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Phantom Zone Criminals

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Krypton had no system of capital punishment, so instead of execution, the most heinous criminals were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, a dimension without time or physical substance — which, ironically, allowed the very worst members of Krypton's civilization to be among the few survivors of the planet's destruction. Over the years, numerous super-powered Kryptonian criminals have escaped the Zone to bedevil Superman. In addition to the ne'er-do-wells below, there are numerous less prominent Phantom Zone criminals, including Kru-El (Superman's distant cousin), Az-Rel, Nadira, Car-Vex, and Jer-Em.

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    In General 

  • Adaptation Species Change: In the Smallville, Legion of Super-Heroes, and Supergirl series, the Phantom Zone has other types of alien criminals as well as Kryptonians.
    • The LEGO Batman Movie has them as various human, wizard, dinosaur and monster villains from other franchises that Lego makes toys for.
  • Aliens Speaking English: You could justify them talking to each other as Translation Convention but no reason is ever given as to why they can understand humans after they leave the zone.
  • Astral Projection: Thought they bring their bodies into the zone with them, they're essentially floating around the universe as invisible, intangible ghosts.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Most of them are criminals who have committed crimes along with other things so they get sent to the Phantom Zone as punishment for these crimes.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: As a precursor to the Phantom Zone, Kryptonian criminals were put in sleeper starships in orbit that usually ended up on Earth. Escaping Krypton's destruction by being in the Phantom Zone would count as well.
  • Complete Immortality: Inmates are effectively both ageless and immortal in the Zone — you can actually save a critically ill person's life by sending him there (e.g., Mon-El); the rub is that, like any prison, there's nothing to do there — and since you don't age, you could be stuck there for centuries if there's no one to let you out. The Pre-Crisis The Phantom Zone miniseries proved you can die there, though — by attracting the attention of the Eldritch Abomination whose mind the Zone is part of.
    • Nam-Ek is this after injecting himself with Rondor DNA. He's the only kryptonian to survive without leaving the planet. Superman found him floating in space where Krypton used to be and put him in the zone.
  • Drop Pod: They use a variation of these to escape to Earth in Last Son.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Pre-crisis Superman used to release them when their sentences were up, but they always ended up re-offending and going back in. The only one who didn't return to crime, Quex-Ul, lost his powers and memories then ended up working at The Daily Planet, thinking he was human.
  • Genius Loci: According to Steve Gerber's Pre-Crisis limited series The Phantom Zone, the whole place is the physical manifestation of the mind of an Eldritch Abomination (Jor-El, its discoverer, didn't realize this). It really is perfectly safe, albeit very barren... unless you actually start poking at the entity and make it take notice of you.
  • I Gave My Word: If you can get them to swear a Sacred Kryptonian Oathnote  or the Colossus of Hadradnote  then you can take them by their word.
  • Intangibility: They float around the universe as intangible ghosts and are incapable of touching each other.
  • Mass Teleportation: Fort Rozz was a Kryptonian prison that got pulled into the Phantom Zone after after an explosion. Normal kryptonian laws of physics apply inside it so Zod and Ursa were able to conceive a son.
    • In Supergirl it was a Space Station built in the Phantom Zome that crash landed on Earth, releasing all the criminals.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: There are probably better uses for an alternate dimension that lets you view anywhere in the universe and makes you immortal other than trapping criminals in it.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Novelization to Man of Steel names most of Zod's mooks after Kryptonian criminals from the comics.
  • The Needless: Don't need to eat or drink while in the Phantom Zone.
  • New Super Power: Most of them have never had any powers until they were released on Earth.
  • One-Man Army: Every Kryptonian is an army level threat on Earth. During the 100 Minute War thousands of humans died for every Kryptonian brought down.
  • Phantom Zone: The Trope Namer, a barren, harsh dimension absent of any physical material and located outside of the normal space/time continuum to which Kryptonian criminals are banished.
  • Phantom Zone Picture: The portrayal of the Phantom zone in the movies is the Trope Namer. Though Supergirl and Smallville imply that the picture is just transportation to the Phantom Zone.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Nam-Ek became immortal after killing a Rondornote .
  • Prison Dimension: The Phantom Zone.
  • Prison Ship: Before Jor-El discovered the Phantom Zone, kryptonian criminals were placed in rockets and put into stasis, then launched into space, never to return home. A Superboy story had him fighting three of these criminals after one of the ships landed on Earth.
    • In Man of Steel, the Zone is accessed by launching criminals into space and through a portal on an orbital space station. When they escape, Zod converts it into a spaceship and explores Krypton's abandoned outposts before finding Earth.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Mon-El, Bar-El and Lilo were put in to stop them dying. Chris Kent was conceived in the zone then ended up getting trapped in there again.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: All of them. Fortunately, it's one of the only prisons imaginable that can actually hold a super-powered Kryptonian.
  • Secret-Keeper: Not by choice. They'd tell people that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person if they could.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: They tend to blame Superman for Jor-El putting them in the zone.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There's rarely more than one female in each continuity, with Ursa and Faora usually being treated as interchangeable.
  • Superpower Lottery: Being Kryptonian all have the same of Superman:
  • Telepathy: How they communicate in the Zone. If they all concentrate at once, they can sometimes influence or control people outside the zone.
  • There Is Another: They're among the various Kryptonian survivors that prove Superman isn't the Last of His Kind.
  • Token Good Teammate: Mon-El is the only good Phantom Zone resident but he's only in there because he's dying rather than being a criminal. Also, Quex-Ul in Pre-Crisis.
  • Unishment: Although the Zone is implied to be unpleasant, they did get to survive Krypton's destruction and their youth will still be there if they ever get to leave.

