- "Look at this. We could have built a new Krypton in this squalor, but you chose the humans over us. 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!"
- ―General Zod to Kal-El[src]
General Dru-Zod, simply known as Zod, was a Kryptonian war criminal and the former leader of the Warrior Guild who later founded the Sword of Rao, leading them during the events of the Kryptonian Civil War.
Managing to survive the destruction of his native planet of Krypton and escaping from his Phantom Zone imprisonment, he viewed the purpose of his life to be the successful re-establishment of Krypton on another planet. General Zod was the first great enemy of the hero Superman, who ultimately defeated and killed him in combat after a prolonged, devastating duel in the heart of Metropolis. During the Black Zero Event, Zod notably killed many Wayne Enterprises employees before going down.
After his death, Zod's corpse was the key to the committee studying Superman, learning about the Kryptonite xenomineral being the greatest weakness of Kryptonians. The general's corpse was later acquired by the malevolent supergenius Lex Luthor, who used the corpse and his blood, to carry out an ancient and long-forbidden Kryptonian process, thereby creating the mighty and ferocious hybrid Kryptonian monstrosity, Doomsday.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Dru-Zod, known more simply as Zod, was born on the distant planet Krypton, in the huge capital megacity of Kandor, with him being genetically engineered in a genesis chamber as a commanding leader and fierce warrior. He was one in a long line of warriors all who served in the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, rising to the rank of general (leader of the entire guild).
Zod was placed in charge of the Warrior Guild on Krypton and was fiercely devoted to his duty and his people. During his tenure, he was known to have kept the city of Kandor safe from any threats. Zod also had a strong mutual respect for Jor-El, Krypton's leading scientist. The pair were friends in their youth, with them sharing a common goal of revitalizing Krypton, of turning their complacent, aging society from its self-destructive path, and igniting a new era of innovation and exploration. But in time, they had arrived at radically different visions of the future. Jor-El put his faith in science and reason, while Zod had embraced force—as well as dubious theories of eugenics.
- "I'm doing what I should've done years ago. These lawmakers with their endless debates have led Krypton to ruin!"
- ―General Zod to Jor-El[src]
Believing the Kryptonian law council too weak in the running of their race, Zod decided he needed to take charge to make sure Krypton survived and founded the Sword of Rao movement to sever the "degenerative bloodlines" and start anew on a new planet. He and a few men arrived at the legislation chamber where Jor-El was in session with them. Zod swiftly killed High Eminence Ro-Zar. He informed his former good friend Jor-El of his plans, but the latter rejected Zod, telling him it was madness. Saddened by the newfound rift with his former friend, Zod had his men take Jor-El away, whilst Zod informed the council of his plans before having his second-in-command, Faora-Ul, take them into custody.
When told that Jor-El had escaped and also stolen the growth codex, Zod and a few men traveled to the House of El citadel, where Zod confronted Jor-El face to face as Lara Lor-Van launched Kal-El off the planet. Believing Jor-El had turned his back on him, Zod battled Jor-El, and after a hard fight, stabbed his friend with the huge blade from his armor. Saddened at what he had to do to his friend, he and his followers were arrested by loyalist forces.
Captured, Zod and his minions were put on trial before the Kryptonian law council, with several bureaucrats and Lara Lor-Van present. High Eminence Lor-Em sentenced them to 300 years of somatic reconditioning inside the fearsome Phantom Zone. Zod approached Lara and declared that sending their illegal son away wasn't enough; that he wasn't safe and Zod would find him. The ship descended on Kandor and Zod and his cohorts boarded and went through the Phantom Zone projector for their sentence.
Krypton's core gave way as Jor-El had predicted, and the ripple effect of its destruction broke the boundaries of the Phantom Zone, allowing the Black Zero ship to escape. Seeing that their planet had been destroyed, Zod declared the Black Zero his new flagship and began searching the universe for surviving Kryptonian colonies, finding dead colonies and a world engine, which they took with them. Soon they picked up a Kryptonian beacon and followed it to the planet Earth in search of Kal-El and a new home.
Arrival on Earth
- "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. [...] 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 24 hours or watch this world suffer the consequences."
- ―General Zod to the people of Earth[src]
The Black Zero entered the Earth's outer atmosphere where General Zod used his flagship to transmit a message to the planet Earth's primitive computers such that every device on the planet would transmit his message. He requested they give him Kal-El, promising that otherwise, Earth would suffer consequences of apocalyptic proportions.
