The revelation that Colin Salmon's mysterious Black Zero operative on Krypton was in fact General Dru-Zod, one of Superman's greatest enemies, was a game-changer for the series, instantly undoing everything fans thought they knew about the show's premise and villain.
Zod, who has traveled back through time to save Krypton from the destruction it is destined to suffer if Brainiac steals Kandor, made himself a villain of the future almost inadvertently, since his actions would prevent the birth of Superman. Now, Adam Strange is determined to stop him as much as Zod is determined to stop Brainiac.
Salmon recently spoke with ComicBook.com about the season, which ends next week, and his approach to the iconic character.
How is it to actually be able to talk about this role, after months of keeping it under wraps?
I've got to say, that was one of the things I loved. I was so proud that we all managed to keep that secret. That tells you the sort of level of comradery and the ability to keep the council. It shows how tight a team we are. I think when people look back at that they will be quite amazed, actually, that that secret didn't come out.
I think the way the character was introduced just gave it such impact. I'm really loving the way the public is responding, and seeing Zod as a character as opposed to just a villain. Not to be too simplistic, but it's much harder to hate Satan when he charms you, you know what I mean? And the charm is working.
The way you play the character is that he's largely unconcerned with Adam's pleas: "Well, if there's no Superman, who saves the universe a hundred times?" Do you think Zod is of the opinion that he could do that himself?
Well, I think the clue was in last weeks speech when he's talking to his grandmother. 'Cause it's Superman on his own. Any Kryptonian that makes it to Earth under that sun, has that power. I could take an army. One man compared to what, an army? I mean, we could do so much good. Or bad!
I find it a bit interesting, getting into Zod's head,. What's intriguing is that scenario where the sun is a secret weapon. This guy, here he is, on Earth being the big secret hero, and if we'd only known, we could have all been there doing great things.
And that becomes clearer. I don't mean to give away any spoilers. I think Zod's intention becomes much much clearer, and I genuinely think he's coming from an honorable place. But I do think, unfortunately, because of his almost Spartan like upbringing, there will be conflict.
It's lovely seeing Lyta-Zod with Seg in there -- mulling and not kissing, just showing each other affection. My character is totally puzzled by it. I've never seen it; I don't understand, and I think that's very sad, in a way, because I think that sort of has been proven. If you don't love children, they grow up with a deficit, and I think Zod definitely has done that.
Jayna seems to be the person who is the most positioned to oppose Dru-Zod at this point. We haven't seen you a ton on screen with Ann, but is that a relationship that's fun to play?
Oh, yeah, without question. I think Ann's fight scene last week was just extraordinary when she's in the Genesis Chamber and she takes off running. That sums up everything about her.
But, I also think there is a definite parallel between us. I am her grandson. You know how sometimes things jump a generation? That's what I feel. And in terms of my character, how do you create a backstory to a character? Well, thankfully, they've written my grandmother and my mother and there's a bit about my grandfather in there and great-uncle, and the world that we come from. So, my backstory has been almost written.
I love that little line where I just go [to Lyta], "I've never seen you like this." And she says, "Well, how?" And I say, "Well, happy and laughing."
And she says, "What's wrong? So, I turn into my mother."
So, you sort of see something really happens to Lyta. Something happens. And you can almost see it coming. I don't know with the Nyssa-Vex and Seg relationship. You can always feel there's gonna be a choice soon. You know what I mean? It's not for me to say how it pans out. But there's tragedy coming, and I think my character is sort of quite surprised by the lightness on Krypton at the moment. I don't understand it.
But, yeah, there's a power between me and Ann. When you work with Ann, and we have this stare out, which we did in one of the episodes, we drew on each other. Something happened. It was chemical.
When we were on set one of the scenes that I watched being shot was the big office showdown between her character and Elliot Cowan, and they were both just terrific.
Yes. I think this is extraordinary. I'm gonna be brutally honest: You know you can go off on [a project]. You can talk about, "Oh, everybody's great." I absolutely can say without categorically I watch this show and I forget I'm in it. I'm absolutely watching every scene because if I miss a look, or a beat, something happens.
Everybody's giving it 100%, and I'm really excited about that 'cause that's, there's not a weak link. There's no favors. Everybody's pulling hard, and I think that's important` because we're talking about Krypton here. We're talking about the Superman world, that universe. And I think everybody's aware of how important that is. That's really important.
If I was doing the "Aeneid" or if I was doing "Virgil" or the "Odyssey" or something, we would treat it with that kind of respect. And actually, we are doing a modern version. This is the 20th version of this. It's fact. You've got to include that fan base and the way these people look into it and talk about it to realize this is a metaphor for many things and it's being treated very seriously. And I'm really pleased about that. So, yeah, you have to include it.
Your character does not lie -- but he has his own long game in play. Do you think that when he told Seg he would try to win without Doomsday, in the back of his mind, he always knew what it would boil down to?
I think he's changed the plan. I mean, the plan changes. I think that Seg-El is a fantastic human being, a very bright man. Not a soldier.
I'm a military man. I am the military. And it's like, I need the weapon. And if I feel that, at the time in which I said it, because I do not lie. I don't take any truck with it. I don't need to lie. Only a coward lies. And I think Zod is not a coward.
So, at the time at that point when he's injured and he thinks there's another way, we think there's another way. Now, we saw how last week ended. We saw that child. We saw a suicide bomber; we saw a child used as a bomb. I don't think people really understood the echo of that threat. That use of the sort of fundamentalist religious ideal, zeal in using the innocence of a child to utilize. So moving. But, I think from that point, I think Zod will understand that we need what we need.
Enough talking. Its like I was standing around last week. Everybody's going, "If we die, so be it." [Kem] says, "Excuse me. I don't really want to die." And I'm looking at him like, "What are you talking about?"
With that said, Rasmus, I mean, he's amazing. And what I loved about that scene was any one of those characters around that table could lead, I felt, different uses, and Kem, he has the knowledge of the Rankless. They would follow him. If he decides to take on and galvanize the masses, he has that power. Nyssa has the brain power and the ability to get guilded. My grandmother and mother, obviously, they're the bosses. And Seg has got this amazing charm and wisdom.
So, at any point, there wasn't anybody around that table with more power or less power than me. It's interesting. It's a very humbling thing. At the time when we shot the scene, I was listening to the scene thinking, "Yeah, actually this is interesting 'cause there's nobody here that's just flab." Everybody's is key.
I think Zod is a soldier, and he will do whatever it takes. And he has seen what's coming, and I think that just makes him slightly more urgent than everybody else.
What do you think is Zod's ideal outcome here? Like, where do you think he wants to be in two weeks?
I think what he's doing, where he wants to be in two weeks is the victor. He wants to be victorious over Braniac. I think that's key right now.
I think that is his main objective is just to sort of, prevent the destruction of Krypton. I think that is, without question, his goal. I think he says that and I think he means that.1comments
Zod is just an Alpha, capital A. I don't think he wants to follow. It's interesting 'cause at the moment I think he really respects his grandmother and, I mean, she is the Primus. She has that power. So, I think it's gonna be House of Zod. But, yeah, my main objective without a doubt is to save Krypton.
I mean, Braniac is a formidable opponent. I don't really want to spoil it. It's a battle royale, man. I mean it's serious shit. Obviously there will be a reckoning after what's going to occur, but my main objective is, without a doubt, to stop Braniac.