Since his cinematic introduction in the person of Terrence Stamp in 1978’s Superman: The Movie, General Dru Zod has been stood out as the arch-nemesis of The Man of Steel besides Lex Luthor. Through the decades Zod has been many things: War criminal, revolutionary, traitor, patriot, xenophobe, murderer, chauvinist, and more recently, father. However, in the recent episode of Sci-Fi’s Krypton, the writers have seen fit to alter the dynamic between him and Superman with another title:
Kal-El’s uncle, to be exact.
The show has taken creative liberties already with both making the lead character Seyg-El (Cameron Cuffe) aware of his grandson’s destiny in the pilot, billing Brainiac as the main antagonist, and of course, Doomsday (a failed experiment participated by members of the Houses of Zod and El) in stasis.
They furthered the time travel aspect by throwing General Zod – portrayed by former Arrow star Colin Salmon – into the mix, potentially disrupting the timeline and the actual threat that fledgling superhero Adam Strange (Shaun Sipoh) was charged with stopping. They have also stepped away from the initial notion that this is within the DCEU continuity in two areas. While David S. Goyer has introduced elements of Man of Steel into the plot, such as Krypton being a guilded society and the populace reproducing via the genesis chamber, there are significant points of deviation. First, the Superman cape – the evaporating ticking clock ala Back To The Future – has the adorned yellow “S” as opposed to Henry Cavill’s in recent films. Second, for a more modern approach, they made Zod have an African-American lineage, and Seyg and Lyta (Georgina Campbell) locked in a forbidden romance. They have also tied Krypton’s eventual fate in with Brainiac’s taking of Kandor, which will have a catastrophic effect on the planet’s core within 200 years. However, they have gone one step further with a subplot that not only changes the direction of the season but rewrites Superman history in general.
In last Wednesday’s episode “Hope,” Lyta and Dru conspire to unleash Doomsday upon the possessed Voice of Rao to stop Brainiac’s arrival. As previously revealed, the chamber can only be opened by both the blood of an El and a Zod. Also, Zod claimed that he had never known his father; he had been told he was a soldier who died during the battle for Kandor.
When Dru reveals he has both by successfully opening the chamber – which was empty thanks to Seg – he claims that after meeting Seg he knows now who his father is. Unless he somehow fooled the DNA scanner, the greatest enemy of the Man of Steel is now Jor-El’s half-brother and his uncle.
This also throws in the possibility of double jeopardy for the man whose grand designs for Kandor are now known to Seg. Given Lyta’s decision to side with Zod, this has caused a rift between him and Seg; if not repaired, this would threaten his conception. At the same time, Strange – determined to save Superman and protect the timeline – has made it his business to kill Zod and prevent the rescue of Kandor. Zod’s very presence and his plan, in turn, threaten both Krypton’s future and Superman’s origin.
However, if Seg is his father, then this threatens any possible unmentioned plan to kill the ancestor of his greatest nemesis. Also, given that Seg already has a child incubating within the genesis chamber through an arranged with Nyssa Vex (Wallis Day) could Dru Zod also be what heresy on Krypton is? Could he be a natural birth like Superman was in MOS?
The season finale is scheduled next week, but the show has not yet been renewed. It remains to be seen – as there have been examples in the past – if this plot device will have any influence over the regular comics continuity. Zod has become a cornerstone of Superman’s history. In the DC universe, he is the personification of all the fears of Superman’s abilities presents to the people of Earth – even his very contemporaries – when they’re in the wrong hands. The possibility of inserting a linear connection – which would make Zod’s son, Lar-Zod, Clark’s nephew and, further, Jon his cousin – would be both controversial and interesting to see. However, all that hinges on the reception of this revelation on the show. Hardcore fans are very accepting, but will they accept Zod as Superman’s uncle?
Time will tell.