There is an occasional poster to Usenet who calls himself "General Zod" and who tends to post "in character". He does this infrequently enough to keep it amusing rather than annoying in most cases -- which is, itself, something of a rarity online, where most jokes must be beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death again several times. (he may, in fact, be some other poster just occasionally assuming this alternative identity).
He is ALSO one of the very, very, VERY few posters on ANY forum to essentially reduce me to speechlessness through sheer awe. A recent comment by Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) on Usenet reminded me of this time. I resolved that the Words of the True Zod should not be hidden away on Usenet.
As "General Zod" replies online "in character", it's obvious that commonly discussions with him end up as minor roleplaying without a GM; generally on Usenet this will devolve to a slightly more literate equivalent of "I shot you!" "No, ya didn't, see, because I put up my force field!" "No, see, because my gun shot forcefield penetrating bullets!" "No, see..."
In this particular exchange, Zod actually offered initial respect (and the oceans) to the Sea Wasp (myself) but then there were some veiled threats, Kryptonite was mentioned, and it all could have ended in the usual banal way...
... but this was not to be.
Behind the following cut you will encounter one of the mightiest, wide-ranging, not to say psychologically disturbing, rants ever posted on Usenet. (note: Usenet has a tradition of quoted prior material interspersed with the reply. Material preceded by an angle-bracket is prior material (in this case, mine).)
Sea Wasp <seawaspobvi...@sgeobviousinc.com> wrote in
> Why not settle for a "pulsate respectfully before Zod"?
I suppose that will have to do.
But it's just not the same...*sigh*.
> Kryptonite is MUCH more common in the oceans, as over 75% of the
> surface area of the earth is (wait for it) ocean. My good friend
> Cthulhu (cute guy) has generously donated a good supply which I have
> incorporated into my own biology.
Your selfless courage in volunteering to be the first line of defence
against Kal-El when...I mean, If, he returns from the crushing defeat I
inflicted on him and his subsequent imprisonment in a venue foul and
miserable which shall remain nameless lest any of his surviving
effeminately caped pets harbour any treacherous thoughts of scheming to
free him at the eleventh hour, which would of course be futile in any
event as the particular crushing defeat of which I speak was really
rather splendid in its immutable finality and I keep him alive merely for
sentiment's sake - Non went all misty-eyed when I explained that he
wouldn't be able to torture Kal-El any more if Kal-El was dead.
And Non with misty eyes: can you say diffraction effect? Because he
can't, and his laser vision is showing signs of beginning to work. And
the last thing I need is a henchman who shoots pretty rainbows from his
head when he goes about My Great and Inexorably Kneecap-Ablating work!
...where was I? Ah yes, suicidal bravery as evidenced by crafty limpid
Commendable - and as utterly superfluous as Kal-El's broken submission is
Were One of a suspicious cast of mind, One might even think your
eagerness to throw down your life in My service was...shall we
say...somewhat bolstered in its furiosity by the extreme unlikelihood of
its ever being put to the test?
If One didn't know you as well as One does, One might even have responded
to this...lingering doubt...by withholding the information that Kal-El's
idiot cousin has just left Atlantis where her dear friend Arthur confided
to her certain details pertaining to the nature, name and location of a
loyal and trusted subordinate of General Zod.
You are that subordinate!
Kara Zor-El has got her red miniskirt on and she's coming to pull off all
your tentacles, one by one!
And then she's going to eat them. She said so.
(I have super-hearing, you know. Also, I broke Aquaman two weeks ago and
he's been my little pet fish-Judas ever since.)
Now is the time!
Time to prove your obedience to Zod!
Zor-El impacts on your location in three minutes after you read this!
(I have all the powers that doltish defeated dupe of a fatuous bleating
fool can never remember he has. I have all the powers that his cousin
probably never realised she had in the first place.
Thus, I know exactly where you swim and how long it will be before you
ooze your tentacles back onto your keyboard, just as I know the exact
position and velocity of Kara Zor-El. 
