Obviously, Zod wasn’t going to win in Man of Steel since he didn’t win in the original Superman movie either. But as imposing as this character is supposed to be, and the fact that he’s taken Superman to the limit before should make it clear that Zod isn’t someone to be messed with unless one is willing to go to the extreme when it comes to defeating him for good.
This is one of the fatal flaws of so many superheroes, they’re not willing to pull the trigger, metaphorically or literally, when it comes to ridding the world of supervillains. One could be cynical and state that if the heroes took out every villain they could that they would have little to nothing to do other than solve and fix world problems, but their moral standing when it comes to not taking life unless it’s necessary is kind of a joke since the collateral damage that can and does occur during an average hero battle is proof enough that they’re not always that self-aware. But the fact in this matter is that Zod might be a villain who doesn’t care about others, but he’s honest, at least when it comes to his motives.
Here are five reasons why Zod should have beaten Superman in Man of Steel.
5. Zod was a more experienced fighter.
Many people like to argue about this by stating that Zod had his ass handed to him by Jor-El with ease, but going deeper into that explanation, it could be that Jor-El was a highly trained fighter as well as a scientist, it is known to happen. But Clark hadn’t been formally trained as far as anyone knew, and while Zod’s own martial skill was in question, his sense of tactics and how to plot the battlefield would have been more than enough to give him equal footing, if not give him an advantage against Superman, even if Zod didn’t know the lay of the land. One has to remember that despite what is believed about generals at times, a lot of them did reach their rank for a good reason since their knowledge of battlefield tactics could be superior to many of those around them.
4. Zod’s ability to adapt and learn on the fly was far better than Clark’s.
It shouldn’t be too hard to remember that Clark took quite a while to learn how to use his powers and how to keep them hidden since his father didn’t want him to reveal what he could do to anyone. That sounds a little hard to put up with since Clark had already shown people what he was able to do at that point, but his mastery over the powers that he didn’t understand came after years with the guidance of his adoptive parents.
Zod had a bit of trouble, that’s for certain, but he was shooting heat lasers out of his eyes and flying with control a great deal quicker than Clark had since, as a soldier, it was either learn to do something in the moment or die. Or at least, that’s the feeling that was given.
3. Zod had fewer limits to which he would go.
Superman has always been the type of hero that doesn’t kill and is all about trying to preserve life as much as possible. As stated, this is a flaw in heroes that many would see as great since it means that they won’t play judge, jury, and executioner with anyone’s life.
Unfortunately, it is a major flaw since it means that they’ll seek to lock up or reform villains that don’t have the same beliefs they do and are out to cause as much trouble as possible. Zod wasn’t about to play nice, and he didn’t have the same limits as Superman, meaning that he would have gladly killed everyone on earth so that Krypton could be reborn. That kind of fanaticism is hard to fight against since it prompts an individual to do what they need to do to get results.
2. There were two choices that Zod had, to fight or to give in.
There are fans out there who have commented that Zod had no other recourse save to force Superman’s hand when it came to killing him, as any and all chance of Krypton had been destroyed. Because of this, Zod forced Superman to kill him before he could kill the humans who were in his sight.
On the flip side, many believe that had the positions been reversed and Zod had been on top, he would have snapped Superman’s neck after a long-winded speech, but he still would have done it. That’s the difference, Zod might love his homeworld in his own way, but he’s not shy about killing to preserve it.
1. It would have proven that plot armor isn’t absolute.
One reason among many that Superman is able to survive in so many situations, especially against opponents that are just as tough, if not tougher than he is, happens to be plot armor. Whether people want to admit this or not is kind of irrelevant since it takes an opponent like Doomsday to do anything significant to him. From being super strong to super durable to super…everything, Superman is garbed in one thing that can’t really be overcome unless it’s done by the writers, plot armor.