If you love these people so much... YOU CAN MOURN FOR THEM!
~ Zod to Kal-El, his most famous quote
Dru-Zod (also known as "General Zod," "Commander Zod," or simply "Zod") is the main antagonist of the 2013 epic superhero movie Man of Steel, the first installment of the DC Extended Universe. He was the former leader of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and the commander of the Sword of Rao. Eventually, he returns as the secondary antagonist in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the form of Doomsday.
Born on the distant planet Krypton, Zod was genetically engineered to be a commanding leader and fierce warrior. Rising to the rank of General, he was put in charge of Krypton's military; in that role, he was fiercely devoted to protecting his world and his people. He also became good friends with the scientist Jor-El.
Coup on Krypton
Believing that the Kryptonian Council is too weak and foolish to lead their race, Zod decides he needs to take charge to ensure his people's survival and leads his soldiers in a coup. He and a few of his men, including Sub-Commander Faora, violently interrupt a session between the Council and Jor-El. After killing Council leader Ro-Zar, Zod informs Jor-El of his plans and tries to convince the scientist to join him, but when Jor-El refuses, he orders two of his soldiers to take him away.
Later, Zod and his soldiers travel to the House of El citadel, seeking the Genetic Codex (a repository of genetic information from which all Kryptonians are bred with predetermined life paths) that Jor-El stole earlier after escaping from Zod's men. Inside the citadel, Zod confronts Jor-El, demanding the Codex. When he learns that Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van naturally conceived a child, Kal-El, in defiance of Kryptonian law, an angered Zod moves to destroy the spaceship containing the newborn Kal-El and the Codex, leading to a fight with his former friend. Jor-El wounds and momentarily overpowers Zod, who begs Lara to not launch the ship, but when Lara ignores his pleas, he fatally stabs Jor-El in a fit of rage. Moments later, Zod exits the citadel and orders his attack ship to shoot down Kal-El's departing spacecraft; unfortunately, Zod and his men are apprehended by the Sapphire Guard.
Sometime after that, Zod and his followers stand on trial before the Council, who sentence them to 300 years of somatic reconditioning inside the Phantom Zone for high treason. Zod rants angrily at the new Council leader Lor-Em, denouncing the entire Council as fools, before turning on Lara, who's present at the trial proceedings, and vehemently vowing that he will find her son and re-claim the Codex. He and his men are then placed into cyrogenic stasis before being loaded aboard the Black Zero, a massive Kryptonian ship which is then put into the Phantom Zone. After Krypton explodes, Zod and his comrades are freed from their imprisonment, and they look forlornly at their homeworld's remains. They then spend the next 33 years searching the galaxy for other surviving Kryptonians, only to find that all of Krypton's colony worlds died out when their home planet stopped communicating with them centuries ago.
Arrival on Earth
Around the time that Kal-El, now known as Clark Kent, activates an ancient Kryptonian scout-ship that crash-landed on Earth centuries ago, Zod's crew picks up the ship's distress signal and travels to Earth, where Zod transmits a message to the humans, requesting that they hand over Kal-El or face his wrath. Clark surrenders to the US military, who hand him, along with Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, over to Faora. Once face-to-face with Clark aboard the Black Zero, Zod greets him cordially, but does little to help when Clark collapses due to his body not being suited to the Kryptonian environment aboard the Black Zero.
Later, through a mental simulation, Zod speaks with Clark and reveals that he intends to use a World Engine in conjunction with the Black Zero to transform Earth into a new Krypton and eradicate the human population, then use the Codex to genetically engineer new Kryptonians to inhabit the planet. After the simulation ends, he reveals to a shackled Clark that he murdered Jor-El and expresses regret over having done so, but informs Clark that he would do so again in order to save his people.
First Battle with Superman
Zod then travels to Smallville, accompanied by Faora and a couple of his men, in search of the Codex, which he believes is inside Kal-El's spaceship. He arrives at the Kent Farm, where he interrogates Clark's adoptive mother, Martha Kent, as to the Codex's whereabouts. Clark, having escaped from the Black Zero along with Lois, arrives and tackles Zod, whom he angrily punches numerous times for threatening his mother before they crash-land in the middle of Smallville's town center. Zod's visor is damaged by Clark's assault; exposed to Earth's environment, he is overwhelmed by his manifesting superpowers as Clark taunts him. Two of his men then arrive and take him away, leaving Clark to battle Faora and Nam-Ek.
