In the interest of a full accounting: way back when Superboy “died,” I laid odds on who the big bad of the season would be — a new Jackson Hyde, or maybe a new Lightning Lord. I did not take into account anyone related to who the guy in the time bubble actually was — Lor-Zod — because I never would have guessed it in a million years.
Last week, Lor-Zod laid out his whole backstory: his parents (including his pregnant mother) were put in the Phantom Zone back on Krypton, and when Krypton was destroyed, nobody was around to let them out. They were finally released in the 31st century when the Legion discovered an old Phantom Zone projector, and General Zod promptly took over the galaxy. The Legion beats him, pushes everyone but Lor back into the Zone, and blows up the projector. So Lor spends his life trying to alter time to get a fresh projector, bringing him and his time bubble to present-day Apokalips and a deal with Darkseid, and in this week’s episode, a week in the Mobius Zone, the dimensional storage unit where Metron keeps all his stuff.
Meanwhile, Zod helps Conner and Tinya (Phantom Girl’s real name, btw) back to his crew’s encampment, and we’re treated to a display of ghostly Kryptonians doing typical, fun Kryptonian stuff: stomping asteroids together while chanting about dying for Zod. These guys know how to throw a party, let me tell you.
Zod’s cult is genuinely creepy, and even though we know Conner is going to break free of his Phantom Zone sickness eventually, it’s still terrible to see him fall in with them. Especially at the end of the episode, when Mantis finishes hunting down the Projector out of Metron’s magical easter egg dimension (seriously, we could spend a week ourselves digging through all the stuff obliquely hinted at or directly referenced in the main story of this episode).