Sunday, May 11, 2008

About that Zod Guy...

A question from an old friend, Myron Moody:




Hi Mark, I've a question for you as a Superman expert. In both the television show Smallville and the second Superman movie with Chris Reeves they have a character named General Zod. I don't remember a General Zod in the comics but I could be wrong. Could you clarify this for me? Myron




Well, Myron, up until this morning-- when I took the time to look Zod up -- I would have said that Zod was invented for the Superman movies. But I'd have been wrong because my memory was on the fritz.




The Silver Age had a General Dru-Zod, from the 1960s, who tried to take over Krypton (before it exploded) with an army of robot guys that were drawn to look like Bizarros. I had forgotten about him!


It's also interesting that while Zod, played by Terence Stamp, appeared in Superman: the Movie and in Superman II looking like --well -- Terence Stamp, the General Zod re-introduced into DC comics still looked a lot like the Silver Age Zod.


Compare the 1961 comics panel with this 1983 jigsaw puzzle and you'll see that the Zod-clones are wearing a green version of the same uniform Zod wears in lavender in the puzzle.


Yes, the uniformed guy in the puzzle is Zod.. The guy in the puzzle who LOOKS LIKE Terence Stamp is another Phantom Zone baddie.

So, the producers of the 1978 Superman movie picked Zod from the comics and made him a big-big Superman villain instead of a minor one. Thus the minor Silver Age character Dru-Zod has now become the Adolf Hitler of the DC universe. Who'da thunk it?

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