Obscure Comics: Krypton: Tales From the Phantom Zone #1

There are comic book series almost every comic fan knows, there are comic book characters that most everyone knows, there are specific comic books most every comic reader knows, and then there are the more obscure issues that slip through the cracks. What makes obscure comics so interesting and vital is discovering those books that most don't know were ever printed, or that top tier creators worked on "that book" or on "that character." Obscure Comics are fun to find and interesting to know about, but that border between great reads and terrible comics.

Television, Superman, David Goyer, and Prequels

A few Obscure Comics have ties to David Goyer, as he has had his hands in many comic book television series and movies.  In 2014 it was announced that he was working on a television series for SyFy called Krypton that would focus on Superman's ancestor and take place on the planet Krypton 200 years in the past.  The reaction was very mixed as setting a series 200 years before its best-known hero was even a hero made Smallville's approach seem more sensible.  Nevertheless, the series was teased in 2017 and finally debuted in 2018 for a first season of 10 episodes that included Adam Strange, Brainiac, and Doomsday, each finally having their live-action debuts.  Following that, in 2018, a second season was released of 10 more episodes, bringing a live-action Lobo into the mix as well.

The series began to have good word of mouth and hype, and a live-action Lobo spin-off was being planned. Then SyFy ditched all those plans and canceled the show, and the idea of a Lobo spin-off, continuing their trend of canceling shows in 2 seasons or less (Deadly Class and Happy! to name most current ones). However, during the height of Krypton's heyday with SyFy, they decided to do a prequel comic for season 2.

Obscure Comics: Krypton: Tales From the Phantom Zone #1

Perhaps the shortest Obscure Comic we've covered, consisting of only three pages, this lead-in comic to season 2 was written by Bryan Edward Hill, drawn by Jason Badower, and colored by Annette Kwok.

Obscure Comics: Krypton: Tales From the Phantom Zone #1
Krypton Tales From The Phantom Zone #1 Cover

Debuting in early June, before the June 12th premiere of Krypton Season 2, "Light-Years From Home," the comic was available online at the SyFy's Krypton homepage and printed in select DC comics released on June 5th, 2019. (The title Tales From the Phantom Zone was also used as the title of a Superman trade paperback collecting reprints of previous Superman tales featuring Phantom Zone villains originally published in 2009.)

Superman Tales From The Phantom Zone TP Cover
Superman Tales From The Phantom Zone TP Cover

The comic follows Superman's ancestor Seg-El, stuck in the Phantom Zone after the end of Season 1, as Brainiac narrates his plans and the failures of Seg-El while showing what may come to pass while he is trapped.

However, for reasons unknown, the website no longer has the original version of the comic up.  Instead, some of the comic's bonus features are still available, such as pencil line art of all three pages, with lettering so you can read the comic there.  There was a video on making the comic with artist Jason Badower (which takes longer than reading the actual comic), which has been expired, though you can watch it below.

The comic is a good short read and lead-in for the season 2 premiere and is obscure as a media tie in as it was lightly promoted and is now an obscure story in the show's history.  Krypton itself can be easily found for sale on DVD, and all the season 2 episodes are still streaming on SyFy.


This post is part of a multi-part series: Obscure Comics.

About Ian Melton

Japanese Teacher, Comic Book, Manga, & Anime collector, LCBS worker, father of 2, fan of far too many things for far too long...