Extranormal Prison
For empowered criminals, but not empowered enough to warrant a Tailor Made Prison
Tropeworthy? Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2013-01-06 05:57:31 sponsor: aurora369 edited by: Tallens (last reply: 2013-08-14 19:56:45)

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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 & 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.
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