When I was a kid I worried (a lot) that someone would break in to our house at night and I would be kidnapped.  I have no idea why I felt this way.  This was in the late 70’s…before Adam Walsh and before “I Know My First Name Is Steven”…and I can’t recall anything that would have sparked this fear.  While most kids avoided nighttime monsters by hiding completely under their monster repellant covers, I was worried about burglars ransacking our house and thinking that I would be a better haul than my mom’s jewelry.  I would have two pillows under the covers on either side of me as some sort of camouflage effort to make it appear as though there wasn’t a little boy in the bed.

There was one person that I was particularly afraid of: a villain from a movie who had no remorse, no concept of mercy, and would take what he wanted by any means necessary.  General Zod.

I remember kneeling on floor of my bedroom, staring for hours at a picture of General Zod in my Superman II Movie Book, committing the image to memory in case I ever saw him on the street and thinking, “There’s nothing I can do to stop him.”   The fact that he was a movie character never broke though my fear.  Why General Zod, who was bent on destroying Superman and ruling the world, would even need me…for anything…is just ridiculous.  But it didn’t seem so ridiculous back then.

As much of an impact the movie Star Wars had on me, and as much as Darth Vader deservers to be #1 on TimesOnline 50 Best Movie Villains List, it was General Zod who haunted a portion of my childhood.