General Zod in 2008

Facts about General Zod

Phantom Zod

Introduced in the twelve-issue For Tomorrow (Superman #204-#215) storyline, written by Brian Azzarello and penciled by Jim Lee, this Zod lives alone in an alternate Phantom Zone and resents Superman for tampering with it. By his own account he comes from the same Krypton as Superman and was exiled to the Phantom Zone by Superman's father, Jor-El. This Zod wears large, spiked black armor and when unmasked, is a bald, white-bearded old man. This incarnation also uses a variation of "Kneel before Zod". He appeared in Metropia, a version of the Phantom Zone created by Superman to resemble a living world (including apparently-living beings). Since Superman created the world of Metropia with similarities to Krypton, it has been revealed[citation needed] that this (again) is not the real Zod. However, whether or not this was the real Zod of the pre-Infinite Crisis DC universe he has been superseded by the present storyline (which features a new Zod, freed from the Phantom Zone).

Krypton Zod

General Zod in 2008

After ambushing Superman, Zod trapped him in the Zone. At the same time about 25 other Kryptonian criminals also escape the Zone and defeat a number of Earth's heroes, beginning their quest to conquer the planet (starting with Metropolis). Superman escapes the Zone with the aid of Mon-El, and ultimately defeats Zod with the unlikely aid of Lex Luthor, Metallo, Parasite and Bizarro. Out of nearly 30 Kryptonians Metallo, Parasite, and Lex Luthor manage to kill five or six of them with Kryptonite and red solar radiation. Zod and his compatriots are sent back into the Phantom Zone; unfortunately, so is Chris Kent. At the end of the "New Krypton" arc, it is revealed that Alura has brought Zod, Ursa, and Non back from the Phantom Zone (making Zod the army's new leader).

General Zod appeared as a primary antagonist in the Superman: Last Son storyline (written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner [director of Superman: The Movie and most of Superman II]). In a similar story to that of Superman II, Zod, Ursa, and Non escape from the Phantom Zone and come to Earth to try to turn it into a "New Krypton". This incarnation is the first Post-Crisis Zod who came from Superman's Krypton, and not from an alternate reality.

This rebellion was short-lived and the rebels were again arrested and sentenced to be executed. Not wishing to resort to execution, Jor-El appealed on their behalf to exile them instead. The council accepted this, on the condition that Jor-El would be the jailer. Zod, Ursa and Non were imprisoned, and embittered against Jor-El for years to come.

The story also features the debut of Christopher Kent, a young Kryptonian boy discovered and briefly raised by Superman and Lois Lane. It is revealed that Christopher (whose birth name is Lor-Zod) is the son of Zod and Ursa, born in the Phantom Zone and used as a conduit for their escape. The birth was possible in the otherwise-timeless Phantom Zone because of an ancient accident. An entire Kryptonian prison was transported to the Zone; inside it, time passes.

The backstory for the three Kryptonians was revealed in Action Comics Annual #10. Non had once been a brilliant scientist, on a par with Jor-El. Both were researching the event which would ultimately destroy Krypton. Zod entered their lab with troops (at this point, Zod was still working for Krypton's Council). Both Jor-El and Non were arrested by Zod, warned by the High Council to halt their research and released. Jor-El set to work creating the rocket that would send his son Kal-El to Earth, while Non began to spread the word of the planet's impending doom. Non's message convinced both Zod and Ursa that Krypton was soon to be destroyed. Non then disappeared from public life, only to return with a mutilated brain. The council had transformed him into a mindless brute, and this act inspired Zod and Ursa to rebel against the Kryptonian government. Without any sense of right and wrong, Non now fought alongside Zod and Ursa. Zod attempted to recruit Jor-El to their cause; however, Jor-El saw that the plans were fueled by greed, lust for power and violence.

World of New Krypton

Later, during a Kryptonian ceremony, Zod is shot by the Kryptonian Ral-Dar (who is working with Sam Lane). In issue seven of this story arc, he names Kal-El temporary General until he has fully recovered. By issue 11 he has recovered, but returns to his duties at the worst possible moment. Kal-El, Adam Strange, and Tyr-Van are about to be killed, after having their powers removed because they were with Tam-Or. Tam-Or is a principal suspect of killing a member of the council; even Superman is unable to halt the execution. Zod stops the execution and (with Kal-El) investigates members of a group of traitors to Krypton. They discover the last member and, after getting him to confess to his crimes, arrest him. As Kal-El and Zod are talking about how Kal-El has changed New Krypton by helping the Labor Guild get on the Council, Brainiac attacks.

When Superman decides to see what life is like on New Krypton, he is drafted into the Military Guild under General Zod. Zod and Superman maintain a mistrustful professional relationship. Despite their past, neither seems prepared to behave with marked aggression toward the other. When Zod orders that Superman and his people kill a Kryptonian criminal, Superman circumvents the order. He feels that killing the criminal would be not only unnecessary, but wrong. The criminal is arrested, without further fatalities.

Zod accuses Superman of treason, of which he is found guilty. Before being executed, Superman gives a heartfelt speech about morality. Much to the everyone's surprise, Zod is apparently moved by the speech. He requests that the Religious Guild give Superman absolution, overturn the "guilty" verdict. As a result, Superman is cleared of all charges. When asked why he did not go through with the execution of the son of someone he hated Zod explains that, despite everything that had happened before, he realized that his military would be stronger and better for having Superman in it. As a result it appears that there is a level of mutual respect (if not peace) between Zod and Superman.

Last Stand

With New Krypton under attack by Brainiac Zod begins his plan to defeat him after his greatest defeat by the Coluan, when he bottled Kandor from Old Krypton.

DC The New

General Zod appears in Action Comics (vol. 2) #5 in the Phantom Zone. In this issue Krypton is being destroyed and Jor-El and Lara look for various ways to save himself, Lara, and an infant Kal El. Jor-El suggests going into the Phantom Zone. Zod however appears with other Phantom Zone prisoners and attempts to escape the Phantom Zone. Krypto however sacrifices himself by attacking Zod thus going into the Phantom Zone as well.

War of the Supermen

After the final moments of Last Stand of New Krypton (when the planet was destroyed by Reactron), Zod declares war on Earth. After a fierce conflict, Zod is pushed back into the Phantom Zone by his son

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