    General Zod I 

General Zod

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dru-zod_15.bmp
Click here to see his post-Flashpoint version 

Species: Kryptonian

First Appearance: Adventure Comics #283 (April 1961)

AKA: Dru-Zod II
"Come to me, son of Jor-El! Kneel Before Zod!"

The archenemy of Jor-El, and a sworn enemy of his family, Zod was a Kryptonian general imprisoned after trying to stage a coup against the Council of Elders on his home world. Trapped in the Phantom Zone prior to Krypton's destruction, Zod is eventually freed and proceeds to take out his anger with Jor-El on Superman. Made famous by Terence Stamp in Superman II, Zod was absent from the comics for years, due to the ban on Kryptonian characters; during this time various alternate universe doppelgangers and Earth-born substitutes danced in his shoes. In Last Son, DC decided to reintroduce the original Zod, bringing in a version of the character heavily modeled on Stamp's portrayal.

In his current incarnation, Zod is a more complex character, regarded as a hero by many on Krypton. His coup was staged because he believed Non and Jor-El's findings about Krypton's imminent demise and wished to get the planet ready by means of rebuilding their space fleet. Defeated when Jor-El refused to support a violent revolution, Zod holds the House of El responsible for the destruction of the Kryptonian race, and seeks to punish Kal-El for his father's sins and build a new Krypton. During the New Krypton arc he served as head of Kandor's military, and maneuvered for war with Earth, aiming to achieve his goals.


General Zod in adapted media (sorted by date of release):


