You’re in the Zone: A Handy Guide to 10 Essential Zones

By on June 19, 2013

If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ve probably heard about Superman’s return to the silver screen in Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill and a galaxy of movie stars.

And if you’re a Superman fan, you probably know the Phantom Zone factors heavily in the new movie as it did in previous installments.

However, the Phantom Zone is not the only awesome zone in the universe. Definitely not. In fact, there are so many zones that you’re probably in at least two of them right now — a time zone and ZIP code (Zone Improvement Plan).

Those kinds of zones aren’t that awesome. The following zones are… awesomer. So sit down, dear traveler, for a journey through time and space, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination… yada yada yada.

The Phantom Zone


This Kryptonian inter-dimensional prison is like one of those white collar prisons that’s better than the outside world. You know, the one with hot tubs and HDTVs. Except if you’re incarcerated in the Phantom Zone, you basically live while everyone else on your planet dies. Nice bonus.

The Forbidden Zone


Not to be confused with 1956 black-and-white sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, this 1982 black-and-white, so-called cult classic by the brother of Danny Elfman stars Herve Villechaize (yes, that Herve Villechaize) as some kind of king of the sixth dimension. Right.

 The Twlight Zone

Twilight Zone

Hosted by the inimitable Rod Serling (above), The Twilight Zone was a sci-fi / paranormal-themed anthology series on CBS that ran from 1959 to 1964. To this day, the show continues to run in syndication. There’s going to be at least one episode that will freak you out (the ventriloquist’s dummy, anyone?). Then there’s that spooky intro.

The Red Zone


Every weekend during the fall, football fans are treated to breathless commentary about the Red Zone, which is the area between the 20-yard line and the end zone. You’ll be treated to an awesome catalog of statistics and/or drinking games relating to the Red Zone. It’s also the name given to the dangerous area in Baghdad outside the Green Zone (see below).

The Green Zone


The Green Zone (aka International Zone) is an area in Baghdad where international military forces were stationed and is now controlled by Iraqi security forces. Many foreign embassies are located here. Green Zone is also the title of a 2010 Matt Damon movie (above), which may or may not have been the actual fourth Bourne movie in disguise.

The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

This is for people not interested in venturing to the other zones. It could be worse, though. See the Friend Zone (below).

The Friend Zone


This is worse than the Comfort Zone because you probably actually ventured outside of it only to be summarily rejected and placed into the Friend Zone. We’re sorry, but she’s just not that into you.



If you need an air filter or hose, get in the zone. AutoZone. OK, the intensity and excitement may not be at Red Zone levels, but it could be worse. See the Friend Zone (above).



The calzone is like an inside-out pizza. Because it’s like pizza, it’s awesome. Nobody knows (or cares) if it’s actually good for you.

The Zone Diet


This is where you go if you been in the calzone too long. The diet is based on a series of books by biochemist Barry Sears that started in the mid ’90s and advocate a balanced approach to nutrition  (40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat) with smaller meal portions. Nobody knows if it’s actually good for you.

The Danger Zone

With an awesomeness quotient of infinite, the Danger Zone is the greatest of all zones. Period. Archer confirms it every season. Kenny Loggins found the highway to the Danger Zone over 25 years ago, and the world has never been the same. But seriously, Kenny, what are you doing on that bed?

About Joe Warner

I'm the senior editor of The CheckOut. I am an aficionado of shiny gadgets and classic Hollywood movies and can also tell you the names of the late '80s Swedish Davis Cup team members.

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