Invasion of Earth
Later, back aboard the Black Zero, Zod, recovered from his sensory overload, learns that, years earlier, Jor-El stored the Codex within Kal-El's own cells. Once informed by one of his men, Jax-Ur, that Kal-El doesn't need to be alive in order for them to extract the Codex from him, he deploys the World Engine to the Indian Ocean and initiates the terraforming process by hovering the Black Zero over Metropolis. While this happens, Zod heads to the Arctic, where he boards the scout-ship and activates the Genesis Chamber aboard; he also refines his senses while exposing himself to Earth's environment. He is confronted by a holographic projection of Jor-El, who tries to persuade him to abandon his plan; Zod, however, rebuffs the hologram and purges it from the ship's systems before taking the helm and flying the ship to Metropolis.
Clark, now called "Superman," destroys the World Engine, while the US military loads his spaceship onto a cargo plane and flies it towards the Black Zero. When Superman crashes into the scout-ship and prepares to destroy it, Zod protests, telling him that any chance of saving their homeworld will be lost if he goes through with his plan, but Superman declares that Krypton had its chance before using heat vision to damage the scout-ship, causing it to crash in the middle of Metropolis.
Moments later, after Zod's soldiers are sent back into the Phantom Zone, Zod emerges from the wreckage of the scout-ship. As Superman flies over to him, Zod laments the loss of his men and the chance to re-create his long-dead homeworld. His grief turns into a murderous rage, and he violently strikes Superman before advancing on him, vowing to kill every single human just to spite Kal-El. The two Kryptonians then engage in a huge fight that stretches across Metropolis.
The Final Battle and Death
Zod and Superman prove an even match for most of the battle, and they cause enormous amounts of destruction throughout Metropolis with their heat vision (which Zod masters early on in the fight), superhuman strength, and patterns of flight. Halfway through the battle, Zod sheds his armor and hones his ability to fly before his fight with Superman resumes, moving to the sky and temporarily in space before the two crash into Metropolis Central Station, where Zod spots an innocent family and emits a blast of heat vision that inches closer and closer to the family. Superman begs Zod to stop, but Zod says "Never!" and continues bringing the heat beams closer to the family until Superman is forced to snap his neck, killing him.
In Batman v Superman, Zod's corpse is taken by Lex Luthor, who takes it to the Genesis Chamber aboard the scout-ship and orders the ship's computer to absorb Zod's remains. Using DNA from Zod and his own blood, Luthor creates a savage monster known as Doomsday.
Genetically engineered to be a warrior and leader, Zod is fiercely loyal to his Kryptonian race and its ideals. He was a highly skilled military leader who was not afraid to act on instinct, such as when he decided to overthrow the Kryptonian Law Council.
It is implied that Zod was once a noble and more benevolent man, as he had a long-term friendship with Jor-El and the latter claimed that he would honor the man that Zod had once been. However, Zod would, in time, develop into a far more malevolent and brutal individual to the point that he founded the Sword of Rao to overthrow the government and murdered his former friend; Jor-El would go as far as to refer to Zod as a "monster." However, Jor-El would also later state that Superman is "twice the man" Zod was, even when the latter had been noble. While Zod did still have feelings of genuine compassion for his fellow Kryptonians (shown when he comforted Faora after Krypton's destruction), he viewed less powerful and advanced races, such as humans, as inferior in every regard and had no qualms about mercilessly killing them "for the greater good" of re-building Krypton and his native Kryptonian race upon their planet. However, Zod even treated some of his fellow Kryptonians with disdain (most notably those with "degenerative bloodlines" of the Kryptonian Law Council, as well as the "heresy" that was the naturally-born Kal-El), considering only those who shared his ideals and goals to be his true equals. He also seemed to value his friends and allies, since Zod was dismayed when Jor-El ended their long friendship, and was guilt-ridden about murdering his former friend (to the point that doing do would later haunt Zod for many years). While usually calm and collected, Zod was capable of fearsome fits of rage, notably against High Eminence Lor-Em, Jor-El, and Superman.