Zod provides the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: In the Post-Crisis Universe, Zod treats his son, Lor-Zod/Chris Kent, as little more than a means to an end. However, this is not the case in the Post-Flashpoint/Rebirth Universe where Lor-Zod is actually loyal to Zod and he, in turn, respect his position in his Kryptonian forces.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Pre-Crisis, Jor-El was merely Zod's jailer. Post-Crisis and every interpretation since, inspired by the first two Reeves films, their relationship is more personal.
  • Alternate Universe: Prior to Last Son, Superman encountered numerous versions of Zod in different dimensions and alternate Kryptonian pasts alike.
  • Archenemy: Of Jor-El. Superman inherits this grudge, which eventually becomes very personal for both of them. After Luthor and Brainiac, he's in third place on Superman's private hit parade. He considers Jor-El to be his biggest enemy and has since sworn revenge against him. However, because Jor-El died before Zod escaped from the Phantom Zone, he had Superman projected as his object of vengeance simply because of Clark Kent being the son of Jor-El and Zod not letting go of his desire for revenge. He is arguably Superman's third-greatest enemy after Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Fulfills this role after Lor-Zod/Chris's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Ascended Extra: He was never a particularly prominent character in his original appearances; only an unremarkable name among the many Phantom Zoners. After the popularity of Superman II, he was upjumped to being the leader of the Phantom Zoners and one of Superman's primary enemies.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He trained from birth to be a warrior, and combining his military training with his solar power, is perfectly able to have Superman on the ropes.
  • Badass Beard: Zod's beard is both evil and awesome.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sometimes features a military-style greatcoat as part of his uniform.
  • Bald of Evil: In the Pre-Crisis era where, not unlike Brainiac, he closely resembled Lex Luthor. This has been changed since, with many versions closely resembling Terence Stamp's iconic portrayal. Injustice: Gods Among Us split the difference, giving him Pre-Crisis Zod's bald head and Stamp's beard.
  • Battle Couple: With Ursa Post-Crisis and Faora in the New 52.
  • Beard of Evil: Usually features a version of Terence Stamp's goatee.
  • Big Bad: Of Last Son, and War of the Supermen, where he's the main instigator of the plot's conflict. Following his revival, he's generally in competition with Luthor and Brainiac for the title of Superman's biggest bad.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In New Krypton he, Brainiac and General Lane compete for the title of biggest bad in the story arc.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Of New Krypton. He's never truly in control of the situation and both Brainiac and Luthor end up outstripping him. Brainiac effortlessly smashes through his army with his ship and specialized anti-Kryptonian gear when he comes to collect New Krypton (killing tens of thousands of Kryptonians), gains the upper hand on him in their superpowered fistfight and manages to shrink and bottle Kandor again, only being stopped short of an easy total victory by Luthor's last-second actions. Luthor, for his part, outmaneuvers Zod at every turn help, so everything Zod does was playing right into his plot. Luthor ends the arc by annihilating Zod's entire race and planet, manipulating Superman into sending him back into the Phantom Zone and getting rewarded for it.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Zod's personality, desires, and mindset being that of a military general who thrives in war and battle, would have been more appropriate for Ancient Krypton, given that by its dying days, the planet was more interested in diplomacy, politics, and self-preservation via alien technology.
  • Breakout Character: Zod was a minor villain Pre-Crisis, and even among the Phantom Zone criminals, Faora and Jax-Ur were initially more prominent than him. After his movie appearances, he has become more popular and prominent, to the point of becoming one of Superman's main arch-enemies alongside Luthor and Brainiac.
  • Brought Down to Badass: When temporarily depowered.
  • Canon Immigrant: It took a while, but eventually General Zod was remolded to resemble Terence Stamp's depiction of the character with his dark hair and Beard of Evil.
  • Catchphrase: Thanks to Superman II, he's nearly synonymous with the phrase "Kneel before Zod!"
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: As of Last Son and New Krypton he bears a striking resemblance to Terence Stamp.
  • Dark Is Evil: Since his most popular portrayal, courtesy of Terence Stamp, Zod is normally dressed in black or dark-grey attire, be it in military suits, jackets, and armor. In his more recent appearances, the black is mixed in with red.
  • Dark Messiah: Seen as a savior by many on New Krypton, and views himself in those same terms.
  • Didn't Think This Through: At least suggested that Zod fell victim to this in his first post-Crisis appearance; when he starts ranting about his planned coup on Krypton before his arrest, Superman argues that nobody would have followed him if he'd won and he didn't have any actual plan for what he'd do to save Krypton from its imminent destruction, and Zod's only protest is to state that he would have found a way rather than state what that way would have been.
  • Enemy Mine: Zod has joined forces with Superman against mutual enemies, especially Brainiac, though these tend to not last very long as Zod would turn against Superman not long after.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Like Luthor, he doesn't get why Superman hasn't taken over the planet yet.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both, Superman and his father, Jor-El
    • Both Zod and Jor-El were renowned figures in Krypton and strived to be its inhabitants' savior. However, Jor-El wanted to do things morally and used his good wisdom and trust towards others to convince them to save themselves from Krypton's destruction, even if it ended in failure and in his death. By contrast, Zod attempted to do a takeover and was hence branded a criminal where he was sentenced to the Phantom Zone, which allowed Zod to survive Krypton's destruction.
    • If Superman is the ultimate immigrant, standing for the peaceful synthesis of human and Kryptonian culture, Zod is the ultimate representation of the Old Country, and why people wanted to leave it in the first place. Everything that's wrong with Kryptonian culture is embodied by Zod, and when he arrives on Earth it isn't to immigrate but to try and remake it in the image of Krypton.
  • Evil Chancellor: To Alura and the Council, undermining their efforts, and leading them towards increasingly destructive courses of action.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Once an opportunity arises, Zod wastes no time in stealing the scene with his over-the-top demeanor that can be channeled through eloquent, loud speeches or screaming like a madman whenever he is in battle.
  • Evil Old Folks: The alternate universe doppelganger from For Tomorrow was an old man under his heavy black armor.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He clashed with Luthor, Parasite, Metallo, and Bizarro in Last Son, Luthor, Metallo, Reactron, and General Lane in New Krypton, and Doomsday in the New 52.
  • Eviler Than Thou: With Luthor, Brainiac, and General Lane in New Krypton, with each of them struggling to assert their position as the greatest villain of the storyline. Ultimately, Zod loses and is banished into the Phantom Zone yet again.
  • The Extremist Was Right: He was imprisoned for staging a violent coup against the Council and trying to set himself up as a military dictator, believing the Council's inaction to the news of Krypton's instability would doom their species. The Council were morons and their actions did see the deaths of almost everyone on Krypton.
  • Famous Ancestor: He was descended from Admiral Dru-Zod I, one of the most infamous criminals of the Kryptonian space age.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards all aliens. It's particularly notable with humans, whom he views as some sort of sub-Kryptonians, worthy of enslavement at best and genocide at worst.
  • Final Boss: The last villain standing in both Last Son and New Krypton, and the last one Superman has to face down.
  • Final Solution: His Pocket Universe counterpart decided humanity was too much trouble to rule over and ended up killing everybody on its Earth. In the War of the Supermen arc that concludes New Krypton, our Zod comes to the same conclusion and tries to wipe humanity out in revenge for Reactron's destruction of New Krypton.
  • Foil: Zod and Lex Luthor can be seen as appropriate contrasts with one another. Both are some of Superman's most noteworthy opponents and have a seething grudge against the Man of Steel. However, Luthor's hatred is based on anger and jealousy that Superman has taken over him in being a paragon for humanity, whereas Zod detests Superman for being the son of his own Best Friend-turned-Arch-Enemy, Jor-El, as well as expressing dismay on why the Man of Steel wants to be integrated and has shown compassion and interest in humanity, which wholly contrasts Zod's Darwinistic mindset.
  • Four-Star Badass: Zod's promotion to the highest ranks of the Kryptonian military didn't make him any less badass, and that was before he arrived on Earth and gained the same powers as Superman.
  • Frontline General: Always. Zod leads the charge from the front of his army and is usually one of the last ones out of combat.