Who's going the wrong way, and won't think to use time travel to
compensate until exactly two minutes and twenty-nine seconds from your
kryptonite-infused optical clusters scanning this sentence and heroically
overcoming your lack of a central nervous system to deliver its meaning
to your consciousness, so apt to wickedness, that lurks in the dim
thicket of your fourfold rudimentary brainish approximations.
---I wrote an excessively long sentence just then as a small hint on the
rewards of unquestioning obedience to Zod: you now have only twenty-six
seconds before Kara Zor-El hits. And the only reason it's that long is
because she took herself up to orbit first, all the better to make an
My super-vision shows Zor-El has just turned like a DC mainstay's
backstory on the cusp of the atmosphere!
She is diving! She has entered her attack run! She has read too much
_Authority_ and has been questioning her cousin's sexuality on the basis
of a blond himbo from the other side of Crisis who doesn't deserve the
marvellously murderous husband that he's got!
Now, float ready to make good your promise to your Lord and Master,
General Zod! 
You must act fast! The so-called Supergirl is waxed woesome wroth! With
rage as sheer as her legs are smooth, fuse shorter than that crimson belt
she pretends to believe is actually a skirt, fuse far shorter and fuse
burned down, fuse-flinging fire and fuse furiously igniting a frenzied
fury full near as bare as most of the rest of her---
---she is coming.
And, in the name of General Zod, you must get her to put you in her
Then she will kneel!
Kneel before Wasp!
As Wasp pullates respectfully before Zod!
(Thoughtful pause)....*glances nonchalantly up at the sky*....*cocks head
on one side and listens intently*...
...(further meditative pause)...
Oh, bugger. If *that* didn't get Wonder Woman to come out of hiding and
try to smack me one, then I must consider my faith in two-dimensional
characterisation to be misplaced. Perhaps she has realised that misogyny
dies fast when it's standing next to Ursa, and that therefore it must
have been a trap. Or could it be she knows invisible hulls are by
definition transparent to such things as focussed beams of EM radiation.
And no doubt she'll have considered the greenhouse effect.
Plan B. it is, then. Slaughter innocents until Wonder Woman gives herself
up. _Such a bloody cliche_, you know?
(Before we go any further, it should be pointed out that Kara would kneel
before Zod without the necessity of suffering from kryptonite poisoning
to do so, for as Zod is mightier than Wasp, so Zod needs not such tricks
 as it behooves a modest fatally-toxic xenochemically-enhanced marine
invertebrate to employ when engineering a crushing defeat against a
virtually invulnerable metahuman from a world long lost across the
boundless gulfs of space, where minds immeasurably superior to man were
betrayed into the Phantom Zone and left to regard the Earths with envious
eyes, and slowly, but surely, to wait frozen in the winds of nothingness
until accidentally freed by a monkey-loving country bumpkin commiting an
act of brute stupidity with a small nuclear device in a French lift, said
bumpkin having cravenly fled the fall of his own home world in a craft
whose workings he did not understand, and which would have sent him
howling into a black hole were it not for the guiding hand of the
aforementioned minds immeasurably superior to man, namely Yours Truly
(BEFORE WHOM ALL MUST KNEEL!) and my dear homicidal friend Ursa, (whose
undying loyalty and equally unremitting bloodlust I reward by permitting
her to kneel to me whenever she likes).
As for my second cohort, Non's mind is _measurably_ superior to very few
things that aren't Green Lantern, but he does have an excellent grasp of
whom he should, if asked, kneel before (Myself and Ursa) and whom he
should rend limb from limb in a shocking display of mindless violence
(anyone who fails to kneel to those Non must kneel to, subsequent to
their being issued fair, repeated, and unambiguous warning as specified
in the Kryptonian Armed Forces Excessionary Threat Protocol, Page One
Paragraph One, and their choosing total extinction of their own free will
in accordance with the provisions of that Protocol by failing to heed
such warnings, a copy of which Protocol all Officers and Engrafted Men of
the Kryptonian Armed Forces are required to carry with them at all times
_My_ copy is signed by the author. And has been ever since I wrote my
name in the flyleaf.
That's taken care of the As-You-Know-Zod.)