Zod is also an incredibly bold and determined individual, as even when when his coup failed and he was helpless and at the mercy of High Eminence Lor-Em, he refused to be intimidated and went so far as to mock the former, even spitting at the High Eminence's feet in defiance, and only silently gritted his teeth while being painfully frozen into a cryo-capsule while almost all of his other loyalists bellowed and cringed. Upon his unexpected release from the Phantom Zone, Zod, unlike Faora, refused to fall into despair, and tirelessly led his followers on a 33-year-long search for a planet suitable for terraforming, never seeming to lose hope, and still inducing fierce and unwavering loyalty from his followers. Hence, due to his great willpower and determination, Zod, unlike Superman, never experienced the weakness of mental power suppression and was at his full strength potential upon absorbing yellow sun radiation. It was also through his sheer willpower and determination that Zod eventually overcame his temporary weakness of sensory overload within Earth's atmosphere and swiftly mastered the power of flight. Even Lex Luthor seemed to somewhat admire Zod, with him sadly remarking that the latter had "[flown] too close to the sun" while observing Zod's corpse; this is most likely due the the fact that Zod, due to his godlike power being used for malevolent purposes, perfectly represented Lex's worldview.
After his plans were thwarted and his loyalists re-imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, Zod, having failed at what he had considered to be the sole purpose of his life, became more brutal and furious than ever in his devastation, and threatened to personally wipe out the entire human race of Earth in revenge. Since Zod had nothing left to lose, he engaged Superman in a ferocious final duel, refusing to stop unleashing his fury upon humanity, thus inevitably forcing a very reluctant Superman to kill him.
Zod is an enormously tall and extremely muscular man with brown eyes, short dark hair, and facial hair on his chin. He wears an all-black Kryptonian outfit that bears the silver emblem of his family on the chest and features a black cape and black boots. He also has a long battle scar to the left of his left eye from his fateful duel with Jor-El.
When apart from the Kryptonian military, Zod wore dark brown, almost grey battle armor that covered most of his arms, all his torso and legs. Designed to fit seamlessly over his undergarment, it also had Zod's emblem on the chest.
Zod also wore an all-silver metal heavy-duty battle armor that had protection areas on the torso, arms and legs that were designed to protect him from weapons such as an energy lance or a Kryptonian rifle. This armor was quite large and bulky, but fiercely intimidating. The armor also had a helmet that protected Zod's head in battle. However, with it on, Zod could only leap enormous distances and perform drops, but only when he sheds his armor can he actually fly. This is because, whilst the armor is extremely strong and durable, it is not as flexible and does not compensate to factors like agility, which are required for flying properly.
Powers and Abilities
Kryptonian Physiology: As a Kryptonian, Zod's bone structure is almost identical to that of a human. On a planet near a red class M main-sequence star (like Krypton's sun Rao), he would have physical attributes nearly identical to those of humans, but if on a planet near a yellow G-type main-sequence star (like Earth's), he has abilities and powers far beyond the capabilities of all metahumans, making him appear god-like. While Zod's body initially had problems adapting to Earth's atmosphere, he was able to do so shortly before his final battle with Superman. Due to Zod's ruthlessness and complete lack of restraint, he never withheld his tremendous power, which initially allowed him to dominate Superman despite the latter's superior solar energy supply, with Zod claiming that he would single-handedly wipe out the entire human race.
Solar Battery: Zod's Kryptonian cells absorb yellow solar energy, which fuels all of his powers and abilities. His cells also store solar energy as well, allowing him to retain his powers under roofed structures or even at night, although he eventually needs a yellow sun to re-charge his powers.
Super Strength: Zod has a tremendous level of physical strength that is virtually incalculable, as he is able to carry more than 1 million tons. He can generate large shock-waves with his mighty punches; effortlessly hurl cars, trucks, and massive artificial satellites great distances; instantly destroy mountaintops, and fight evenly against fellow Kryptonian Superman. He managed to punch Superman hard enough to send him flying up the entire height of a skyscraper and hurl Superman with enough force for the latter's body to penetrate many skyscrapers in rapid succession before it even started to slow down, briefly knocking Superman out in the process. Zod could even generate enough force to break through the invulnerability of a fellow Kryptonian without the need of Kryptonite, much like Superman did, when the latter broke Zod's otherwise invulnerable neck.
