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General Zod

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zod_final_png_4.png
"I promise you this: I... will always... be your monster."
Click here to see his post-Flashpoint version 

Species: Kryptonian

First Appearance: Adventure Comics #283 (April 1961)

AKA: Dru-Zod II
"Come to me, son of Jor-El! Kneel Before Zod!"

Kryptonian soldier turned barbaric warrior. Ex-heterosexual life partner of Jor-El. As discreet as Superman's Shadow Archetype should be.

A household name. A House of Zod name.

General Dru-Zod II is a a supervillain appearing in titles and works by DC Comics, primarily those featuring Superman. The character was created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp and made his first appearance in Adventure Comics #283 in April 1961. Since his inception, Zod has been a persistent adversary to the Man of Steel, though his relevance and popularity have altered significantly over the years, including his own personal relationship and position as a notable enemy for Superman. The character has endured multiple changes and alterations, but his enmity towards Jor-El and Kal-El have remained a consistent and enduring character trait for him that has come to define Zod as one of Superman's greatest and most feared enemies.

The archenemy of Jor-El, and a sworn enemy of his family, Zod was a Kryptonian general imprisoned after trying to stage a coup against the Council of Elders on his homeworld. Trapped in the Phantom Zone prior to Krypton's destruction, Zod is eventually freed and proceeds to take out his anger with Jor-El on Superman. Made famous by Terence Stamp in Superman II, Zod was absent from the comics for years, due to the ban on Kryptonian characters; during this time various alternate universe doppelgangers and Earth-born substitutes danced in his shoes. In Last Son, DC decided to reintroduce the original Zod, bringing in a version of the character heavily modeled on Stamp's portrayal.

In his Post-Crisis Incarnation and a revamp with large inspiration taken from the performance of Terence Stamp in Superman II, Zod is a more complex character, regarded as a hero by many on Krypton. His coup was staged because he believed Non and Jor-El's findings of Krypton's imminent demise and wished to get the planet ready by means of rebuilding their space fleet. Defeated when Jor-El refused to support a violent revolution, Zod holds the House of El responsible for the destruction of the Kryptonian race, and seeks to punish Kal-El for his father's sins and build a new Krypton, setting the stage for Last Son, which finally marked Zod's first proper introduction to comic books since Crisis on Infinite Earths. During the New Krypton arc he served as head of Kandor's military, and maneuvered for war with Earth, aiming to achieve his goals.

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General Zod has Appeared in the Following Works (Sorted by Date of Release):

    Comic Book Storylines and Works 
In Generalnote Pre-Crisis

Post-Crisis

Post-Flashpointnote 

  • Hybridnote 
  • Kneel Before Zod
  • Superman/Wonder Woman Volume 1: Power Couplenote 
  • Suicide Squad
    • Volume 1: The Black Vaultnote 
    • Volume 2: Going Sanenote 
    • Volume 3: Burning Down the Housenote 
    • Volume 4: Earthlings on Firenote 
  • Green Lantern
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume 6: Zod's Willnote 
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume 7: Darkstars Risingnote 
  • Superman (Brian Michael Bendis)
  • World of Krypton (2021-2022)

Elseworlds and Other Settings

    Zod in Adapted Media 


Zod provides the following tropes:

    A - H 
  • Abusive Parents: In the Post-Crisis Universe, Zod treats his son, Lor-Zod/Chris Kent, as little more than a means to an end. However, this is not the case in the Post-Flashpoint/Rebirth Universe where Lor-Zod is actually loyal to Zod and he, in turn, respect his position in his Kryptonian forces.
  • The Ace: Zod was renowned as among the greatest military officers, leaders, and fighters Krypton has had, which is especially owed to his incredible fighting experience, brilliant oration with his speeches, a strong and effective leader who looked out for his troops and is a skilled strategist who was focused on achieving his goals. All of these attributes are one of the reasons he is a strong contender for Superman's Arch-Enemy, alongside Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Action Dad: He has a son named Lor-Zod, whose relationship depends on which version of Zod is accounted fornote . These don't interfere with Zod being an immensely powerful being, even by Kryptonian standards.
  • Adaptational Badass: Pre-Crisis Zod was nothing particularly noteworthy, to the extent where he wasn't even a prominent threat on his own or even a character of focus. However, thanks to his memorable depiction in Superman II, Post-Crisis iterations onward have taken notes from Terence Stamp and have overhauled the character significantly to make Zod a lot more stronger and capable than his first depiction ever was. This also extends to other versions of his character.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Zod hasn't just gotten stronger and more important throughout the ages. Storylines featuring him in Post-Crisis have also made a point to emphasize more on Zod's intelligence, which includes him being good at convincing and eliminating others and employing combat strategies throughout his fights against Kal-El. All of these have further contributed to Zod's Adaptational Badassery.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: His Post-Flashpoint version seems to be this. While he still considers Superman an arch-foe, he's a bit more willing to make an alliance with Kal-El if they have a mutual threat. He's also far nicer to Lor-Zod than his Post-Crisis version ever was, though it might have something to do with Lor-Zod undergoing Adaptational Villainy than anything else.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: While Zod was always enemies with Jor-El and Superman, his first depiction was simply that of a criminal who attempted to stage a coup so that he can attain leadership, and that Jor-El managed to capture him. Post-Crisis onwards, Zod's relationship with Jor-El and, by extension, Kal-El are a lot more personal as the former two were good friends prior to Krypton's explosion.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Pre-Crisis, Jor-El was merely Zod's jailer. Post-Crisis and every interpretation since, inspired by the first two Reeves films, their relationship is more personal.
  • Affably Evil: Sometimes Zod is politely spoken and generally approachable towards most people. This is genuine towards most Kryptonians and his race, whom Zod feels as if he has a responsibility towards and tries to appease and fight for them in whatever way possible. In other times, his genteel attitude can be a farce, especially if non-Kryptonians and those who are against his actions and goals are concerned.
  • All for Nothing: In the New Krypton storyline, Zod tries whatever he can to lead New Krypton into a stable and revered society and, at one point try to appease Superman. Unfortunately, nothing works out; Zod is outgambitted by Lex, he's forced to fight against Superman, he is sent into the Phantom Zone by Lor-Zod again, and finally, New Krypton is destroyed by Lex. This ends up being his ultimate fate in the Post-Crisis timeline.
  • Alternate Universe: Prior to Last Son, Superman encountered numerous versions of Zod in different dimensions and alternate Kryptonian pasts alike.
  • And I Must Scream: Zod has had to experience being sentenced to life residing in the Phantom Zone, an interdimensional realm where he cannot interact with anything outside its plane and, unless finding a way or opportunity to escape, would have to spend a life's worth there. This is one of the reasons why Zod desires to leave the interdimensional prison, alongside his grudge against Jor-El and Superman. One of the ways he will go into utter panic is a realization that he could be sent back there again, denying Zod of any interaction or committing to his ideals and goals.
  • And Then What?: When Zod starts to talk about how he could have saved Krypton if his coup had been successful, Superman tries to point out to him that even if he'd defeated the Science Council nobody would have listened to him and he didn't actually have a plan to stop the disaster that destroyed the planet. Zod's only 'defense' is to cite how he won against various past foes and prevailed in old military campaigns and insist that he would have found a way, but shows no sign that he had an actual plan anyway.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Pre-Flashpoint his son opposed him because he only cared about him as a means to an end. Post-Flashpoint, in one Bad Future, his son is prideful and ambitious enough from being raised as a God-Prince by a zealous supremacist that he'll happily watch his father die if it means he inherits Jekuul sooner.
  • Arc Villain: Zod serves as this (or a major antagonist) in several storylines in DC Rebirth. More specifically, he is one of the driving threats in two Suicide Squad volumes, Going Sane and Earthlings on Fire and in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps in Volumes 5 and 6; Zod's Will and Darkstars Rising respectively.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of Jor-El. Superman inherits this grudge, which eventually becomes very personal for both of them. After Luthor and Brainiac, he's in third place on Superman's private hit parade. He considers Jor-El to be his biggest enemy and has since sworn revenge against him. However, because Jor-El died before Zod escaped from the Phantom Zone, he had Superman projected as his object of vengeance simply because of Clark Kent being the son of Jor-El and Zod not letting go of his desire for revenge. He is arguably Superman's third-greatest enemy after Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Fulfills this role after Lor-Zod/Chris's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Ascended Extra: He was never a particularly prominent character in his original appearances; only an unremarkable name among the many Phantom Zoners. After the popularity of Superman II, he was upjumped to being the leader of the Phantom Zoners and one of Superman's primary enemies. Prior to this, the de facto leader of the Zoners had been Jax-Ur.
  • Asshole Victim: Most times when he's sent into the Phantom Zone. Even if Zod makes valid points about the corruption of the Kryptonian government, his terroristic actions prove to be too catastrophic for the populace and he has to be sentenced, a result that he doesn't want to go through as being in the Phantom Zone means he cannot make contact with anyone outside of it for the rest of his life. A terrifying fate, but Zod had it coming regardless.
  • Badass Family: Zod, his wife, Ursa, and his son, Lor-Zod, make up for a very formidable family when it comes to their powers and abilities. Though the "family" aspect is a lot more noticeable in the Post-Flashpoint version as Lor-Zod in the Post-Crisis iteration wants nothing to do with Zod and Ursa due to them seeing him as a means to an end.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the end of Zod's Will. Despite being defeated by an empowered Hal Jordan and set to be imprisoned, the Guardians arrive to force Hal to release Zod, who is courteous enough to let them and the Green Lanterns go as he doesn't want to make a big scene anymore in Jekuul. Despite this, Zod asserts that with Hal and Kyle's entry, he's gotten everything he needs from them, from military assessments to population statistics of every military complex in the universe. He's also happy to learn that Lor-Zod is keeping up with his father's teachings.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sometimes features a military-style greatcoat as part of his uniform.
  • Bald of Evil: In the Pre-Crisis era where, not unlike Brainiac, he closely resembled Lex Luthor. This has been changed since, with many versions closely resembling Terence Stamp's iconic portrayal. Injustice: Gods Among Us split the difference, giving him Pre-Crisis Zod's bald head and Stamp's beard.
  • Battle Couple: With Ursa, who has since gone on to become Zod's wife/mate from Post-Crisis onwards.
  • Beard of Evil: Usually features a version of Terence Stamp's goatee.
  • Best Friend: He had one in Jor-El, whom he saw as an equal peer in regards to each other's talents, capabilities, and contributions to Krypton. Unfortunately, Krypton's dying days and their differing stance about saving their race bitterly dissolved their friendship into bitter enmity and resentment on Zod's part.
  • Beware the Superman: Much like Superman himself, Zod is a representation of a humanoid-like extraterrestrial arriving on Earth, but instead of embodying the commitment for valor and compassion as Kal-El, would, Zod is a lot closer to how Lex Luthor would see Superman as; a tyrannical, fearmongering, and uncaring despot who looks down on Humanity and seeing them as inferior. As demonstrated in his actions in Last Son and War of the Supermen, the idea of Zod being a malicious Superman, or a closer analogy to Superman in Luthor's point of view, is a very likely assumption.
  • Big Bad: Of Last Son, and War of the Supermen, where he's the main instigator of the plot's conflict. Following his revival, he's generally in competition with Luthor and Brainiac for the title of Superman's biggest bad.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In New Krypton he, Brainiac, and General Lane compete for the title of biggest bad in the story arc.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Of New Krypton. He's never truly in control of the situation and both Brainiac and Luthor end up outstripping him. Brainiac effortlessly smashes through his army with his ship and specialized anti-Kryptonian gear when he comes to collect New Krypton (killing tens of thousands of Kryptonians), gains the upper hand on him in their superpowered fistfight and manages to shrink and bottle Kandor again, only being stopped short of an easy total victory by Luthor's last-second actions. Luthor, for his part, outmaneuvers Zod at every turn help, so everything Zod does was playing right into his plot. Luthor ends the arc by annihilating Zod's entire race and planet, manipulating Superman into sending him back into the Phantom Zone and getting rewarded for it.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Zod's personality, desires, and mindset being that of a military general who thrives in war and battle, would have been more appropriate for Ancient Krypton, given that by its dying days, the planet was more interested in diplomacy, politics, and self-preservation via alien technology.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Some depictions of Zod, particularly his appearance in Superman: Man of Tomorrow and his Post-Flashpoint version have a chest insignia with a letter logo, much like Superman. That said, and fittingly enough, it's engraved in a "Z" to symbolize and represent the House of Zod.
  • Breakout Villain: Zod was a minor villain Pre-Crisis, and even among the Phantom Zone criminals, Faora and Jax-Ur were initially more prominent than him. After his movie appearances, he has become more popular and prominent, to the point of becoming one of Superman's main arch-enemies alongside Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Broken Pedestal: Zod is a recipient and giver of the trope; he was once a celebratory figure whose military service made him a hero and had close ties to Jor-El before his coup. Zod's sentence to the Phantom Zone meant that he was a criminal and his popularity and appeal sharply dropped whereas he began to resent Jor-El because he happened to disagree with Zod wanting to incite a violent revolution, believing that Jor-El's refusal for help is what contributed to Krypton becoming beyond saving.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Zod having his powers taken away from him, even temporarily, doesn't deter him in the slightest, which makes sense as Zod was a military leader and is more than capable of having to fend for himself without any enhanced powers in case the chips are down.
  • Canon Immigrant: It took a while, but eventually General Zod was remolded to resemble Terence Stamp's depiction of the character with his dark hair and Beard of Evil.
