Kneel before Zod: 5 things you didn't know about Superman's worst enemy
Terence Stamp was perfect as Zod, Superman's most impressive villain, his hatred forged by his exile from Krypton at the hands of Jor-El. Stamp's cool demeanor still gives me chills when I rewatch Superman I and Superman II these days, as we prepare for the Man of Steel contemporary version of Zod, now played by Michael Shannon.
But how well do you really know Zod? Here are five things I learned about him today.
1. COMIC BOOK ORIGIN: In the original comic books and novels, Gen. Zod's full name was Dru-Zod -- the song of a former head of the Kryptonian Council -- and he was in control of the military forces of Krypton. He was sentenced to 40 years in the Phantom Zone (also depicted in Superman II) after he created an army of robotic duplicates of himself in an attempt to control the planet. In the comic book, it's Superboy who frees him when his sentence is up.
2. THERE ARE MANY ZODS: I'm no comics fan, so it's hard to keep track. But there are more Zods than unemployed Daily Planet journalists out there. There's even a Russian version, the son of two cosmonauts.
3. HIS POWERS: Like Superman, Zod has the usual array of tricks: strength, speed, x-ray vision, etc. But in Superman II he also held telekinetic powers. If Superman has the same power, he hasn't shown it to date.
4. NO CARTOON: Sadly, Zod doesn't make an appearance in any animated TV version of Superman. But "Major Zod" did appear in the TV series Smallville. He was played by Callum Blue
5. HIS LEGACY: On the Stuck in the '80s list of Best Villains of the '80s, Zod/Terence Stamp ranks at No. 11. As for Stamp, during his career he's been nominated for one Oscar. Can you name the movie? Sadly, it wasn't Superman II. It was 1962's Billy Budd. Ironically, Stamp voiced the character of Jor-El, Superman's dad, in Smallville.