Mark Gibbon, a Canadian character actor who played one of the oil rig workers rescued by Superman in Man of Steel, will next take on the role of General Zod in Supergirl.
Gibbon will be a recognizable face to fans of geek entertainment, with roles on TV and in film including Smallville, Arrow, and The X-Files. He also has a voice-acting resume that includes playing the Incredible Hulk, The Thing, and Nick Fury in various Marvel animated projects.
The news first broke at Bleeding Cool last night, but ComicBook.com has been able to independently verify with Warner Bros. Television that Gibbon will play the famed villain, previously played by Terrence Stamp in Superman II and Michael Shannon in Man of Steel.
Zod's has appeared on live-action TV before, too: Callum Blue played the role on Smallville.
Zod is generally depicted as the fascistic leader of Krypton's military forces, a bloodthirsty man who often finds himself at odds with Jor-El, a learned, peaceful man and a member of Krypton's ruling elite. In the forthcoming Syfy series Krypton, Man of Steel writer David Goyer will explore a generations-old rivalry between the two families.
The exact nature of Zod's adversarial relationship to Superman changes often, depending on the current version of the mythology that's in fashion in the comics or onscreen, but he has often been depicted as the first person Superman has ever killed, and the experience of doing so a traumatic experience for the Man of Steel. In early comics, Zod had created an army of imperfect clones of himself to serve as zombie-like troops in his service on Krypton, calling them "bizarros." A similar idea played out in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, when Zod's corpse was used as genetic material to create Doomsday, the monster who would kill Superman.
In the comics and previous film outings, Zod has ties to Non, the character played by Chris Vance in the first season of Supergirl.
Zod will apear in the season finale. It's not clear whether he will be set up as a villain for future seasons, or whether the appearance might happen in flashback or something like it. With both Superman and Cat Grant back for the finale, it's difficult to imagine the show has room in its runtime for anyone not directly tied to the main Rhea or Cadmus stories being the "villain of the week."
Gibbon is far from the first person to carry over from another Superman-related project to Supergirl; Kara's parents on the show are played by Supergirl star Helen Slater and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman actor Dean Cain. This season's big bad, the Daxamite queen Rhea, is played by Lois and Clark's titular Lois, Teri Hatcher.