  • Character Catchphrase: Thanks to Superman II, he's nearly synonymous with the phrase "Kneel Before Zod!" It's the best way to emphasize his larger-than-life and prideful nature, after all.
  • Chest Insignia: Some versions of Zod, especially the Post-Flashpoint iteration, feature a stylized emblem emblazoned onto his chest. To contrast with the House of El, it's a "Z" to represent the House of Zod and is usually colored in red.
  • Classic Villain: Zod embodies many traits that are the opposite of what was taught by Superman and serves to be his closest possible biological counter, has Pride and Wrath very notable character traits that serve as a deeper means to his motivations and which also reflect on Zod's thoughts on Kal-El and his father, Jor-El. His contrasting characteristics and motivations compared to the Man of Steel are what make him one the latter's most fearsome and well-regarded enemies and their battles are always climactic and are set in dire circumstances.
  • Colonel Kurtz Copy: Modern depictions of Zod, starting from his proper Post-Crisis comeback, take a lot of cues and references from Colonel Walter E. Kurtz; he is a feared and vicious tyrant with a lot of charisma, a leader of a collective of extremists, and a former general who proves himself to be one of the most feared threats to the protagonists. Much like Kurtz, Zod also has quite a high opinion about himself.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: As of Last Son and New Krypton he bears a striking resemblance to Terence Stamp.
  • Costume Evolution: Zod's costumes throughout the ages have wildly varied from one iteration to another, moreso than most comic book characters. His first appearance was a grey military uniform in Pre-Crisis, followed by prison attire with a trenchcoat in Post-Crisis before donning a more aesthetically different military uniform. Post-Flashpoint Zod has him wearing a suit very similar to Superman's with a red-and-black color scheme, complete with his House Shield and a cape.
  • The Coup: Zod and a group of criminals he gathered attempted to initiate a revolution during Krypton's dying days after he was told by Jor-El of this information and realized that the ruling council of the planet didn't believe in the dire circumstances of their world. While he had decent intentions and wanted to ensure the survival of his race, Zod and his cabal decided to settle matters in the worst way possible via invading the court and killing the council heads to take over their leadership and failing because Jor-El didn't show up to help them and to instead send them to the Phantom Zone, thus initiating Jor-El's contempt towards him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He delivers one towards Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner during their first encounter in Jekuul. Not only are Hal and Kyle's powers ineffective against Zod, who breaks their constructs with ease, but the fight becomes even more one-sided once Ursa, Lor-Zod, and the Eradicator show up for extra backup on Zod's side. However, when Hal gets his second wind and takes the battle to the skies, the curbstomping is reversed and he beats Zod to a pulp, with Ursa and Lor-Zod looking on in horror.
  • Dark Is Evil: Since his most popular portrayal, courtesy of Terence Stamp, Zod is normally dressed in black or dark-grey attire, be it in military suits, jackets, and armor. In his more recent appearances, the black is mixed in with red.
  • Dark Messiah: Seen as a savior by many on New Krypton, and views himself in those same terms.
  • Defector from Decadence: Part of the reason why Zod abanded his loyalty to the Kryptonian military and government was because they weren't willing to bend and accept his words and standards for what Krypton should stand up for. More specifically, Jor-El told him that Krypton was dying and that the council was unwilling to acknowledge that, let alone attempt to act upon it, which was what propelled Zod to separate and plan a coup against his previous allegiances.
  • Determinator: One of his more consistent characteristics; Zod is pretty dead-set when it comes to his ideals and goals and trying to shake him out of it isn't going to work on him. His level of commitment is extreme to the extent that he will keep fighting and stand his ground to represent his vision and his determination, even if the odds are stacked up against him.
  • Didn't Think This Through: At least suggested that Zod fell victim to this in his first post-Crisis appearance; when he starts ranting about his planned coup on Krypton before his arrest, Superman argues that nobody would have followed him if he'd won and he didn't have any actual plan for what he'd do to save Krypton from its imminent destruction, and Zod's only protest is to state that he would have found a way rather than state what that way would have been.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Or in this case, Dragged Off to the Phantom Zone. Zod is subjected to this fate in the conclusion of the Last Son and War of the Supermen storylines where he is defeated when he is thrust back into the Phantom Zone. The latter part sticks as this is Zod's final proper appearance before the New 52.
  • The Dreaded: Zod is often cited to be among Superman's most feared enemies, and considering their close relationship as being under the same race, possessing the same powers, and Zod promising to soil Jor-El's memory in attempting to beat his son, it's evidently warranted, and some iterations of Zod do live up to the claim of being Superman's most feared opponent. That said, Zod fearsome reputation ends up being dwarfed by Brainiac who ultimately ends up being even more dreaded than Zod ever was.
  • Enemy Mine: Zod has joined forces with Superman against mutual enemies, especially Brainiac, though these tend to not last very long as Zod would turn against Superman not long after.
    • In Brian Michael Bendis's run, he and Superman are forced to work together to fight Rogol when they are both trapped in the Phantom Zone. Their uneasy alliance continues even after Rogol is defeated, with the House of Zod allowed to govern their own region of space, which they can use to build a New Krypton.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Surprisingly, Zod maintains a positive romantic contact with Faora and Ursa, depending on the continuity. In the Post-Flashpoint timeline, he even manages to get along with his son, Lor-Zod, and be commendable towards him as Lor-Zod proves himself to be a capable warrior for his father's ranks. Post-Flashpoint he joins the Superman Revenge Squad ostensibly to free his compatriots from the Phantom Zone, but it was revealed he did it solely to free his wife Ursa and their son Lor. After that he bails on the other villains.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Like Luthor, he doesn't get why Superman hasn't taken over the planet yet. This may have something to do with the fact that Superman was raised in a normal, mundane household where he was taught about moral ethics and values, which were incremental into shaping him up to be an All-Loving Paragon that he is, a sharp contrast to Zod's upbringing, considering he was born, raised and willingly dedicated his life to being a soldier and general for the Kryptonian military, and thus developed a Might Makes Right perspective on his life and race. The fact that Kryptonians were usually quite haughty and boastful about their superiority towards other extraterrestrial races doesn't help matters either.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both, Superman and his father, Jor-El
    • Both Zod and Jor-El were renowned figures in Krypton and strived to be its inhabitants' savior. However, Jor-El wanted to do things morally and used his good wisdom and trust towards others to convince them to save themselves from Krypton's destruction, even if it ended in failure and in his death. By contrast, Zod attempted to do a takeover and was hence branded a criminal where he was sentenced to the Phantom Zone, which allowed Zod to survive Krypton's destruction.
    • If Superman is the ultimate immigrant, standing for the peaceful synthesis of human and Kryptonian culture, Zod is the ultimate representation of the Old Country, and why people wanted to leave it in the first place. Everything that's wrong with Kryptonian culture is embodied by Zod, and when he arrives on Earth it isn't to immigrate but to try and remake it in the image of Krypton.
    • Zod's Will has him comparing himself to Hal Jordan. Both are warriors with big reputations in their respective organization and have shown many instances of defiance and disagreements. However, Hal is someone who defends the universe and strives to do the right thing, even if it means going against his orders. Zod does want what's best for Krypton and its race, but his actions prove to be comparable to that of a terrorist and tends to persuade and force others to cower to his dominance.
  • Evil Chancellor: To Alura and the Council, undermining their efforts, and leading them towards increasingly destructive courses of action.
  • Evil Former Friend: He was good friends with Jor-El and actually believed in him when he said that Krypton was dying and that the government superiors were doing nothing about trying to save the planet's populace. Unfortunately, their methods of saving people differed and this began the step where their friendship eventually collapsed into enmity.
  • Evil Hero: After defeating Brainiac alongside Superman and Lex Luthor in the New Krypton storyline, Zod is hailed a hero by the denizens of New Krypton and reestablishes an important and influential position for the populace. That said, this doesn't change Zod's contemptuous beliefs and views towards non-Kryptonians, and is still willing to wage war against others if any slights are made against him, not to mention being more than willing to kill untold numbers of enemies, even if they're heroic, Kryptonian, or a member of his family if they dare to go against his beliefs and views.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Once an opportunity arises, Zod wastes no time in stealing the scene with his over-the-top demeanor that can be channeled through eloquent, loud speeches or screaming like a madman whenever he is in battle.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Zod's criminal cabal are united by the fact that they see Zod as the one fit ruler for all Kryptonians are are devoted to his cause. Zod respects their loyalty and is eager to lead them into battle with them being more than obligable. Post-Flashpoint storylines see him embody this trope literally with Ursa and Lor-Zod who reciprocate their affections with Zod just as much as they are a strong team.
  • Evil Is Petty: While Zod has personal reasons to hate Jor-El and it's a difficult case to really fully convict Zod as immoral and wrong as he did have a point about Krypton's government being flawed and internally damaged beyond repair, his enmity towards Kal-El serves no other reason other than the fact that Kal-El is Jor-El's son, and Zod is only motivated by irrational spite towards him. Oddly enough, his petty hatred towards Superman is something he has in common with Lex Luthor, albeit under a different context of petty; Zod regarding personal petty and Luthor regarding being petty over simply feeling inferior.
  • Evil Old Folks: The alternate universe doppelganger from For Tomorrow was an old man under his heavy black armor.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He clashed with Luthor, Parasite, Metallo, and Bizarro in Last Son, Luthor, Metallo, Reactron, and General Lane in New Krypton, and Doomsday in the New 52.
    • He ends up fighting against Rogol Zaar in Brian Michael Bendis's Superman #6, where he's soundly defeated by Rogol, which necessitates Zod to make an alliance with Superman with the intent on taking him down.
  • Evil Virtues: Despite being a notorious villain hellbent on revenge and a constant need to feel superior towards others, Zod does possess a number of qualities and characteristics that have showcased him to be quite commendable and respectable in more ways than one.
    • Zod is very ambitious towards his goals, be it short-term or long-term, and is dedicated to seeing them fulfilled in some way or another, with very little being able to actually stop him in his pursuits.
    • He respects his fellow Phantom Zone Criminals as fellow warriors and is more than willing to fight alongside them or provide aid with them later on in an earlier battle.
    • Zod is very determined and will not stop in whatever objectives he needs to complete, this makes him one of the harder opponents for the Man of Steel to go up against precisely because, unlike most villains, Zod is nigh-impossible to find himself back down. This is a common trait that he shares with Superman and one of the few things for which Zod will genuinely praise him.
