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Leader of a trio of Kryptonian criminals who were banished to the Phantom Zone by Superman's father Jor-El. He escapes and leads an attack upon Earth and attempts to take it over. He plans to make the son of Jor-El kneel before him.
Imprisoned in the Phantom Zone
General Zod was once a great hero of the planet Krypton but fell into disgrace when he tried to take control of the government. He and his two loyal servants Ursa and Non are sentenced to exile in the Phantom Zone by Jor-El and the Kryptonian council. Years later they are freed by Superman when he inadvertently ruptures their prison by sending a hydrogen bomb out into space while saving the Eiffel Tower . The three quickly begin to grow in power under the yellow sun of earth. They begin a path of destruction and conquest leading up to Zod forcing the President of the United States to surrender the world to Zod.
Superman is, literally, powerless to stop them as he had earlier given up his kryptonian powers to have a normal life with Lois Lane. He embarks on a dangerous journey to the Fortress of Solitude to try and reclaim his powers and stop Zod.
In the meantime, Zod forms a tenuous alliance with Lex Luthor who claims he can give Superman to Zod in exchange for Australia. Zod and his followers must then deal with a newly empowered Superman. Though he puts up a good fight, Superman is no match for all three of the Kryptonians and files off to the Fortress with them in pursuit. Zod, on Luthor's advisement, forces Superman back into the device that originally stripped him of his powers as a punishment. Superman outwits the great general when he reverses the output to bath Zod and the others in power stealing red light. Superman then makes short work of the once great kryptonian by casting him down into the depths of the Fortress.
General Zod has appeared on the television series Smallville in two different incarnations.
The first hints of Zod started in the Season 5 Premiere (2005) when two Kryptonians were released from Brainiac's ship and proclaimed to be the disciples of Zod. Throughout the season Brainiac had attempted to free the General from his imprisonment in the Phantom Zone. In the Season Finale Brainiac would succeed and the spirit of Zod would take over Lex's body. He offers Clark the opportunity to join him, but he refuses and Zod sends him into the Phantom Zone.
In the Season 6 Premiere(2006), having control over Lex Luthor's body, he attempts to remake Krypton on Earth. After Clark finds a way out of the Zone, he battles Zod but fails to beat him in a straight fight. In a scene similar to that of the end in Superman II, Clark kneels before Zod and takes his hand, but conceals a jewel shaped as the crest of The House of El which exorcises Zod from Lex and, presumably, back to the Zone.
This version of Zod is different in that it is revealed that his corporal body was destroyed on Krypton and his soul sent to the Phantom Zone hence the need for a host.
The 2nd incarnation would appear 3 years later during the shows 9th Season (2009). Having been released from a Kryptonian Orb, Smallville's version of the bottled city of Kandor, along with a small battalion of his troops. Unlike the previous version of Zod, this one would have his own body and would be a younger version appearing first as a Major before becoming a General. He would also have a larger presence on the show, being a series regular appearing throughout the entire season, compared to the 2 episodes of the first appearance.
Callum Blue as Major Zod on Krypton
He and his soldiers start the season without their powers and unsure of how they arrived on Earth. In the 7th episode of the season, titled Kandor, it is revealed that Zod and the rest of the Kandorians are actually clones of their true selves. Jor-El, having created the clones by order of the Council but believing it to be wrong, would infuse the orb with blue kryptonite to remove their powers in the event they are freed. Jor-El would also be cloned and living on Earth. After learning that Jor-El is on Earth and believing him to be the mysterious "Blur". He plans to find and kidnap him to force Jor-El to give them their powers. After interrogating Jor-El, Zod learns that it is Jor-El's son Kal-El (Clark) and not he who is actually the Blur. This would mark the first episode of the season where the two would share a scene together, but Clark would still not know of his presence.
Zod would begin building a tower that would absorb the power of the sun and transform Earth's sun from yellow to red. When Clark gets a glimpse of the future, and the tower, he confronts Zod and his army in hopes of trying to make them good people and avoid a full invasion.
Throughout the season Zod would try and appeal to Clark to give he and his fellow Kryptonians their powers, but knowing what he will become Clark refuses and has no idea how could give it to them. Clark would later destroy the tower before it is complete, and when he offers his help to find missing Kryptonians, Zod confronts him and refuses his help. Discovering that a former subject of their experiments is behind the abductions, he goes to find his missing people. During the resulting struggle Zod is shot and mortally wounded. Clark soon arrives and unsure of what to do, he uses his blood to heal Zod, not knowing that it would give him his powers.
Towards the latter half of the season, the kryptonians would be split between having leading new lives with the aide of Clark or continue in their quest for power with Zod. Confronting one the leaders of his main opposition, his would be future wife Faora, when she refuses to follow him, he kills her. But he would discover that she was pregnant with his child. Enraged, he would go on to destroy the base of secret government organization Checkmate. He would use Faora's death to reunite his people, claiming that it was the humans who had killed her.
The last few episodes would deal with Zod searching for The Book of Rao, what he claims to be a Kryptonian bible that would destroy them all. In actuality it would send he and all Kryptonians on Earth to a new planet to call their own. When Clark attempts to use it, Zod and his army show up to stop him. During the confrontation Zod whispers to Clark "Do you really think I wanted to murder my own child?", referring the death of Faora, the rest of the Kryptonians, using their powers to hear what he says, turn on him. As they all ascend to a new home, Zod pulls out a blue Kryptonite dagger that would leave he and Clark on Earth, choosing to stay to rule. A fight brakes out and when it looked as if Zod was about to win, Clark would sacrifice himself by driving the dagger into himself. As Clark falls from the building Zod is taken to the new Kryptonian home world.