Super Leaps: Zod is able to use his incredible strength to perform super-jumps, such as when he scaled a skyscraper in only a few leaps while pursuing Superman.
Super Stamina: Zod almost never grows tired if he is continuously powered by the yellow sun of Earth. He doesn't need to eat, sleep, or breathe. He is able to survive flying into outer space and diving underwater. He ferociously battled with Superman without ever needing to slow down and catch his breath.
Super Speed: Zod can run, fly, and react at incredible supersonic speeds (of over Mach 900). During his final duel with Kal-El, Zod was able to land several blows on Superman before the latter could react. The only known being capable of moving slightly faster than Zod is the speedster Flash.
Super Reflexes: Zod's speed seems to extend to his reflexes as well, as he managed to catch several punches from the equivalently fast Superman, and avoid several strikes from his equally fast opponent.
Invulnerability: Zod's body is incredibly durable, virtually indestructible. Hence, he can withstand the extreme heat of massive explosions, the extreme cold of the Arctic, an exposure to the vacuum of outer space, falls from great heights, high-caliber bullets, anti-tank depleted uranium rounds, Maverick missiles, plasma bolts from Kryptonian weaponry, other Kryptonians' heat vision (though it does cause him burning pain), and even numerous mighty blows from fellow Kryptonian Superman. While Zod can be affected by the considerable force of powerful impacts, they only at most cause him to stumble and briefly knock him down, leaving him unscathed. The only things capable of breaking through Zod's invulnerability and actually harming him are Aquaman's Trident, Wonder Woman's Sword, and beings of comparable incalculable strength (such as other Kryptonians), as they are strong enough to physically break though his invulnerability without the need of Kryptonite, shown when Superman managed to break Zod's otherwise invulnerable neck, killing him.
Healing Factor: Zod, in rare instances when he is hurt, is capable of healing at superhuman speeds, especially in direct sunlight. However, if the injuries are serious enough to instantly kill him, his healing factor will not be able to save him, which is what happened when Superman killed him by breaking Zod's neck.
Flight: Zod can fly due to being able to manipulate his own gravity field (since Earth's gravity is lighter than Krypton's) and absorbing yellow sunlight. Combined with his speed, Zod can fly at tremendous supersonic speeds, allowing him to take off into the atmosphere and even outer space and land safely back onto the planet's surface with ease. He can also maneuver with precision in any direction, as well as hover in one place. He thus managed to easily keep up with the most experienced flyer Superman as their battle continued in the air, and outer space.
Super Breath: Zod, as long as he is in exposed to yellow solar radiation and can access his energy stores, is capable of surviving without the need to breathe, allowing him to remain in the vacuum of outer space for lengthy periods of time without suffocation.
Super Vision: Zod has eyesight far beyond that of humans. He possesses a superior sensory arrangement of telescopic, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma ray visual capabilities. He can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum when he desires, through mental focus. However, when his visor first broke open, he was initially overwhelmed by his multiple spectrum vision, though he managed to hone his senses and bypass that weakness shortly before his final duel with Superman.
X-Ray Vision: Zod, when his visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of his x-ray vision (which enabled him to see through all objects and people), and was unable to control it. However, he was finally able to gain control over it through focus before his final duel. The only known materials known to be impenetrable to Zod's x-ray vision are lead, the force field of a Kryptonian breather (when rendered opaque), as well as the Kryptonian metal which the walls of the Fortress of Solitude were composed of.
Heat Vision: Zod has the ability to fire thick beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it with the conscious act of activating this power. Visually, the power manifests as two thick laser-like beams of red light firing from his eyes. Zod can utilize it to stun other Kryptonians (causing them burning pain on impact), and used it to quickly bring down the Wayne Financial Building in a single blast, and almost succeeded in burning innocent bystanders alive with it.
Super Hearing: Zod, when his visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of his hearing (which enabled him to simultaneously perceive numerous feeble and far noises very clearly, including both infrasound and ultrasound), and was unable to control it. However, Zod was finally able to gain control over it through focus before his final battle, now being able to exclude ambient sounds in order to focus on a specific source or frequency.