After receiving a message that Kal-El was to be handed over, Zod promptly sent his second-in-command, Faora-Ul, in a dropship to pick up Kal-El and also the human Lois Lane. They were brought aboard where Black Zero's atmosphere disrupted Kal's abilities, nullifying them. Zod had him strapped down and Jax-Ur took some of his blood before subjecting Kal-El and Lois to mind-probing, where Zod projected images into Kal-El's head of a fallen human race. Lois Lane had brought aboard Jor-El's AI, who helped her escape and avoid capture into an escape pod that jettisoned to Earth. Whilst Zod's forces tried to recapture Lois, Kal-El used his returned strength to escape his bonds and followed Lois after receiving the encouragement of Jor-El.
Zod and his men boarded dropships and tracked Kal's ship to Smallville, to the Kent farm where they went to obtain the codex. They landed and were greeted by Martha Kent, who denied any knowledge of an alien named Kal-El to protect Clark. Faora found the ship in the barn but discovered the codex wasn't there. They threatened Martha to give up its location, which she didn't know. With Zod prepared to strike her, Kal-El appeared and angrily tackled Zod away, landing in downtown Smallville. Zod was still getting used to his powers under the yellow sun and with his visor damaged, his senses began to subdue him. Faora and one of Zod's soldiers arrived and began engaging Kal-El in battle before he subdued them with his experience and more solar power. Realizing they were outmatched, for the time being, Zod and his followers retreated to the Black Zero. There they learned that the codex wasn't in Kal's ship, but inside his body, in his cells which could be extracted from him, alive or dead.
- "I will harvest the codex from your son's corpse, and I will rebuild Krypton atop his bones!"
- ―Zod's last words to Jor-El[src]
After recovering on board the Black Zero, Zod ordered the release of the world engine, which was dropped off in the south Indian Ocean before Black Zero was taken to Metropolis. Zod ordered for them to be activated whilst he traveled to the Arctic where he found Scout Ship 0344, and after seeing Jor-El's AI, turned it off before flying the ship to Metropolis. Kal-El, who had become known as 'Superman', arrived after destroying the world engine, and crashed into the ship, bringing it crashing down through several buildings into the ground. Colonel Hardy then flew a USAF C-17 cargo plane containing Superman's ship along with Faora into the Black Zero, creating a singularity that sucked in the Black Zero (with Tor-An, Nam-Ek, Jax-Ur, Car-Vex, Nadira, and Gor), along with the human military plane (with Colonel Hardy, Dr. Hamilton, and Faora).
Having lost all his men in an instant as well as his sole purpose of life, an enraged General Zod engaged Superman, vowing to get revenge by killing the entire human race. After the two mighty aliens first clashed, Zod sent Superman flying right through a skyscraper, into the Wayne Financial building. There, Zod's heat vision suddenly activated, and he violently slashed the building, making it begin to collapse upon them both. Superman promptly flew out, with Zod following suit, but the fallen building killed dozens of employees (including Jack O'Dwyer), much to the horror of Bruce Wayne, who witnessed it from afar. Also, Wallace Keefe would be permanently crippled, while a little girl would be orphaned following the building's collapse.
Zod and Superman continued their ferocious battle all across Metropolis, throwing tremendously mighty punch after punch at each other, destroying more skyscrapers, before Zod tore off his armor and finally gained his ability to fly. The fight then took to the sky and temporarily in outer space, before the two came crashing back down into Metropolis Central Station, where Zod attempted to unleash his heat vision upon innocent civilians. Superman grappled Zod and tried to prevent his heat vision from reaching the civilians, but he was inevitably forced to snap Zod's neck, killing him, much to his own dismay.
After the Black Zero Event 18 months later, the United States government studied the corpse of Zod in Superman's fortress in Heroes Park. While Senator June Finch rejected Lex Luthor's request to study and analyze the body of Zod and the Kryptonian vessel, Senator Barrows covertly granted Lex access in a mutual relationship. During his studies, Lex discovered that exposure to kryptonite decayed Kryptonian cells and significantly weakened Zod to mortal standards. Later, Lex cut off the fingerprints of Zod's hand with a scalpel to access the inner sanctum of the scout ship.
