Was that you when you found out Zod would be the the fourth downloadable character? If so, prepare to eat your words because Zod is quite awesome. Yes, the Kryptonian has similar powers to Kal-El, but that hardly means his moves are the same. NetherRealm Studios did a very thorough job making Zod not only feel like a unique and fun character, but also a balanced one.
Zod has the ability to wreck his opponent's face at any range. In close range, he's got some vicious and effective combos which are super easy to memorize and execute. He has a nice blend of forceful haymakers and slams as well as fluid kicks. In addition to relatively easy to use combos, Zod has some useful special moves for close to medium range. There's the simplistic Phantom Strike which is basically a palm punch with a small shockwave in close range (which becomes one of the coolest moves in the game when you meter it), General Parry to counter your enemy's attacks in a jaw-droppingly cool sequence, and Zod Charge is pretty much what you'd expect from a man who can fly and has superhuman strength. Meter it and he throws some extra punches in there. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it works.
At a distance, Zod can utilize his Side Arm, Ground Blast and Kryptonian Rifle. The former offers a fast projectile and when metered, spams additional shots straight forward. Ground Blast has Zod use his heat vision to focus on the surface and create an concussive force. You can opt to fire this at close, medium or long range based on what direction you press immediately after pulling off the move. Furthermore, you can simply press it once to fire a quick but weak blast which will only faze your enemy, or you can hold it down for an explosive force which will send them soaring into the air and of course does more damage. Using your meter makes him scan his heat vision across the map with explosive force the entire time and it's quite cool. Finally, Kryptonian Rifle is essentially a high tech version of Reptile's force ball from Mortal Kombat 9. The projectile will juggle your opponent into the air if it hits and you can hold forward to make the projectile move faster or back to make it travel slower. When metered, Zod juggles his enemy into the air with multiple blasts and again, it's pretty sweet.
Zod's throw is pure fan service. He blasts his target with heat vision on the chest until they fall to their knees. Zod then drops his signature line ("Kneel before Zod!") before blasting them in the back. Also, Zod has a great character trait. He can make a Phantom Wraith appear behind his foe and from there, you can make it slash or grab the character and begin biting their neck. The slash temporarily interrupts your enemy and the grab leaves them completely vulnerable.
And then there's the super move. Man oh man, it's a good one. You know how Superman sends someone into space and Doomsday smashes them through the planet? NR Studios must have said, "Well, why not combine them?" Zod drags his opponent into space and then sends them smashing through the moon. Once he goes out the other side with them, he blasts them with heat vision and the poor soul goes crashing back down to Earth. Let me repeat that: he smashes them through the freaking moon. Yeah, it rocks.
My only complaint is his totally disappointing ending. Maybe it's my fault for expecting more, but his ending is just about as formulaic and predictable as it gets. I was really hoping they'd use the opportunity to do more with this universe and possibly tease more characters or new relationships with other characters, but ultimately, it's a pretty generic ending. And just like with the other DLC characters, Zod has no features in the library.
Was Zod picked because of Man of Steel? Probably. But you know what? It doesn't matter why he was selected because at the end of the day, NetherRealm Studios did a topnotch job with the character. He's effective at any distance and has plenty of really enjoyable moves to utilize and chain together. He's a solid addition to the roster and definitely worth purchasing.
And in the event you don't like his costume, feast your eyes on the following.
Despite being all kinds of mediocre at the game, Gregg Katzman is still addicted to Injustice: Gods Among Us. If you play on the 360, follow him on Twitter to see when he creates the "Comic Vine" room and join in on the fun.