WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Man of Steel #1, by Brian Michael Bendis, Doc Shaner, Steve Rude, Jay Fabok, and Alex Sinclair, on sale now.
Superman's newest archenemy is an alien warlord named Rogol Zaar, and he just may be responsible for the genocide of the Kryptonian people. Heading into Brian Michael Bendis' run on Superman, we knew this new villain would be involved in the destruction of Krypton, but Man of Steel #2 establishes him as the most feared being in the entire DC Universe.
While Rogol Zaar's true origin has yet to be told, there is enough evidence to indicate that he has some personal grudge against the Kryptonian people. He views them as a virus, a plague upon the universe, and asks his superiors for a chance to eliminate them before the race has a chance to impose their will on other planets. Though he is denied this permission, it is suggested that he may have gone through with his plan anyway; as a result, Krypton is dead, and his superiors outright fear him.
Zaar is a man who is feared by the most powerful beings in the galaxy. How can Superman ever hope to defeat someone as cunning, ruthless, and powerful as this?
He Who Dares to Defy
In the days before the destruction of Krypton, Rogol Zaar is considered to be a well-respected warrior who has fought in many wars for the right reasons. He serves directly under the Galactic Circle, a collection of alien leaders who work together to decide the fate of their galaxy. In the first issue of Man of Steel, he comes to his superiors and asks them for permission to wipe out the Kryptonians before they can become a threat to other worlds.
Though he is ultimately denied this opportunity, Krypton is destroyed anyway, and though frightened, not everyone on the Circle is willing to turn a blind eye to what seems painfully obvious. In the second issue, Lord Gandelo, the revered ruler of 42 star systems, voices his concerns. He turns to Appa Ali Apsa of the Guardians of the Universe and demands answers. For him, this feels all too convenient. How could this happen? Where was the Green Lantern Corps to protect these people? Where was Rogol Zaar now? There are questions, but no answers -- yet.