Zod being submerged in gel

Prisoners are submerged for their sentence

Somatic Reconditioning[1] is the process by which genetically engineered and bred Kryptonians reapply the original process that defined their occupational development to their cellular structure in order to remove deviant or undesirable behavior.


"General Zod, for the crimes of murder and high treason, the Council has sentenced you and your fellow insurgents to 300 cycles of somatic reconditioning. Do you have any last words?"
"You won't kill us yourself! You wouldn't filthy your hands, but you'll damn us to a black hole for eternity!
Lor-Em and Dru-Zod[src]

The process was developed in wake of the Kryptonian adoption of using genetic engineering to artificially control the population of the planet.

General Zod and the remainder of his loyalist, the Sword of Rao, were sentenced to 300 cycles of somatic reconditioning following their failed coup, in addition to the murder of Jor-El and High Eminence Ro-Zar. Zod, terrified, stated that the Council had been too cowardly to submit them to the death penalty, instead opting to send them into the Phantom Zone.


Prisoners sentenced to the Phantom Zone were placed under a "somatic fugue"[2], a state of semi-unconsciousness, whilst they were reprogrammed using subliminal teaching methods. The ultimate aim was to eventually return them to normal Kryptonian society as rehabilitated individuals.

In theory, every exile was to be released — eventually — after cycles of solitude and subliminal conditioning had curbed their antisocial tendencies.[2]


  1. Goyer, David S., Nolan, Christopher (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (June 14, 2013). Man of Steel.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization
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