Before Lex initiated his scheme to propel Superman into fighting Batman, he brought the corpse of Zod to the genesis chamber of Scout Ship 0344. Kelor warned Lex of the ban of genetic modification by the Kryptonian Law Council, but Lex ignored this and the genesis chamber began to genetically modify the body of Zod, combined with Lex's blood, to re-create Doomsday. Once Doomsday was turned loose, he began to ravage and attack the surrounding cities, growing only stronger from the attacks he sustained, similar to how Zod had begun to get stronger and have more access to his Kryptonian powers during his tragic duel with Kal-El. In a final faceoff, Kal was forced to strike the killing blow against Doomsday, similar to his traumatic decision to end Zod's life. Unlike in the previous battle however, this decision proved to be fatal and with one final blow, the monster was able to finish what Zod had been unable to do: Killing Jor-El's son.
- "Look at this...we could have built a new Krypton in this squalor but you chose the humans over us. 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."
- ―General Zod explains his goals to Superman.[src]
Genetically engineered as a warrior and leader, Zod is fiercely loyal to his race and its ideals. He was a highly skilled and charismatic military leader that was not afraid to act on instinct, such as when he decided to overthrow the Kryptonian Law Council.
It is implied that Zod was once a noble and more benevolent man, as he had a long-term friendship with Jor-El, and the latter claimed that he would honor the man that Zod had once been. Also, the younger Zod was somewhat innovative and idealistic, with him and Jor sharing a common goal of revitalizing Krypton, of turning their complacent, aging society from its self-destructive path, and igniting a new era of innovation and exploration. However, Zod would in time develop into a far more malevolent and brutal individual (to the point that he founded the radical Sword of Rao to overthrow the government and murdered his former friend, albeit the latter with lingering remorse), an individual to whom Jor-El referred to as a "monster." However, Jor-El would also later state that Superman is "twice the man" Zod was, even when the latter had been noble.
While Zod did still have feelings of genuine compassion for his fellow Kryptonians (shown when he comforted Faora after Krypton's destruction, hence making him a less evil militaristic supervillain than General Ludendorff or Ares), he viewed less powerful and advanced races, such as humans, as inferior in every regard (somewhat akin to Ares' ideology), and had no qualms about mercilessly killing them "for the greater good" of rebuilding Krypton and his native Kryptonian race upon their planet, even begging Kal-El with a horrified look on his face about losing Krypton's only chance when he destroyed the scout ship carrying the genesis chamber. However, Zod even treated some of his fellow Kryptonians with disdain (most notably those with "degenerative bloodlines" of the Kryptonian Law Council, as well as the "heresy" that was the naturally born Kal-El), considering only those who shared his ideas and goals to be his true equals. He also seemed to value his friends and allies, since Zod was dismayed when Jor-El ended their long friendship, and was guilt-ridden about murdering his former friend (to the point that doing so would later haunt Zod for many years). While often calm and collected, Zod was capable of fearsome fits of rage, notably against High Eminence Lor-Em, Jor-El and Superman.
Despite his occasionally angry tone and demeanor, however, General Zod was exceptionally intelligent, with Superman, upon meeting him, concluding from Zod's facial expression that the latter was "equally intelligent" to Jor-El, Krypton's foremost scientist. Zod's intellect mainly extends to his leadership, intimidation, tactical, and other military skills, though the thinking boundaries programmed into General Zod's engineered DNA occasionally make him imperfect in utilizing these skills. While Zod wasn't quite as debilitated by these boundaries as High Eminence Lor-Em or Ro-Zar (since unlike them, Zod was able to see how ineffective the dogmatic Kryptonian Law Council was), he, like them, also had a poor grasp at free will, was often prone to dogmatic tunnel vision, and was utterly unable to live out any lifestyle other than the one that he was born for. Hence, while this did allow Zod to both effectively lead the Sword of Rao and to come up with a strategy to restore Krypton, it also made him unable to diplomatically coexist with humanity (like Superman could), to account for Superman caring about them, or to account for Superman's innovative combat strategy (of effectively using all of the powers that Zod had not yet gained, as well as Zod's weaknesses, against him, in their first fight). Indeed, this is what allowed the free-willed Superman to defeat Zod in their first fight (despite being a far less skilled combatant), and to undermine Zod's apocalyptic World Engine strategy.
