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Zod (DC Extended Universe)

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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 superhero movie Man of Steel, the first installment of the DC Extended Universe.

This version of Zod is far more devious and malevolent than his previous counterpart. After his demise, it is revealed that Lex Luthor took Zod's body for research.

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


Born on the 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, 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 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. 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. 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 Kal-El's ship to be shot down, but they are all arrested 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 Council leader, denouncing the entire Council as fools, before turning on Lara (who's present at the trial) and vehemently vowing 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, and they look forlornly at their planet's remains. They then spend the next 33 years searching the galaxy for other surviving Kyptonians, only to find that all of Krypton's colony worlds died out when their homeworld stopped communicating with them centuries ago.


General Zod aboard the Black Zero

Around the time that Kal-El, now called "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 Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, over to Faora. 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, 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.

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 ship. 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. Zod's visor is damaged by Clark's assault; exposed to Earth's environment, he is overwhelmed by his manifesting powers as Clark taunts him. Two of his men then 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, years earlier, Jor-El encoded the Codex within Kal-El's own cells. Once informed 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. As does this, 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 dubbed "Superman," destroys the World Engine, while the military loads his spaceship onto a military cargo plane and flies it towards the Black Zero. When Superman arrives, 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 destroying the ship, 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. 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 quickly 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, throwing punch after punch at each other, destroying buildings and bringing down skyscrapers. During the fight, Zod quickly masters heat vision.

The two prove an even match for most of the battle, and cause enormous amounts of destruction throughout Metropolis with their heat-vision, 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.


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 exceptionally cruel and violent when pushed, and would use immense brutality if angered. Zod was extremely ruthless and intolerant, willing to do absolutely anything to achieve his goals; this is best shown when he expressed regret over murdering Jor-El, but stated to Kal-El that he would do it again if the situation demanded it.

Zod 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 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.


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.


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
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 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"
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
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
Look at this. We could have built a new Krypton in this squalor, but you chose the humans over us.
~ 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
~ 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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