The Battle of Metropolis[1], also known as the Black Zero Event[2], was a conflict that occurred between the Sword of Rao, led by General Zod, and the United States military, who were backed by Superman. The battle resulted in an innumerable amount of destruction throughout the city of Metropolis. All but one of the Sword of Rao (General Zod) were also sent to the Phantom Zone, along with several humans. General Zod was, however, ultimately defeated and killed by Superman.


The Black Zero Event

"Oh my god... They're terraforming!"
Emil Hamilton[src]
Black Zero appears over Metropolis

The Black Zero appears over Metropolis

The Black Zero appeared over Metropolis as a World Engine was dispatched to the Indian Ocean, parallel with it on the other side of planet Earth. Both were activated sending gravity pulses through Earth, causing immense destruction to the surrounding area, while increasing the mass and density to the planet. The first blast was powerful enough to shatter windows, lift cars, and destroy airborne vehicles. The following pulses caused most of the damage, lifting objects and people into the air before slamming them into the ground with incredible force. Most of the said objects were then crushed and dissipated.[3]

Bruce Wayne watching the World Engine

Bruce Wayne, witnessing the Black Zero working in tandem with the World Engine

However, Emil Hamilton quickly figured out that this was a terraforming technique turning Earth into Krypton. Fortunately, Superman arrived at the Military Base with the ship that had brought him to Earth and tells them that they can create a singularity to absorb the Black Zero if they can cause the phantom drive in his ship to collide with the one aboard the Black Zero. Nathan Hardy proposes they drop the ship from a C-17, while Superman informs them that he must leave it to them, as he must deal with the World Engine over the Indian Ocean.[3]


"I will harvest the codex from your son's corpse, and I will rebuild Krypton atop his bones."
―Zod to Jor-El[src]
Zod destroys Jor-El AI

Jor-El's consciousness is destroyed by General Zod

As Superman and the Air Force leave for their targets, General Zod arrives at the Fortress of Solitude where the AI of Jor-El pleads with him to stop. Zod refuses, promising to rebuild Krypton atop Superman's bones, and destroys the AI of his old ally. He then takes command of the Fortress and flies it to Metropolis.[3] Bruce Wayne arrived at Metropolis from a helicopter and saw the Black Zero destroying the city. He called his worker, Jack O'Dwyer, to evacuate and the rest of the staff out of the Wayne Financial Building.[4]

Superman destroys the World Engine

Superman destroys the World Engine

Superman makes his way to the World Engine and immediately begins to feel the effects of the Device's process. Upon his arrival, the World Engine activates its defense mechanism and attacks Superman. Despite Superman's best efforts, he is eventually overwhelmed by the World Engine and is thrown into its gravitational beam. Meanwhile, the United States Air Force makes its first attack against the Black Zero, which proves to be ineffective, as they are unable to penetrate its gravitational field, leading to their missiles, as well as their own air crafts, to be thrown off course into the city, causing even greater destruction, such as collapsing a building. In the Indian Ocean, however, Superman manages to find the strength to rise, despite the force of the World Engine's beam, and fly through it, rupturing it and causing the beam shared by the World Engine and Black Zero to disappear.[3]


Destruction of the Black Zero

"If you destroy this ship, you destroy Krypton!"
"Krypton had its chance!
―Zod and Superman[src]
Superman takes down the Fortress

Superman takes down the Fortress

With the World Engine now down, the Air Force proceeds with their attack on the Black Zero: However, they hit a setback when Lois Lane is unable to activate the Phantom Drive, as the Command Key refuses to go into the slot. They are then attacked by the Fortress of Solitude, piloted by General Zod. Superman intervenes before Zod can shoot down the C-17 and brings the ship down, causing it to crash into the city, bringing down several skyscrapers in the process.[3]

The singularity

The singularity

Seeing the C-17 approaching, Faora leaves the Black Zero and boards the C-17, beginning to kill everyone on board. Hardy leads her away while Hamilton manages to resolve the setback and activate the Phantom Drive. Lois Lane falls out of the C-17 as Hardy set it directly at the Black Zero, creating the singularity and sucking both ships into the Phantom Zone. Superman recovers, sees Lois falling, and flies to catch her, nearly being caught in the pull of the singularity before it disappears.[3]

Final duel with General Zod

"There's only one way this ends, Kal -either you die or I do."
―General Zod to Superman[src]
Bruce sees the fight

