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The Phantom Zone is an interdimensional realm outside the normal space/time continuum. It is a barren and insubstantial null area absent of any physical material. There is only one native denizen to the Phantom Zone, the enigmatic and powerful entity known as the Aethyr. All cause and effect that occurs within the zone does so at Aethyr's capricious whim. People who travel into the negative zone are no longer corporeal and exist only as psychic phantasms of their true selves. Though their minds and personalities remain intact, they can no longer physically interact with any other being. This includes direct physical contact as well as the power of speech. Communication within the Phantom Zone is done so by telepathy. As the Phantom Zone exists outside of space/time, those within it are no longer subject to the rigors of age or illness, rendering them effectively immortal – and they also require no sleep, food or air.
Many years ago, the penal system of the planet Krypton sentenced their criminals by placing them in suspended animation. The Kryptonian scientist Jor-El discovered the existence of the Phantom Zone and introduced it as an alternative means of imprisonment. He had little knowledge of the true inner workings of the zone, but believed that it was a more humane form of punishment over that which they had previously employed. He developed a projection device that could send people into and retrieve them from the zone with the simple flick of a black button and a white button respectively. The first prisoner to be exiled to the Phantom Zone was the renegade scientist Jax-Ur. Jax-Ur, a former colleague of Jor-El's, was responsible for the destruction of Krypton's moon Wegthor and the deaths of over five-hundred lunar colonists. Over a short expanse of time, the Kryptonian Science Council began exiling the worst of the planet's criminals into the zone, the most famous of which was the military insurrectionist General Zod.
When Jor-El later discovered that Krypton was going to explode due to geological instability, he proposed bringing the entire population of Krypton into the zone. Jor-El never had the opportunity or approval to conduct such a plan, and ultimately everyone living on the planet Krypton died when it exploded.
Those within the Phantom Zone survived however. It was years before they ever learned the truth about their home-world's destruction. Several of the exiled criminals, now led by General Zod, found a means of escaping the zone and eventually came to Earth where they battled the "Last Son" of Krypton, Jor-El's son Kal-El.
- Doctor Xadu
- Faora Hu-Ul
- General Zod
- Professor Va-Kox
- Superboy (temporarily)
- Zora Vi-Lar
There were also some Kryptonians that were mentioned to have been imprisoned in The Phantom Zone as seen in the Phantom Zone mini-series.
The mentioned male Kryptonian Inmates include:
The mentioned female Kryptonian Inmates include:
- Erndine Ze-Da
- Shyla Kor-Onn
- General Zod
- Prometheus (formerly)
The New 52
- Raya (formerly)
- Clark Kent (formerly)
- Slade Wilson (formerly)
- Lois Lane (formerly)
- Kara Kent (formerly)
- Oliver Queen (formerly)
- Gloria (formerly)
- Aldar (formerly)
- Titan (formerly)
- In the Richard Donner series of Superman movies which includes Supergirl, the Phantom Zone's gateway is depicted in the form of a rotating pane of glass, while the actual landscape is a desolate wasteland. Entry into the Phantom Zone is usually done by the gateway consuming its victims upon contact.
- Appearances of Phantom Zone (Chronological)
- Appearances of Phantom Zone
- Location Gallery: Phantom Zone
- Catalogued images related to Phantom Zone