Longevity: Zod, as a Kryptonian under a yellow sun, has a lifespan far greater than that of a human. As such, he doesn't show signs of age as long as the yellow sun is there to empower him. Zod is unaffected by earthly diseases and draws energy from the sun to live, meaning that had Zod stayed on Earth and not been killed, he would have effectively been an ageless immortal.
Expert Combatant: Zod, as the General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, is a fierce and ruthless combatant, being highly skilled in several Kryptonian martial arts, second only to Faora in this regard. He initially maintained the upper hand in his fierce final battle with Superman, though the latter was finally able to get General Zod in a headlock by the end of it. Hence, even without his powers, General Zod is extremely dangerous.
Expert Marksman: Zod was a highly skilled marksman, easily shooting down High Eminence Ro-Zar from all the way across the large Legislation Chamber.
Expert Pilot: Zod was a highly skilled pilot, managing to swiftly fly the huge Fortress of Solitude into Metropolis, catching Lois Lane, Dr. Hamilton, and Colonel Hardy off-guard, and would have successfully shot them out of the sky and thwarted their plan, had it not been for the timely intervention of Superman.
Expert Leader: Zod, as the General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and the Sword of Rao, was a highly skilled and charismatic leader, inspiring fierce loyalty from all of his allies, since even after his Kryptonian coup had failed, they still looked up to Zod and unquestionably followed his lead for the 33 years that Zod tirelessly searched for Kal-El, the Growth Codex, and a planet suitable for terraforming.
Intimidation: Zod has a fiercely intimidating presence, able to swiftly instill terror into the hearts of numerous people on Earth (notably Glen Woodburn and even the seasoned General Calvin Swanwick) with his menacing message. His short temper and lack of restraint made Zod a very fearsome opponent (making even the very brave Martha Kent tremble with fear when she enraged him), with only an extreme few, like Jor-El and Superman, being brave enough to pick a straight-up fight with him.
Indomitable Will: Zod's tremendous determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. Even when his coup failed and with him helpless and at the mercy of High Eminence Lor-Em, Zod refused to be intimidated, and went so far as to mock the former and spit at his feet in defiance, and only silently gritted his teeth while being painfully frozen into a cryo-capsule while almost all of his other loyalists bellowed and cringed. Upon his unexpected release from the Phantom Zone, Zod, unlike Faora, refused to fall into despair, and tirelessly led his followers on a 33-year-long search for a planet suitable for terraforming, never seeming to lose hope. Hence, due to his great willpower and determination, Zod, unlike Superman, never experienced the weakness of mental power suppression, and was at his full strength potential upon absorbing a yellow sun's radiation. It was also through his sheer willpower and determination that Zod eventually overcame his temporary weakness of overloaded senses within Earth's atmosphere, and swiftly mastered the power of flight. Even when Superman managed to thwart Zod's plans and robbed the latter of his life purpose, Zod, while devastated, was as determined as ever, this time to destroy humanity in revenge for his defeat, refusing to stop until a reluctant Superman killed him.
Kryptonite: Zod's greatest weakness is this radioactive green xenomineral from Krypton, as it is extremely deadly to him. Kryptonite exposure makes General Zod instantly lose his powers and invulnerability, and induces sickness symptoms in him, which collectively weakens General Zod to almost human levels, to the point that he can be relatively quickly incapacitated, defeated, and even killed by an opponent as strong as the heavily armored Batman, if the latter is wielding a Kryptonite weapon. In addition, wounds inflicted by Kryptonite will not vanish after the mineral is removed from proximity to him (making Zod unable to regain full power even after his superpowers subsequently return), and they will only heal upon Zod being directly exposed to yellow solar radiation. Hence, Lex Luthor was able to use a Kryptonite-bladed scalpel to peel the fingerprints off of General Zod's corpse.
Red Sun Radiation: Zod is robbed of the powers that he gains under a yellow G-type main-sequence star when exposed to the radiation of a red class M main-sequence star. Because of this, any environment filled with red sun radiation (such as Krypton with its sun Rao) will render him to human levels.