General Zod was also an incredibly bold and determined individual, as even when his Kryptonian Civil War coup failed, leaving him helpless and at the mercy of High Eminence Lor-Em, Zod refused to be intimidated and went so far as to mock the former and spit at the High Eminence's feet in defiance, and only silently gritted his teeth while being painfully frozen into a cryocapsule (while almost all of his other loyalists bellowed and cringed). Upon his unexpected release from the Phantom Zone, Zod, unlike Faora, refused to fall into despair, and tirelessly led his followers on a 33-year-long search for a planet suitable for terraforming, never seeming to lose hope, and still inducing fierce and unwavering loyalty from his Sword of Rao followers. Hence, due to his great willpower and determination, General Zod, unlike Superman, never experienced the weakness of mental power suppression and was at his full strength potential upon absorbing a yellow sun's radiation. It was also through his sheer willpower that Zod eventually overcame his temporary weakness of overloaded senses within Earth's atmosphere, and swiftly mastered the power of flight.
Even Lex Luthor seemed to somewhat admire General Zod, with him sadly remarking that the latter had "[flown] too close to the sun" while observing Zod's corpse. This is most likely since General Zod, due to his godlike power being used for malevolent purposes, perfectly represented Lex's worldview.
After his plans were thwarted and his loyalists re-imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, Zod, having failed at what he had considered being the sole purpose of his life, became more brutal and furious than ever in his devastation, and megalomaniacally threatened to personally wipe out the entire human race of Earth in revenge. Since Zod had nothing left to lose, he engaged Superman in a ferocious final duel, refusing to stop unleashing his fury upon humanity, thus inevitably forcing a very reluctant Superman to kill him.
Powers and Abilities
Kryptonian Physiology: As a Kryptonian, General Zod's bone structure is almost identical to that of a human. On a planet near a red class M main-sequence star (like Krypton with its sun Rao), Zod would have physical attributes nearly identical to those of humans, but if on a planet near a yellow G-type main-sequence star (like Earth), he has many new abilities and powers, all of them far beyond the capabilities of humans and even metahumans, making him appear godlike (indeed almost matching an Old God in power). While Zod's body initially had problems adapting to the new planet's atmosphere, he was able to do so shortly before his final battle with fellow Kryptonian Superman. Due to Zod's ruthlessness and complete lack of restraint, he never withheld his tremendous power, which initially allowed him to dominate Superman (despite the latter's superior solar energy supply), with Zod claiming that he would single-handedly wipe out the entire human race. Indeed, it was mainly due to having General Zod's corpse as the genetic template that Doomsday had such unparalleled power.
- Superhuman Strength: General Zod has a tremendous level of superhuman strength, virtually incalculable, as he can carry millions of tons. He can generate large shock-waves with his mighty punches, he can effortlessly hurl cars, trucks, and massive artificial satellites great distances, instantly destroy mountain tops, and fight evenly against and even gain the upper hand against Superman, who barely managed to defeat Zod. Zod managed to punch Superman hard enough to send him flying up the entire height of a skyscraper, and hurl Superman with enough force for the latter's body to penetrate many skyscrapers in rapid succession before it even started to slow down (briefly knocking Superman out in the process). Zod could even generate enough force to break through the invulnerability of a fellow Kryptonian without the need of kryptonite, as his blows are strong enough to harm Superman despite his invulnerability, much like Superman did, when the latter broke General Zod's otherwise invulnerable neck. Zod is even able to use his incredible strength to perform super jumps, such as when he scaled a skyscraper in only a few leaps while pursuing Superman.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: General Zod's body is virtually indestructible. Hence, he can withstand the extreme heat of massive explosions, the extreme cold of the Arctic, exposure to the vacuum of outer space, falls from great heights, high-caliber bullets, anti-tank depleted uranium rounds, Maverick missiles, plasma bolts from Kryptonian weaponry, other Kryptonians' heat vision (though it does cause him burning pain), and even numerous mighty blows from fellow Kryptonian Superman. While Zod can be affected by the considerable force of powerful impacts, they only at most cause him to stumble and briefly knock him down, leaving him unscathed. The only known things capable of breaking through Zod's invulnerability and harming him are beings of comparable incalculable strength (such as other Kryptonians), as they are strong enough to physically break through his invulnerability, shown when Superman could harm Zod and eventually managed to break Zod's otherwise invulnerable neck, killing him, although it took Superman quite a bit of effort. General Zod's corpse maintained its invulnerability after death, however, with Lex Luthor only able to operate on it with a kryptonite-bladed scalpel, and the lack of cell decay is what allowed Lex to transform the corpse into Doomsday.