    • He can be honorable at some points and can even come to an understanding with his enemies on a few occasions, even working with them against a greater threat.
    • He is (or was before its explosion) lauded in Krypton and New Krypton for his leadership skills and his exceptional experience and abilities regarding tactical warfare and politics.
    • Zod maintains some degree of responsibility regarding his actions and his goals and makes it clear that at the end of it all, he does want to find a way to make New Krypton and whatever surviving Kryptonians a prosperous place in which they can thrive and learn to exceed their limits.
    • Zod is actually capable of expressing feelings and romantic interest, which is evident with his relationship with Ursa and Faora, even having a child with them, depending on the version. The Post-Flashpoint iteration of Lor-Zod genuinely respects Zod as his leader and father, and Zod, in return, respects him back for his loyalty.
  • Eviler than Thou: With Luthor, Brainiac, and General Lane in New Krypton, with each of them struggling to assert their position as the greatest villain of the storyline. Ultimately, Zod loses and is banished into the Phantom Zone yet again.
  • Explosive Leash: During his tenure in the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller straps an explosive bomb laced with Kryptonite into the back of Zod's head in an attempt to assert control and dominance over the Kryptonian. That said, Zod was able to outwit Amanda by using his heat vision onto a mirror to reflect it back at Zod's head, destroying the bomb at the cost of mutilating Zod considerably.
  • Expy:
    • As mentioned above, Zod's depictions from Post-Crisis onwards have a lot of similarities to Colonel Kurtz from their career profession to their general demeanour, desires, and their reputations.
    • Strangely enough, considering the Superman series predates Dragon Ball, yet Zod's proper debut in Post-Crisis happens years after the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z, he and his band of extremists can be DC Comics's answer to the typical depictions of the Saiyan Race, with Zod himself having noticeable similarities to Vegeta during the Saiyan Saga. Both are Human Aliens with Pride as a defining character trait, are very steadfast in their convictions, are invasive and domineering in nature and have a very close relationship with their respective series' protagonists. Both have also invaded Earth with the intent to destroy it, or at least kill off its population. The main difference between them is that Vegeta eventually becomes a friendly rival to Son Goku whereas Zod and Superman remain notable arch-enemies with one another most of the time.
  • The Extremist Was Right: He was imprisoned for staging a violent coup against the Council and trying to set himself up as a military dictator, believing the Council's inaction to the news of Krypton's instability would doom their species. The Council were morons and their actions did see the deaths of almost everyone on Krypton.
  • Failure Hero: He fought against Brainiac 35 years prior to the storyline with his name where he tries to defend Kandor against the Coluan's invading army and even try to free it's captured inhabitants before Brainiac locks the city to be digitized for his collection. It should be noted that Zod was a famed war hero around that time and before his inevitable turn against the Science Council.
  • Fallen Hero: Zod used to be a commendable and inspirational figure for the Kryptonian populace due to his track of fighting against several of his race's enemies with much success and maintaining decent relations with other notable figures, most notably Jor-El. Then he tries to initiate a coup against the government and Zod's appeal and credibility are destroyed the moment he is caught and sentenced to being imprisoned in an interdimensional realm.
  • Famous Ancestor: He was descended from Admiral Dru-Zod I, one of the most infamous criminals of the Kryptonian space age.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards all aliens. It's particularly notable with humans, whom he views as some sort of sub-Kryptonians, worthy of enslavement at best and genocide at worst.
  • A Father to His Men: Zod does value the effectiveness and loyalty of his soldiers and followers and makes sure to keep them motivated and inspired anytime he has to set his plans into motion. In the storyline, House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat, Zod states to his soldiers that he champions his soldiers' lives than Krypton's legacy.
    Zod: Yes, you're meant to give your lives on Krypton. But not to waste them. Had you died on Rado, that would've been a waste.
    • On a more personal note, Zod picks out a female soldier, Sera-Ur, and commends her for her resilience and commitment to her job as well as her engineering skills, which proved to be helpful in Zod and his soldiers surviving an attack in Rado.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While Zod's politeness can be genuine, this is only towards Kryptonians and those who are willing to support him. Towards non-Kryptonians and those who do not agree with his stance, Zod still maintains his eloquent and diplomatic demeanor and tone of language, though this doesn't deter the amount of contempt and superiority he has towards them. Even worse, it's something that can easily be set off, which is why Zod tries hard to maintain an approachable persona, lest he winds up brutally razing his victims.
  • Final Boss: The last villain standing in both Last Son and New Krypton, and the last one Superman has to face down.
  • Final Solution: In the War of the Supermen arc that concludes New Krypton, our Zod comes to the same conclusion and tries to wipe humanity out in revenge for Reactron's destruction of New Krypton.
  • Foil:
    • Zod and Lex Luthor can be seen as appropriate contrasts with one another. Both are some of Superman's most noteworthy opponents and have a seething grudge against the Man of Steel. However, Luthor's hatred is based on anger and jealousy that Superman has taken over him in being a paragon for humanity, whereas Zod detests Superman for being the son of his own Best Friend-turned-Arch-Enemy, Jor-El, as well as expressing dismay on why the Man of Steel wants to be integrated and has shown compassion and interest in humanity, which wholly contrasts Zod's Darwinistic mindset.
    • The events of New Krypton shows that Zod is also a foil to General Sam Lane. Both are high-ranking officials in a military government and are well-respected by other officials and the public, harbor a venomous amount of content and superiority above anything that isn't a part of their race, are very mean-spirited, are mostly in conflict because they, in their own warped perspective, want to provide for their people, and prove themselves to be very personal enemies for Superman. However, Zod is a Kryptonian with superhuman abilities and opposes Lex Luthor whereas Sam is a regular human who works alongside Luthor to destroy New Krypton. Zod eventually loses, with him getting dragged back into the Phantom Zone and his efforts are completely meaningless as New Krypton is destroyed anyway. Sam manages to succeed in his goals but is exposed for the criminal he is and, when cornered, proceeds to kill himself with a gun to the mouth. Lastly, none of them manage to gain any sort of respect from their children as Zod's son, Chris Kent comes to oppose him whereas Sam neglected his daughters, Lois and Lucy and they don't bother to pay their respects to him on his grave.
    • With Hank Henshaw; both have an intense grudge against Superman that outclasses Lex Luthor's negative judgment towards the Man of Steel, alongside the fact that they're both dark reflections of what Superman can become. However, Zod is driven by a past vendetta, specifically towards Jor-El, and ends up passing this down onto Kal-El for being his son whereas Hank's hatred comes from a rather recent event that led him into becoming Cyborg-Superman. Lastly, despite his own contempt towards him, Zod has negotiated with Superman before, albeit in desperate situations, and relatively keeps himself calm and composed whenever he's not being too over-the-top, while the events that led to him becoming Cyborg-Superman have left Hank to be the furthest thing from being sane and regularly aligns himself with worse villains than himself as a means to exact revenge or to find a way to be permanently killed off.
    • Speaking of Cyborg-Superman, Zod is also a foil to the Post-Flashpoint Zor-El; both of them are directly related to a Kryptonian hero, with Zod being a former friend to Superman's father, and Zor-El being Supergirl's father. Both are driven by great delusions, but while Zod wanted revenge with the protection and repopulation of his race being a very close second, Zor-El wants to become wholly biological after being rebuilt by Brainiac as Cyborg-Superman but also has a bigger goal in wanting to make Kara happy and proud of him. Zod also despises and opposes Brainiac at every opportunity, given the Coluan's role in Krypton's destruction, whereas Zor-El had been working for him, if mainly to keep his actual motives hidden from his superior.
  • Four-Star Badass: Zod's promotion to the highest ranks of the Kryptonian military didn't make him any less badass, and that was before he arrived on Earth and gained the same powers as Superman.
  • Frontline General: Always. Zod leads the charge from the front of his army and is usually one of the last ones out of combat.
  • The Generalissimo: Sets himself up as one following the destruction of Kandor's civilian government. In the backstory, he tried to do this on Krypton as well.
  • General Ripper: In New Krypton where he blames the humans for everything. He's also very ruthless and is very prone to reacting violently any time he is denied or objected to.
  • Genius Bruiser: In addition to being extremely strong under a yellow sun, like any Kryptonian, Zod is an experienced military soldier and leader and employs what he has learned in his work experiences into his movest whenever he involves himself in battle. He is also quite professional and approachable when it comes to making convincing speeches for his people and was raised by two Kryptonian scientists. Part of the reason why Zod is one of Superman's biggest enemies is due to the fact that, in addition to holding a seething grudge, he is tactically very smart and is more than willing to apply his trained gifts with his superpowers.
  • Glorious Leader: His men speak of him in these terms, and he eventually sets himself up as one for New Krypton, amassing a personality cult, and seizing power in the aftermath of Allura's death.
  • A God Am I: During his colonization of Jekuul, the planet's native populace come to fear and respect his power and influence, eventually going on to see him as a God and/or deity-like figure for them. Zod accepts their reverence towards him and his kind, likely owing to his prideful and absurdly authoritative nature.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: In his first Post-Crisis appearance. He discards it in his later appearances.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: As if to further distinguish him from Superman's usual appearance of red, blue and yellow and to tell apart who is good and who is bad, Zod almost always appears in dark-shaded uniforms, particularly in black, dark-grey, and/or with red accents.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: When exposed to yellow sunlight, his gaping wounds from Katana's magic sword healed up almost instantly.
  • Happily Married: Zod maintains a healthy and stable marriage with Ursa, who is also the mother of his son, Lor-Zod, and is more than willing to fight alongside him.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: Though a prominent and very powerful supervillain in his own right, as well as a brutal general, Zod is nonetheless, celebrated as a seasoned veteran and hero in the eyes of Kandor and it's population.
  • Hidden Depths: This is more prevalent in the Post-Flashpoint continuity, but Zod has displaced a strong sense of affection and camaraderie on a few occasions, in spite of being a raving and delusional warlord. For one, he does value Faora as a warrior and Non as a fellow friend and even came into an agreement with Superman on two occasions, one in the New Krypton arc when Zod thanked Kal-El for contributing to rebuilding Kryptonian society and wishing they were friends, and in the Post-Flashpoint timeline when Zod and Kal-El agreed that while their ends and methods of doing their goals are very different, they do aim for a similar outcome, which is to ensure Krypton and its people's survival.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Tries to turn Earth into a new Krypton in both "Last Son" and "New Krypton".

