Quote1.png There's Superman, arriving in the Phantom Zone! Because the secret button really set off a... miniature duplicate of the Phantom Zone Projector! It hurled Superman there in my place! 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 another universe, never to return! Bye, bye, Superman! You and all the Phantom Zone prisoners will be exiled in a distant dimension! When I've disposed of Supergirl, I'll be the only Kryptonian on Earth! Ha, ha! Quote2.png
Professor Va-Kox src

Professor Va-Kox (sometimes spelled Vakox) is a notorious Kryptonian criminal who survived the destruction of his home-planet Krypton by his imprisonment in the ethereal Phantom Zone dimension, only to be released several times later down the line after the Phantom Zone Projector found its way to Earth and into the hands of Krypton's Last Son, Superman.

Crime and Punishment

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.[1]

Va-Kox did not remain there for long, as a time-travelling Jimmy Olsen released him and Jax-Ur just as Krypton began to explode, before being forced back into the Zone by the explosion itself.[2] They had previously influenced a feverish Jor-El, until a well-timed slap from Lara stopped Jor from activating the Phantom Zone Projector.[3]

As the Kryptonian Science Council ordered the Phantom Zone Projector sent away, Va-Kox was trapped with the other Zone inmates while the Projector slowly made its way to Earth in the Kryptonian Weaponry Cache.

Superboy Finds the Phantom Zone Projector

His time in the Zone did not temper Professor Va-Kox, and he threatened to create monsters on Earth and destroy whole cities.[4] He first blackmailed his way out, when the Phantom Zoners stripped Superboy of his powers and Va-Kox promised to restore them only if he was released - a promise he immediately broke, until forced at Kryptonite-point to restore young Kal's powers.

As Va-Kox had broken his word, Johnathan Kent sent him back to the Phantom Zone.[5] A similar ploy where Va-Kox, Gra-Mo and Jax-Ur made Superboy believe that they possessed his soul[6] yielded a similar maintenance of the status quo.

Va-Kox's Campaign Against Superman

Years later, Va-Kox was one of several rogues who awaited the opportunity to escape from the Zone by a mysterious effect that the Aurora Borealis was having on the intangible barrier between the dimensional planes. Fortunately, Superman used a sample of Red Kryptonite to make his way through the small portal that had been opened between the Zone and Earth and consulted with Mon-El to divine a means of sealing the portal closed. Making his way back to Earth's side of the portal, Superman focused his heat-vision on the Aurora Borealis alongside Supergirl and Krypto the Superdog.[4]

Next Va-Kox actively masterminded a new plot to escape the Zone, using his psionic power as an incorporeal phantom in conjunction with his superior willpower to take control of the mind of criminal scientist Baron X. Va-Kox used Baron X's robotic legions to steal a nuclear warhead from the United States Army and detonate it in a Pacific atoll under the cover story of the Baron making the world an ultimatum. The true purpose was for the vast release of radioactive particle emissions to tear a gap into the dimensional barrier and allow his release back to physical reality. Va-Kox then disguised himself as Clark Kent at super-speed and convinced Superman that he was an exact duplicate inexplicably brought into existence by radiation exposure.

As "Clark," Va-Kox fashioned a utility belt for Superman to use to aid his crime-fighting activities, but unbeknownst to Superman, the belt contained a miniaturized Phantom Zone Projector that would whisk Superman into the Zone and then isolate the Zone into a remote pocket of reality upon the press of a particular button. Thankfully, Superman uncovered Va-Kox's scheme just in time and zapped him back to the Phantom Zone with the full-size version of the Projector.[7]

Race to Save Time

Eventually, Va-Kox and his cohorts General Zod, Jax-Ur, and Kru-El discovered an area of corporeal reality accessible at the fringes of the Phantom Zone and harvested materials to built an army of robots capable of moving at ultra-light speeds called Anachronids. By sending the Anachronids out of the Phantom Zone into physical reality through a portal contained in an unstable sun, Va-Kox hoped to cause a dimensional collapse that would merge the Phantom Zone and the Earthly plane together, destroying the Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy yet providing his release from the Zone to dominate the rest of the universe.

Superman and the Flash were summoned by the Guardians of the Universe to counteract the Anachronids and found their way into the Phantom Zone where both were incapacitated by Va-Kox and his fellows. In spite of their physical handicap, the two heroes triumphed against superior odds and shut off the machine powering the Anachronids before all could be lost.[8][9]

The Final Chapter

Va-Kox showed a propensity for manipulation, having hypnotized Jimmy Olsen[2], Quex-Ul[1], Baron X, and Jor-El. His manipulations were to make up for his poor fighting skills, as the few times he met an equal opponent, he was bested.[10]

Subsequent escapes were abetted by other criminals such as Faora Hu-Ul[11]; the Preservers, who captured almost every living Kryptonian for their Dimensional Zoo;[12] and Quex-Ul — as amnesiac Charlie Kweskill — who built a Phantom Zone Projector under the influence of Va-Kox and the other Phantom Zone criminals.

The final escape of Va-Kox was a brief one, as the Phantom Zone god Aethyr had grown tired of the annoyance of the petty Kryptonian criminals in his realm and kicked them out, before merging with them and fleeing the universe completely.[13]

Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Professor Va-Kox possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
    • Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Professor Va-Kox's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
    • Heat Vision: Professor Va-Kox can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
    • Super-Hearing: Professor Va-Kox's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
    • Enhanced Vision: Professor Va-Kox's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
      This umbrella ability includes the following:
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Professor Va-Kox can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
      • Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
      • X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Professor Va-Koxs can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
      • Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
      • Infrared Vision: Professor Va-Kox can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
    • Flight: Professor Va-Kox is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
    • Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Professor Va-Kox is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Professor Va-Kox is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
    • Superhuman Strength: Professor Va-Kox's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
    • Superhuman Speed: Professor Va-Kox is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
      This also confers:
    • Super-Breath: Professor Va-Kox is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
    • Longevity: Professor Va-Kox can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.

Abilities

Weaknesses

Equipment

  • Anachronids: A line of robots built to travel at speeds several times faster than light, and which undergo structural instability and collapse if decelerated sufficiently. Each Anachronid was equipped with an offensive energy blaster incapable of harming super-durable entities like Superman, although it could incapacitate an ordinary human. The very activity of Anachronids was intended to destabilize spacetime within the region encircled by their flight path, causing the convergence of the Phantom Zone and the physical plane even as various time-periods would collapse into a single moment within said discrete region of space. This phenomenon, although it would deform spacetime such that several galaxies would collapse into a singularity and extinguish the lives of billions upon billions of sentients, would erase the intangible boundary separating the Phantom Zone from corporeal reality.[9]

Weapons

  • "Super-Utility-Belt": 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.[7]
  • Laser gun[9]


  • This version of Va-Kox, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Va-Kox conspired repeatedly to trap Superman in the Phantom Zone; but ironically (and psionically) prevented Superman from entering the Zone when he was suffering from Kryptonian Leprosy.[15]

Related

Footnotes


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Superman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."

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