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 Extended Universe.
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 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 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 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 the House of El's citadel, seeking the Genetic Codex (a repository of genetic information from which all Kryptonians are bred with predetermined life paths), which Jor-El stole earlier after escaping from Zod's men. Zod enters the 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 spaceship 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 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 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 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.
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, 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 genetically engineer 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 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. 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 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 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 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.
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. Zod was extremely ruthless and intolerant, willing to do absolutely anything to achieve his goals - he infinitely regretted murdering Jor-El, but would do it again if the situation demanded.
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
- Healing Ability
- 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|
|“||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!||„|
|~ General 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 stop|
|“||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)