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High General Dru-Zod
Zod Gods and Monsters
Information
Real name: Dru-Zod
AKA: Krypton's War-Hammer,
Butcher of Krenthia,
Bane of Rol'Nor
Species: Kryptonian
Hair: Black
Eyes: Green
Relatives: Rol-Zod (ancestor)
Cira-Zod
Cor-Zod (father)
Ursa (lover, deceased)
Kal-El (godson)
Base: Fort Rozz
Affiliations: Kryptonian Defence Force,
House of Zod
Rogue of: Superman, Justice League,
X-Men, Avengers,
Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, Magneto
Abilities: Skilled warrior & military tactition

Under a yellow Sun:

  • Vast superhuman strength, speed, stamina
  • Near invulnerability
  • Super hearing
  • Super breath
  • X-ray vision
  • Telescopic vision
  • Microscopic vision
  • Heat vision
  • Flight
"Zod does not kneel to lesser men! Lesser men! Kneel! Before ZOD!'"
―General Zod[src]

General Dru-Zod was once the commander of the Kryptonian Defense Force. He was renowned for his military history and regarded as a hero until he committed war crimes in wiping out surrendering Shi'ar warships, and was banished into the Phantom Zone. Zod was freed decades later by Project Cadmus and helped his godson Kal-El, Superman, in defending Earth from the Skrulls, Kree, and Shi'ar. Subsequently, Zod revealed his true villainous nature and attempted to conquer Earth, but was ultimately driven back into the Phantom Zone by Superman and the heroes of Earth.

History

Early life

Zod was born to the militaristic House of Zod and began a successful life in Krypton City University and graduated with full honours at the age of 22, before enlisting in the Krypton Defense Force. He worked his way up through the ranks, earning practically every commendation and award Krypton had to offer, until reaching the rank of High General and going on to serve his planet to the Kryptonian middle-age of 152 - still managing to drive off the occasional Kree or Skrull raiding party that appeared up to harass the Kryptonian research outposts on several other worlds. His military exploits was utmost recognized throughout the known cosmos. Fascinated and hated by his admirers and enemies alike; he was recognized by the Galactic Confederacy for being their military consultant in routing the Chitauri from an attempted incursion into Confederate space; and from his enemies, he was widely loathed and feared. Notably in the Battle of Krenthia and the Battle of Rol'Nor, the Kree and Skrulls called him the "Butcher of Krenthia" and the "Bane of Rol'Nor", respectively. According to Brainiac 5, the enemies of Zod that knew him can answer the only one way to survive against him was to run.[1] Due to his foremost reputation, Zod had earned the meaningful nickname of "Krypton's Warhammer".

On many of Zod's campaigns, the General had been accompanied by one of his top lieutenants and scientists, his best friend, Jor-El; it was suggested that Jor-El was partly responsible for most of Zod's successes – apparently, the two had made an unbeatable team: Zod, the master tactician, determining what they needed to accomplish, and Jor-El, the brilliant strategist, figuring out how to achieve. Even after Jor-El had retired from the Force, to serve on Krypton's ancient Council of Twelve, the two had remained friends. Zod had a love-affair with his comrade-in-arms, Kryptonian Fleet-Colonel Ursa-Ka.

War against the Shi'ar

When the Shi'ar threatened Krypton, Zod was frustrated by the stagnancy of the Council of Twelve's handling of the war as the current administration opposed his urging to press the advantage against the Shi'ar, instead of holding position every time the Shi'ar Imperial Navy beat back. For the next three years as Krypton fell into a defensive state and protected under its Planet-Shield, Zod plotted a coup d'Etat as he had quietly moved his people into key positions of power around Krypton, all in preparation for the signal to simultaneously seize control of every part of Krypton in an effort to remove the Council in order to, by Zod's words, revive the true spirit of Krypton. Zod had also considered of having Jor-El into being part of the coup, but decided not to due to his friend's consuming study on Earth. Zod's plot, however, didn't came to being once news of his lover Ursa was killed in combat. Enraged of his love's death, Zod called off his coup and refocused on swearing to destroy every last Shi'ar ship and defeating the Shi'ar for good. Furthermore, the death of his lover all the more cemented his contemptuous view on other non-Kryptonian races in which he strongly regarded them as savage primitives.