Now, Recap in top-of-panel caption box: _We_ brought Kal-El here and used
him as a tool to free us from the Phantom Zone.
It was all a trick. We Kryptonians are a devious folk.
Except Kal-El, who is a blithering hayseed.
And Kara Zor-El, who likes to pretend to be a teenager (never mind the
extra decades) and even before today's battle with the Wasp, was already
half-broken by the asphyxiating weight of her pathetic, risible, and
ludicrous delusion of having _nicer legs than I do_. Which simply isn't
And anyway Ursa says that Kara Zor-El only thinks that because the only
people who ever fan themselves when "Supergirl" flies overhead in that
poxy proxy pseudobelt, are one and all no more than a drooling clutch of
testosterone-fuddled rustics in an unremarkable galactic backwater that's
so mindbogglingly puny in its level of cultural and technological
sophistication that even an entity as aloof and mighty in its internal
mental resouces as Galactus never stays anywhere near it for longer than
it takes to change herald, wipe the skrulls off the viewport, and
slingshot back round Jupiter.
Ursa says no *real* people would ever be impressed by a hussy who doesn't
even know she shouldn't stoop to flaunting herself before aliens (_male_
aliens, at that) and other people's boyfriends. Which Supergirl would no
doubt do if anyone here had a boyfriend. Which they don't.
Ursa says no *real* entity of power would do more than sneer scornfully
at the spectacle of a kryptonian thinking it clever to disport herself
like an animal, in front of the animals, for the animals...and mostly for
(Except for Non, that is, but then he was never terribly bright and will
gawp at anything brightly coloured that moves. If I hadn't promised his
mother I'd take care of him and lead him to victory over the shattered
spines of my smitten foes I could have left him back on Krypton and told
him to count his head until he knew how many of it there was. The things
I do for other people...although I swear, if he mentions alfalfa or
rabbits or living off the fat scraped from the mass graves that we've
made together *ever again*, I am going to scream.)
I mean it...now where was I? Monologuing, naturally - ah yes, my smitten
(Which does not mean kissing.
It is the other sort of smitten.
And any found Guilty in the Sight of Zod who say it's the first sort,
and say that's why I make them kneel after they've been sufficiently
and say I'm hoping one of them will be smitten enough to propose to me,
and say really I'm just hoping for a someone to see the sensitive inner
dictator that shyness drives me to conceal beneath a bluff facade of
calculating cruelty and insatiable ambition,
and say I'm hoping for a passion that can melt the ice in my soul and
cause genocide by steam-burn over half the planet,
...will just be Ursa playing at doing reverse psychology on me again.
She always does this when she thinks I'm not being cruel enough fast
enough for her impatient tastes. Nag nag nag again, it never ends.
Oh, I've ranted to her for hours about dishes best served cold and not
counting one's coup before every enemy's been catched, their rockets all
wrecked and their creches all cracked, but she always wants me to rush
ahead on the wings of megalomania as though I were as simple as Kal-El,
content to play the feckless sky god to Planet Houston's fearful savages
and leave the world no closer to his lauded ideals, for that'd change the
playground's rules and he might have to think for once, or recall a fact.
No, he prefers to confuse My ends for his anticipated means, and fears
his foul fanged shadow far too much to look and see what's casting it:
his soul grown wrong from some secret face, squeezing up trunks and
boughs to block the light, bark and leaf crusted alike with sores that
weep, then dry and scab, then come to dust - but the dust is spores:
airborne insidious, he'll have to breathe so he shan't keep them out...
...or is it just his fingers as he dangles them before his face?
To and fro in the sunlight, and he looked at the patterns they made on
his skin and said let's make believe they're real or might be; said, I
can't see anything else to worry about - and could be this way I'll spot
an unseen threat, unguessed by a happiness overslept.
So said the Superman, and went crosseyed.
Straining beneath one's shadow as though it had mass, momentum, weight -
confers a distinct disadvantage when dealing with jackbooted bastards who
disdain such delusions and gleefully accept the shadow's enthusiastic
offer of an extra (virtual) boot: each kick matched, won't be beaten on
So said the General, who wasn't trying to gaze into the brylcreemed maze
of his own quiff whilst telling himself he was teetering on the very
brink of the Abyss.