Bruce Wayne seeing General Zod's heat vision rip the building apart

Upon landing, Superman notices that General Zod has emerged from the wreckage of the Fortress and flies to confront him. Zod, enraged at Superman for preventing him from carrying out his mission, lunges at him, swearing to wipe out all of humanity. Superman vows to stop him and the two collide, launching Superman into the Wayne Financial Building. Zod enters, but begins feeling the effects of the yellow sun and releases his heat vision for the first time, shredding through the building until it eventually collapses, killing Jack O'Dwyer and a few others who were still in the building.[3] As Zod fled Superman quickly flew out of the collapsing Wayne Financial Building to pursue Zod. A horrified Bruce Wayne witnessed this particular portion of the aliens' battle from a nearby street, desperately urging his employees to evacuate the building, just as he saw the beams of Zod's heat vision cutting through the upper floor's walls. He was too late, however, as the building had already begun collapsing, but he fearlessly ran right into the falling debris, desperate to try and save someone.[4]

Bruce Wayne comforts a little girl during the battle of Metropolis

Bruce Wayne angrily watches Superman and General Zod re-enter Earth

Superman flies after Zod, and the two continue to fight. Zod tells Superman that this conflict will only end when one of them is dead. As the two continue to fight, Zod sheds his armor and displays his new found ability of flight. The fight takes the skies all over the city, eventually making it into space.[3] As Bruce was looking for survivors, he found Wallace Keefe trapped under the rubble. He and a few people manage to pull Wallace out of the rubble, but the latter couldn't feel his legs, becoming crippled from the leg down. While tending to Wallace, Bruce found a little girl standing under loose rubble and managed to save her before it collapsed on her. He asked the girl where her mother is, but she pointed to the collapsed building, meaning that her mom was killed inside during the battle. Bruce gave her a hug to comfort her as he looked up to the sky and witness as the satellite and the two Kryptonoans fall out of the sky. Zod manages to bring the fight back to Metropolis after throwing a Wayne Enterprises Satellite at Superman.[4]

Zod threatening to kill a family with his heat vision

General Zod threatening to kill a family while Superman pleads

The two re-enter Earth's atmosphere and land in the train station, where Superman manages to get Zod in a hold. Refusing to accept defeat, Zod tries to incinerate a nearby family with his heat vision. Superman pleads with him to stop, but after realizing Zod won't stop, he regretfully snaps Zod's neck, killing him. Superman then drops to the floor and screams in anguish.[3][5]


In the aftermath of the disaster many people resulted buried under the collapsed towers and skyscrapers of the city. A boy named Rory Greeley thought he had lost his mother during the conflict, but later found out that she had survived.[6]

In order to commemorate all of those fallen in the tragic event, Heroes Park was established on the epicenter of what was left after General Zod's terraformation attack, with a massive silvery statue of the alien hero Superman being built as well, in honor of the extraordinary heroics that he displayed while helping save Earth from the malevolent invading Kryptonians.[4]

TIME published a article regarding the Kryptonian disaster. One of this copy was bought by Freddy Freeman.[7]

Senator Finch and her committee discuss Superman

Finch and her committee discuss Superman

Shortly after the Black Zero Event, Senator Finch set up a meeting with her fellow senators and General Elkins at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. Based on data from the BZE and Superman's subsequent battle with General Zod, General Elkins presented a CGI simulation of a male Kryptonian attacking a city such as Metropolis, fighting against F-35s. Senator Stearns defended Superman's intentions on Earth, due to the latter having saved the planet from his own invading people. After the group began heatedly debating regarding this, Finch promptly calmed things down, stating that before an ultimate decision regarding Superman was made, the issue of his existence had to be approached objectively, and she therefore advocated for the creation of a committee to study and learn more about Superman, to which the majority of those present agreed. As everybody left, Finch asked General Elkins for everything he had on Superman.[8]



In chronological order


  • During his final battle with General Zod, the novel describes a sequence absent from the film, in-between Superman being hurled through numerous buildings and both of them flying into outer space - a recovered Kal-El flies back at his opponent, and sends Zod flying towards the river, where the Weisinger Bridge connected Metropolis to the mainland. Zod crashes beneath it, splashing into the river. The enraged former general emerges shortly thereafter, however, quickly blasting through the bridge and tackling Kal into outer space.[5]


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