At the end of the 2013 movie Man of Steel,

why did General Zod not get sucked into the 'singularity' that his squad and ship got sucked into? I think this has something to do with how the phantom drive was activated using Clark's ship, but it wasn't quite well explained in the movie. So how did they activate the phantom drive and create the 'singularity' and why did it not affect General Zod?

3 Answers 3


It was explained that activating the Phantom Drive on Kal-El's ship and crashing it into the drive on the Kryptonian ship which had an active Phantom Drive would open a singularity/doorway to the Phantom Zone and take all of the Kryptonians in close proximity into it.


Zod was on the Seed Ship when the two drives were activated and managed to avoid being taken into the Phantom Zone during the collision.


Hamilton says, "So if we open up this doorway...then theoretically they should be pulled back in."

The implication is that anything that has been within the Phantom Zone would feel a pull back towards it. This includes the Black Zero and all of the Phantom Zone criminals who have been in the Phantom Zone by virtue of their original imprisonment and use of the Phantom Drive to come to Earth. Additionally, Superman has spent time in the Phantom Zone having used a Phantom Drive to come to Earth. Lastly, it is implied that the World Engine is empowered by Phantom Drive energies since they link the two and we have the lines: "Bring the phantom drive online. / We are now slave to the world engine." (remember that the Phantom Drive is a novel technology developed by Jor-El that didn't exist at the time of the World Engine's inception)

Thus anything struck by the gravity beam would have arguably been subjected to Phantom Zone energy as well (such as the surrounding debris and Superman, having been below the beam under the World Engine).

This explains how a number of things were drawn in and towards the singularity, but why Lois Lane was able to fall freely away from the singularity. She arrived on site via the C-17, so she had never been in the Phantom Zone or hit by its energy via the gravity beam. It explains why Superman, however, has to resist the pull after catching her.

Superman's ability to resist the singularity proves that it its pull can be overcome. In his case, likely by strength, but in Zod's case, likely by range. Whatever remnants of the World Engine remained, similarly, did not find themselves pulled through the Earth towards the singularity. Thus there was a limit to its pull.

Incidentally, the Scout Ship arrived to Earth without the benefit of a Phantom Drive, nor was it in the gravity beam, so it too would have resisted the singularity's pull if it had been in range.


Actually, Jod was on Fortress of Solitude. The Phantom collision happens between the military plane and the Kryptonian Ship. Super man crashes the Fortress of Solitude before the Phantom collision.

  • There was no Fortress of Solitude in Man of Steel, see Thaddeus' answer for where Zod was.
    – Monty129
    Jul 9, 2013 at 14:51

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