- You will kneel before me. Both you and one day... your heirs!
- — General Zod src
In Krypton's final days, General Zod served as the leader of military defense for the Kryptonian Science Council. He survived the desctruction of the planet through the Phantom Zone. After being released from the Zone, he became a menace to Superman on Earth.
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 multidimensional 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. Superman escaped from the Phantom Zone and made an unlikely alliance with Lex Luthor and defeated Zod and his compatriots. Ultimately, Zod and his allies were sent back into the Phantom Zone.
World of New Krypton
Main article: World of New Krypton
After the formation of New Krypton, Zod, along with Ursa and Non, were pardoned of their crimes by Alura In-Ze, leader of New Krypton, and rescued from the Phantom Zone. Zod resumed his duties as general and leader of the military guild until a rogue Kryptonian working under General Sam Lane tried to assassinate him. Severely injured, he chose Superman as the new supreme general in his place. He returned to active duty during Braniac's attack on New Krypton.
War of the Supermen
Main article: War of the Supermen
After helping protect New Krypton against Brainiac, Zod is once again hailed as a hero. His first action is to declare war on Earth, as retaliation for General Sam Lane's operations. He leads the remaining 80000 Kryptonians on an all-out assault on Earth. Once Earth's defenses, including blowing up New Krypton and turning the yellow sun into a red sun, are not enough, the remaining Kryptonians start wreaking havoc on humans. In the end, Zod and most of the remaining Kryptonians are once again exiled to a newly-rebuilt Phantom Zone by Superman and Lor-Zod.
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Zod possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Zod's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Zod can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Zod's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Zod's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Zod can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Zods can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Zod can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Zod is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Zod is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Zod is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Zod's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Zod is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Zod is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Longevity: Zod can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Leadership: General Zod is an expert in military tactics and strategic planning.
- Military Protocol: Zod is a trained fighter, he easily took out a cocky Superboy and bested Brainiac in combat, without any powers.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Zod possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- General Zod first appeared in Pre-Crisis Earth-One continuity in Adventure Comics #283 by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. He was reintroduced in Post-Crisis New Earth continuity in Action Comics #845 by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert.
- Zod had admitted he was apparently responsible for the destruction of the Phantom Zone, which resulted in the death of its criminals excluding Mon-El and Nightwing.
- 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, Post-Crisis canon established that during Krypton's fifth 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 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 was the featured origin spotlight in Countdown #30.
- Dru-Zod II (New Earth) appears as Zod (Prime) a playable character in the Infinite Crisis video game.
- 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 bears a prisoner identification mark as a brand across his throat.
- Zod was responsible for the destruction of the Phantom Zone.
- 50 Appearances of Dru-Zod II (New Earth)
- 14 Images featuring Dru-Zod II (New Earth)
- 6 Quotations by or about Dru-Zod II (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Dru-Zod II (New Earth)
- General Zod.net. Truth. Justice. Zod
- Zod 2008 - a General Zod humor site
- General Zod (Pre-Crisis) article at Supermanica
- General Zod's origin at DCComics.com
- Action Comics Annual #10
- Action Comics #851
- Action Comics #845
- Action Comics Annual #11
- Adventure Comics (Volume 2) #10
- Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #3
- Action Comics #874
- Superman: War of the Supermen #4
- Action Comics Annual #2 and Adventures of Superman #460
- World of Krypton (Volume 2) #4
- Action Comics #840
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