14He Was Once Russian
Being a deranged 11 year-old was certainly a departure for the character, but it wasn’t the last big change. The Modern Age of comics found a way to intertwine the destinies of Superman and Zod in a novel way.
The would-be General was given the origin of being human, the son
of two Russian cosmonauts who were near the infant Superman’s ship. Because of this, they were subjected to Kryptonite radiation, the effects of which were passed onto their son.
Taking the idea of the two characters being foils of one another, the effects of the radiation caused Zod to be weak under the sun of Earth (the source of Superman’s power). Instead, he was super-powered under the rays of the red sun, which forces Superman’s powers to dwindle.