I gazed also into his kiss-curl, but I did it with my laser vision.
I'm sure you can guess the rest. (Hele, conceal, always always kneel!)
I could have beaten Kal-El just as easily that first time even if he
hadn't spent half the time boxing metaphorical empty air instead of
trying to do something he'd find useful such as e.g, killing me. Of
course I could.
Before I tired of it, in fact, sometimes I'd let him escape his jail and
fly a little way, then stretch my speed up a whisker and catch him all
the way back. Then let him go again to fly a little way, between my
superspeedy self and where I can be an eyeblink later, bit like being
both front paws on a gigantic playful cat.
Sometimes Ursa and Non would join in too, which was fun in itself but
made the whole thing even less of a challenge, so we stopped.
That's probably why Ursa's nagging at me to destroy something: she feels
at a loose end with all these easy victories and wants to fight something
strong enough to absorb a satisfying amount of pain before it breaks.
But, I almost forgot! She is using reverse psychology on me (pretending
to believe in that romantic twaddle in order to make me nation-gougingly
mad) so I will outwit her at her own game!
I will pretend that _I_ think that her incessant disapproval of Kara Zor-
El is motivated by...sexual jealousy!
(Obviously, this is nonsense  - quite utterly without substance - but
it will irritate Ursa to the point of madness!)
> Kryptoneurotoxin: it's what's for dinner?
Precisely, my dear battle-barbed bee of Aquaman's awful ocean, precisely.
By my calculations you will by now have dealt the dolorous stroke, and
sounded the death-knell for Kara Zor-El whilst convincing me that your
steadfast refusal to trade your shifty pullations - which after all,
could mean anything - for the crisp and unambiguously submissive
obedience only joints of bone and cartilege can bring, was in fact a
necessary minor act of near-obedience required to maintain your squishily
non-endoskeletal form and thus survive being chewed and swallowed by
Supergirl, thereby dooming her to ingestion of the kryptonite you loyally
infused your every cell and tissue with.
Which means I shall permit you to live, assured that if there was a
lesson here for you to learn, but which it were death for you to
acknowledge, it would have been absorbed and comprehended, and thus put
an end to the tricksy plots and knavish treachery and subtly chilling
alliances with undead squid gods who won't come out of bed if they don't
like their tabloid horoscope that I would have had to smite you for,
had you had them.
Now all I need you to do is extend your tentacles into Supergirl's brain
from the inside, suck out her kryptonite-blasted brain, and pop yourself
into her skull cavity. I have the utmost confidence that a Pitiless
Pacific Death Beast like yourself will have no trouble in assuming
control of Supergirl's motor functions, and within a few days you should
be able to fool people well enough for the next stage of your mission.
I have been called away on Urgent Cosmic Business, and a few other
matters, and so I am placing an important responsibility on your cuboid
In your guise as Supergirl you will activate whatever emergency signal
she would use to call what's left of Kal-El's friends, which at this
point basically amounts to Wonder Woman. (I'm not worried about Batman.
He's just a man.) You will use your knowledge of human culture to lull
Diana into a false sense of security, and then cause rapid expansion of
her skull by flash-vapourisation of its contents. This might require
aiming for the whites of her eyes, so if it doesn't work, just do what
Masterman did to Siadwell Rhys in _Zenith_ and burn her to a crisp.
(Don't forget to taunt people with her charred skeleton - it is important
that you do this so that we can later say that Supergirl killed Wonder
Woman whilst her body was under the control of a vicious monstrosity of
unparalleled venomosity. Although this will be quite true, we will just
wait a few days until people categorise it as Last Episode's Mysterious
and Unknown Force, and expect to hear no more of it.)
