge against them for what they did to Non. Zod tried to enlist the aid of Jor-El in a bid to wrest control from the Science Council, but Jor-El refused, citing that violence was hardly the solution. Zod felt that violence was the only answer at this juncture. Zod, Non and Ursa invaded the Science Council chambers and murdered five council members before they were stopped. Jor-El used the last bit of influence he had with the council to convince them not to execute the three terrorists for treason. The remaining council members placed Jor-El in charge of sentencing the three Kryptonians, and he opted for what he believed to be the most humane solution exile. Zod felt that Jor-El was a coward for not joining him, and he vowed to avenge himself against the House of El, including Jor-El's heir, Kal-El. Using a special projector, Jor-El transported Zod, Ursa and Non into an interdimensional null reality known as the Phantom Zone. During the years they spent trapped in the Phantom Zone, Krypton exploded, leaving only one presumed survivor Kal-El.
Zod and Ursa discovered a fragment of an old Kryptonian prison known as Fort Rozz floating inside the Phantom Zone. The prison was transported into the zone due to a projector accident, and for reasons unknown, was able to maintain a corporeal shape. Inside the prison, time passed normally and residents were able to revert back into solid matter so long as they stayed inside the building. Because of this, Zod and Ursa were able to mate and produce a son, Lor-Zod. They raised him inside of Fort Rozz where the child was able to age normally. Zod however, was extremely abusive to the boy and saw him as little more than a tool by which to engineer their final escape from the Phantom Zone. Years passed, and Zod was able to build small space vessels that could maintain physical form and escape from the Phantom Zone. Lor-Zod was the key to their success, and functioned as a physical tether between the material world and their otherwise ghostly wraith-forms.
Zod knew that the surviving son of his jailer, Jor-El, was living on Earth and Zod wanted to finish off the family line. Further, he decided that Earth was an ideal world ripe for conquering and the establishment of a "new" Krypton. When the time was right, Lor-Zod was launched from the Phantom Zone and sent towards Earth. Upon landing, his ship activated a beacon, which allowed the other displaced Kryptonians the power to free themselves and follow him to Earth. After reuniting with his son, General Zod led a massive attack against the city of Metropolis and managed to exile Jor-El's son Superman into the Phantom Zone. From there, his followers and he enslaved the city, and began terraforming it with Sunstone structures, similar in design to the buildings of long-dead Krypton. Lor-Zod, having spent some time on Earth with Kal-El, inherited some of Superman's moral fiber and ultimately betrayed his father, attacking him with blasts of heat vision.
Powers and Abilities
Known Powers: All powers and weaknesses are approximated based upon the characteristics of a standard Kryptonian existing in an environment under a yellow sun.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Zod's cellular structure is more dense, resilient and biologically more effective than human tissue. Strangely enough, he does not seem to possess superhuman strength levels despite his enhanced cellular ability without constant exposure to yellow solar energy. Without such charging, his strength seems on par for a human of his height and weight who engages in regular physical activity.
- Solar Energy Absorption: Technically, this is the main source of Zod's powers. Because his powers are due largely to exposure to Earth's yellow sun, his abilities have been affected by extreme absorptions of solar power, whether voluntary or involuntary.
- Superhuman Strength: While the exact magnitude of Zod's strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that his strength easily surpasses the capacity to lift 100 tons, but exactly how much more is unknown.Although it is accepted that he is not as strong as Superman or Non.
- Invulnerability: Zod's body is invulernable to most forms of physical attack. With the exception of certain extenuating circumstances, Zod can theoretically withstand the concussive force of a low-yield nuclear warhead without any undue stress.
- Superhuman Stamina: Zod has the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an undetermined period of time. However, Zod's base physical structure still requires nourishment and he needs to process food stuffs on a regular basis to maintain his stamina.
- Flight: Zod possesses the ability to defy the forces of gravity and fly at speeds in excess to the speed of sound. The mechanism by which he flies is unknown, but some suggestions include the use of a field of energy which allows unconscious manipulation of gravity or diffraction/reflection of gravity due to unidentified Kryptonian organs affected by a yellow sun. Alternately, this power could be explained as a psionic manipulation of a personal anti-gravitational aura, which is also caused by his Kryptonian cells and exposure to a yellow sun.