  • The Generalissimo: Sets himself up as one following the destruction of Kandor's civilian government. In the backstory, he tried to do this on Krypton as well.
  • General Ripper: In New Krypton where he blames the humans for everything.
  • Genius Bruiser: In addition to being extremely strong under a yellow sun, like any Kryptonian, Zod is an experienced military soldier and leader and employs what he has learned in his work experiences into his movest whenever he involves himself in battle. He is also quite professional and approachable when it comes to making convincing speeches for his people and was raised by two Kryptonian scientists. Part of the reason why Zod is one of Superman's biggest enemies is due to the fact that, in addition to holding a seething grudge, he is tactically very smart and is more than willing to apply his trained gifts with his superpowers.
  • Glorious Leader: His men speak of him in these terms, and he eventually sets himself up as one for New Krypton, amassing a personality cult, and seizing power in the aftermath of Allura's death.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: In his first Post-Crisis appearance.
  • Good Twin: On Earth-15, a good version of Zod served as his world's Superman, much to Superboy-Prime's rage.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal!: When exposed to yellow sunlight, his gaping wounds from Katana's magic sword healed up almost instantly.
  • Happily Married: To Ursa.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Tries to turn Earth into a new Krypton in Man of Steel, and plans to do as much in both "Last Son" and "New Krypton".
  • I Shall Return: When the Brainiac 13-created Krypton faded away, the General Zod of that reality swore revenge on Superman. Which led to early speculation that the Pokolistan Zod is this Zod who somehow escaped his disappearing reality.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally, shanking Krypto with a Green K knife and then laughing to Superman and Superboy about the futility of the dog's sacrifice (Krypto recovered).
  • Kill All Humans: An Alternate Universe Zod did this in one story. At the conclusion of the New Krypton storyline, our Zod tries it as well, triggering the 100 Minute War.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The Trope Namer. For Zod forcing his adversaries to kneel is a psychological compulsion. He needs them to submit.
  • Knife Nut: Like Ursa, the Post-Crisis Zod carries a Green Kryptonite knife, though he doesn't use it as frequently as she does.
  • Lack of Empathy: Because of his upbringing as a Kryptonian and the circumstances of him being designed to be a warrior upon his birth, Zod has a very callous and demeaning attitude towards any living being that is not a Kryptonian, and later on, this has extended to any Kryptonian that doesn't tie any allegiance to him.
  • Large and in Charge: a 6'3, 220 pound, heavily muscled general. In Suicide Squad, he's been found in Russia inside a Phantom Zone anomaly. The energies of the anomaly have mutated him so that he's grown into a giant that stands a foot taller than Killer Croc who's already superhumanly large. Zod is so big that when he got knocked out, he fell on Captain Boomerang and pinned him.
  • Large Ham: Zod wouldn't be Zod if he wasn't chewing the scenery.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Zod is fast, strong, and hard-hitting even by the absurdly high standards of Kryptonians.
  • Made of Iron: Zod once used heat vision to cut out a chunk of his own brain, leaving a hole that exposed part of his brain. This injury doesn't slow him down and neither did Captain Boomerang tossing a razor-rang into the exposed brain.
  • Master Race: Zod is more than convinced that the Kryptonian Race is among the best of the best compared to all other extraterrestrial races in the universe, citing its technology, potential, and intelligence as key factors. He uses these as a justification for why he considers himself and his own race to be better than everyone else and is eager to demonstrate his powers as a means to subjugate his enemies and have them bow down to him.
  • Military Coup: How he tried to take power on Krypton in both the main universe and various alternate ones. He was contemplating one against Allura when Reactron blew up New Krypton, allowing him to take power through slightly more legitimate means.
  • Moral Myopia: Can recognize wrongs done to him, and wrongs done by humans to Kryptonians, but never the inverse.
  • My Greatest Failure: Failing to stop Brainiac from stealing Kandor.
  • Narcissist: Not unlike Luthor, Zod views himself in messianic terms, is convinced that he can achieve anything simply on the basis of who he is, and thinks that he, and only he, has all the answers. He genuinely does want what's best for Krypton, but has convinced himself that Krypton can only be its best with him in charge.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Pre-Crisis, he resembles a Nazi general. As well as similar philosophy, with his views of Kryptonians being the "superior race".
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In Superman II he can move objects with his mind and shoot lasers out of his hands (and shoot lasers that move objects).
  • Noble Demon: The New Krypton version.
  • Offing the Offspring: Totally prepared to kill his son, Lor-Zod, when the boy gets in his way.
  • Patricide: In a scientific expedition gone wrong, Zod's parents were attacked by dangerous animals that claimed his mother's life. When his father told him to escape, Zod agreed by having his father killed as a distraction for the beasts while fleeing and surviving all on his own for a year.
  • Powered Armour: In the New 52 he donned an ancient suit of armour from Krypton's space-age to battle Doomsday during his days as Colonel Zod.
  • Predecessor Villain: An alternate universe version of him served as the inspiration to General Zod II (see above). He himself has a predecessor in his ancestor, Admiral Dru-Zod I, whose ship was unearthed and weaponized by Luthor. According to Superman, Admiral Zod was one of the darkest figures in Krypton's age of space exploration, which means our General Zod may well be a case of Generation Xerox.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Zod styles himself as an old-school Kryptonian soldier-hero.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives Jor-El one by proxy, ranting at Superman about Jor-El's failings. "Jor-El didn't just fail Krypton, Kal-El. He failed you!"
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: In Post-Flashpoint, Zod's attire now resembles that of Superman's except it is a black armor with a cape and red accents, most prominently on the "Z" chest logo.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
  • Ret-Canon: Recent versions are modeled after the Superman II film interpretation of the character.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives one to his army at the start of the 100 Minute War.
  • Send in the Clones: In Pre-Crisis continuity, he tried to take over Krypton with an army of Bizarro clones of himself.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Jor-El and Kal-El both.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Superman's father, Jor-El, was one of the guys who arrested him and banished him to the Phantom Zone, so he takes his anger out on Kal-El. In Zod's mind, the House of El is to blame for the extinction of Kryptonian life.
  • Superior Species: Sees Kryptonians as inherently superior to humans (and every other alien race out there, for that matter). To the extent where he wants to assert Kryptonian dominance over whatever race he comes into battle with.
  • Tin Tyrant: A version of Zod from For Tomorrow was an old man in spiked black armour.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After growing almost twice as big as normal, Zod is so mighty that it took Cyborg Superman, the Eradicator, the Enchantress and the rest of Suicide Squad to slow him down long enough to reason with him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Underestimates Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice League, and the population of Earth by the end of New Krypton.
    • Amanda Waller does this to him in Suicide Squad. She knows he's godlike in power, so she has a kryptonite bomb implanted in his head while he was de-powered. However, she underestimated his cunning and strength of will. He was able to take advantage of a power outage to use a mirror and cut out the bomb from his brain using heat vision.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Ursa Post-Crisis, and Faora in the New 52.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: He considers Kal-El weak for not taking over Earth despite having more than enough power to do so, and especially because he cares for the "inferior" humans as opposed to his native Kryptonian race.
  • We Have Reserves: Willingly fires through his own people in order to hit Brainiac's ship.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His revolt on Krypton was motivated by a desire to save the planet.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jor-El were initially great friends who supported one another... until Zod attempted a military coup to get Krypton to go back into waging battles against other alien races, which prompted Jor-El to turn his back on Zod and have him tried in court for his actions. Zod has since hated Jor-El for backing the Kryptonian court over him, considering that Zod held the government in contemptuous regard.
  • Worthy Opponent: He was genuinely impressed by Superman's superior fighting skill compared to his men in the New Krypton storyline.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Post-Crisis he had no issues throwing punches at Supergirl, and in the New 52 he and Faora both traded blows with Wonder Woman.

