When Kal-El and Oliver Queen went into the Phantom Zone to investigate Slade's release, they were captured by zoners and taken to their leader and Zod forced the two to kneel. Zod blamed Kal-El for his imprisonment. He also informed Kal-El of his merger with his original self's phantom wraith. Zod once again tried to persuade Kal-El to join him but he refused. Zod then had the two heroes become combatants in his gladiator arena. Zod later had a private meeting with Oliver, acknowledging that he knew the archer was tainted by Darkseid. Zod proposed to Oliver that he should give into his dark side (as eventually Kal-El will find out and betray him) and they could rule the Phantom Zone together. Oliver apparently agreed and fought Kal-El. When Oliver managed to fatally wound Kal-El, Zod stopped Oliver from killing him as he wanted to finishing him off. Before Zod could do that, Oliver managed to steal the Phantom Zone gateway crystal from Zod and give it to Kal-El so they could escape. Kal-El told Zod that he would give him no more second chances and destroyed the crystal and the entrance to the Zone, leaving Zod and the other Phantom Zone prisoners stranded in the shard crystal of the Phantom Zone floating aimlessly through space. Oliver's apparent betrayal of Kal-El was later revealed to be a ruse the two planned to get the crystal from Zod.