General Dru-Zod (commonly just called Zod) is a villainous character from DC Comics and one of Superman's greatest enemies. The former leader of Krypton's military, he had attempted a coup prior to the destruction of his world, only to be defeated and banished to the Phantom Zone for his crimes. He and his followers would eventually escape from the extra-dimensional prison and set their sights on conquering Earth in order to rebuild Kryptonian civilization. Zod's schemes have been repeatedly foiled by Superman, but the monstrous tyrant is nothing if not determined and has returned time and again to destroy the Man of Steel and everything he cares for.
Zod has been portrayed by various actors in multiple iterations of the Superman universe.
Man of Steel Edit
In Man of Steel, Zod is portrayed by Michael Shannon. Following his failed coup, he and his supporters are exiled to the Phantom Zone, but are freed when Krypton implodes. With their world destroyed, Zod and his army seek out several deep space outposts for signs that their civilization has survived, but find only death and ruins. Salvaging what they can, they eventually discover a signal emanating from the capsule that Jor-El had sent his infant son Kal-El away in and they track the signal back to Earth.
Upon arrival, Zod demands that the people of Earth surrender Kal-El to him or suffer the consequences. Kal-El, who has grown up under the human name Clark Kent, gives himself up to Zod in order to protect humanity, but discovers that the general intends to build a new Krypton by terraforming Earth and destroying its native population. With the aid of Lois Lane and an artificial intelligence modelled after his father Jor-El, Clark - later assuming the name "Superman" given to him by the US military - escapes from Zod's ship and joins the US military in fighting off Zod's forces, destroying his world engine and banishing his army back to the Phantom Zone.
Outraged by Superman's defiance, Zod ferociously engages the Man of Steel in a final battle within the city of Metropolis. Their fighting causes much destruction and Zod tries to hurt Superman in the worst way possible by attempting to murder innocent people. Knowing that it is the only way to stop him, Superman kills Zod by snapping his neck.