    I - N 
  • If I Can't Have You…: A variation; post-Flashpoint he blasts down a ship he believed was carrying Lois and Jon, saying Clark doesn't deserve to have them and it later being revealed that at the moment he was separated from his own family.
  • I Shall Return: When the Brainiac 13-created Krypton faded away, the General Zod of that reality swore revenge on Superman. Which led to early speculation that the Pokolistan Zod is this Zod who somehow escaped his disappearing reality.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: In a sense as Zod's debut happened sometime after Luthor and Brainiac's and he wasn't even a major character. This trope is more pronounced in the Post-Crisis universe where Last Son and New Krypton are continuations of the Superman: Brainiac storyline, whose conclusion of Kandor being restored and Kryptonians returning indicate towards Zod's imminent comeback and cementing his position as one of the Man of Steel's gravest foes after decades of absence, alternate versions nonwithstanding.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Most depictions of Zod from Post-Crisis onward take it upon themselves that whenever Zod is featured, his facial appearance is to be modeled after Terence Stamp, right down to the stylish goatee.
  • Irrational Hatred: His hatred towards Jor-El is clearly unwarranted; Zod was wholly responsible for the criminal activities that he conducted, even if he was right that the Kryptonian Court were delusional and corrupt and Jor-El was simply abiding by his planet's laws, though considering that Zod and Jor-El were once friends, his feelings of being betrayed and sold off to be imprisoned in an interdimensional jail were quite personal. However, his hatred towards Kal-El is just incomprehensible, as detailed with Evil Is Petty above.
  • Jerkass: Oftentimes, Zod comes off as a smug, entitled, and an elitist asshole who is prone to bullying others and abusing his authority in an effort to cow others into submission towards him. That said, there are occasions of Zod being the opposite and being rather eloquent, formal, and polite, genuinely or not.
  • Jerkass to One: Zod is already a pretty mean person to most people though he can try to maintain a courteous persona. However, this is released in full force if anything regarding Jor-El or the House of El is put into question and Zod wouldn't even bother with the formalities. As an extension, Zod acts extremely callously towards Kal-El in this aspect, resorting to coarse Trash Talking, belittlements, and accusations thrown at Superman.
  • Karma Houdini: In the New 52 his second major appearance as a member of the Superman Revenge Squad was a ploy to retrieve his family from the Phantom Zone. During this he believed he shot down Superman's family and also bails on his allies once he got what he wanted. Later he's conquered a primitive planet with two yellow suns, worshipped by natives as a god. When Hal and Kyle pick a fight with him on principle of his reputation, he's defended by the Guardians of Oa as being the aggrieved party, while justifying himself as merely wishing to rebuild his critically endangered culture with his family. In summary he colonized an entire planet but the implications of that are never examined and he ultimately comes out on top whenever confronted about it.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally, shanking Krypto with a Green Kryptonite knife and then laughing to Superman and Superboy about the futility of the dog's sacrifice (Krypto recovered).
  • Kill All Humans: At the conclusion of the New Krypton storyline, our Zod tries it as well, triggering the 100 Minute War.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The Trope Namer and, of course, the Trope Codifier, with nearly every storyline featuring Zod or an adaptation of him referencing this line either directly or subtly. For Zod forcing his adversaries to kneel is a psychological compulsion and it is a defining trait of his prideful character. He needs them to submit.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Much like Superman and any other Kryptonian, Zod is very vulnerable to Kryptonite, an irradiated element that happens to be the remains of Krypton after its explosion. While its most common color, green, would kill him, other colors have varying effects. However, Zod has found ways to get around his vulnerability and weaponize Kryptonite for his own use in some shape or another, including the aforementioned Green Kryptonite Knife.
  • Lack of Empathy: Because of his upbringing as a Kryptonian and the circumstances of him being designed to be a warrior upon his birth, Zod has a very callous and demeaning attitude towards any living being that is not a Kryptonian, and later on, this has extended to any Kryptonian that doesn't tie any allegiance to him.
  • Large and in Charge: a 6'3, 220 pounds, heavily muscled general. In Suicide Squad, he's been found in Russia inside a Phantom Zone anomaly. The energies of the anomaly have mutated him so that he's grown into a giant that stands a foot taller than Killer Croc who's already superhumanly large. Zod is so big that when he got knocked out, he fell on Captain Boomerang and pinned him.
  • Large Ham: Zod wouldn't be Zod if he wasn't chewing the scenery.
  • Last-Name Basis: He's almost exclusively referred to by his house name instead of his (sometimes)given name, Dru. Sometimes he turns it around and refers to Superman as El.
  • Last of His Kind: Zod is among the last Kryptonians who are still alive after Krypton's destruction. This is reverted during the conclusion of Superman: Brainiac, and attempts to assert himself into leadership with the found survivors in the events of New Krypton, only for it to end up null as New Krypton and all of its inhabitants are destroyed by Lex Luthor and Sam Lane, rendering Zod as one of the last remnants again. And this was before he was sent into the Phantom Zone again.
  • The Leader: Whenever there's an antagonistic faction of Kryptonians active, Zod will usually always be the leader of them, commanding them with a strict and direct military fashion. On a bigger note, Zod also wanted to aim for being the leading figure for all of the Kryptonians during the New Krypton arc, believing that he is the only one who could truly lead his race to prosperity. As of the Post-Flashpoint era, Zod has settled in Jekuul to become the leader of his own group of Kryptonians there.
  • Legion of Doom: He is a part of one with fellow prisoners from the Phantom Zone with the intent on taking revenge on Kal-El for being Jor-El's son. Zod becoming a Breakout Villain in the 80s ends up making him the founder and leader in all subsequent leaders. Post-Flashpoint saw him being recruited by Cyborg-Superman into the Superman Revenge Squad alongside Mongul, Metallo, Blanque, and the Eradicator, though he ends up becoming the leader of that group too.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Zod is undoubtedly a ruthless general and a very personal foe for Superman, but even he's aware that there are far worse beings than himself. Brainiac is the first that comes to mind, especially considering his role in Krypton's destruction. Their goals also differ; Zod simply wants to govern and rule, his supremacist personality notwithstanding, and shares some level of camaraderie with his compatriots and supporters, whereas Brainiac destroys for his own gains and generally couldn't care about anybody other than himself. And throughout the New Krypton arc, Zod becomes this to Lex Luthor, Sam Lane, and Reactron as well as while Zod, Luthor, and Sam are xenophobic by nature, Zod is at least motivated by his species's need of wanting a world to thrive in, whereas Luthor and Sam are more than willing to destroy an alien race for simply irking them, while Reactron just wants to kill and destroy for the sake of it.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Zod is fast, strong, and hard-hitting even by the absurdly high standards of Kryptonians.
  • Made of Iron: Zod once used heat vision to cut out a chunk of his own brain, leaving a hole that exposed part of his brain. This injury doesn't slow him down and neither did Captain Boomerang tossing a razor-rang into the exposed brain.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Alongside being a skilled and powerful fighter, Zod is also adept in the field of tricking and manipulating others into willingly or unwillingly serving his own devices. This is best shown in the Last Krypton arc where he makes reasonable assumptions and suggestions to Alura in having the Kryptonians of New Krypton stand up for themselves and rebel against Humanity, and quickly take advantage of being their leader in case Alura died.
  • Master Race: Zod is more than convinced that the Kryptonian Race is among the best of the best compared to all other extraterrestrial races in the universe, citing its technology, potential, and intelligence as key factors. He uses these as a justification for why he considers himself and his own race to be better than everyone else and is eager to demonstrate his powers as a means to subjugate his enemies and have them bow down to him.
  • Might Makes Right: Due to his upbringing and seasoned occupation in Krypton's military services, Zod has convinced himself that power and strength are necessary in Krypton's success and fame as well as the reason as to why they are among the best races, if not the best, in the universe. His leadership also stems from the fact that not only is he a genius strategist and a charismatic man but because Zod is among the best and most powerful soldiers Krypton has ever had.
  • Military Coup: How he tried to take power on Krypton in both the main universe and various alternate ones. He was contemplating one against Allura when Reactron blew up New Krypton, allowing him to take power through slightly more legitimate means.
  • Military Superhero: It would be more appropriate to call him a Military Supervillain, but Zod's services to the Kryptonian military and his reception to the public make him a celebratory figure who could be counted towards. This is more pronounced in the New Krypton storyline where Zod (and the rest of the Kryptonians in New Krypton) has superpowers and he is again seen as a hero and leader after helping Superman and a few other mutual enemies fend off Brainiac.
  • Moral Myopia: Can recognize wrongs done to him, and wrongs done by humans to Kryptonians, but never the inverse.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Zod isn't mostly or entirely sociopathic unlike Lex Luthor and Brainiac, but as far as his point of view suggests, the Kryptonian race is superior to every other form of life, and that he should lead them, though he also feels a need of responsibility to look after and lead them in a prosperous age and, in some occasions, Zod has a sense of empathy towards Kryptonians who respect him and whom he can entrust. However, this goes right out of the bag the moment non-Kryptonians are bought up and, as far as he is concerned, they could be either subjugated and made to worship him and his race or be eradicated from the face of their planets so that Kryptonians could take over and establish a population in their place.
  • My Greatest Failure: Failing to stop Brainiac from stealing Kandor.
  • Narcissist: Not unlike Luthor, Zod views himself in messianic terms, is convinced that he can achieve anything simply on the basis of who he is, and thinks that he, and only he, has all the answers. He genuinely does want what's best for Krypton, but has convinced himself that Krypton can only be its best with him in charge.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Pre-Crisis, he resembles a Nazi general. As well as similar philosophy, with his views of Kryptonians being the "superior race".
  • Never My Fault: Zod has quite the "holier-than-thou" nature for a Kryptonian, to the extent where he believes that each and every action he commits is justified and for the long-term greater good, even if the consequences of his actions end up spelling the opposite. He never once attempts to consider that Jor-El was right in imprisoning him for violating Kryptonian laws because, as far as he's concerned, they're wrong, and he's right.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In Superman II he can move objects with his mind and shoot lasers out of his hands (and shoot lasers that move objects).
  • New Super Power: Like his fellow prisoners in the Phantom Zone, Zod was simply an ordinary humanoid being who happened to be a high-ranked soldier for the military and a tactical expert. Once he escaped and found his way to Earth, it didn't take long for Zod to bathe in its neighboring yellow sun's rays, imbuing him with extraordinary powers similar to Superman and allowing him to become a very credible threat thanks to having a similar powerset plus his military experience making him a better physical fighter.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: After defeating and imprisoning Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner, Zod has dinner with his wife and son, with the food being provided by Jekuul's natives. He personally decides to invite an unpowered Hal over as a guest, expecting to talk about diplomacy and to settle things with a fellow soldier. Hal is unrepentant for any negotiation, forcing Zod to send him back into his cell with a disappointed note.
  • Noble Demon: The New Krypton version, where Zod was able to generate a massive crowd of supporters under his appeal, appears to genuinely respect Superman regarding his commitment and his fighting skills and even shores care and concern for his fellow Kryptonians, even if he employs underhanded tactics that mitigate his positive characteristics to some extent.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Zod and Superman came to this agreement sometime during the Post-Flashpoint period; for all their differences and ways to achieve what they desire, their goals and ends are the same, which is to protect and preserve Kryptonnote , it's people, and it's legacy. In a rare moment, the two acknowledged this similarity and departed on more amicable terms as well as a desire to do things better than their own fathers did.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zod is a Type B and Type D, where he started off as legitimately well-intentioned and deduced that the Science Council were corrupt and didn't take Jor-El's findings seriously, albeit his militaristic occupation meant that he was always going for the extreme route first and foremost. He even retains his original intentions during the New Krypton storyline, but after one too many battles, disagreements, and losses later, Zod decides to ditch his good intentions and declare war on Earth, claiming that they should pay for their war crimes against the Kryptonians and choosing to terraform the planet to create a new home for his race, not caring about the fact that billions would die or that Superman and his family would oppose him again.