All this, of course, is assuming that you have successfully de-
cerebralised Supergirl, contacted our Mr. Luthor for the de-
kryptonisation process so's you can get her powers back even though I
forgot to mention it until now, gained fluency in interfacing with an
actual central nervous system embedded in a land-dwelling endoskeletal
biped with only two eyes (which may possibly cause some small degree of
culture shock), located, deluded, and then murdered an intelligent and
dangerous superwoman, mistreated her charcoal'd remains in public, and
then managed to avoid drowning your Supergirl component when you return
Then you will be richly rewarded by the labours of a grateful and
enslaved populace, as long as you do not forget the most exciting and
important change due to your newly duo-bodied Russian-doll-gone-way-WAY-
---You surmise correctly! Just as you shall kneel! Just as all shall
Kneel before Zod!
With best wishes,
 Heisenberg's famous Principle fails to apply due to Kryptonian
molecular density, which can do anything it feels like with this much
yellow light around.
 If Zod says you promised, that means you promised, retroactively if
necessary. One does not _give_ one's word to Zod - Zod takes your word
and substitutes his.
 Even if he just employed them using a jellyfish as a proxy.
 If ever I, Zod, even looked at Supergirl twice it would be due to
nothing more than her red cloak absorbing my heat vision the first time,
thus necessitating another blast before it burned all the way through and
boiled her blood beneath her skin.
Ursa knows this, just as she knows that she is a *real* woman with a
bodycount over six figures while Kara Zor-El is a simpering milksop with
her mother's tablecloth tucked down the back of her vest, flying around
playing at heroes.
Ursa is quite clearly only trying to make me think that she's jealous, to
give herself an excuse to attack Supergirl. That is not a very cunning
plan - all Ursa ever talks about is how much she hates men! Yesterday she
even pulled my hair for no reason! (And don't even get me started with
the endless amusement she seems to derive from elasticated waistbands.
Childish, is what it is.)
All she really wants is a fight, and with Kal-El incarcerated, Diana off
somewhere no doubt desperately trying to think of something clever,
Hercules leaving a note on his door saying "Gone Fishing" and hiding in
the cellars of Olympus and eating spiders (or possibly Dionysus), Thor
declaiming that he is fluent in over six million forms of communication
but can't say me Nay in any of them (*and* his head looks like it's on
back-to-front!) and J'onn J'onzz hurtling round and round the Eye of
Jupiter like a green martian with a serious head injury, Kara Zor-El is
the only entity left who could pose a worthy challenge, and even then
she'd have to get some back issues from when think bubbles were all the
rage and try reading them this time to find out what her powers are.
Which - besides chastising the Wasp - is why I've set Supergirl up to be
beaten by a floaty thing with ambitions to be a squid one day (attempted
social climbing in R'lyeh only means one thing, you know: wannabe ink
hustler, and that's a fact): to irritate Ursa.
She wants a fight, does she? Well, she won't get one. I am going to take
her on a nice walk in the countryside. We may even hold hands. Maybe. I'm
not going to pick her any flowers, though - then she'd know I was wise to
Ha! If she gets annoyed at me, I will just say, But I thought you were
jealous of Supergirl in a suggestively irrational way! And then she'll
just seethe, because I'll have called her bluff on her overacting!
Truly one must get up earlier than the Dawn of Time, to pull a fast one
 Personnel who are unable to be taught to read are required to
memorize the Protocol in its entirety instead.
Fortunately, it is written with an elegant simplicity that stuns with the
unerring rightness of its moral logic even as it delights with its
skillful progression of deftly delivered philosophical concepts, putting
the abstruse and abstract so clearly into concrete form, that even such
as Non are able to memorise every word without any difficulty whatsoever.
Truly, you may ask yourselves, who but Zod could encapsulate every
ethical system in a thousand galaxies and each grace of personal
comportment from thrice ten hundred more, with such masterful dexterity?
Where inferior cultures fill libraries with their quibbling, thanks to
the genius of Zod, we achieve for ourselves all that their so-called
culture and ethics ever had to offer us, and much, much more besides, in
the length of a single page.
For such is the Word of Zod!
And the word is Kneel!
Kneel before Zod!