Zod led a strike team with Jor-El and Yen-Lir in breaking through the Shi'ar lines in traveling to the Sentrius Battlestation. With the control over Sentrius and using the World-Gate network, Zod fired Sentrius' weapons on nearly every Shi'ar vessel and leading to the Shi'ar ceasing hostilities. Zod and along with Jor-El were present in overseeing the peace terms with former Shi'ar Emperor Kral'Nor and his family. During the rather tense diplomacy, Kral'Nor's son D'Ken lashed out at Zod for demeaning his father in which Zod backhanded D'Ken and demanding an direct apology from the young Shi'ar prince. The incident instilled D'Ken to loathe Zod, and generally all Kryptonians, and soon becoming the very leader of the remnants of the Shi'ar Empire.[2]

Banishment

In the aftermath of the Krypton-Shi'ar War, Zod committed a war crime by willingly in using Sentrius to deploy an Eradicator in wiping out a surrendering fleet of Shi'ar ships as a show of force to the Shi'ar from ever threatening his planet. The Shi'ar survivors reported the incident to the Council of Twelve and Zod was brought on trial overseen by the Council, which Jor-El was a part of. Zod admitted his crimes while strongly justifying his actions. He was sentenced guilty and was banished into the Phantom Zone. Ironically, Zod's sentence had saved him from Krypton's imminent destruction forewarned by Jor-El.[3]

Zod was left adrift in the Phantom Zone for over thirty years and took shelter in Fort Rozz, which protected Zod's molecular integrity. For the first years, Zod blamed Jor-El for sentencing him into the zone and swear vengeance on him and his ilks. But over time, Zod subsided his rage against his former friend as he saw Jor-El had no choice in the matter, and blamed the Council as well for his lover's death.

Release

After thirty years, Zod's imprisonment would soon end. Zod's godson, Kal-El, returned to the remains of Krypton and inadvertently brought along Zod's Phantom Zone Cell through Warp space and landed on Earth, where it was founded by Dr. Mary Storm and brought to Project Cadmus to be study. The Cell was experimented with a neutron beam that had enabled Zod to transmit a radio signal to be detected by Superman, who then freed Zod. At first he couldn't recognize his godson until realizing him and was shocked to learn of Krypton's destruction. When questioned as to how he was imprisoned, Zod quickly lied by concocting a story that he was present at a trial for another military officer tried for war crimes and that during the trial he was accidentally sent into the Phantom Zone at the same time of Krypton's destruction. No one had thought otherwise as Superman had looked up to and praised Zod as a hero of Krypton and believed his story.

Zod then helped his godson and his god-niece Kara Zor-El and the other heroes of Earth in closing several Phantom Zone singularities that was inadvertently caused by Mary Storm's experiment. When Cadmus foolishly tried to harness one of the singularities and almost destroyed Earth, Zod vented his rage on their stupidity by strangling General Lassider and clearly threatening their lives much to the shock of Superman, the Justice League, X-Men, and X-Force. Fortunately, Zod then dropped his fury and gave them a rueful warning.

Thereafter, Zod immediately saw an advantage to his situation that with Krypton gone and the only survivors were him and his godchildren, Superman and Supergirl, he silently plot to turn Earth into a "New Krypton" to rule over a race of "primitives".[4] Only a few people, such as Wonder Woman and Namor, to suspect Zod's sinister motive and unstable mentality. Furthermore, Irene Adler's prophecy foretold of another Kryptonian that would oppose Superman, which Zod was revealed to be that same person and correctly feared to be so by Magneto, who was too late to warn anyone.

Zod gained his chance for conquest when the Kree, Skulls, and Shi'ar attempted to conquer Earth simultaneously, giving Zod an opportunity to track down the long-lost Kryptonian war-satellite Sentrius. Having recovered Sentrius and used its power to drive back the invading fleets, Zod intended to use its power to force all of Earth to obey him in which he does so after a failed nuclear attack on Sentrius committed by North Korea. Despite Earth's various heroes banding together to try and oppose him- to the extent that even Doctor Doom and Magneto joined the offensive- his own personal training and military expertise also allowed Zod to easily dominate any fight against them, even as they all refused to kneel before him. Although he was successful in bringing Fort Rozz to Earth, the heroes were able to convince Sentrius to reject Zod's commands when Brainiac 5 revealed Zod's role in the war crimes against the Shi'ar- having recently acquired records of Zod's original trial during a confrontation with Brainiac- allowing the heroes to destroy Fort Rozz. The Justice League and the X-Men were able to defeat Zod by luring him into a stadium surrounded by a force field that converted the sunlight hitting the stadium into red sunlight; fighting so many heroes at once, Zod rapidly depleted his solar batteries. With a Kryptonite missile heading for the stadium, Zod was forced to flee back into a Phantom Zone portal or remain and be destroyed.

Personality

General Zod was widely regarded by Kryptonian society and much of the known universe for his renowned intelligence and strategic mindset. Through prolonged wars with the enemies of Krypton, however, Zod slowly yet gradually developed a lesser view on non-Kryptonian races; in which he soon started referring to them as primitives and savages. The height of the Krypton-Shi'ar War cemented Zod's prejudice after the death of Ursa, and he began developing a much harsher stance which he claimed was necessary for the good of Krypton. He also view half-Kryptonian hybrids with distaste, such as Kal-El's love interest Alison Blaire and hence his reasons for greatly disapproving his godson's relationship.

