The Phantom Zone is a strange dimension outside of normal time and space. It was used as a prison by the Kryptonians, who utilized Phantom Zone Projectors to send people to and release them from the Zone.
The Phantom Zone consists of a large number of asteroid-like rocks suspended in a void of blue and purple.
The Zone is a realm of only consciousness. Willpower is the key to doing anything. Objects in the Zone are intangible, unless the person attempting to touch believes that they can touch the object, and it is possible to manifest super strength, communicate telepathically and fly through sheer force of will. In the Zone, Kryptonite has no effect on Kryptonians.
While in the zone, people appear discolored, do not produce heat signatures and cannot age, die or heal. People in the Zone can become subject to Zone-Sickness, which can cause hallucinations, and affect memory. Should an injured person exit the Zone, they will immediately begin to suffer the effects of their injury once more.
Klarion is able to teleport himself, others and objects into the Zone in such a way that they are not subject to its strange effects. No other way of doing this is known, even using other magic.
The Phantom Zone served as an extra-dimensional prison for Kryptonian criminals. Prior to Krypton's destruction, General Dru-Zod and his followers were sent to the Phantom Zone after Dru-Zod attempted to stage a coup. They were initially supposed to serve out a ten-year sentence, but remained trapped inside since no surviving Kryptonians could free them from their imprisonment. Over time, Dru-Zod and his people learned how to survive there and overcome Zone-Sickness.
31st century (original timeline)
Over a thousand years later, every prisoner of the Phantom Zone was released and paroled by the United Planets after the last Phantom Zone Projector was discovered on New Genesis. However, Dru-Zod and his people were ultimately sent back to the Phantom Zone by the Legion of Super-Heroes after Dru-Zod attempted to take over the galaxy, except his son, Lor-Zod.
2020 (revised timeline)
Just before the gene-bomb exploded on Mars on March 25, Phantom Girl attempted to phase shift Superboy and herself out of danger. The pain from her hand burning in the lava surrounding Superboy, plus his unusually dense body, caused the phasing to fail part way through, depositing them in the Phantom Zone, and left Phantom Girl in a coma.
Superboy woke up to find himself in a strange dimension, next to the unconscious, unfamiliar girl. He wondered if they were dead and in some sort of afterlife. He began to get his bearings, coming to understand how the intangibility of the Zone works. He began to leap from rock to rock, following the trail of the only heat source he could see. This led him to the Devourer, who was attracted to Superboy's rage as he became frustrated with the moving and colliding rocks. After a fruitless battle, Conner realized what attracted the creature, and calmed himself, causing the creature to move on.
Superboy began to suffer Zone-Sickness. His initial hallucinations of friends and family were helpful and encouraging, but they turned more disturbing as he saw Match murder his brother, but believed he was responsible and began to see himself as a monster. He later saw a school bus fly past. He believed he was losing his mind, though the bus was in fact real and under the control of Klarion. Later, the hallucinations became more and more real, and he began to regress to his Cadmus programming as he saw visions of Lex Luthor and what he had been created to do. His hallucinations were interrupted by the arrival of a stranger, Dru-Zod—a real person—who recognized Superboy was suffering Zone-Sickness and offered him help.
Dru-Zod took Superboy to his encampment and introduced him to his followers and partner, Ursa Zod, who questioned Superboy about Phantom Girl. Superboy revealed what little he knows of her, explaining that he found her shortly after awakening in the Phantom Zone and she had been unconscious ever since. Ursa was intrigued and curious about Phantom Girl, since her condition was unheard of in the Zone and realized she and Superboy were somehow connected since they both suffered from burns. However, Ursa also revealed it was possible that Phantom Girl might never wake up if she was sent to the Zone while unconscious, but assured they would care for her.
Superboy left Phantom Girl in Ursa's care and left with Dru-Zod who continued to show and explain to him more about the Phantom Zone. Dru-Zod explained that willpower was the key to how everything worked in the Zone, from touch to communication while his followers demonstrated their own use of willpower while chanting their devotion to the House of Zod. Dru-Zod offered to let Superboy stay and join his group or continue being alone in the Phantom Zone. With no other options, Superboy accepted the decision to stay and kneeled before Zod.
