Smallville's ninth season brings on the bad guy that fans have been waiting for for years now: General Zod. Except, as actor Callum Blue told us at Comic-Con, the Zod we're about to meet isn't necessarily the Zod we expect.
Blue was full of teases and analysis about his Major Zod - there's a time-travel element to the character's appearance in the show - but said that, for all his complexity, he's a very simple man:
I don't want him to have any question in his mind about what he wants to do. I don't want him to have any redeeming qualities or redeeming features. There's definitely a human side of him, he's insecure, there's a reason why he's a villain... The complexities of the character, the reasons why he wants what he wants and does what he does, that's what interests me. The human side of it. I think he's a very sad lonely character, but he doesn't ever let that show... There's a reason he's so shut down. Before I go on set, I'm in my trailer, working myself into a real emotional state, and then I go on set and try to cover that up, so there's always some fire going on within him, but there's a coolness as well... He knows what he wants. He wants everyone to kneel before him.
That famous line, in fact, is one of Blue's favorite things about the character:
I'm milking [Kneel before Zod] for all it's worth, I mean, I love that line. I've already said it in the show, it's in the first episode. [Zod's] not quite as cool as Terence Stamp yet, but he's growing into it... I remember the movie from being a kid, and remember being terrified of him. That steely coldness, he's not over the top at all in that movie, and that terrified me when I was a kid. I loved it.
It's also not the only thing he hopes to steal from the Zod we saw in Superman II:
My costume at the moment is army fatigues, because I have a whole army, kind of like the Fascist Party, and I'm the leader of it? So we all have the same outfit, with armbands... It's a different take on the costume. I guess when I start growing into being General Zod - I'm actually Major Zod at the moment - that's when the [movie's more familiar] costume will come in. And I'm hoping it's really low, like the one [from Superman II]. I'm going to do a few more weights before that.
Explaining just who Zod will be in season nine, and who will be there with him, requires some lateral thinking. Pay attention, all:
The Zod that took over Lex's body was the future me. This is where it gets confusing: Zod is in the Phantom Zone, Tess takes me from the past, where I haven't actually... Zod in the show has blown up Krypton, he's in the Phantom Zone for major crimes against Krypton, I think he's the one who destroyed the planet. I haven't done that yet in my body. But that will be happening... Faora... I think that's my future wife? She's in it, she's with me all the time. And the guy that doesn't speak - but he does speak in this version, Non. He's in it too. And they're great, they're my sidekicks and I boss them around a lot. But in the first couple of episodes, nobody knows what's going on, and I have to fight to get my power back. There's a huge speech, it's kind of a Hitler speech, and he gets everybody back on his side... Everybody turns against me because we've been promised these powers [on Earth] and we get there and we don't have these powers and we don't know why.
Smallville season nine - complete with Hitler-esque Zod, whom is fond of kneeling, premieres September 25th on the CW.