- Superhuman Speed: General Zod can run, fly and react at incredible supersonic speeds (of over Mach 900). During his final duel, Zod was able to land several blows on Superman before the latter could react. The only known being capable of moving slightly faster than General Zod is the speedster Flash.
- Superhuman Reflexes: General Zod's speed seems to extend to his reflexes as well, as he managed to catch several punches from the equivalently fast Superman, and avoid several strikes from his equally fast opponent.
- Superhuman Stamina: General Zod rarely grows tired if he is continuously powered by the yellow sun of Earth. He doesn't need to eat, sleep, or even breathe. Hence, he can survive flying into outer space and diving underwater. He ferociously battled with Superman without ever needing to slow down and catch his breath.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: General Zod, in the rare instances, when he is hurt, is capable of healing at superhuman speeds, especially in direct sunlight. However, if the injuries are serious enough to instantly kill him, his healing factor will not be able to save him, which is what happened when Superman killed him by breaking Zod's neck.
- Flight: General Zod can fly due to him being able to manipulate his gravity field (since Earth's gravity is lighter than Krypton's) and absorbing yellow sunlight. Combined with his speed, Zod can fly at tremendous supersonic speeds, allowing him to take off into the atmosphere and even outer space and land safely back onto the planet's surface with ease. He can also maneuver with great precision in any direction, as well as hover in one place. He quickly mastered the power of flight to the point that he was able to easily keep up with the more experienced flyer Superman as their battle continued in the air, and outer space.
- Superhuman Vision: General Zod has eyesight far beyond that of humans. He possesses a superior sensory arrangement of telescopic, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma-ray visual capabilities. He can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum when he desires, through mental focus. However, when his visor first broke open, he was initially overwhelmed by his multiple spectrum vision, though he managed to hone his senses and bypass that weakness shortly before his final duel with Superman.
- X-ray Vision: General Zod, when his visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of his X-ray vision (which enabled him to see through all objects and people), and was unable to control it. However, he was finally able to gain control over it through focus before his final duel. The only known materials known to be impenetrable to Zod's X-ray vision are lead, the force field of a Kryptonian Breather (when rendered opaque), as well as the Kryptonian metal which the walls of Scout Ship 0344 were composed of.
- Heat Vision: General Zod can fire thick beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it with the conscious act of activating this power. Visually, the power manifests as two thick laser-like beams of orange light firing from his eyes. Zod can utilize it to stun other Kryptonians (causing them burning pain on impact), and used it to quickly bring down the Wayne Financial Building in a single blast, and almost succeeded in burning innocent bystanders alive with it. Seemingly, Zod's heat bursts are more destructive than that of Superman, as he casually destoyed entire building with it.
- Superhuman Hearing: General Zod, when his visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of his hearing (which enabled him to simultaneously perceive numerous feeble and far noises very clearly, including both infrasound and ultrasound), and was unable to control it. However, Zod was finally able to gain control over it through focus before his final battle, now being able to exclude ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Gifted Intellect: General Zod, despite his often angry tone and demeanor, is exceptionally intelligent, with Superman, upon meeting him, concluding from Zod's facial expression that the latter was "equally intelligent" to Jor-El, Krypton's foremost scientist, although Jor-El ultimately proved to outsmart Zod due to being much calmer, more intellectually experienced and wiser. Zod's intellect mainly extends to his leadership, polyglottic, intimidation, tactical, and other military skills, though the thinking boundaries programmed into General Zod's engineered DNA occasionally make him imperfect in utilizing these skills.
