The Phantom Zone was discovered by Jor-El and used as Kryton's latest method of imprisoning Kryptonian criminals and occasionally holding certain Kryptonians if they have an as-yet-curable illness. These Kryptonians can be sent to the Phantom Zone by the Phantom Zone Projector.
- In the Pre-Crisis and "The New 52" reboot, the Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone can observe but not interact with anyone outside the Phantom Zone and merely exist as "ghosts." The Pre-Crisis version had all its levels are manifestations of the consciousness of a sentient universe called Aethyr. Aethyr's core serves as a "back door" to the Phantom Zone.
- In the Post-Crisis, it is an extra-dimensional space. Most of it's inmates are seen in goggles where they protect the wearer from being driven mad by the Phantom Zone's unreality.
- In the "DC Rebirth" reboot, it was theorized that the Phantom Zone might be actually a permeable membrane between Earth-0 and the Dark Multiverse.
Regardless of the versions, the Phantom Zone makes anyone in it not need nourishment or make anyone age past their current age.
When Krypton exploded, the Phantom Zone Projector came into Superman's custody. He would release any Phantom Zone inmate who has served their time where most of them have repented and are placed in the bottled city of Kandor. There are some inmates like General Zod, Ar-Ual, Az-Rel, Bal-Gra, Car-Vex, Cha-Mel, Dev-Em, Erndine Ze-Da, Faora, Gann Artar, Gor-Nu, Gra-Mo, Jax-Ur, Jer-Em, Kru-El, Nadira Va-Dim, Nam-Ek, Non, Py-Ron, Quex-Ul, Ral-Em, Ras-Krom, Roz-Em, Shyla Kor-Ann, Tor-An, Ursa, Va-Kox, Val-Ty, Vorb-Un, Xadu, Zan-Em, and Zo-Mar who would accidentally get released and Superman would have to defeat them and send them back into the Phantom Zone.
The LEGO Batman Movie
In The LEGO Batman Movie, the Phantom Zone is overseen by Phyllis who reviews what each arrival from across the Lego Universer has done wrong. It was first seen in a news where Superman had defeated and banished General Zod there. Superman also talks on the news that it holds various villains from across the Phantom Zone as they are seen on the TV offscreen as The Joker comes up with a plan.
Using Harley Quinn to send a sign of the Phantom Zone to Batman, Joker manipulates Batman into acquiring the Phantom Zone Projector from the Fortress of Solitude and using it on him. Once this plan works and he is reviewed by Phyllis, Joker persuades every inmate there to help him in his plans to attack Gotham City and defeat Batman. They agree as Joker tells them that he has a plan to get them out.
After Harley Quinn steals the Phantom Zone Projector from Arkham Asylum's evidence locker, she frees Joker and all it's inmates from the Phantom Zone where they cause havoc in Gotham City and invade Wayne Manor causing Alfred Pennyworth to evacuate. After meeting up with Barbara Gordon, Alfred has Batman and Robin released in order to fight the chaos.
When Batman is sent into the Phantom Zone, Phyllis deems him not bad enough as Batman persaudes her to send him back and get every inmate back into the Phantom Zone in 24 hours. With help from Robin, Batgirl, Alfred Pennyworth, and his enemies, Batman reclaims the Phantom Zone Projector and sends all the villains back to the Phantom Zone.
After Gotham City is pulled back together after being blown apart by Joker's bomb, Batman prepares to return to the Phantom Zone only to be denied when Phyllis stated that Batman redeemed himself.
- Agent Smith and his clones from The Matrix
- Bruce the Great White Shark from Jaws
- Daleks from Doctor Who
- General Zod
- The Gremlins
- King Kong
- The Kraken from Clash of the Titans
- Lord Vampyre
- Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter
- The Mummy
- Sauron's Eye of Sauron form from The Lord of the Rings
- The Skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts
- A Swamp Creature
- A Tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Park
- The Velociraptors from Jurassic Park
- Wicked Witch of the West and her Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz