Acclaimed writer Joe Casey is known for his transformative take on Superman during 1999-2004, and now he’s taking on the Kryptonian Superman villain, General Zod, in the upcoming comic series, Kneel Before Zod.
Named after Terence Stampl’s famous catchphrase from Superman II, the series will feature art from Dan McDaid and mark Casey’s long-awaited return to DC Comics, since his Superman/Batman run in 2010. The series will be presented in the style of a “year one” narrative, offering a glimpse into the days that drove Zod towards a dark path, and shedding light on the origins of his menacing demeanor. In an interview with Popverse, Casey talked about the upcoming series and his DC comeback.
Written by JOE CASEY Art by DAN MCDAID Cover by JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER Variant Cover Artists RAFAEL SARMENTO, DAN MCDAID, ARIEL COLON and BJORN BARENDS
Casey revealed that it was DC that approached him for the project, he also admitted that he wasn’t familiar with the character’s background, beforehand. “They came to me, saying they wanted a Zod series that took him back to his bastard roots,” he said. “When I did the research, I couldn’t believe he had a wife and kid!” The series will kick off with a gut-wrenching catalyst, as Zod suffers the loss of his family, making him sympathetic. As Casey aptly put it, “When anyone has a family, that’s their Achilles Heel.”
As Zod establishes his dominion on a newfound planet, envisioning it as the new Krypton, he unwittingly becomes the target of numerous cosmic enemies far and wide. When asked if the character will have a significant presence in the DC universe, Casey hinted that the character will represent a threat to the whole cosmic world, and may even appear outside of Superman comics, as opposed to previous, more grounded works. “Anyone that can be classified as an ‘Evil Superman,’ with all of the powers and none of the morality…that’s a threat to everybody.”
Casey also discussed Zod’s similarities to other extremely powerful characters, such as Evil Superman and The Boys‘ Homelander, emphasizing that Kneel Before Zod will showcase his preexisting psychological depth. In his words, “Writing Kneel Before Zod, it does feel like I’m writing Superman again. There’s flight, there’s super strength, there’s heat vision, all the abilities that Superman has. They’re just used for different ends.” He added, “The book is dark and violent, but the character choices I think are what I look forward to the most.”
Casey cited Michael Shannon’s portrayal of Zod in DCEU’s Man of Steel as an inspiration, referring to him as a “clear-cut, laser-focused” adversary. “A villain should always have that, so I took a little from that.” He also added, “I don’t believe a character has to be likable for a reader to want to read about them.” Acknowledging his return to DC after over a decade, Casey stated, “I love the DC Universe, and I’ve had a lot of thoughts over the years about these characters, and yeah – a lot of pent-up energy to get back in this universe and mess around.”
Kneel Before Zod #1 will be available in comic book shops on Jan. 2, 2024, from DC Comics.
Renowned Superman writer Joe Casey is once again heading to Krypton, but this time he’s focusing on the villain, General Zod. Read More