General Zod’s return in The Flash has a deeper meaning for the reset of the live-action DC Universe. After previously being seen in 2013’s Man of Steel, the first film in the now-defunct DCEU, Michael Shannon is set to make his return as the Kryptonian villain, which will see him portray an alternate version of General Zod when Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) finds himself trapped in a new timeline after trying to travel through time to save his mother. General Zod previously met his demise at the hands of Henry Cavill’s Superman, but now it’ll be the Flash and Michael Keaton’s Batman attempting to thwart the villain.
Influenced by DC Comics’ 2011 Flashpoint event, The Flash will replace the threat of the Atlantean-Amazon War, led by brutal versions of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, for General Zod who was previously seen in Man of Steel. This isn’t the only change from the comic storyline, as Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, from 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns will be helping the Flash instead of Thomas Wayne’s version of Batman in Flashpoint. However, with The Flash set to reset the DC Universe and kick-start James Gunn’s new DCU in 2025, General Zod might be the perfect villain to revive.
General Zod’s Return In The Flash Is A Perfect Full-Circle Moment
The fact that General Zod was featured as the primary antagonist of Man of Steel makes him perfect to bring back for The Flash. Man of Steel started the DCEU in 2013, introducing the world to a new version of Superman, who dispatches Zod after a catastrophic battle through Metropolis. The Flash is set to bring this timeline to an end, allowing new heroes to enter the DCU in Peter Safran and James Gunn’s overhaul of the DC Universe. Zod’s return in The Flash means he will be both the first, and the final villain of the DCEU, creating the perfect full-circle moment before the franchise moves on.
How Will General Zod’s Return Work Without Henry Cavill’s Superman?
General Zod and Superman were so closely connected in Man of Steel that it’s difficult to imagine Zod’s return without Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent. Even so, Cavill won’t be reprising his role in The Flash, or in fact any future projects within the new DCU, which is perhaps the cornerstone of Zod’s attack on Earth. It was Superman that stopped Zod in Man of Steel, but in a world without Superman, Zod may be free to finalize his plans. However, Zod won’t be the only Kryptonian featured in The Flash, as DC newcomer Sasha Calle will portray Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl, who could be the best replacement for Cavill’s Superman.
In the original Flashpoint storyline, Superman was taken prisoner by the US Government, which seems to be the case for Supergirl in The Flash, as she is seen wearing a prison uniform before donning her iconic costume. This perhaps suggests that, instead of following Superman to Earth as he did during Man of Steel, General Zod could have instead followed Supergirl, and perhaps has no knowledge of anyone named Kal-El (Superman’s real name), if he even exists in The Flash’s alternate reality. While it will be a shame to see Zod back without Superman, his return means the DCEU will get real closure before moving on to better things.
More: Why Supergirl Is A Prisoner In The Flash Movie