Dru and Ursa watched as Non worked with Superboy, moving a large rock. A retrieval portal opened up and locked a tractor beam on Dru. Dru grabbed hold of Ursa and tried to bring her with him, but the Projector rejected her. Superboy tried to stop Dru leaving, and the Projector did not reject him, leading Dru to realize Superboy had not been imprisoned by Krypton. The portal closed before they could get through, but unknown to them, Phantom Girl finally regained consciousness through the help of Saturn Girl before the portal closed.
Inside the encampment, Dru and Ursa began to discuss with Superboy about the circumstances of how he ended up in the Phantom Zone since the Projector did not recognize his DNA signature and only convicted criminals are sent to the Zone. Dru-Zod questioned Superboy about his memories, who explained how he was attempting to neutralize a bomb before waking up to find himself in the Phantom Zone alongside Phantom Girl. Dru-Zod asked Superboy of his parentage and if he remembered his family crest. Superboy draws the S symbol, revealing himself as a member of the House of El and introduced himself as Kon-El. Dru and Ursa were surprised and wondered if Superboy was possibly the son of Jor-El or Zor-El.
Superboy explained his origins as the clone of Superman, the son of Jor-El and Lara El, including Krypton's destruction and how Kal-El was it's only survivor. Superboy further revealed that following the destruction of Krypton, Kal-El was sent to Earth and how the planet's yellow sun grants Kryptonians with various powers and abilities and because of that, Superman became Earth's greatest hero. However, due to the lingering effects of the Zone-Sickness, Superboy still believed that he killed Superman. Dru and Ursa leave to take time to process the information, allowing Phantom Girl to reveal herself to Superboy and warn him they are both in danger.
While they were alone, Phantom Girl explained to Superboy that she had the power to take them out of the Phantom Zone, but Superboy refused to go as he had pledged his loyalty to Zod. Phantom Girl tried to convince him that Zod was evil, but when Dru and Ursa returned to question Superboy once more, he quickly told them Phantom Girl was awake, could leave the Zone, but hated Zod and would not take them. Superboy tried to capture her, but she phased out of the Zone on her own.
The group found Superboy at Fort, but were ambushed by Zod and his followers after they approached him. Zod attempted to persuade and, later, force the group to take him out of the Zone. Due to his lingering Zone-Sickness, Superboy was unwilling to go with them and Nightwing's squad was outmatched by Zod's forces. The group was able to escape thanks to Zatanna's glamour spell.
A boom tube opened up shortly after and Zod decided to go through with Ursa, Faora and Superboy, leaving the rest behind until he knew it was safe. Nightwing's team observed from a nearby rock and were determined to find a way to close it to ensure that no more Kryptonians could exit.
Faora returned through the boom tube to gather Zod's army, but the tube closed shortly after, only to reopen again a little later. Nightwing's team defended the tube to prevent anyone going through. The Kryptonian's summoned a Devourer to attack the team, forcing them back into the boom tube, which they continued to block from the inside. The Devourer ended up carrying off Faora. The other Kryptonians were unable to get past the team before the boom tube began to destabilize, and were forced to retreat back into the Zone.
Faora escaped the Devourer with minor injuries. Jax-Ur, Kru-El and Vor-Kil went to gather the rest of the army. When a new boom tube opened, Faora and Non went through. That tube closed but another soon opened, and Non, Faora, Dru-Zod and Ma'alefa'ak were forced back into the Zone.
With every Kryptonian captured, Klarion teleported the Warworld out of the Zone.
- Faora Hu-Ul
- Kara Zor-El
- Ursa Zod
- Season 4
- 13. "Kaerb Ym Traeh!" (flashback)
- 14. "Nautical Twilight"
- 15. "Ebb Tide"
- 16. "Emergency Dive"
- 17. "Leviathan Wakes"
- 18. "Beyond the Grip of the Gods!"
- 19. "Encounter Upon the Razor's Edge!" (flashback)
- 20. "Forbidden Secrets of Civilizations Past!"
- 21. "Odyssey of Death!"
- 22. "Rescue and Search"
- 23. "Ego and Superego"
- 24. "Zenith and Abyss"
- 25. "Over and Out"
- 26. "Death and Rebirth"
- The Young Justice version of the Phantom Zone was designed to look like a photo negative. Brandon Vietti designed the color for Superboy and Art director Brian A. Johnson and his team designed the background lighting around the character's color.