- Master Tactician: Zod, as the General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and the Sword of Rao, was a highly skilled and capable tactician, though the thinking boundaries programmed into his engineered DNA occasionally make Zod tactics and strategies imperfect. Thus, he was able to wage and initially win the Kryptonian Civil War, overthrowing the Kryptonian Law Council and killing High Eminence Ro-Zar, along with many Sapphire Guards, though Zod would ultimately be defeated by the remaining Guards. After escaping the Phantom Zone and faced with Krypton's destruction, Zod swiftly came up with effective strategies to help himself and his Sword of Rao loyalists survive - having Jax-Ur equip the Black Zero with a Phantom Drive, collecting resources (most notably a World Engine) from old Kryptonian colonial outposts, and searching for a suitable planet to terraform into a new Krypton. Once on Earth, General Zod came up with an effective strategy to force Superman to turn himself over to him, then later one to learn the Growth Codex's location, and then finally one to terraform Earth into a New Krypton. Zod, however, ultimately failed with his final apocalyptic strategy, due to the free-willed Superman successfully undermining it.
- Expert Leader: Zod, as the General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and the Sword of Rao, was a highly skilled and charismatic leader, inspiring fierce loyalty from all of his allies, since even after his Kryptonian Civil War had failed, they still looked up to Zod and unquestionably followed his lead for the 33 years that Zod tirelessly searched for Kal-El, the growth codex, and a planet suitable for terraforming into a New Krypton.
- Multilingualism: General Zod, apart from his native Kryptonian, was somehow able to quickly learn how to fluently understand and speak many of Earth's languages, which included English (while speaking with Superman and Lois Lane), as well as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Nepali, Chinese, Japanese, and Yoruba (as seen in Zod's fearsome message broadcast all over the nations of planet Earth, in each nation's respective tongue).
- "I was bred to be a warrior, Kal. Trained my entire life to master my senses."
- ―Zod to Superman[src]
- Master Combatant: Zod, as the General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, is a highly fierce, formidable and ruthless combatant, being incredibly skilled in a vast array of Kryptonian martial arts, second only to Faora in this regard. Hence, Zod managed to fight equally in a prolonged fight with the extremely skilled Jor-El, (managing to disarm Jor-El of his rifle and briefly pin him down before being eventually defeated due to Jor-El being extra motivated to save his son's life) and also could maintain the upper hand for the majority of his fierce final battle with Superman, despite his better familiarity with his alien superpowers, with Superman only winning because he took advantage of Zod's momentary loss of focus at the duel's end. Hence, even without his powers, General Zod is still extremely dangerous and versatile in battle and lethal.
- Expert Marksman: General Zod was a highly skilled marksman, easily shooting down High Eminence Ro-Zar from across the large Legislation Chamber.
- Expert Pilot: General Zod was a highly skilled pilot, managing to swiftly fly the huge Scout Ship 0344 into Metropolis, catching Lois Lane, Dr. Hamilton, and Colonel Hardy off-guard, and would have successfully shot them out of the sky and thwarted their plan, had it not been for the timely intervention of Superman.
- Indomitable Will: General Zod's tremendous determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. Even when his Kryptonian Civil War failed and with him helpless and at the mercy of High Eminence Lor-Em, Zod refused to be intimidated and went so far as to mock the former and spit at his feet in defiance, and only silently gritted his teeth while being painfully frozen into a cryo capsule (while almost all of his other loyalists bellowed and cringed). Upon his unexpected release from the Phantom Zone, Zod, unlike Faora, refused to fall into despair, and tirelessly lead his followers on a 33-year-long search for a planet suitable for terraforming, never seeming to lose hope. Hence, due to his great willpower and determination, Zod, unlike Superman, never experienced the weakness of mental power suppression and was at his full strength potential upon absorbing a yellow sun's radiation. It was also though his sheer willpower and determination that Zod eventually overcame his temporary weakness of overloaded senses within Earth's atmosphere, and swiftly mastered the power of flight. Even when Superman managed to thwart Zod's plans and robbed the latter of his life purpose, Zod, while devastated, was as determined as ever, this time to destroy humanity in revenge for his defeat, refusing to stop until a reluctant Superman killed him.
