Created By: aurora369 on January 6, 2013 Last Edited By: Tallens on August 14, 2013
Troped

Extranormal Prison

For empowered criminals, but not empowered enough to warrant a Tailor Made Prison

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Trope
In most worlds where extranormal or paranormal powers exists, there are people who try to use them for personal gain, societal disruption or plain eeevil. These people should be isolated from society, but where exactly? A plain old Big House will be too easy to escape. A Tailor-Made Prison is the most reliable option, but it's overkill and too expensive to build one for every petty evil mage, dark space knight or dastardly super.

The solution? The golden mean, as usual. The Extranormal Prison is much more secure than any muggle prison, and it's specifically secure from extranormal powers of any inmates therein. It's large and versatile enough to contain many inmates with varying powers. Only the most important baddies will be too tough for this institution to contain, so they'll be put in a Tailor-Made Prison, or, if even this fails, sealed in a can.

However, The Empire can also acquire the know-how to build this sort of prisons. In this case, they'll be used to contain heroic empowered individuals. However, Imperial extranormal prisons are characterized by shoddy construction and lax security, so they are still Cardboard Prisons for the heroes.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • One Piece's great gaol Impel Down serves as this, as well as being a Hellhole Prison. It holds particularly notorious and dangerous criminals, with 5 different levels of hellish punishments. Meanwhile the secret level 6 qualifies more as a Tailor-Made Prison.

Comic Books

Film
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine briefly featured a series of holding cells that combine this trope and Tailor-Made Prison. Each cells was made capable of holding their individual mutant occupant.
  • The Ghostbusters' containment unit holds all the ghosts they capture.
  • General Zod and his cronies are banished to the Phantom Zone in the 1978 Superman movie. The Phantom Zone is portrayed as an interdimensional wasteland with no hope of escape. Unless, of course, someone therein is needed by the plot, in which case, the Phantom Zone is a horrible vacation spot.
  • In Men in Black 3 there's a prison for alien criminals on the moon. The guards have futuristic technology, and the fact that escape means exposure to vacuum also helps.

Literature
  • Azkaban in the Harry Potter universe is a prison for evil wizards, guarded by the soul-sucking demetors.
  • In Myth-ing Persons, Aahz is arrested and imprisoned in a city of vampires. Because a normal jail cell can't hold a vampire, he's placed inside the mouth of an animated dragon-head statue, which can swallow a prisoner who tries to break free or inhale them if they turn into mist.
  • Kholomi from Labyrinths of Echo, which was another Alcatraz for mages.
  • The Divine Comedy's Ironic Hell features horrid weather, cliffs, monsters, demons, and a doorway marked "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Mythology
  • Tartarus of Classical Mythology, where the souls of the worst of humanity are tormented for eternity along with the monsters that have been banished there.

Tabletop Games
  • Champions has Stronghold, a prison specifically designed to hold super-powered criminals. Exceptionally powerful inmates are kept in Tailor-Made Prison cells.
  • The Spellhold, a prison designed specifically to hold rogue mages, in Forgotten Realms. It is also featured prominently in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

Video Games
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Arcatraz is being used by the Naaru as a prison for some of the most dangerous entities in the universe.
    • The Violet Hold is the prison of Dalaran and is designed to hold beings with magical abilities.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham had special prisons for the super-powered individuals. Poison Ivy, for example, was kept in a reinforced greenhouse.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The Citadel from Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a prison built by the Republic to contain Dark Jedi and other Force-using criminals. The Separatists found that it's perfectly capable of holding good Jedi.
  • There were several prisons for benders in Avatar: The Last Airbender, built by the Fire Nation. They were built with precautions regarding the element the inmates were capable of bending: for example, a prison designed to hold earthbenders was built from iron over water, with nary a piece of earth in sight.
  • The Alliance in Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends has a prison facility for all the various alien they've arrested, many of whom have special abilities.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • This cartoon has The Raft, a prison with three layers of security consisting of: all robot guards (no hostages), Power Nullifiers and having the whole prison shrunk to 1/60th scale, so escapees are still small.
    • Later on a second prison was built in the negative zone. Here, escape means you end up in the middle of (breathable) outer space.
  • Young Justice featured Belle Reve as a sort of prison for supervillains, where the inmates wear collars that inhibit their powers. The compound itself has extremely tight security, including walls not even Superman himself could break through.
  • Season One of Loonatics Unleashed housed super-powered criminals such as Mallory Mastermind and the Sagittarius Stomper in the Acmetropolis Prison, miles below ground in a bedrock bunker. Season Two moved many of these criminals to a prison satellite in orbit, adding Otto the Odd and Massive to the inmate roster.
Community Feedback Replies: 47
  • January 6, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Who says a tailor-made prison can't be tailored to a group of individuals?
  • January 6, 2013
    aurora369
    The description of that trope says it's individual.
  • January 6, 2013
    Tallens
    • The Arcatraz in World Of Warcraft is being used by the Naaru as a prison for some of the most dangerous entities in the universe.

    • The Alliance in Roswell Conspiracies has a prison facility for all the various alien they've arrested, many of whom have special abilities.
  • January 6, 2013
    Earnest
    • The movie X Men Origins Wolverine briefly featured a series of holding cells that combine this trope and Tailor Made Prison. Each cells was made capable of holding their individual mutant occupant.
    • Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes has The Raft, a prison with three layers of security consisting of: all robot guards (no hostages), Power Nullifiers and having the whole prison shrunk to 1/60th scale, so escapees are still small.
      • Later on a second prison was built in the negative zone. Here, escape means you end up in the middle of (breathable) outer space.

  • January 7, 2013
    aurora369
    bump
  • January 7, 2013
    Arivne
    Comic Books
    • DC Universe
      • Belle Reeve Penitentiary in Louisiana is used to hold metahuman criminals. It is also the headquarters of Task Force X (AKA the Suicide Squad), which allows prisoners to perform dangerous missions in return for a reduction in their sentences.
      • In the 30th century, Takron-Galtos is a prison planet used by the United Planets to hold high risk inmates, such as super criminals.
    • In the Marvel Universe, Project: Pegasus has been used to hold (and study) high powered super criminals.

    Tabletop Games
    • Champions has Stronghold, a prison specifically designed to hold super-powered criminals. Exceptionally powerful inmates are kept in Tailor Made Prison cells.
  • January 7, 2013
    Someoneman
    The SCP Foundation has a lot of Tailor Made Prisons, but the foundation has standard cells if the SCP doesn't require any special containment procedures, but risk breaking the Masquerade if they were discovered.
  • January 9, 2013
    aurora369
    Kholomi from Labyrinths Of Echo, which was another Alcatraz for mages.
  • January 20, 2013
    aurora369
    YKTTW Bump
  • January 20, 2013
    MrRuano
    The name of the second prison Earnest mentioned in the Avengers example is Prison 42.
  • April 24, 2013
    Tallens
    Another Wo W example:

    The Violet Hold is the prison of Dalaran and is designed to hold beings with magical abilities.
  • April 24, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In Myth-ing Persons, Aahz is arrested and imprisoned in a city of vampires. Because a normal jail cell can't hold a vampire, he's placed inside the mouth of an animated dragon-head statue, which can swallow a prisoner who tries to break free or inhale them if they turn into mist.
  • April 26, 2013
    aurora369
    YKTTW Bump
  • April 26, 2013
    Tallens
    You know, instead of just bumping it, you could add the suggested examples. It'll bump this back to the top and show progress on the draft.
  • April 27, 2013
    Tallens
  • April 28, 2013
    Chernoskill
    I guess Arkham Asylum from the Batman universe counts? It holds all sorty of supervillains, but most don't have any special cells. At least that's how it's depicted in the LEGO Batman games, with imprisonald villains like Bane or the Penguin just running round like any other inmate when they're not confined to their normal prison cells which are pretty ordinary.
  • May 4, 2013
    Tallens
    Could use some medium categorizing.
  • May 5, 2013
    Arivne
    Done. And added Namespaces to the work titles that didn't already have them.
  • May 5, 2013
    Marz1200
    ^^^ In the video game Bagman: Arkham Asylum, AA had special prisons for the super-powered individuals. Poison Ivy, for example, was kept in a reinforced greenhouse.
  • May 5, 2013
    Tallens
    You mean Batman.
  • May 11, 2013
    Tallens
    • the Ghost Busters' containment unit for all the ghosts they capture.
  • May 18, 2013
    Tallens
    Something that was brought to my attention on the Supernatural Restaints YKTTW.