    Ursa 

Ursa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aa63116090109fb17419eaec54c0e878.jpg

"The killing. That's my favorite part. Zod — strong, sure, brilliant Zod — doesn't understand that. He finds victory in planning, in preparation, in the discovery of every little detail. He calls that strategy. He calls that tactics. There's a better word for it. Anticipation. And that's why he is the general... and I am the weapon."

Originally created for Superman II, Ursa entred the DCU in the pages of Last Son, alongside the modern General Dru-Zod. Second-in-command and wife to the traitorous general, Colonel Ursa was a loyal soldier in Krypton's elite Black Zero unit, but her failure to stop Brainiac from stealing the city of Kandor and massacring innocent Kryptonians broke her mind, making her dangerously unpredictable. Ursa aided her beloved in his attempt to overthrow the Science Council, but like Zod and their co-conspirator Non, they were stopped by Jor-El and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone. There, Ursa bore a son, Lor-Zod, who would later become the hero Nightwing.


  • Abusive Mom: Uses her son as a tool, giving no affection, and expecting total obedience in return.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The comics version isn't much of a man-hater as her counterpart in the Christopher Reeve movies.
  • Axe-Crazy: Even among the Phantom Zoners, Ursa is not the poster girl for mental health week, regularly flying into rages, and sparing no one but Zod from her wrath.
  • Badass Longcoat: In her first appearance Post-Crisis.
  • Battle Couple: With Zod, Post-Crisis.
  • Battle Trophy: Steals badges of various people (mostly men) in Superman II.
  • Bling of War: Wears all the said badges.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her hair is close-cropped, military style in most comic book portrayals.
  • Canon Immigrant: She first appeared in the 1977 Superman movie, and was not added to the comics until Last Son where she took the place normally held by Faora.
  • Colonel Badass: Held this rank in the Kryptonian military, acting as Zod's second-in-command.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Despite her comparatively lofty rank she thoroughly enjoys meting out violence and is always eager to get her hands bloody.
  • Cool Shades: Her glasses protect her eyes from exposure to sunlight, to which she is hypersensitive.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Strongly resembles Sarah Douglas, who played her in Superman II.
  • Dark Action Girl: The most prominent female among the Phantom Zoners Post-Crisis, and easily one of the deadliest. In the end it takes Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, and Krypto to subdue her.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Takes on Supergirl while Superman is facing down General Zod.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In response to an attack on New Krypton by a rogue general from one country, Ursa tries to slaughter the leaders of almost every country on Earth.
  • The Dragon: To General Zod Post-Crisis, acting as his second-in-command, bodyguard, and wife.
  • Expy: Loose one of Faora Hu-Ul, described below. In fact, Faora was erased from continuity due to the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Ursa essentially replaced her when the Phantom Zone criminals were brought back (though Faora still appeared in a pocket universe).
  • Evil Matriarch: Towards Lor-Zod following his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards humans, whom she views as animals.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The only Kryptonian to need eye wear. One of the most flatout immoral.
  • Fragile Speedster: By Kryptonian standards, with her illness and light build making her comparatively easy to beat down. She's still a Lightning Bruiser when compared to anyone else, of course.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Of General Zod.
  • Handicapped Badass: Ursa's light sensitivity doesn't stop her from being one of Zod's deadliest assets, and in the end it requires a four to one advantage to bring her down.
  • Happily Married: To Zod.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a Green Kryptonite dagger for use against her fellow Kryptonians.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Whether intentional or otherwise, Ursa does mean "bear".
  • Offing the Offspring: Like Zod she's perfectly willing to kill their son, Lor-Zod.
  • Only One Name: No family name or patrynomic (as is usual for female Kryptonians) has been provided for Ursa.
  • Psycho Supporter: Ursa's support for Zod stems at least in part from her own mental instability.
  • Sinister Shades: Ursa's the only Kryptonian who has to permanently wear goggles, and is one of the most evil.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports a really deranged one
  • Superior Species: Her view on her race.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Zod. It's part love, part hero worship.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Zod Post-Crisis.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In addition to weaknesses against kryptonite, red sunlight, and magic, Ursa's eyes are incredibly sensitive to light, forcing her to wear protective goggles at all times.
  • Would Hurt a Child: If the child was male. In a deleted scene of Superman II she killed a boy on Earth.