Kryptonian Atmospherics: Zod, when breathing in an atmosphere, the composition of which is identical to that which was once on Krypton, and remaining in an environment shielded from any solar radiation (such as the interior of his Black Zero), is induced to lose access to his stores of solar energy, which, in turn, renders Zod to human levels. Kryptonian air will not, however, have such an effect on Zod when he is in an environment full of yellow solar radiation, as he still had access to his powers on Earth while wearing a breather with Kryptonian air.
Sensory Overload (Formerly): As Zod has superhuman senses, his brain can be overwhelmed by the information it takes in. Though he can gradually learn to hone his senses, an attack on his sight and/or hearing can briefly stun and weaken Zod. This forced him to initially rely on his Kryptonian breather, allowing Superman to incapacitate Zod by breaking it. However, Zod recovered from the attack shortly thereafter, and permanently overcame this weakness (through sheer focus and willpower) shortly before his final battle with Superman.
Beings of Equal Power: Zod, when fighting beings of comparable incalculable might, such as other Kryptonians, is more vulnerable, as they can generate enough force to knock out, injure and even kill Zod, breaking through his invulnerability without the need of Kryptonite, which was ultimately Zod's downfall, as Superman was ultimately able to kill the former by breaking Zod's otherwise invulnerable neck. It does, however, still take quite a bit of effort on their part to do this though, as Zod was able to withstand numerous blows from from Superman, which, while visibly very painful to General Zod, left him almost unscathed afterwards, and Superman was seen having to take a few moments to muster up the incalculable amount of force required to break Zod's neck.
Battle Armor: Zod, as a Warrior Guild member, was hardly ever seen not wearing a suit of extremely durable and fiercely intimidating Kryptonian battle armor, equipped with a breather. However, he discarded it after finally mastering his power of flight.
Kryptonian Rifle: Zod was wielding a Kryptonian plasma rifle while overthrowing the Kryptonian Law Council, with him using it to kill High Eminence Ro-Zar. It was, however, ultimately confiscated by the Sapphire Guards.
Command Key: Zod's piece of highly advanced Kryptonian technology, made of Liquid Geo, which allowed him to operate and use the Fortress of Solitude and to destroy the artificial intelligence of Jor-El. It would later be used by Lex Luthor to assume command of the ship
Kryptonian Dropship: Zod has his own personal Kryptonian dropship, in which he flies down to the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic.
Black Zero: Zod's former prison starship, re-purposed into his residence and means of transportation after the destruction of Krypton. It was, however, ultimately sucked into the Phantom Zone.
World Engine: Zod's ultimate weapon, obtained from the former Kryptonian colony of Daxam, utilized by General Zod during his attempt to terraform Earth into New Krypton. It was, however, ultimately destroyed by Superman.
This council has been disbanded.
~ Zod's first words in the movie.
The rest of you will be trialed and punished.
~ Zod deciding the fate of the council.
What I should have done years ago! These lawmakers, with their endless debates, have led Krypton to ruin!
~ Zod, to Jor-El, as he and his men storm into the Council chamber
Then join me. Help me save our race. We'll start anew. We'll sever the degenerate bloodlines that led us to this state.
~ Zod begging Jor-El to join him.
Don't do this, El. The last thing I want is for us to be enemies.
~ Zod, after Jor-El refused to join him.
I know you stole the Codex, Jor-El. Surrender it and I'll let you live.
~ Zod, to Jor-El, after he enters the House of El citadel
Heresy! Destroy it!
~ Zod, after learning Jor-El and Lara conceived a son through natural means
Lara, listen to me! The Codex is Krypton's future! Abort the launch!
~ Zod begging Lara not to send Kal-El into space
You won't kill us yourself! You wouldn't dirty your hands, but you'll damn us to a black hole for eternity! Jor-El was right! You're a pack of fools, every last one of you!
~ Zod, ranting angrily at the Council leader after his sentence is heard
You... you believe your son is safe? I will find him. I will reclaim what you have taken from us! I will find him. I will find him, Lara. I WILL FIND HIM!