    O - Z 
  • Obviously Evil: Has a large, stocky stature, is usually draped in black, or very dark garbs, and either has a very noticeable blad head or a fancied, prominent beard. What else can Zod be?
  • Offing the Offspring: He's totally prepared to kill his son, Lor-Zod, when the boy gets in his way and denounces Zod as his father.
  • Origins Episode: Zod is given two Post-Crisis:
    • Superman: Brainiac starts with a flashback decades ago from when Zod tries to repel Brainiac from capturing Kandor to no success.
    • A special feature was featured in the end of issue #37 of Countdown to Final Crisis, titled The Origin of General Zod, that tells of Zod's reputation back in Krypton and his coup against the Science Council upon hearing of the planet's imminent death.
  • Patricide: In a scientific expedition gone wrong, Zod's parents were attacked by dangerous animals that claimed his mother's life. When his father told him to escape, Zod agreed by having his father killed as a distraction for the beasts while fleeing and surviving all on his own for a year.
  • Pet the Dog: Even after turning away from his former services to Krypton's government, Zod can display signs of decency. One of his most notable ones was when he stumbled across Non after he had been lobotomized by Krypton's Science Council. Instead of leaving him be, Zod chooses to help him recover, which adds a more sympathetic dynamic between Zod and Non's partnership and why the latter serves the former.
  • Planet Baron: In Post-Flashpoint, he and his family discover and very quickly take over the planet of Jekuul. He also ends up winning over the loyalty of the planet's populace who submit to his sheer power and revere him and his wife and son and the Eradicator as deities of sorts. Zod decides to just run on it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Zod's opinions on any kind that isn't Kryptonian is akin to that of seeing someone either as a tool to be used or worth nothing in the long run and sees no problem in oppressing or eradicating them if it means serving a purpose to his own goals.
  • The Power of the Sun: As with all Kryptonians, Zod is given various extraordinary powers and abilities once he maintains enough contact with yellow sun rays.
  • Powered Armour: In the New 52 he donned an ancient suit of armor from Krypton's space-age to battle Doomsday during his days as Colonel Zod.
  • Predecessor Villain: An alternate universe version of him served as the inspiration to General Zod II (see above). He himself has a predecessor in his ancestor, Admiral Dru-Zod I, whose ship was unearthed and weaponized by Luthor. According to Superman, Admiral Zod was one of the darkest figures in Krypton's age of space exploration, which means our General Zod may well be a case of Generation Xerox.
  • Pride: A major characteristic of Zod, which is further heightened by his obsessive need to see others kneel before him as a sign of him being superior towards others. This is on top of the fact that oh believes himself to be the best warrior Krypton has as well as believing that he is the only one who can lead his race to prosperity and greatness throughout the universe.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Zod styles himself as an old-school Kryptonian soldier-hero.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: General Zod gets involved in Phantom Earth by drinking from the spirits of Jekuul, the planet he previously conquered and having a vision of Rogol Zaar. Because of Rogol's involvement in Krypton's destruction, Zod willingly goes back into the Phantom Zone to attain revenge. In The House of El Superman has a similar vision.
  • Psychological Projection: Because Jor-El died in Krypton's explosion while Zod was sent to the Phantom Zone, he directs all of his hatred and violence towards Kal-El solely because he happens to be Jor-El's son. In Zod's mind, he wants to take revenge by proxy via tormenting and harassing Superman as much as he can, just to get back at Jor-El for denying him his success at his own attempted coup towards the government.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: He trained from birth to be a warrior, and combining his military training with his solar power, is perfectly able to have Superman on the ropes.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • He gives Jor-El one by proxy, ranting at Superman about Jor-El's failings. "Jor-El didn't just fail Krypton, Kal-El. He failed you!"
    • After being bested by the Green Lanterns, Zod directs most of his anger on the Guardians about how their refusal to act on protecting the universe per their namesake has led to the attack and destruction of several worlds, Krypton included.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: In Post-Flashpoint, Zod's attire now resembles that of Superman's except it is a black armor with a cape and red accents, most prominently on the "Z" chest logo.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
  • Ret-Canon: Recent versions are modeled after the Superman II film interpretation of the character.
  • Revenge: A major motivation for Zod is that he wants revenge on Jor-El for capturing and imprisoning him, which cost Zod his attempted coup, or for siding over Krypton's council over him, which irrevocably destroyed Zod and Jor-El's friendship. However, due to Krypton's destruction taking Jor-El's life, Zod decided to target his son, Kal-El as his main target for taking revenge upon his former friend. In War of the Supermen, Zod wants to destroy Mankind because of Sam Lane, Lex Luthor, and Reactron destroying New Krypton.
  • Revenge Before Reason: To Zod, his revenge towards Jor-El and Superman is his ultimate priority and everything else can be damned for all he cares about until his goals are done. When New Krypton is destroyed, Zod becomes enraged by the loss of his people yet again and decides that Earth and its inhabitants be destroyed and that Superman can be killed for siding with them, even though there were only three perpetrators in New Krypton's destruction rather than billions.
    • In ''Brian Michael Bendis's run, after having a vision of Rogol, Zod willingly goes back into the Phantom Zone to lay his hands on him, even if it means leaving his wife and son behind on Jekuul. Superman takes advantage of this and, during their fight with Rogol, he yells "For Kandor!", letting Zod know that Rogol destroyed the bottled city of Kandor and getting him to take the fight more seriously.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: Zod wholeheartedly thinks that because of his belief that his race is the absolute best, his kind has the right to do and enact on whatever their whims would allow them to and they're not above invading and attacking other planetary races under the pretense that they're inferior to what Kryptonians are capable of and they can be destroyed for all he cares about. At the end of the day, all other races should either be subject to Zod's will or wiped off clean.
  • Robinsonade: In the Post-Flashpoint continuity during his childhood, Zod was lost during a scientific expedition that claimed his parents. As a result, he had to fend for himself for about a year before he was found by Jor-El. This experience was what further toughened Zod to become a formidable warrior and general for his council in the future.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: While Zod is primarily a villain for Superman, Post-Flashpoint incarnations have seen the character making appearances in storylines featuring other notable DC characters with their own titles. His first appearance was in a dual storyline featuring Superman and Wonder Woman in 2013, he was featured as a major recurring antagonist in four volumes of Suicide Squad, having to work with Amanda Waller and the titular squad in his own quest to find and save his criminal cabal in the Phantom Zone, and in Volumes 5 and 6 of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps where he comes into blows against Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives one to his army at the start of the 100 Minute War.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zod is essentially this on a number of occasions, provided that he's a Kryptonian extremist who wound up being thrown into the Phantom Zone, an extradimensional realm that acts as a prison for Krypton's worst criminals. He has gotten out from the Phantom Zone on multiple occasions, though he's had the distinction of being among the few to be released from can just by himself. Even so, lots of storylines have Zod and his criminal cabal escaping either due to one's mishaps or through a series of manipulations, and he's usually defeated by being banished back there again.
  • Self-Harm: Zod inflicts quite the gnarly one via redirecting his heat vision by hitting a mirror and then having it bounce back onto his brain. Then again, Amanda Waller had a Kryptonian bomb embedded in there so the only real way Zod was able to get it removed was by zapping it through with brute force.
  • Send in the Clones: In Pre-Crisis continuity, he tried to take over Krypton with an army of Bizarro clones of himself.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Jor-El and Kal-El both.
    • Zod is a representative of native Krypton's more unsavory and brutal culture and history as well as a need to dominate others through strength and militaristic force, given the fact that he was raised in a military background. This contrasts with Jor-El being a scientist and being willing to try encouraging others to see and reach the best of one's self as he once did with sending Kal-El to Earth. That said, Jor-El coming back alive in The Oz Effect as the eponymous Mr. Oz pushes Zod and Jor-El into being more direct Foils, as Jor-El's pessimistic view on Humanity is a common thing he shares with Zod.
    • Dru-Zod and Kal-El are essentially a contrast similar to night-and-day regarding their characteristic nature and their beliefs and perspectives on others. Kal was raised in a normal household and was taught earthly beliefs in virtue and kindness while Zod was bought up in a military occupation and was convinced that his race was the ultimate pinnacle in terms of power and might. Essentially, General Zod is a reminder of what Superman could have become if he was to be taught under a militaristic upbringing and wound up becoming someone who instilled fear and dread onto others with their powers in an attempt to assert dominance, much like Zod himself dod.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Superman's father, Jor-El, was one of the guys who arrested him and banished him to the Phantom Zone, so he takes his anger out on Kal-El. In Zod's mind, the House of El is to blame for the extinction of Kryptonian life.
    • Similarly he holds the Green Lantern Tomar-Ru accountable for failing to save Krypton and is motivated to aid in a fight against his son Tomar-Tu for a chance at killing him in revenge.
  • Smug Super: Zod is arrogant, full of himself, and makes remarks on how he will dominate Superman and his friends as well as champion his own might. Given his military experience and the powers of a usual Kryptonian with their latent powers unlocked, his boasts are not unfounded and he can just as easily back up his words if he ever feels like it.
  • The Social Darwinist: Much like the aforementioned Might Makes Right, Zod genuinely believes that Kryptonians are pretty much the ultimate species in the universe in lieu of their enhanced physiology via a yellow/blue sun and them being very technologically advanced. As a result, he believes that Kryptonians are perfectly fine with invading and overthrowing lesser races and species, thinking that they're no match for him, and an extended reason for his disdain for Kal-El is because he's morally in sync with Humanity and Zod fails to see why, as, in his perspective, humans are far weaker than Kryptonians can ever hope to be and can be eradicated for all he cares.
  • The Sociopath: Zod's personality hits many possible signs of sociopathy; he has a very prideful and arrogant nature, he claims that his way, and only his way is the right direction what is right, he has difficulty in comprehending times that prove him to be wrong, his tendency to use violence as the first option for solutions suggest an impulsive side to him, in addition to sometimes enjoying the destruction that he causes, and he has proven himself to be narcissistic at several moments. Despite showing several symptoms of sociopathy Zod also displays genuine camaraderie, affection, and honorable values that steer him away from being a true sociopath, though he is known to be pragmatic about his actions and intent in several moments. Overall, Zod is a complicated case, where while there are character traits he possesses that can be found in many other sociopaths, he also possesses several quirks that make him seem more mentally normal and well-adjusted than Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In the series of story arcs that started with Superman: Brainiac and ended with War of the Supermen, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and General Zod are clearly the most dangerous and personal enemies of Superman, but Zod remains the most dangerous as, alongside being the most driven regarding their own vendettas, is also the closest biological enmity Superman has, surviving all the way up to becoming the final threat Kal-El faces in the story as well as being the (then) strongest and most persistent enemy in Superman's rogues gallery.
  • Stock Shōnen Rival: An Ur-Example in fiction, before characters of this mold became more prevalent. He's the darker counterpart to Superman, hailing from the same race and is a Privileged Rival, having studied advanced military arts as a Kryptonian elite whereas Clark led a more humble life in Kansas. Thematically, he's decked out in darker, black colors and has a worldview of Kryptonian supremacy which is challenged by Superman's devotion towards helping those weaker than himself. However, as a very early blueprint of this kind of archetype, Zod has one quality that differentiates him from the likes of Vegeta, Sasuke, Bakugo, and other more well-known rival-type characters. Despite occasionally having peaceful talks with Superman and sometimes even teaming up with him against a more powerful threat like Rogol Zaar, Zod most notably does not undergo any Heel–Face Turn to become an Anti-Hero protagonist who acts as The Lancer to Superman and ultimately remains to this day as a villain and a regular in Superman's Rogues Gallery.
  • Strong and Skilled: A major reason why Zod has remained one of Superman's greatest enemies. Not only is he a Kryptonian that gets the same powers as Ka-El does when soaking in the rays of yellow sunlight, but he is also a soldier who has spent decades serving his race's military, which naturally makes him a skilled physical combatant as well as being very versatile in the use of weaponry.
  • Super-Soldier: In the context of his race. Kryptonians generally fight like humans, albeit with advanced technology while being exposed to yellow sunlight grants them a vast assortment of superhuman abilities. Zod, being a famed and experienced soldier is one such Kryptonian who is granted those powers, effectively making him this trope in comparison to his peers and even when he isn't the only soldier to become superpowered, Zod's experience and talents ensure that he's the strongest out of the bunch.
  • Superior Species: Sees Kryptonians as inherently superior to humans (and every other alien race out there, for that matter). To the extent where he wants to assert Kryptonian dominance over whatever race he comes into battle with.
  • Superpower Lottery: Per usual with any Kryptonian that manages to absorb enough solar rays from a closeby yellow sun. Zod has displayed various abilities and an incredible set of powers whenever he brings himself into action.
    • Eye Beams: Zod can shoot a pair of laser beams from his eyes that are capable of easily cutting through most objects with ease as well as causing wanton detonation if more effort and power is put into the beams.
    • Flying Brick: Zod can levitate and fly around freely without any drawbacks and can travel from one place to another really fast. He is also incredibly resilient and can go through lots of attacks without taking any damage
    • Nigh-Invulnerable: Zod becomes impervious to nearly any sort of attacks directed at him and he can shrug them off as if nothing happened to him.
    • Super-Breath: Zod can amplify his breaths to create an icy vapor that can quickly cool or freeze its surroundings.
    • Super-Speed: Zod can run and fly at extremely fast speeds and he can react and perceive events and actions far more
    • Super-Strength: Zod has a ridiculous amount of strength, is capable of destroying buildings with a faction of his power, and can potentially level and devastate landscapes if he exerts his physical powers considerably.
  • Tattooed Crook: As a reminder of his sentence to the Phantom Zone and the crimes that he committed, Post-Crisis Zod bears a tattoo insignia on the right side of his neck.
  • Terrible Trio: While Zod usually has a group of Kryptonian criminals under his leadership, one female (usually Faora or Ursa) and one hulking brute (usually Non) will always be between Zod and his army with them appearing to be co-leading figures, thus giving off the impression of a trio working together for a similar goal.
  • Tin Tyrant: A version of Zod from For Tomorrow was an old man in spiked black armor.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After growing almost twice as big as normal, Zod is so mighty that it took Cyborg Superman, the Eradicator, the Enchantress, and the rest of Suicide Squad to slow him down long enough to reason with him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Underestimates Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice League, and the population of Earth by the end of New Krypton.
    • Amanda Waller does this to him in Suicide Squad. She knows he's godlike in power, so she has a kryptonite bomb implanted in his head while he was de-powered. However, she underestimated his cunning and strength of will. He was able to take advantage of a power outage to use a mirror and cut out the bomb from his brain using heat vision.
  • The Unfettered: Overlapping a lot with his determined and focused nature, Zod has been very committed to achieving whatever goals he has in mind and is utterly relentless about wanting to punish Superman for his father disallowing Zod to succeed in his attempted coup, his attempts to repopulate his kind, even if it means having to kill off Humanity, or going on a rampage against humanity after seeing his race get killed off a second time. In short, Zod is unshakable whenever he has a goal he wants to accomplish.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Ursa from Post-Crisis onwards.
  • The Usurper: Zod tried to overthrow his planet's council because, in his perspective, they were weak leaders who didn't represent Krypton and they were doing nothing about the upcoming death of the planet and felt that by taking over leadership, he could find a way to save his people from Krypton's imminent destruction.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Expect Zod to act shocked and desperate the moment he realizes he's to be sent into the Phantom Zone. It's happened a couple of times and one of the more notable ones occurs when he's forcibly dragged there by Lor-Zod. It makes sense here as the Phantom Zone is not escapable by ordinary means and its extremely isolated nature would force Zod to endure potentially an entire life being stuck in an alternate dimension, never to have any contact outside or enact on his goals.
    • He has one in Zod's Will after being defeated by Hal Jordan and when the Guardians of the Universe show up. Upon being freed from his chains and allowing his aggressors to leave, Zod rants, with red eyes, at how fighting for the just cause of rebuilding his race and Krypton's destruction being noted by the Guardians is an act of tyranny in his eyes. That said, he manages to retain his composure and muse about how the Green Lanterns and the Guardians' arrival in Jekuul has allowed Zod to acquire a wide assortment of information from them that he would use for his future goals.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • For all the atrocities that he has committed and for the constant rants that he eschews towards Jor-El for capturing and imprisoning him and denying him a chance to save Krypton, Zod is right on one thing; the Kryptonian Court was indeed corrupt and did nothing when it came to learning of the reasons why the planet is dying and the need to try evacuating the rest of Krypton's population until it was too late, as demonstrated in the New Krypton storyline. That said, these do nothing to sway away Zod from remaining one of Superman's most notable arch-foes.
    • After he, his family, and his forces are defeated by the Green Lanterns, he rants and criticizes the Guardians of the Universe for having known the destruction of Krypton and doing nothing about it as well as how he was antagonized by a pair of Lanterns arriving and attacking him immediately, calling out their attempts of being a Space Police as tyranny and refusing any aid from them. While Zod is a known criminal, his criticism is not without points; the Guardians have had a long history of being obstructive and refusing to owe up to their flaws and mistakes that similarly led to the destruction of several other planets and giving rise to new threats because of this, among them being Atrocitus.
  • Villain Protagonist: The 2024 miniseries, aptly named Kneel Before Zod is primarily about Zod and his efforts in creating a Kryptonian empire in Jekuul as well as his relationship with his wife and son becoming more complicated overtime.
  • Villainous Valour: For being one of Superman's greatest enemies, Zod has proven himself to be quite impressive in his villainy and opposition towards the Man of Steel and is not willing to back down or give up in his attempts to one-up Jor-El's son and prove himself the better fighter. Considering that in the Post-Flashpoint timeline where he was taught by his parents how to survive and endure living by himself in the wilderness for a year fighting for his life, it seems natural for Zod to not consider the idea of forfeiting as that would be one way of getting himself defeated.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: He considers Kal-El weak for not taking over Earth despite having more than enough power to do so, and especially because he cares for the "inferior" humans as opposed to his native Kryptonian race.
  • We Have Reserves: Willingly fires through his own people in order to hit Brainiac's ship.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His revolt on Krypton was motivated by a genuine desire to save the planet. Once New Krypton is found, Zod makes the survival and preservation of his kind his top priority and even offers Kal-El the opportunity to join alongside their people's society. However, after being hassled by Brainiac and Humanity one too many times and his megalomania and pride overtaking his visions of authority, he completely abandons any good intentions in favour of engaging in a war against Earth and Humanity.
    • The Post-Flashpoint Zod becomes a straight example of this one he colonizes the planet Jekuul and becomes its strongest and most revered inhabitant. While he retains being a brutal military leader, the survival and perseverance of his race is his main goal here and he even comes to tense speaking terms with Superman regarding this mutual goal. Really, his antagonism towards Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner comes from the fact that the Green Lanterns came to Jekuul uninvited and that they attacked Zod first.
  • We Can Rule Together: After escaping, Zod orders Chris to rejoin his father as a member of the Kryptonian race. Chris refuses, even attacking Zod in an attempt to help Superman.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jor-El were initially great friends who supported one another... until Zod attempted a military coup to get Krypton to go back into waging battles against other alien races, which prompted Jor-El to turn his back on Zod and have him tried in court for his actions. Zod has since hated Jor-El for backing the Kryptonian court over him, considering that Zod held the government in contemptuous regard.
  • Worthy Opponent: He was genuinely impressed by Superman's superior fighting skill compared to his men in the New Krypton storyline.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Post-Crisis he had no issues throwing punches at Supergirl, and in the New 52 he and Faora both traded blows with Wonder Woman.
  • Would Hurt a Child: If said child happens to be a credible threat, then Zod wouldn't have any compunctions against fighting or killing them, even if said child happens to be his own son, Lor-Zod.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Another defining trait for Zod; he hates Superman by extension, the House of El over the fact that Jor-El captured Zod during the middle of the latter's attempt to stage a coup towards the Kryptonian government and then sentenced to the Phantom Zone. Zod wants to take out his frustration and rage towards Jor-El's son and one day, showcase how it feels to be worthless and begging on Zod's knees.
  • You and What Army?: This is said by Superman to Zod during the events of Last Son. Zod then proceeds to show off his army of escaped Kryptonian criminals, which end up spelling big trouble.
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: By the end of Krypton's life, its populace was more interested in politics and advanced technology and they invested upon those more in an effort to cultivate a more high-quality and prosperous lifestyle for themselves. Zod, who was bought up and raised in a military background, was not accustomed to this system and believed that those were, in turn making Krypton weaker. This forms an impetus for his attempted coup, as one of Zod's motivations for carrying that out was because he felt that with his occupation, he could potentially make Krypton stronger than it was before.
  • Zerg Rush: He commands a legion of Kryptonian soldiers to bum-rush straight into Brainiac's ship in an effort to destroy its shields. However, the Kryptonians drop dead the moment they make contact with the barrier; Zod simply insists that he sends more of his soldiers for the same task, an act which Superman was not happy to hear about.