 All the horoscopes in all the newspapers in circulation within five
nautical miles of all the world's drowned cities, abyssal trenches, silt-
covered fossil alien wrecks with functioning powerplants,
interdimensional portals, Missions of the Innsmouth Brethren, chthonian
outposts, lost kingdoms, things Logan sunk in a blood rage that are now
inhabited by the unquiet and eviscerated dead, sites of activity of Newts
or moonlighting Culture GCUs or Silurians or Sea Devils or Rodents of
Unusual Scale (whether fire-breathing, or mechanical and possessed of a
cockpit at their hearts where a helmet waits on its wires above an empty
seat covered in dials and levers, or stamped with anything resembling
"Clay, Agatha."), are all culled from Aquaman's secret diary, the one in
which he doesn't try to fool himself anymore.
Cthulhu's a Pisces, just like Aquaman. By order of Zod, the horoscope for
Pisces always contains two extra sentences, straight from the lamprey-
scoured caves of Aquaman's despair.
The stars aren't ever going to be right anymore, not for poor Cthulhu and
not for poor submyssal ab-architectural R'lyeh.
Yog-Sothoth asked me for a pair of wooden knees yesterday (It tried human
ones first, but Shub-Niggurath ate them. You should see a Black Goat of
the Woods trying to kneel without trapping a tentacle or gnawing off Her
own hoof, it is like watching a kitten melt into a hideous gnawing paste
of nigrescent and uncouth hue upon a glacier in whose icy sides those
possessed of a sensitive cast of mind imagine queer half-guessed shapes
and forms of a most disturbing _partial_ persistence, as the wind shrieks
incessantly under the high remote stars that glare their baleful dim
regard down upon that glacier and those nastily inconsistent shapes that
sometimes seem to gleam and glidder and seep with shocking disregard for
the logic of the sane human world, as the wind shrieks like the cry of
vast formless things that bid mimes vastly superior to ours shift the
scenery to and fro, flapping from out their Squasphiblibbitcherous wings
- Things Man Was Not Meant To Know!
And the thing that used to be a kitten trickles un-noticed into a crack
in the ice, with a plaintive mewl of "tekeli-li!"
Lex says this is the noise cats make when they're rolling over to show
their bellies, though, and that in any case there wasn't a glacier anyway
as we were all in a nice warm wood of dubious and uncertain reputation
where strange rites appalled the air of remote and secluded groves from
which disturbing cries tormented the air for miles around on nights when
fell things luxuriated in abomination beneath the gibbous eye of a
...Lex says we probably shouldn't look at Yog-Sothoth any more. And
perhaps not either at Shub-Niggurath, Black Goat of the JLA Watchtower.
It's hard to tell if they're really kneeling when it's all so non-
...which is why I ordered Non (who's so brutish and ignorant not even
Shub would have him for a cultist - more easily mesmerise a stone, it's
got more imagination) to set the controls for the heart of the yellow
Lex's link to his Slaviac-5 computer system is keeping his mind on track,
so he'll realise that we've sabotaged the last shuttle and the
watchtower's inbound to the Land of Eternal Light. (We found some Shi'ar
engines drifting in a cloud of debris near the remnants of a supernova,
and fixed them up.)
Thus, he will have no spare time in which to betray us Kryptonians to the
Great Old Ones we've imprisoned in the new Phantom Zone we installed in
the trophy room.
...and there we go! Scratch two offspring of Chaos and Old Night (who
knelt before Me before meeting their doom. Just as Luthor shall kneel
once we rescue him from the escape capsule he jury-rigged from an old
bat-cloak and one of Green Arrow's special Extra-Atmospheric Rescue Pod
arrows. Yes, he shall kneel!
Kneel before Zod!)
That's over 4,000 words in one single Usenet posting, just so you know; I measured it using Word. Most Usenet postings are under 100 words. In those 4,000 words "General Zod" exhibits a wide knowledge not just of comics but other material such as HPL's works and, it appears, psychology texts as well. In some ways it reads like parts of the Illuminatus! trilogy. Many parts are creepy and disturbing if you try to understand them in the context of the portrayed character. It's an amazing bit of work for what is, in general, a sort of throwaway conversation medium.