The Phantom Zone is an alternate dimension first discovered by Kryptonian scientist Jor-El. After Jor-El created devices which could create passage into the Phantom Zone, the dimension was used by the Kryptonian council as a "humane" form of imprisonment.
A barren wasteland, inhabitants of the Phantom Zone reside in a ghost-like state of existence from which they can observe their original plane of existence but cannot physically interact with it. As a side effect, inhabitants do not age or require sustenance in the Phantom Zone and may develop telepathic abilities that can be used to affect their original plane of existence.
Previously, criminals were punished by being sealed into capsules and rocketed into orbit in suspended animation with Sunstone Crystals attached to their foreheads to slowly erase their criminal tendencies. Following the dimension's discovery the method was abolished in favor of the Phantom Zone, which was considered to be more humane and cost-efficient.
A Phantom Zone projector may be found in the Fortress of Solitude, which could be used to open a portal to the Zone. During the Fortress of Solitude: Power Core raid, Lex Luthor used it to release General Zod, much to the displeasure of Superman, but the argument is cut short as the three must unite to defeat the Prime Assassin and more Brainiac sunstone crystal constructs.
- The last stage of the 4-player operation The Phantom Zone takes place in the Phantom Zone.
- The Phantom Zone first appeared in Adventure Comics #283 (April, 1961)
- The Phantom Zone has been independently discovered by the Bgztlians, the White Martians, and the villains Loophole, Prometheus, and the first Queen Bee; who call it the "Buffer Zone", the "Still Zone", the "Stasis Zone", the "Ghost Zone", and the "Honeycomb", respectively.
- The Phantom Zone Goggles protect the wearer from being driven mad by the unreality of the Phantom Zone.