Zod was also prone to arrogance and narcissism from time to time, demanding that his enemies (defeated or otherwise) kneel before him, to the point of developing his famous catchphrase: "Kneel before Zod!" The numerous victories that he brought to his home planet, coupled with how he easily defeated numerous heroes and villains during his own attempt to conquer Earth, are likely the origin of his arrogance, though they also serve to make it more justifiable.

Regardless of his extremist ethics, Zod had a good-nature, familial bond with Jor-El and his godson Kal-El. He was also fully capable of feeling love, as he genuinely cared about his lover Ursa, and was utterly devastated (and likely psychologically damaged) by her death.

Quotes

"It was war. In war, people die. The only way to win a war is to kill more of them than they kill of you. I will not apologize for winning a war."
―General Zod during his trial.[src]
"Let me make something perfectly clear: I may be your comrade, and perhaps even friend outside of this facility, but in here, I do not care what relationship you all have with my godchild, nor do I care how skilled you are, or THINK you are. It has been my experience that EVERY unit can be improved, and that is precisely what I intend to do. What you do outside here is immaterial to me, but on my time, I will be systematically breaking you down, for the purpose of putting you back TOGETHER again. Make no mistake, children, you will HATE me in this room: I have no doubt that you will call me EVERY bad name you know, and then some you DON'T. In fact, I encourage it…because the more you whine, the closer you get to your breaking point; the whole purpose of this is to GET you there and KEEP you there, so that when you reach it outside these walls, you can still function."
―General Zod's words at his first session with the X-Men[src]
"An assembly with over a hundred squabbling politicians instead of twelve, and even less decision-making power. Splendid."
―General Zod's opinion on the United Nations[src]
"You mean, did I win the war? Did I shatter Kral'Nor's spirit, and take away his fleet's desire to fight? Of course it's true, Cadet! Look at what we've had to do, boy; do you think anything less than a show of overwhelming force would have been enough to frighten away those primitive fools? They had to be taught what horrors awaited them, should they make war with us; I merely taught them reason to fear us."
―General Zod admitting his crime to Superman.[src]
"Attention, people of planet Earth: I am High General Dru-Zod, former Supreme Commander of the Kryptonian Defence Force. Mere minutes ago, in spite of the continued benevolence of myself and my fellow Kryptonians culminating with our defence of your planet against a foe you had no hope of defeating, a nation of your people launched a vicious, unprovoked – albeit feeble – attack against us. I realize that your leaders would make the excuse that the rest of you cannot be held responsible for the actions of one nation, and am uninterested in hearing it; when one group of you behaves in a manner both pathologically and criminally idiotic, it falls to the rest of you to put an end to that stupidity…a responsibility which you have clearly shirked. This behaviour is merely the latest example of a series of behaviours I have observed in your species, all of which are completely unacceptable in any sentient society. Your species squanders the resources of its planet while poisoning the very biosphere that sustains you; you allow all manners of violence and criminality among both your own kind and others; and you squabble amongst yourselves over who holds sway over this world and any who tread upon it. There is only one logical conclusion: your species is utterly incapable of governing itself responsibly…and so it must fall to the more advanced species to do it for you. The following dictums are now applicable to all Earth nations, effective immediately: all armed forces, state-sanctioned and militia-based, are to disband immediately; possession of any firearm, for any reason, will be considered a criminal offence. All production and consumption of fossil-derived hydrocarbons will cease immediately, and all industrial processes are suspended until they can be fully inspected; all industrialized nations will immediately commence full-scale development of non-toxic energy resources. All previously-existing legal infractions now carry the same sentence: immediate incarceration until said criminal behaviour has been de-conditioned; any perpetrator who resists incarceration will be terminated on sight. All existing governments will report to me; bi-monthly status reports on compliance with these dictums will be submitted. Any who do not comply with these dictums will feel my wrath. The nation that had the audacity to attack us has already been taught the cost of their barbarity; should any of you do the same, I will repeat the lesson as many times as needed. A dear friend of mine believed that your species was capable of greatness; perhaps he was right. However, I do not see that, now: all I see is a race of very badly-misbehaving children, in severe need of disciplinary measures. Once my dictums are obeyed, and the human species becomes a civilization worthy of being Krypton's heirs, then I will gladly relinquish power…but for now, you have only one recourse if your society wishes to avoid its own self-destruction. You will obey my dictums…and kneel before Zod. You have one hour to comply. That is all."
―General Zod's declaration for Earth's surrender.[src]

Footnotes

  1. The Last Son, Book Three: Changes, "Tangled Webs"
  2. Ibid, "Flashpoint"
  3. The Last Son, Book One: Gatherings, "Echoes of Krypton"
  4. The Last Son, Book Three: Changes, "Phantoms"

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