    Non 

Non

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fd66b633dca81a94e9f02e87a083d95d.jpg
General Zod's loyal left-hand man, Non is a hulking Kryptonian with all of Superman's powers but none of the intelligence and morality. In fact, the only thing that separates Non from Bizarro is Non's unwavering loyalty. Non was once a brilliant scientist, but when he tried to speak out against the Science Council on behalf of Jor-El, the Council's agents lobotomized him, leaving him a dumb brute. Adopted as a soldier by General Zod, Non shared his master's fate in the Phantom Zone.
  • Beard of Evil: He sports a fairly heavy beard.
  • The Brute: Big, dumb, and thuggish. During the Last Son arc he fights Luthor's Brute, Bizarro, one on one.
  • Canon Immigrant: From the 1977 movie.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Non's crazed, one man assault on the JLA Watchtower left Atom, Cyborg, Doctor Light II, Golden Gorilla, Indigo, and Starfire in varying states of consciousness and severe debilitation, while Non himself escaped without a scratch.
  • Dumb Muscle: Exaggerated. Non is huge and strong even for a Kryptonian, but is brain-damaged to the point of not being able to speak or think rationally.
  • Lobotomy: The comics explain this is why he can't talk or think for himself.
  • Meaningful Name: He's a personality-less lobotomy patient whose name means "nothing".
  • Mental Handicap, Moral Deficiency: Non in the films was a mentally handicapped thug who could only interact with the world through violence. This remains true in the comics, though it is better justified by his lobotomy. Some appearances show him with a stitched scar across his forehead implying a lobotomy.
  • The Mentor: Was this to Jor-El, pre-lobotomy.
  • Mighty Glacier: By Kryptonian standards being vastly stronger and vastly slower than most members of the race. By the standards of the DCU as a whole, he's a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Only One Name: One of the few Kryptonians with no last name.
  • Pet the Dog: He cared for Lor-Zod whenever his parents weren't looking, at least inasmuch as his ruined mental state allowed.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Zod drafted him into the army after his lobotomization.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In other universes and continuities, there'll be a different Kryptonian taking his role as the strongman of the Zod trio. Notably Quex-Ul (Pocket Universe), Jax-Ur (The Superman Adventures #21), Kru-El (Brainiac 13-created Krypton), and Nam-Ek (The Last Days of Krypton novel and Man of Steel film).
  • The Speechless: Non cannot speak beyond grunts or laughs.
  • Tragic Monster: Poor guy was lobotomized into being evil.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jor-El were friends prior to his lobotomization.

    Faora Hu-Ul 

Faora Hu-Ul

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d7a6e5f3abf65d1247b7a3df5862c560.JPG
Click here to see her post-Flashpoint 

"That I am the master of Horu-Kanu— the deadliest form of physical combat on Krypton! With my expert knowledge of the secret reflex points on a Kryptonian's body— your body— each blow I strike— at precisely the right spot— results in an automatic violent reflex-action!"

An evil Kryptonian martial artist, and raving misandrist. Pre-Crisis she was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for murdering every man she encountered, and during her early encounters with Superman was able to throughly outfight him. Post-Crisis this version of Faora was erased from continuity, though several alternate universe doppelgangers and one Eastern European mutant did take up her identity, typically acting as henchwomen to whichever take on Zod was currently active. In 2006, when Last Son reintroduced the real Zod, these incarnations of Faora were forgotten, replaced with Canon Immigrant Ursa.

It was not until the New 52 reboot, that Faora returned to mainstream continuity. Retooled to closely resemble her expy, Ursa (more on that below), and the versions of Faora from Smallville and Man of Steel both, she was presented as a Kryptonian military officer who was utterly devoted to General Dru-Zod, acting as his Number Two, his bodyguard, and his girlfriend. Escaping the Phantom Zone with him, the two Kryptonian criminals engaged Superman and Wonder Woman in a brutal tag-team brawl before being returned to their prison.