~ Zod, to Lara, before being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone
You are not alone. My name is General Zod. I come from a world far from yours. I have journeyed across an ocean of stars to reach you. For some time, your world has sheltered one of my citizens. I request that you return this individual to my custody. For reasons unknown, he has chosen to keep his existence a secret from you. He will have made efforts to blend in. He will look like you, but he is not one of you. To those of you who may know of his current location: The fate of your planet rests in your hands. To Kal-El, I say this: Surrender within twenty-four hours, or watch this world suffer the consequences.
~ Zod's transmission to Earth
It's all right, Faora. Kal is a stranger to our ways. We can forgive any lapses in decorum. This should be a time of celebration, not conflict.
~ Zod, to Faora, after Faora orders Kal-El to address him as "General Zod"
He's rejecting our ship's atmospherics. You've spent a lifetime adapting to Earth's ecology but you never adapted to ours.
~ Zod, explaining what's happnening to Superman.
I can't. Whatever's happening to him has to run its course.
~ Zod, to Lois Lane, telling her that he can't help Superman
Hello, Kal. Or do you prefer "Clark?" That's the name they gave you, isn't it? I was Krypton's military leader. Your father, our foremost scientist. The only thing we agreed on was that Krypton was dying. In return for my efforts to protect our civilization and save our planet, I and my fellow officers were sentenced to the Phantom Zone. And then, the destruction of our world freed us. We were adrift, destined to float amongst the ruins of our planet until we starved. [...] We managed to retrofit the Phantom projector into a hyper-drive; your father made a similar modification to the craft that brought you here. And so, the instrument of our damnation become our salvation. We sought out the old colonial outposts, looking for signs of life, but all we found was death. Away from Krypton, these outposts withered and died long ago. We salvaged what we could: armor, weapons, even a World Engine. For thirty-three years, we prepared until, finally, we detected a distress beacon you triggered when you accessed the ancient scout-ship. You led us here, Kal. And now, it's within your power to save what remains of your race.
~ Zod recounting his story to Clark
A foundation has to be built on something. Even your father recognized that.
~ Zod, to Clark, during their mental conversation
Your father acquitted himself with great honor, Kal. [...] I did. And not a day goes by that it does not haunt me. But if I had to do it again, I would. I have a duty to my people, and I will not allow anyone to prevent me from carrying it out.
~ Zod, admitting to Clark that he murdered Jor-El back on Krypton
Haven't given up lecturing me, have you? Even in death.
~ Zod, to Jor-El's hologram which tries to persuade him to abandon his plan to re-create Krypton
So we can suffer through years of pain, trying to adapt like your son has?
~ Zod's reaction to Jor-El's idea of coexisting
Yes! And I'm arguing its merits with a ghost!
~ Zod's reply to Jor-El's hologram pointing out his actions are genocide
Tell me--you have Jor-El's memories; his conscience. Can you experience his pain? I will harvest the Codex from your son's corpse, and I will rebuild Krypton atop his bones.
~ To Jor-El's hologram before erasing it from the scout-ship's systems
Stop! If you destroy this ship, YOU DESTROY KRYPTON!
~ Zod, trying to convince Kal-El.
Look at this. We could have built a new Krypton in this squalor, but you chose the humans over us. I exist only to protect Krypton. That is the sole purpose for which I was born. And every action I take, no matter how violent or how cruel, is for the greater good of m people. And now...I have no people. My soul, that is what you have taken from me!
~ Zod, to Superman, after his soldiers are sent back to the Phantom Zone
I am going to make them suffer, Kal, these humans you adopted. I will take them all from you, one by one!
~ Zod, as he advances on Superman
There's only one way this ends, Kal--either you die, or I do!
~ Zod, to Superman, during their final battle
I was bred to be a warrior, Kal. Trained my entire life to hone my senses. Where did you train? ON A FARM?!
~ Zod, to Superman, before mastering his power of flight
If you love these people so much, you can mourn for them!
~ Zod, to Superman, before emitting a burst of heat vision at a nearby family
It has been confirmed by the film's writers that Zod deliberately provoked Superman into killing him, as he believed that he no longer had a purpose in life, and thus wanted to die after his plan to rebuild Krypton failed.
It was confirmed that Zod will return in the sequel Batman v Superman as the powerful, huge, deformed creature Doomsday, and thus he became the secondary antagonist of the sequel.