- "The most vicious offenders are condemned for eternity; their corporeal bodies destroyed, their essence haunting the wasteland."
- —Raya explains the phantoms. [src]
Phantom Wraiths are non-corporeal beings from the Phantom Zone. They are the souls of criminals who have been condemned for eternity to the Zone.
The Phantoms Wraiths are cast or portray criminals sent to the Phantom Zone with their physical bodies destroyed for the most horrific of crimes. Resembling wraiths, the bodiless phantoms roam the Zone at will, attacking with little, if any warning. Though primarily insubstantial, they are able to cut, and even grab, their victims. Zod Outside of the Zone, they are not shown to have any substance; however, they are able to possess a host at will. Once they do so, the host body gains any abilities the Phantom Wraith may have had in its original form. However, these powers vanish once a Phantom leaves, or is forced out of, the individual they are possessing. (Zod, Fallout, Bloodline)
Phantoms can be forcibly removed from a host using a Crystal of El or a similar device. It is worth noting that if a phantom possesses a vessel of its own DNA, such as a clone, it will be made whole again, as seen with General Zod.
- General Zod was stripped of his physical body and thrown into the Phantom Zone.
- Faora was also stripped of her form and tossed into the Phantom Zone along with her husband Zod.
- Bizarro was an experiment that was tested on Krypton and later discarded and his physical form was removed and he was sent to the Phantom Zone.
- Baern was some alien that was based around eternal energy and his form was also stripped away and he was tossed into the Phantom Zone.
- Dr. Hudson was some mind controlling entity that got stripped of his form and was sent to the Phantom Zone.
Wraiths are incorporeal beings, often seen shrouded in tattered dark-gray clothing which conceals a spirit-like being underneath. The wraiths has gray, corpse-like skin that covers the entire form like a skeletal structure. When a Phantom possesses a host, the vessel's eyes turn black. For some reasons, the phantom's face seemingly reverts to it's previous form when removed from a host, though this seems to be temporary.
Powers and Abilities
Wraiths have the following powers:
- Flight – Wraiths can fly at high speeds, sometimes seen just as a passing blur. They can fly in the Phantom Zone as well as on Earth.
- Possession – Wraiths are able to possess Humans and Kryptonians.
- Super speed - Phantom wraiths can fly with great speed, appearing as blurs.
Phantom wraiths can be pried out of their possessed hosts by using a Crystal of El; this returns them to the Phantom Zone. They are also vulnerable to the Martian Manhunter's red crystal. They can also be fought off by a capable fighter.
However, the Crystal of El was not effective against the wraith later known as Bizarro.
The Phantom Zone is an alternate dimension used as a prison for the worst Kryptonian and alien criminals. Many of the prisoners exiled to the Zone were captured by the Martian Manhunter when he worked as a bounty hunter for Jor-El. Phantoms roam freely, able to attack at will, and the inhabitants are violent abominations.
When Clark Kent was sent to the Phantom Zone by General Zod (who had possessed Lex Luthor), he was attacked by numerous phantoms before being rescued by Raya using a Crystal of El to scare the wraiths away. As Raya nursed Clark back to health at her encampment, she told him the true nature of the phantoms and that the only thing they fear was the Crystal of El. When Clark escaped from the Zone and confronted Zod, he used his father's crystal to remove Zod's essence from Lex's body and send it back into the Phantom Zone.
Clark battled Baern, who possessed a young boy and tracked Clark down to Smallville where he was at first defeated but drained Brainiac's hard drive of its power to fuel himself so he could defeat Clark and a visiting Raya. Clark and Baern dueled at the Fortress of Solitude, where Baern killed Raya but was removed from his host by Clark using the Crystal of El.
Dr. Hudson attacked Clark and entered his mind to take over his body, but the Martian Manhunter appeared and helped Clark battle Hudson in his mind using his telepathy and captured Hudson with his red crystal.
Bizarro used numerous human vessels and was being tracked by Lex and also the Martian Manhunter, who was working with Lionel Luthor. The Martian Manhunter attempted to capture Bizarro, but was severely injured and fled as Lex arrived; unfortunately for Lex, Bizarro fled as well. Bizarro later possessed Philipe Lamont, a boy who Lex had captured and brought to Reeves Dam. Bizarro later left the boy and took a piece of Clark's Kryptonian DNA to create a body for itself, in the process destroying the Crystal of El, to which it was immune.
Kara was sent to the Phantom Zone by Brainiac after he used her to travel back through time to Krypton in 1986. In the Zone, she encountered numerous wraiths and battled Faora, who escaped when Kara was letting a trapped Lois Lane out while Clark stood guard and battled wraiths to allow Lois to escape. Faora was later captured by Kara using the Martian Manhunter's crystal.
- Smallville's vision of the inhabitants of the Phantom Zone is very different to most other portrayals. Zoners are usually portrayed as being spirits with little ability to influence the physical world. Furthermore, the Phantom Zone is usually shown as little more than a state of limbo, not an alternative world.
- In the case of a phantom possessing a clone of their original body, instead of the host's mind being overridden by the phantom's the two consciousnesses merge into one and give the now-fused being the experiences of both the phantom and the clone's.