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General Zod (DC Cinematic Universe)

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Full Name
General Zod, Zod, Commander Zod
Man of Steel (2013)
Professional Universal Criminal and Supervillain, Terrorist
Powers / Skills
Master Strategist, flight, superhuman strength, high-level fighting skills, heat vision, X-ray vision, genius-level intellect
Killing humans and destroying everything in his path or on Earth with the world engine
Kill Jor-El (succeeded)
Find Kal-El (succeeded)
Defeat and kill Kal-El, obtain the Genetic Codex, create a new Krypton on Earth and eliminate the human race (failed)
Type of Villain
Big Bad / Supervillain / Terrorist

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 my people. And now, I have no people. My soul--that is what you have taken from me!
~ Zod, explaining his purpose in life to Superman before their final battle

General Dru-Zod is the main antagonist of the 2013 superhero movie Man of Steel, the first installment of the DC Cinematic Universe.

He is portrayed by Michael Shannon, who also played Frankie Lombardo in Kangaroo Jack.


Born on Krypton, Zod was genetically engineered to be a commanding leader and fierce warrior. Rising to the rank of General, he was placed in charge of Krypton's military, and was fiercely devoted to protecting his world and his people. He also became good friends with the scientist Jor-El.

Believing that the Kryptonian Council was too weak and corrupt 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 his right-hand Faora, violently interrupt a session between the Council and Jor-El. 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 Jor-El's homestead, seeking the Genetic Codex (a repository of genetic information from which all Kryptonians are genetically "born" with predetermined life paths), which Jor-El stole earlier after escaping from Zod's men. Zod enters the House of El's citadel and confronts Jor-El, demanding the Codex. When he learns that Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van conceived a child, Kal-El, naturally in defiance of Kryptonian law, an angered Zod moves to destroy the spacecraft containing 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 craft, 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 men to shoot down Kal-El's ship, but they are all arrested by the Sapphire Guard.

Sometime after that, Zod and his minions stand on trial before the Council, who sentence them to 300 years of reconditioning inside the Phantom Zone for high treason. Zod rants angrily at the Council leader, denouncing the entire Council as fools, before turning on Lara (who's also present at the trial) and vehemently declaring that he will find her son and reclaim 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 stasis, and they look forlornly at the field of their planet's remains. They then spend the next thirty-three years searching the galaxy, only to find that all of Krypton's colony worlds died out when their homeworld stopped communicating with them centuries ago.

Around the time that Kal-El, now named "Clark Kent," activates an ancient Kryptonian scout-ship on Earth, 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 suffer the consequences of his wrath. Clark surrenders to the US military, who hand him, along with Lois Lane, over to Faora.


General Zod aboard the Black Zero

Once face-to-face with Clark, 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, he 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 re-populate the planet with new Kryptonians. He also reveals that he murdered Jor-El and regrets having done so, but informs Clark he would do so again in order to save his people.

Zod then travels to Smallville, Kansas, accompanied by Faora and a couple of his men, in search of the Codex, which he believes is inside Kal-El's ship. He arrives at the Kent Farm, where he interrogates Clark's adoptive mother Martha as to the Codex's whereabouts. Clark, having escaped from the Black Zero, arrives and tackles Zod, whom he punches several times in anger for threatening his mother before they crash-land in the middle of Smallville. Zod's visor is damaged during the struggle; exposed to Earth's environment, he's overwhelmed by his manifesting superpowers as Clark taunts him. Two of his men arrive and take him away, leaving Clark to battle Faora and Nam-Ek.

Later, back aboard the Black Zero, Zod, recovered from his sensory overload, learns that Jor-El encoded the Codex within Kal-El's own cells. He then 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. As does this, he is confronted by a hologram of Jor-El, who tries to persuade him to abandon his plan, but he rebuffs the hologram and purges it from the ship's systems before taking the helm and flying the ship to Metropolis.

Clark, now dubbed "Superman," destroys the world engine, while the military loads Kal-El's ship onto a military cargo plane and flies it towards the Black Zero. When Superman arrives and crashes into the scout-ship, Zod protests against him destroying the ship, as in doing so, any chance of saving Krypton will be lost, 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.

After Zod's soldiers are sent back into the Phantom Zone, Zod emerges from the wreckage. When Superman comes over to him, he laments the loss of his men and the chance to re-create his long-dead homeworld. Zod's grief quickly turns to 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 then battle across Metropolis, throwing punch after punch at each other, destroying buildings and bringing down skyscrapers.

Landing atop a partially-constructed building, Zod tears off 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 Kryptonians 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.


Batman v Superman 39

To be Added


Genetically engineered as a brutal warrior and leader, Zod struggled to distance himself from his bred purpose in life. He was, however, capable of compassion and had a strong relationship with some of his closer minions as well as Jor-El.

He was a no-nonsense character and not afraid to act on instinct, such as when he decided to overthrow the Kryptonian Council to no avail. However, he was also an angry person who could turn on a whim and show his brutal side. Additionally, he wasn't afraid to release brute force upon innocent people to get revenge, such as when he lost his men during the Battle of Metropolis and he decided to kill humans with his heat vision just to get back at Kal-El for thwarting his plans.


Zod is a tall and 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.

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.


As a Kryptonian, Zod gained enhanced physical attributes whilst under the rays of a yellow sun.

  • Super Strength
  • Super Speed
  • Super Stamina
  • Super Hearing
  • Super Breath
  • Arctic Breath
  • Heat Vision
  • Telescopic Vision
  • X-Ray Vision
  • Flight
  • Healing Ability
  • Longevity
  • Invulnerability
  • Super Dexterity


Despite appearing to be virtually invulnerable and potentially immortal under a yellow sun, Zod was vulnerable to other super-powered beings with strength enough to challenge his own, such as other Kryptonians and other alien races.

When he first came to Earth and experienced his powers activating in a yellow-sun environment, a potential sensory overload overwhelmed Zod and he was forced to compensate until his body adjusted by wearing a protective visor.

The radiation of a red sun totally nullifies those he gains from a yellow sun, making him vulnerable to harm.


Heresy! Destroy it!
~ Zod, after learning Jor-El and Lara conceived a son through natural means 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!
~ General Zod, to Lara, before being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone
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"
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
I was bred to be a warrior, Kal. Trained all my 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
~ Zod's final word before Superman snaps his neck


  • 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.

List of film appearances

  • Man of Steel
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (corpse)


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