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General Zod

General Zod is the main antagonist of Man Of Steel. He was the former leader of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and the commander of the Sword of Rao.

He is portrayed by Michael Shannon.

Man Of Steel Edit

Born on the distant planet Krypton, Zod was genetically engineered to be a commanding leader and fierce warrior. Rising to the rank of General, he was put in charge of Krypton's military; in that role, he was fiercely devoted to protecting his world and his people. He also became good friends with the scientist Jor-El.

Believing that the Kryptonian Council is too weak and foolish to lead their race, Zod decides he needs to take charge to ensure his people's survival and leads his soldiers in a coup. He and a few of his men, including Sub-Commander Faora, violently interrupt a session between the Council and Jor-El. After killing Council leader Ro-Zar, Zod informs Jor-El of his plans and tries to convince the scientist to join him, but when Jor-El refuses, he orders two of his soldiers to take him away.

Later, Zod and his soldiers travel to the House of El citadel, seeking the Genetic Codex (a repository of genetic information from which all Kryptonians are bred with predetermined life paths) that Jor-El stole earlier after escaping from Zod's men. Inside the citadel, Zod confronts Jor-El, demanding the Codex. When he learns that Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van naturally conceived a child, Kal-El, in defiance of Kryptonian law, an angered Zod moves to destroy the spaceship containing the newborn Kal-El and the Codex, leading to a fight with his former friend. Jor-El wounds and momentarily overpowers Zod, who begs Lara to not launch the ship, but when Lara ignores his pleas, he fatally stabs Jor-El in a fit of rage. Moments later, Zod exits the citadel and orders his attack ship to shoot down Kal-El's departing spacecraft; unfortunately, Zod and his men are apprehended by the Sapphire Guard.

Sometime after that, Zod and his followers stand on trial before the Council, who sentence them to 300 years of somatic reconditioning inside the Phantom Zone for high treason. Zod rants angrily at the new Council leader Lor-Em, denouncing the entire Council as fools, before turning on Lara, who's present at the trial proceedings, and vehemently vowing that he will find her son and re-claim the Codex. He and his men are then placed into cyrogenic stasis before being loaded aboard the Black Zero, a massive Kryptonian ship which is then put into the Phantom Zone. After Krypton explodes, Zod and his comrades are freed from their imprisonment, and they look forlornly at their homeworld's remains. They then spend the next 33 years searching the galaxy for other surviving Kryptonians, only to find that all of Krypton's colony worlds died out when their home planet stopped communicating with them centuries ago.

Around the time that Kal-El, now known as Clark Kent, activates an ancient Kryptonian scout-ship that crash-landed on Earth centuries ago, Zod's crew picks up the ship's distress signal and travels to Earth, where Zod transmits a message to the humans, requesting that they hand over Kal-El or face his wrath. Clark surrenders to the US military, who hand him, along with Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, over to Faora. Once face-to-face with Clark aboard the Black Zero, Zod greets him cordially, but does little to help when Clark collapses due to his body not being suited to the Kryptonian environment aboard the Black Zero.

Later, through a mental simulation, Zod speaks with Clark and reveals that he intends to use a World Engine in conjunction with the Black Zero to transform Earth into a new Krypton and eradicate the human population, then use the Codex to genetically engineer new Kryptonians to inhabit the planet. After the simulation ends, he reveals to a shackled Clark that he murdered Jor-El and expresses regret over having done so, but informs Clark that he would do so again in order to save his people.

Zod then travels to Smallville, accompanied by Faora and a couple of his men, in search of the Codex, which he believes is inside Kal-El's spaceship. He arrives at the Kent Farm, where he interrogates Clark's adoptive mother, Martha Kent, as to the Codex's whereabouts. Clark, having escaped from the Black Zero along with Lois, arrives and tackles Zod, whom he angrily punches numerous times for threatening his mother before they crash-land in the middle of Smallville's town center. Zod's visor is damaged by Clark's assault; exposed to Earth's environment, he is overwhelmed by his manifesting superpowers as Clark taunts him. Two of his men then arrive and take him away, leaving Clark to battle Faora and Nam-Ek.

Later, back aboard the Black Zero, Zod, recovered from his sensory overload, learns that, years earlier, Jor-El stored the Codex within Kal-El's own cells. Once informed by one of his men, Jax-Ur, that Kal-El doesn't need to be alive in order for them to extract the Codex from him, he deploys the World Engine to the Indian Ocean and initiates the terraforming process by hovering the Black Zero over Metropolis. While this happens, Zod heads to the Arctic, where he boards the scout-ship and activates the Genesis Chamber aboard; he also refines his senses while exposing himself to Earth's environment. He is confronted by a holographic projection of Jor-El, who tries to persuade him to abandon his plan; Zod, however, rebuffs the hologram and purges it from the ship's systems before taking the helm and flying the ship to Metropolis.

Clark, now called "Superman," destroys the World Engine, while the US military loads his spaceship onto a cargo plane and flies it towards the Black Zero. When Superman crashes into the scout-ship and prepares to destroy it, Zod protests, telling him that any chance of saving their homeworld will be lost if he goes through with his plan, but Superman declares that Krypton had its chance before using heat vision to damage the scout-ship, causing it to crash in the middle of Metropolis.

Moments later, after Zod's soldiers are sent back into the Phantom Zone, Zod emerges from the wreckage of the scout-ship. As Superman flies over to him, Zod laments the loss of his men and the chance to re-create his long-dead homeworld. His grief turns into a murderous rage, and he violently strikes Superman before advancing on him, vowing to kill every single human just to spite Kal-El. The two Kryptonians then engage in a huge fight that stretches across Metropolis.

Zod and Superman prove an even match for most of the battle, and they cause enormous amounts of destruction throughout Metropolis with their heat vision (which Zod masters early on in the fight), superhuman strength, and patterns of flight. Halfway through the battle, Zod sheds his armor and hones his ability to fly before his fight with Superman resumes, moving to the sky and temporarily in space before the two crash into Metropolis Central Station, where Zod spots an innocent family and emits a blast of heat vision that inches closer and closer to the family. Superman begs Zod to stop, but Zod says "Never!" and continues bringing the heat beams closer to the family until Superman is forced to snap his neck, killing him.