  • The Dragon: To Zod in the New 52.
  • Expy:
    • Oh boy. The character of Ursa from The Movie was loosely based on Faora, sharing her look and misandry, but adding a relationship with Zod. Post-Crisis, early versions of Faora — as well as adaptations like Smallville — would then follow Ursa's lead, and be in love with Zod (whom she had not been close to Pre-Crisis). In 2006, she was removed from continuity and replaced with a comics version of Ursa... only to reenter the comics in the New 52, after Man of Steel's version of her — which was closely based on the film version of Ursa from Superman II — proved a success.
    • In the novel The Last Days of Krypton, a similar character goes by the name of Aethyr-Ka (sharing the name of a godlike being also named Aethyr from the Phantom Zone in Pre-Crisis).
  • Foil: The New 52 version is set up as something of one to Wonder Woman, with her slavish loyalty to Zod, and arrogant belief in her martial arts skills contrasting Diana's genuine relationship with Clark and respect for her adversaries.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: In the New 52, Zod is the only man she respects, and the only one she's willing to be in a relationship with.
  • The Jailer: Pre-Crisis. On Krypton, she was arrested for kidnapping 23 men and putting them in a concentration camp she had built in her home.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: A deadly martial artist whose skill enables her to walk all over even the likes of Superman.
  • Lady of War: Faora's martial training gives her a degree of grace that's pretty alien to the average Kryptonian.
  • Pressure Point: Thanks to her Kryptonian powers, her nerve pinches work on Superman. Ouch!
  • Ret-Canon: Her appearance in the New 52 takes after her Man of Steel look (which in turn borrows heavily from Ursa's look in Superman II).
  • Ret-Gone: Erased from existence post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, and essentially replaced by Ursa, a Canon Immigrant loosely based on her (though a version of Faora appeared in the Pocket Universe and another was Pokolistan metahuman). She's also appeared in adaptations like Smallville and Man of Steel). However, she's back as of Krypton Returns.
  • Serial Killer: Of men, Pre-Crisis.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Zod, New 52.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Zod in the New 52.
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    Jax-Ur 

Jax-Ur

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/347eb8323aa43726574f9db555a721f7.png
Click here to see his pre-Crisis version 

"I am here to do what your father could not. I am here to save our world. Farewell, Kal-El. "

A doctor and scientist who thought nothing of dissecting living people and whose experiments inadvertently destroyed Krypton's moon colony — which attracted the attention of Brainiac and led to the loss of Kandor. While in the Phantom Zone, Jax-Ur became the host of the Kryptonian deity Vohc-the-Breaker, god of creation and destruction. He was recruited by General Zod to be one of his sleeper agents, but had plans of his own — the destruction of Earth.


  • Acrofatic: Has the standard kryptonian powers but is usually fat and unfit compared to other kryptonians.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Nightwing and Flamebird, themselves avatars of Kryptonian gods.
  • Bald of Evil: Pre-Crisis he looked rather like Lex Luthor with a moustache (well, early Lex who was kinda chubby; canonically, Lex lost the weight in the Bronze Age years, but Jax stayed portly).
  • Befriending the Enemy: When Jimmy Olsen visits the Phantom Zone, Jax-Ur says they might as well be friends because they can't hurt each other there. He ends up trying to show Jimmy Superman's secret identity but Jimmy deliberately doesn't look because he thinks Superman probably has a good reason for hiding it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Up until the release of Superman II, Jax-Ur was usually depicted as the de facto leader of the Phantom Zoners. Since then, it's always Zod shown to be in charge.
  • Enemy Mine: The pre-crisis Jax-Ur worked with Superman to defeat Black Zero, the true culprit behind Krypton's destruction.
  • Fat Bastard: Pre-Cris Jax-Ur was a fairly rotund archvillain. These days he's portrayed as either fit or outright skinny.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Pre-Crisis, he was exiled to the Zone for accidentally destroying Krypton's moon, Wegthor, including its inhabited moon colony. He might have gotten some slack for it being an accident, except that it happened when he was trying to test a new kind of missile he planned to use to conquer Krypton. Unfortunately, the whole business soured the Kryptonian public so much on space travel that they scuttled their newborn space program, later crippling Jor-El's plans to build an escape fleet.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Modelled on Josef Mengele.

    Quex-Ul 

Quex-Ul

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/86334b7de737316f965248ddd5f36f10.png
AKA: Charlie Kweskill (Pre-Crisis), Edward Robertson (Post-Infinte Crisis)

" Superman, you're a fool to have freed me! I'm going to destroy you forever with an amazing secret weapon — Gold Kryptonite!"

A Kryptonian wrongly convicted of killing rondors, an endangered species, to use their healing horns for the purpose of profit.


  • The Brute: In later versions, he's usually the 'strongman' of a trio of Phantom Zone criminals (see Expy).
  • Expy: His later incarnations resemble Non, especially the Pocket Universe version.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pre-Crisis. He threw himself into his own Gold Kryptonite trap he set up for Superman (which he had set while being controlled by Rog-Ar), losing both his powers and memory. Still later, he ended up sacrificing his life to save Superman when they were both trapped in the Zone while the Zone's evil inmates were running rampant on Earth.
  • Killed Off for Real: Pre-Crisis, he sacrficed his life to save Superman — inside the Phantom Zone, no less, where death was thought to be impossible. He's killed of in Post-Infinite Crisis continuity, too.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Pre-Crisis, after Quex-Ul loses his powers and his memory, Superman sets him up with an Earthling identity as "Charlie Kweskill" and gets him a job at the Daily Planet. It works out well for him for a while, but Zod and the other Zoners eventually ruin it for him.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: After learning the truth, Superman realizes Quex-Ul never belonged in the Zone alongside a bunch of hardened criminals.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Pre-Crisis. Superman learns he actually acted under the mental control of another Kryptonian, Rog-Ar, the true rondor killer.
  • The Woobie: Poor guy never deserved to be imprisoned, and even after getting released, the other Zoners kept finding ways to mind control him.

