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Jor-El and Zod were great friends during both their youths on Krypton. Zod had settled down with a wife and son in Kandor while he was a Major and Jor-El was married to Lara-El. They looked out for each other during their time on Krypton as Zod greatly respecting Jor-El as the most renowned scientist on Krypton.
Despite their great friendship, Zod and Jor-El used to fight until all hours of a night due to their beliefs and differences. And still, it did not mean that Zod did not respect him for who he was.
- "Jor-El... is the truest hero I have ever known. He has dedicated his life's work not to death... or war... but to creation." – Zod to the Ruling Council about Jor-El
Twenty years before Krypton's destruction, Jor-El began to create the technology to preserve the DNA of Kryptonians but the Ruling Council took a particular interest while the war with Black Zero raging and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to ensure Krypton's future should Rao's prophecy ever come true.After Black Zero destroyed Kandor (and Zod's wife and child) and Jor-El on trial for treason, Zod bargained for Jor-El's life that they'd would have to finish the project they started. Zod knew that Jor-El would complete the project and wanted Jor-El to create a clone of his son which Zod had kept a lock of hair. However, Jor-El refused as he didn't see it as his place to interfere with destiny. Enraged, Zod's hatred of Jor-El began as he (Zod) said he (Jor-El) was as dead as Zod's son and started a feud that would last forever against Jor-El.
Years later, Zod became a General and began to gather a secret army in an attempt to take over Krypton and declare himself absolute ruler. Sometime after, a long civil war began between Zod and the Ruling Council. Soon after, the Council asked Jor-El, who had been granted a place on the Council by this time, to create the Brain InterActive Construct using Dax-Ur's designs.
With this, Zod's hatred of Jor-El grew and saw it his job to corrupt Jor-El's masterpiece and turn it to his side, a job he completed. He also used the shared hatred of Zor-El (Jor-El's brother) and used him as a vital source of Council information. Jor-El and the Council eventually captured Zod and his second wife Faora. Zod and Faora were sentenced to the Phantom Zone by Jor-El, with Zod swearing revenge someday, confident that Jor-El could not save Krypton.
Having spent nearly 20 years as a Phantom wraith within Jor-El's prison, Zod's hatred of Jor-El and his family grew even more. But with his disciples and Brainiac working to free him, Zod knew he would be released. When Zod was released into Lex Luthor's body, he attempted terraform Earth into a new Krypton and continued his hatred of Jor-El which was passed onto his only son: Kal-El.
Zod referred to Kal-El as an idealistic fool just like his father. When Kal-El forced Zod out of Lex's body, he said his father (Jor-El) sent his regards.
- "Here on this planet, when we emerged from the orb, we were shadows of our former selves. But those we were created from stayed behind on Krypton and had full lives -- spouses, children. Many years later, you decided to lead a military coup to take over Krypton. But on the eve of your defeat, instead of surrendering, you chose to raze our planet." – Jor-El's clone to Zod, Kandor
When Zod's clone had recalled his original self's memories of Jor-El's first betrayal as he believed they were his own memories, Jor-El's clone revealed that everyone (him, Zod and the Kandorian army) were all genetic duplicates released from the Orb, also revealing what he had learned about the original Zod's role in the destruction of Krypton. Although he was angered at Jor-El's refusal to restore the Kandorians' powers, Zod nevertheless regretted Jor-El's death, executing the Kandorian responsible and showing some respect for Kal-El out of recognition of his relationship with his father. Jor-El's last words were to ask his son to save Zod, but despite Clark's efforts he was unable to stop Zod from falling into the same villainous path as his template.
- The relationship between Jor-El and Zod mirrors the one between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor as both of them started out as friends until betrayals made them into archrivals.
- Ironically, the relationship between Clark Kent (the son of Jor-El and Lara-El) and Davis Bloome (the "son" of General Zod and Faora) stared out as friends for a time before becoming enemies.
- Interestingly enough, Kal-El (Clark Kent) ended up continuing a similiar, complex relationship with Major Zod.
| Zod in Smallville|