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.
Man Of Steel
When the planet Krypton faces imminent destruction due to an unstable core drained of resources, the ruling council is under the threat of rebel General Zod and his followers. Jor-El and his wife Lara launch a spacecraft carrying their newborn son Kal-El , born of natural birth, and a genetic codex which all Kryptonians are genetically "born" from with predetermined life paths. After Zod murders Jor-El, he and his followers are apprehended by the authorities and banished to the Phantom Zone, only to be released shortly after Krypton explodes. Upon their release, they see the field of Krypton's remains.
Zod and his comrades spend the next thirty-three years searching the galaxy, only to find that all of Krypton's colony worlds died out when Krypton stopped communicating with them centuries ago. Around the time Kal-El, now named "Clark Kent," activates a Kryptonian scout ship on Earth, Zod detects the ship and travels to Earth, where he demands that Kal-El surrenders to him. Because Zod threatens to harm humanity if he does not comply, Clark agrees to surrender to the U.S. military, who hand Clark, along with Lois Lane, over to Zod's right-hand Faora.
Clark gives Lois his Kryptonian key to activate the Jor-El program on Zod's ship; Jor-El later tells Lois how to defeat Zod. Zod reveals to Clark that he intends to use a terraforming "world engine" in conjunction with his own ship to transform Earth into a new Krypton and eradicate the human population, then use the codex (which has been revealed to be within Clark's cells) to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians.
After Clark and Lois escape from his ship, Zod deploys the world engine to the Indian Ocean and initiates the terraforming process by hovering his ship over Metropolis. Clark, now dubbed "Superman," destroys the world engine in the Indian Ocean, de-activating the one over Metropolis. The military then loads the spacecraft that brought Kal-El to Earth (which Superman delivers to them) into a military cargo plane and flies it into Zod's ship, creating a black hole with the pod's self-destruct function. Zod tries to protest Superman from destroying the ship, as in doing so, any chance of saving Krypton will be lost. Faora attacks, causing Colonel Nathan Hardy to fly the very plane with the shuttle into the world engine that consumes the ship and Zod's followers.
When the battle seemed over, Zod, having been separated from his ship earlier, remains, and he and Superman use their powers to engage each other in a final lengthy battle throughout Metropolis, causing great destruction. In the end, Superman is forced to snap Zod's neck to save a group of innocent civilians. Wracked with guilt for killing one of his own people with his own hands, he is comforted by Lois, who arrives on scene.
- He is portrayed by Michael Shannon.
- It has been confirmed by the film's writers that Zod deliberately provoked Superman into killing him, as he believed that he no longer had a purpose in life, and thus wanted to die after his plan to rebuild Krypton failed.