    Kru-El 

Kru-El

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kru_el_earth_one_0001.jpg

" Tedious, is she not? A family trait, I'm afraid General. I alone among the Els seem to have been unafflicted."

Kru-El was "the first stain on the name of El" and sentenced to the Phantom Zone for 35 years for developing forbidden weapons. He vexed his cousin Jor-El on Krypton and would continue to harass his son Superman on Earth.


  • Arms Dealer: Kru-El built diabolical weapons and supplied them to the criminal element of Krypton.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Supergirl was once subjected to his Plant-Scourge Ray, which caused any being near her to become a plant.
  • Beard of Evil: Sports a pointed goatee and moustache.
  • Black Sheep: Kru-El is described "the first stain on the name of El" and is the only member of the House of El to become a criminal.
  • Evil Genius: Regarded as being Jor-El's intellectual equal.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Kru-El is so focused on using his arsenal of super-weapons that he sometimes forgets that he has superpowers under a yellow sun, allowing Superman to take him down easily.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Kru-El is a technological genius and in certain fields, such as weapons design, surpasses even Jor-El.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: After being freed from the Phantom Zone by Lesla-Lar, he uses her as test subject for his disintegrator ray and reduces her to ashes.
  • Tested on Humans: Has no compunctions against testing his weapons on humans or Kryptonians.

    Nam-Ek 

Nam-Ek

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/namekcomics2.jpg
AKA: The Antibiotic Man

"There is much you fail to understand, Kal-El... And— Like your ancestors who opposed me, you would sooner lash out at me... Than try to understand! "

Nam-Ek was a Kryptonian scientist obsessed with quantifying the healing power of the Rondor horn, but got too involved in his own research and became a human-Rondor.


  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Nam-Ek gained a purple leathery skin (and a horn sprouting from his forehead) following an experiment Gone Horribly Right.
  • Complete Immortality: So far nothing has been found that can kill Nam-Ek. He does not age, is immune to all diseases and poisons, heals all injuries instantly, cannot starve or die of dehydration, and can survive in the vacuum of space even under a red sun.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Even in the light of a red sun, Nam-Ek could survive in the vacuum of space indefinitely.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Nam-Ek killed a Rondor and removed its horn, and studied it until he had concocted a serum from the horn that would, he anticipated, produce the same effect. He then foolishly tested the serum on himself, drinking it to see what would happen. The result was a mutagenic change within Nam-Ek's entire body. His skin became purple in color and leathery, like the Rondor, and he grew a Rondor-like horn from the middle of his forehead. This horn had the same healing properties as those in the Rondors themselves.
  • Healing Factor: Nam-Ek is able to repair his body from almost any injury. Though Superman thought that he'd killed Nam-Ek with Green Kryptonite it has never actually been proven whether Nam-Ek is resistant to Kryptonite.
  • Healing Hands: The radiation from Nam-Ek's horn appears to heal all injuries and diseases in the bodies of others in close proximity.
  • The Hermit: Following his transformation, the now-monstrous and foul-smelling Nam-Ek self-isolated in the ancient Kryptonian city of Xan for 500 years.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Nam-Ek tested his Rondor horn serum on himself, with tragic consequences.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During a mass from the Phantom Zone, Nam-Ek remembered his previous burning and defeat, so was content to sit with Thul-Kar and wait out the conflict.
  • Space Pirate: Years after Krypton's destruction, Nam-Ek was found floating in space by the space pirate Amalak. Amalak was responsible for transporting Nam-Ek to Earth.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nam-Ek's goal of eradicating all disease and injury was noble. His methods for achieving this more questionable.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Nam-Ek regards his immortality as a curse rather than a blessing, as it turned him monstrous and isolated him from the rest of humanity.

    Professor Va-Kox 

Professor Va-Kox

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/va_kox.jpg

"You can see and hear me, Superman! I, Vakox outwitted you! Now the belt will create a hyper-explosion that will blow the whole Phantom Zone into a remote universe, never to return!"

Va-Kox was sentenced to the Phantom Zone for mutating the marine life in a lake on Krypton with his forbidden experiments. The lingering effects would pollute the lake for 50 cycles, which was also the sentence that the Science Council gave him, making him the second Phantom Zone inmate.


  • Empty Quiver: Once masterminded the theft of a nuclear warhead from the US Army and detonated under a Pacific atoll so the vast release of radioactive particle emissions would tear a gap into the dimensional barrier and allow his release back to physical reality.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Va-Kox was sentenced to the Phantom Zone for mutating the marine life in a lake on Krypton with his forbidden experiments.
  • Master of Disguise: Va-Kox aped Clark Kent's form well enough to temporarily fool Superman.
  • Mind Control: From within the Phantom Zone; Va-Kox has repeatedly dominated the minds of those in the outside world.
  • Robot Master: Built an army of robots capable of moving at ultra-light speeds called Anachronids.
  • Utility Belt: Constructed a utility belt equipped with several useful crime-fighting gadgets, but booby-trapped with a miniature Phantom Zone Projector that would send the wearer of the belt to the Zone at the press of the wrong button, followed by the displacement of the Phantom Zone into another dimension of space more distant from the physical plane. Ostensibly intended for Superman to wear to achieve the desired effect.

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