Kneel before Zod!
A lot of people are familiar with General Zod from either the original Superman (1978), or the Man of Steel (2013) films. Based on the fact that Zod seems to be the go-to cinematic villain, you might assume that General Zod is one of Superman’s biggest rogues in the comic book universe. Ironically enough, this isn’t really the case, but not for lack of trying on lots of artists and writers. It wouldn’t be until 2009’s “New Krypton Saga” that General Zod would earn his place as one of Superman’s most notorious and cunning rogues.
General Zod served as Krypton’s military leader prior to the planets destruction. He was a staunch defender of Krypton and believed in the total superiority of the Kryptonian race. He was sentenced to forty years imprisonment in the Phantom Zone after attacking the Kryptonian Governing Council when they refused to act decisively to save Krypton from destruction.
First appearing in the pages of “Adventure Comics” #283 (April 1961), Zod’s potential would be locked away with him in the Phantom Zone for a very long time. He would make sporadic appearances through the Silver Age, appearing in the pages of Superboy shortly before being lost to DCU continuity for the next forty-six years along with decades of rich Kryptonian mythology at the conclusion of 1985’s “Crisis on Infinite Earth’s”.
Although versions of General Zod would make appearances during the Inter-Crisis years they were not the original Kryptonian General Zod. Due to an editorial edict that was introduced at the end of “Crisis” Superman was to be the “sole survivor of Kyrpton” in the DC Universe. This meant that General Zod – the true Kryptonian version – was unusable, so for the better part twenty-years collectors got “pocket dimension” versions. None of them were fan favorites and none of them captured the true menace posed by General. Perhaps it was because General Zod, as a character, needs to be from Krypton to harness the true threat that Zod, a Kryptonian with diametrically values to that of Superman.
Finally, in 2006, the pre-Crisis, true Kryptonian reemerged from the Phantom Zone with Non and Ursa in toe and immediately set about to create a new Krypton on Earth. While that attempt would fail General Zod would see his greatest ambition come true when Superman freed the Kryptonian inhabitants of the Bottle City of Kandor from Brainiac’s ship.
Reinstated as Krypton’s military leader by Alura Zor-El, Zod has everything he ever wanted: a proud New Krypton, the resurrection of the Kryptonian People, and the full military might of one of the most advanced civilizations in the universe. All General Zod needs now is an opportunity to make Superman and Earth kneel before him ….