- Superhuman Speed: Zod possesses the ability to move at an accelerated rate of speed. This includes running at speeds that are beyond supersonic, but he prefers flying as that is usually less strenuous and more versatile.
- Enhanced Senses: The acuity of Zod's five senses are many times greater than that of the standard Earth human.
- Telescopic Vision: Zod possesses the ability to see things at a great distance and to adjust her visual acuity so that he can perceive selected areas within his field of vision at a closer distance.
- X-Ray Vision: Zod possesses the ability to see through any material substance except for lead. He can see things behind a wall as if the wall were not there, or can "peel back" layer after layer of matter in his mind.
- Microscopic Vision: Zod has the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level (normal optical microscopes can only see objects down to the size of chromosomes).
- Electro-magnetic Spectrum Vision: Zod can perceive various patterns within the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio/television waves as well as any and all broadcast/transmitted frequencies, allowing him to avoid detection through radar or satellite monitoring methods.
- Infrared Vision: In combination with his other extraordinary vision-based powers, Zod can also see into the infrared spectrum.
- Heat Vision: Through a conscious act of will, Zod has the ability to fire beams of intense thermal energy at a target simply by looking at it. Visually, the power is typically depicted as two beams of red light firing from his eyes.
- Superhuman Hearing: Zod possesses the ability to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. The only Earth creature who can detect sounds at the frequency he can is a blue whale (0.01-200,000 Hz). He has enough control to block out ambient sounds in order to focus on a specific source/frequency. He can identify a person by their heartbeat, or pick out a single voice in an entire city.
- Super-Breath: Zod possesses the ability to create hurricane force winds by blowing, and to chill his breath in order to freeze a target (this latter ability has also been called "freeze breath" and "arctic breath"). Zod can also inhale large volumes of air, an ability used when dealing with and disposing things like clouds of poison gas.
- Leadership: General Zod is an expert in military tactics and strategic planning.
- On Krypton, Zod appears to have possessed the strength level of an average male Kryptonian of his age, size and weight who engaged in regular physical exercise. While operating in an environment in a yellow star system, Zod's strength levels increase to superhuman levels.
Magic: Zod is vulnerable to magical and psionic effects. Although he is no more detrimentally affected by such effects than a normal human would be, this is a significantly exploitable weakness in comparison to his incredible physical resilience.
Kryptonite: Since the destruction of Krypton, its remains (rendered radioactive by the explosion) have been spreading throughout the universe as kryptonite, a crystalline substance whose specific radiation is lethal to Kryptonians native to this reality. Historically, Kryptonite exists in variant forms which can affect Zod in a number of different ways
Lead: Zod cannot see through lead with any of his vision powers.
Solar Energy: Zod will eventually weaken without replenishing his energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. He is not replenished by red sunlight, and its radiation can be used to weaken him.
In Other Media
- The character of General Zod has appeared in both film and television.
Man of Steel
- General Zod's ability to function on Earth owes largely to material established in the 2003 limited series Superman: Birthright. Birthright provided what is now considered the definitive origin of Superman, as well as that of his Kryptonian upbringing. Originally, Pre-Crisis canon established that during Krypton's 5th historical epoch, a scientist named Kem-L (an ancestor of Superman), created a device known as the Eradicator. On a historic day, the Eradicator was activated and produced a wave of energy, which genetically bound all Kryptonians not only to each other, but to the planet as well. Because of this, if a Kryptonian ever attempted to leave Krypton, they would die. All Kryptonians born after the time of Kem-L inherited this same genetic defect (which helped to explain why there were never any Kryptonian Green Lanterns. In Krypton's final days, Jor-El II managed to find a cure for the defect, and administered it to his son Kal-El before sending away from the planet. When Mark Waid wrote Superman: Birthright, this aspect of Kryptonian biology was excised from the new history. As Kryptonians no longer suffer this genetic defect, characters such as General Zod are able to leave their home environment and travel to new worlds.
- General Zod is a direct descendant of Admiral Zod, commander of the Kryptonian interstellar war fleet. Admiral Zod's ship crash-landed on Earth in the state of Texas several hundred years ago, and was later appropriated by Lex Luthor. The final fate of Admiral Zod remains unknown.
- General Zod was the featured origin spotlight in Countdown #30.