- Limited Free Will: Zod's greatest psychological weakness stems from the fact that he was genetically engineered in a genesis chamber, with the boundaries of thought programmed into his engineered DNA. Although he was clever in seeing how ineffective the Kryptonian Law Council was and in devising plans to survive in deep space, the boundaries of thought programmed into his engineered DNA made him completely unable to live a different lifestyle he was born from; for example, he was unable to understand from Jor-El that, instead of destroying the Earth to rebuild Krypton, making humanity extinguished, in the process, they could coexist and live with them, exactly as did his son Kal-El until to now. Above all, he demonstrated a complete lack of empathy for humans, calling them weak and inferior and who must be wiped out and is willing to kill anyone who stands in his way of rebuilding Krypton at all costs, even if it proved useless, thanks to the combined intelligence of Jor-El and Kal-El, which proved crucial to the defeat of the Sword of Rao. Having lost his purpose, due to the latter, having nothing more to lose, and being genetically unable to move forward, he decided to destroy the entire human race to take revenge on Superman and would not stop until he had achieved his goal, an act that turned out to be his undoing and it was his arrogance that allowed Kal-El to kill him.
As the General of the Warrior Guild, Zod originally had access to all of the weaponry the guild is equipped with, though he lost that privilege after losing the Kryptonian Civil War and getting imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. After escaping the Zone with the Black Zero, however, General Zod once against gradually became well-equipped, salvaging all the weapons he could find from the old colonial outposts of Krypton (such as Daxam), most notably, a fearsome World Engine.
- Kryptonian battle armor: Zod, as a Kryptonian of the Warrior Guild, was hardly ever seen not wearing a suit of extremely durable and fiercely intimidating Kryptonian battle armor, equipped with a Breather and retractable blade gauntlet. However, he discarded it after finally mastering his power of flight.
- Command key: General Zod's piece of highly advanced Kryptonian technology, made of Liquid Geo, which allowed him to operate and use Scout Ship 0344 and to destroy the artificial intelligence of Jor-El. It would later be used by Lex Luthor to assume command of the ship.
- Space suit: General Zod wore this protective suit in airless or otherwise dangerous space environments, notably when on the Daxam colonial outpost.
- Black Zero: General Zod's former prison starship, re-purposed into his residence and means of transportation after the destruction of Krypton. It was, however, ultimately sucked into the Phantom Zone.
- World Engine: General Zod's ultimate superweapon, obtained from the Daxam, utilized by General Zod during his attempt to terraform Earth into New Krypton. It was, however, ultimately destroyed by Superman.
- Mind-probing machine: General Zod utilized this device to telepathically probe the minds of both Superman and Lois Lane, to discover the Codex's location. This machine projects it's patient's and user's thoughts into a single background visual image, which changes according to swings in their mood or opinions.
- Kryptonian plasma rifle: (formerly) General Zod was wielding a Kryptonian plasma rifle while overthrowing the Law Council during the Kryptonian Civil War, with him using it to kill High Eminence. It was, however, ultimately confiscated by the Sapphire Guards.
- Kryptonian dropship: General Zod has his own personal Kryptonian dropship, in which he flew down to Scout Ship 0344 in the Arctic.
Behind the scenes
- Actor Viggo Mortensen was considered for the role before Michael Shannon was eventually cast. Shannon commented on his portrayal in comparison to Terence Stamp's original, iconic take on General Zod in the 1980s Superman II, "To follow Terence Stamp's iconic performance in the original, it is daunting, but I just focused on one day at a time."
- Justin A. Williams was a stunt double for Michael Shannon in the role of Zod.
- Zod in the DC Extended Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Terrance Stamp, Simon Templeman, and Callum Blue.
- No new footage of Michael Shannon appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. All of the scenes involving Zod's corpse was filmed using a physical artificially-molded replica based upon Michael Shannon's likeness.
- The concept of Zod being related to Doomsday was earlier explored by the Smallville TV series, which revealed that Doomsday was the genetic son of Zod. Plans were even set up for the actor of Doomsday, Sam Witwer, to take on the role of Zod's clone after the death of Doomsday in Season 8. Ultimately, Witwer refused; however, he did briefly play the part in the season finale of the 8th season, before the role was passed on to Callum Blue.
- The "Superman is Back" issue of the Daily Planet gives his full name as Dru-Zod in two articles.
- Cox, Greg (June 18, 2013). Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization. Great Britain: Titan Books.
- Goyer, David S., Nolan, Christopher (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (June 14, 2013). Man of Steel.
- Goyer, David S., Terrio, Chris (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (March 25, 2016). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Everything That All 5 Chapters of the Prequel Comic Taught Us About the World of Batman v Superman
- VS SUPERMAN Zod Body BTS ADI
- Tale of Two Zods