Other Versions of Zod:

    Pocket Universe Zod 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dru_zod_pocket_universe_001.jpg
AKA: Von-El
"Neither of you will kill this one. He has served his purpose and never let it be said that General Zod does not reward those who serve him!
A version of General Zod in the Post-Crisis universe that came from a Pocket Universe called the Survival Zone where he was sealed into by Jor-El, alongside Zaora and Quex-Ul, who posed as his wife, Mara, and his brother-in-law, Ston-Ar, respectively. The Pocket Universe version of Lex Luthor stumbled across them after using one of Superboy's devices, the Time-Viewer, and worked together to build another device that they could use to escape from. However, this was all a ploy from Zod and his followers, who used this opportunity to betray Lex and escape to Earth to start a killing spree and take over the planet for themselves, eventually coming into contact with Superman and Supergirl.


  • Adaptation Personality Change: Usually, General Zod tends to be a military general with aspirations to conquer worlds and his planet's government. The Pocket Dimension Zod, on the other hand, is a raving psychopath who relishes causing wanton destruction as well as wanting to prove himself superior to humanity.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While a villain in the Pre-Crisis Universe, Zod was simply just another criminal. The one from the Pocket Universe is a crazed, gleeful terrorist who wants to raze Earth into a slaughterhouse and take over the planet simply to enforce his supremacy towards others.
  • Asshole Victim: It's saying a lot when Superman forgoes his own Thou Shalt Not Kill policy and resorts to using Kryptonite to kill off Zod, Zaora, and Quex-Ul. And from that point on, nobody cared about his fate, considering the atrocities that he was more than willing to commit for his own sick goals. Superman does let out a Single Tear, and that was out of the fact that he felt ashamed about what he had to do, setting up the events of Superman: Exile.
  • Ax-Crazy: This iteration of General Zod forgoes whatever militant diplomacy and condescending formality he displays in his other versions, choosing to instead be a bloodthirsty murderer who indulges in killing others for the sake of it.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Downplayed: At the end of the storyline, Zod actually succeeds in his goal of killing off all humans in the Pocket Dimension Earth. However, his victory is short-lived, for Superman, never having been so vengeful up until now, decides to stop holding back and kill off Zod and his Survival Zone prisoner escapees via a piece of Green Kryptonite.
  • De-power: Zod and his allies eventually lose their superpowers when Superman exposes them to Gold Kryptonite. He simply boasts that they will eventually get their powers back in some shape or form. Unfortunately for them, Superman ends their lives with a Green Kryptonite before they could even attempt to regain what they had lost.
  • Dirty Coward: The Pocket Dimension Zod was more than willing to sell out his own teammates in a feeble effort to save his own skin the moment he is struck by Green Kryptonite, courtesy of Superman. Not only does it not work, but Quex-Ul ends up strangling Zod to death before Quex himself succumbs to the Kryptonite radiation.
  • Final Solution: Zod and his Kryptonian followers think that humanity is better off dead because they are weak and feeble compared to themselves and that they're more worthy of taking over Earth. the Pocket Dimension Lex Luthor banding together a resistance group to combat against the trio was what got them motivated to carry out their massacre.
  • Hate Sink: This is one of the vilest and most despicable iterations of Zod to date; whereas the other versions, while still ruthless and condescending, at least are cool, positively memorable via his over-the-top nature, and displaying a good deal of Villainous Valor, the Pocket Dimension Zod has nothing resembling a redeeming quality and doesn't even have moments of being cool, only showcasing himself to be a psychopathic monster who also quickly turns into a pathetic coward the moment he is in a position of dying.
  • Hero Killer: Near the end of his storyline, Zod manages to kill Lex Luthor, his resistance army, and Supergirl herself by making her dissolve into a protoplasmic puddle.
  • Kill All Humans: Zod's primary objective during the The Supergirl Saga story arc. He succeeds in killing off every single human being and Supergirl in the Pocket Dimension Earth.
  • Killed Off for Real: Superman kills Zod and his followers using Green Kryptonite and making an exception in his "no-kill policy". Their deaths stuck and they were never mentioned again, even after the original Zod came back from the Phantom Zone.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He pretended to be good company for the Pocket Universe Lex Luthor so that they could work together in an attempt to create a Survival Zone projector and leave their interdimensional prison. Once they succeeded, Zod destroyed the projector and anything in Superboy's lab in an attempt to wipe out any potential weaknesses and abandoned Lex to his own devices.
  • Moral Event Horizon: An in-universe example; Zod and his followers manage to kill off every single living being on his Pocket Dimension's Earth and has the gall to feel smug and content about the slaughter that he caused. Seeing this, Superman decides that he and his teammates have gone too far and personally decides to revoke his own Thou Shalt Not Kill rule by subjecting the three to Gold Kryptonite to weaken them and then Green Kryptonite to kill them off.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Even if he succeeded in killing off humanity, Zod and his comrades were not ready for the occasion that Superman was willing to kill them off as they had gone too far by that point. As a result, Zod's victory simply led to his death, and his boasts were going to do nothing in preventing his well-deserved fate from the Man of Steel.
  • The Sociopath: This Zod displays a series of symptoms regarding low-functioning psychopathy; an ability to look commendable and approachable whilst secretly being manipulative, a mentally deranged and violent psyche that extends into a superiority complex where he feels that he is above humans and has no compunctions about killing them and taking their place on Earth and, of course, an inability to feel any signs of remorse and guilt over his actions. That said, he doesn't show many signs of Narcissism, which is a character trait that showcases now and then in Post-Crisis and Post-Flashpoint Zod.
  • Terrible Trio: He is the leader of one, consisting of himself, Zaora, and Quex-Ul. While the three of them have mutual goals which they collaborate on and worked with each other well enough to function as a group, with Zaora and Quex-Ul masquerading as Zod's wife and brother-in-law, their last appearance shows that they aren't really loyal to one another and that Zod would not hesitate in selling them out if it meant saving himself.
  • We Will Meet Again: Even after losing his powers, Zod boasts that he will return to kill Superman another day. Unfortunately for him and his fellow criminals, Superman is having none of it.