  • May 22, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump
  • May 23, 2013
    OmarKarindu
    Marvel Comics has used several over the years: the Vault, Seagate Prison, the Raft, and the Big House are all originally from the comics and appeared in roughly that order over the decades; the animated series simply used all of them. Additionally, the in-universe version of Ryker's Island (spelled differently than the real Riker's) has a special wing for supercriminals.

    The Negative Zone prison, called 42 in the comics, comes from Civil War and was initially used to hold renegade heroes.
  • May 25, 2013
    Synchronicity
    The DCU's Belle Reve Penitentiary, featured in Suicide Squad and Young Justice.
    • Young Justice featured Belle Reve as a sort of prison for supervillains, where the inmates wear collars that inhibit their powers. The compound itself has extremely tight security, including walls not even Superman himself could break through.

    Note: I'm not familiar with Suicide Squad so could someone who is fill that in, as the YJ one is simply an adaptation of that.
  • May 30, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump
  • May 31, 2013
    Koveras
    • The Spellhold, a prison designed specifically to hold rogue mages, in Forgotten Realms. It is also featured prominently in Baldurs Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
  • May 31, 2013
    aurora369
    Up For Grabs, folks. Anyone can put these examples on the list and launch.
  • June 6, 2013
    Tallens
    What's keeping you from doing it?
  • June 16, 2013
    Tallens
    Supernormal Bindings is about ready, so let's get this one going.
  • June 18, 2013
    Tallens
    • Tartarus of Greek Mythology, where the souls of the worst of humanity are tormented for eternity, along with the monsters that have been banished there.
  • June 19, 2013
    Tallens
    If no one's going to add these, I'll start doing it.
  • June 22, 2013
    Tallens
    I'm adding the new examples.
  • June 22, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Cleaning up namespaces and potholes (including removing the trope linking to itself).
  • June 22, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Season One of Loonatics Unleashed housed super-powered criminals such as Mallory Mastermind and the Sagittarius Stomper in the Acmetropolis Prison, miles below ground in a bedrock bunker. Season Two moved many of these criminals to a prison satellite in orbit, adding Otto the Odd and Massive to the inmate roster.
  • June 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I think many of these examples should be fleshed out quite a bit more. Most of them are written in the form "Prison X holds supernatural prisoners Y", but that much should be obvious just by reading the name of the trope.

    The examples should also say, what are the security methods that make the imprisonment of these exeptional individuals possible (like the fact that Azkaban is guarded by Dementors that suck all joy out of the prisoners).
  • July 11, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump
  • July 11, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • General Zod and his cronies are banished to the Phantom Zone in the 1978 Superman movie. The Phantom Zone is portrayed as an interdimensional wasteland with no hope of escape. Unless, of course, someone therein is needed by The Plot, in which case, the Phantom Zone is a horrible vacation spot.
  • July 11, 2013
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Film:
    • In Men In Black 3 there's a prison for alien criminals on the moon. The guards have futuristic technology, and the fact that escape means exposure to vacuum also helps.

    Liturature:
    • The Divine Comedy's Ironic Hell features horrid weather, cliffs, monsters, demons, and a doorway marked "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
  • July 12, 2013
    DAN004
    Anime And Manga
    • One Piece's great gaol Impel Down serves as this, as well as being a Hellhole Prison. It holds particularly notorious and dangerous criminals, with 5 different levels of hellish punishments. Meanwhile the secret level 6 qualifies more as a Tailor Made Prison.
  • July 28, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump
  • August 4, 2013
    Tallens
    One more hat.
  • August 4, 2013
    IAmATropist
  • August 8, 2013
    Tallens
    What is it about YKTTW's lately that they get to five hats then just sit there?
  • August 8, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe they just wanna wait for more examples. Or maybe the OP just isn't there.
  • August 13, 2013
    Tallens
    Well, this is listed as Up For Grabs. If no one objects I could launch it tomorrow.
  • August 14, 2013
    Tallens
    Last call.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d7f7mp038kvdyb8dazbxufur&trope=ExtranormalPrison