It’s a great time for Superman fans, with the Man of Steel soaring into movies, TV, animation and comics. To help us stay on top of it, writer Tim Beedle shares what's grabbed his attention and why in this monthly Super-Family column.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other night about war—or to be precise, about the non-conventional way a war is presented in a book she’d just finished reading. Without getting into the specifics of it all, it was my thought that the author of the book was largely concerned with showing the impact and damage war can do to all facets of society, much of it unexpected, and far less worried about letting us know who was winning or losing.

I bring this up only because it reminded me a bit of Kneel Before Zod, the newly launched Joe Casey and Dan McDaid comic that features the notorious super-villain in the lead role. Dru-Zod’s had an interesting time of late within the DC Universe. After years of serving as one of Superman’s core adversaries, Zod has settled with his family on a remote planet where they’re attempting to rebuild Kryptonian society. He’s forged a (slightly uneasy) truce with Superman and has agreed to join the United Planets as a show of good faith.

Can we still call Zod a super-villain? We definitely can’t call him a hero. He may not be trying to destroy Earth at the moment, but he has no problem subjugating the native inhabitants of his new world and forcing them to serve him and his family. And he’s built what has been cryptically referred as “an ultimate weapon”—a massive war machine which he swears can annihilate any enemy threat regardless of its strength, scope and size. Maybe Zod’s not currently an antagonist, but he rules like a tyrant and warmonger, and I have zero confidence that he wouldn’t eventually turn the might of New Kandor against the rest of the universe were he to succeed in bringing back Kryptonian society.

So, it’s interesting that the war he finds himself waging in Kneel Before Zod wasn’t started by him. Rather, a squadron of Khund rebels have attacked the planet on which he’s settled, forcing Zod and his wife Ursa to lead an army of natives and some quickly produced Eradicator drones to defend everything they’ve built. Why did the Khunds attack? I don’t know, and in a nod to the conversation I had with my friend, I don’t know how much that even matters. What I find most interesting about the whole thing—and about Zod’s war-centered lifestyle—are the unanticipated and often surprising consequences.

On the surface, General Zod doesn’t seem like the ideal family man, but his wife Ursa and his son Lor-Zod both share his unyielding beliefs in Kryptonian superiority and strength. They’re as ruthless as he is, and as such, have been devoted to Dru-Zod since their first appearance. However, Zod seems to be questioning some of what he’s believed since the establishment of New Kandor. It remains to be seen how much these small moments of self-doubt will actually change Zod and how he operates—the guy’s still pretty ruthless—but they seem to have tempered his need to conquer everything in sight, at least for right now. He may have built a massive weapon capable of killing millions, but he seems hesitant to use it unless there’s no other choice.

That’s different from the General Zod we would have seen ten years ago, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his family. His son, with the impertinent authority of all young teens, is the first to point it out, insisting that they use the weapon they’ve built even before the Khund invasion.

“We are conquerors!” he shouts. “It is our divine right to unleash hell upon the galaxy! And if we now have the weapon you claim this is—we must endeavor to use it! Unless you don’t have the stomach for it!”

Ultimately, Lor-Zod’s defiance leads to his exile from New Kandor, forcing Dru-Zod and Ursa to face the invading Khunds on their own. Yet, it’s only a matter of time before Ursa questions her husband’s reluctance to use his new weapon as well, violently striking him in one of the book’s most shocking moments to date and destroying the throne he had built for himself.

That proves to be enough to motivate Zod to take his place at the head of the army they’ve created and lead it into battle against the invaders, but you get the real sense that there’s much more to come in this little marital spat based on how issue #2 ends.

I don’t want to make assumptions about how everything here is going to turn out, but Zod’s commitment to war and conquest and unwavering belief in Kryptonian superiority had for years earned him the devotion of his wife and son. Now, faced with an invasion that’s putting those ideals to the test, it’s cost him his son and may soon cost him his wife as well. Zod is right in that the Khunds are ultimately of no consequence—this isn’t even the Khund army, just a rogue squadron. They’re not likely to defeat two of Krypton’s best soldiers and strategists, even if they’re greatly outnumbered and commanding an army that’s new to battle. But just because the Khunds can’t win doesn’t mean they can’t claim victory—this barely organized attack may have just cost Zod his family.

Considering it’s a family who has long been united by their drive for war, I’d say that’s pretty ironic. Dru-Zod’s likely played this very moment over and over in his head, savoring the devastation wrought by the army at his command. And yet, no matter how many times he envisioned it, I can’t imagine he ever saw that coming.

The first two issues of Kneel Before Zod by Joe Casey, Dan McDaid and David Baron are now available in print. The series can also be read on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Tim Beedle covers movies, TV and comics for, writes our monthly Superman column, "Super Here For...", and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our recurring television column. Follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle and Bluesky at @TimBeedle.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Tim Beedle and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.