    General Zod II 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/russian_zod_3038.png
AKA: Zed Avruiskin
"I am your destroyer. I am the one that will bring you to your knees."

The iron-fisted ruler of the Balkan republic of Pokolistan, Zed Avruiskin was the son of two Soviet astronauts. While on a mission in space, Zed's mother was exposed to Kryptonite radiation which ultimately killed her, but not before she gave birth to her son. Due to the radiation, Zed was born with a bizarre condition: yellow sunlight weakened him, but red sunlight gave him the same powers as a Kryptonian, which made him an ideal tool for the Soviet government. One day, while meditating, he made mental contact with the ghost of a Kryptonian criminal trapped in the Phantom Zone—an alternate universe version of General Dru-Zod II (see above).

After the USSR fell, Zed—now calling himself General Zod—obtained a suit of armor that filtered red rays from Earth's sun, allowing him use of his powers even outside. He seized control of the tiny republic of Pokolistan and used his position to wage a personal war against Superman, believing that the meteor shower that killed his mother was the one that brought Kal-El to Earth. Zod died in battle against Superman, his powers failing him at a critical moment.


  • Arc Villain: He was the driving force in the Superman books for a while, until death took him out of play.
  • Badass Cape: On his armor.
  • Catchphrase: The classic "Kneel Before Zod".
  • Clothes Make the Superman: His red armor filters sunlight, enabling him to have Superman-level strength despite the yellow sun.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Captured and tortured Bizarro when he could not get his hands on the real Superman.
  • Cool Helmet/Cool Mask: Wears a Darth Vader style gas mask and helmet combo.
  • Demonic Possession: Might be possessed by the alternate universe Zod.
  • Dirty Communists: As a Soviet counterpart to Superman, he's a product of their work, even if the Cold War is long since over.
  • Evil Counterpart: With his inverted powers, he makes for a pretty obvious one and initially served the Soviet government as their answer to Superman. He later became an...
  • Evil Twin: Transformed himself into one through plastic surgery.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Once a Soviet agent, later the tyrannical leader of a former Communist republic after the Iron Curtain came down.
  • The Generalissimo: As dictatorial ruler of Pokolistan.
  • Insane Admiral: Never let a whack-job with an unhealthy Superman obsession reach the top ranks of your military. It never ends well.
  • Irrational Hatred: Has no reason whatsoever to hate Superman, though being influenced by the alternate universe Zod, whom Superman executed, might have had something to do with it.
  • Kick the Dog: His torture of Bizarro, who served as a substitute for Superman.
  • Killed Off for Real: Avruiskin did not recover from his death during his last fight with Superman. The real General Zod eventually returned to the comics and the Soviet version was more or less forgotten.
  • Kneel Before Zod: He may not have been the original Zod, but he shared his desire to force Superman to kneel before him, as evidenced by the page quote. He also says the catchphrase during his battle with Superman.
  • Legacy Character: In a bizarre twist, as Superman had yet to meet the original General Zod (at least in post-Infinite Crisis continuity...) when he took on Avruiskin (though he had encountered a couple of alternate universe doppelgangers).
  • Lightning Bruiser: As fast, strong, and durable as Superman at least under red light.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To La Encantadora. He may also have been the (initial) real identity of the villain Ignition.
  • The Mentally Ill: Avruiskin's fixation on Superman was never healthy, and his eventual decision to have his face surgically altered to resemble the man he hated reeked of deep-seated psychological issues.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Pokolistan under his rule.
  • The Power of the Sun: Under optimal conditions, solar energy is the main source of General Zod's superpowers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a red sun star system. He has a bio-cellular matrix, "red" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when red solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
  • Ruritania: Runs one in the form of Pokolistan (whose name should honestly make it Central Asian).
  • Shadow Archetype: Even more so than the real General Zod. Whereas Kal-El is an alien who gains powers under a yellow sun, Avruiskin was a human who gained powers under a red sun. He even had his face surgically altered to look just like Superman.
  • Superpower Lottery: Under the effects of a "red" sun, General Zod possesses the same powers as an average Kryptonian under the effects of a "yellow" sun.
  • Super-Soldier: For the Soviets.
  • Tin Tyrant: Dictator of Pokolistan, always clothed in solar-shielding red plate.
  • Weakened by the Light: Yellow sunlight reduces him to the level of a weaker than normal human.
  • You Killed My Father: You Killed My Mother, actually. In Avruiskin's head the meteor shower that gave him his powers and killed his mom was all Superman's fault.

    Superman (Earth 15) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/superman_earth_15.jpg

An alternative universe version of the Man of Steel in Earth 15. However, this is not Clark Kent, but rather Zod, whom went on to settle in Earth and instead become a hero in his own right. During the events of Infinite Crisis, he is expecting a son with his wife but were sadly killed by Superboy-Prime for simply being Zod and for refusing to believe that the Zod of this Earth was really a benevolent figure.


  • Disproportionate Retribution: A victim of one and the main circumstance of his and his family's death. Zod was viciously killed by Superboy-Prime mainly because he was a villain in most universes and, in Superboy-Prime's insanely warped mindset, Zod is supposed to be a villain, not a hero.
  • Good Twin: This Zod isn't General Zod, but rather he is actually Superman, in addition to being a superhero for Earth rather than a crazed military general.
  • Happily Married: From the little time that was shown, this Zod had a loving relationship with his wife and was eagerly expecting a baby son with her, something which makes their sudden demise all the more tragic.
  • Killed Off for Real: He and his family are butchered by Superboy-Prime, in his case, for simply being a villain from another universe. Their deaths stick and no mention of them is made ever again, which is surprising, considering the nature of death in comic books.
  • Primary-Color Champion: True to the traditional appearance of the core character, this Zod is adorned with blue with red accents and a yellow interior in the shield logo, all with a bright shade.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears for a short amount of time before getting offed suddenly for very disproportionate reasons.


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