Published January 13, 2023

Five Totally Unique Aspects of Dimension Z

Who are the Phrox? Learn more about the denizens of Dimension Z and their major connection to Captain America here!

While most Marvel comics take place on Earth-616, Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.’s CAPTAIN AMERICA (2012) run brought readers to a whole new world: Dimension Z. The first issue of that series saw classic villain Arnim Zola kidnap Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, and transport him to Dimension Z. There, Rogers fought against Zola and his forces while raising the villain’s infant son, whom he named Ian, as his own. 

Now, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOL OF TRUTH (2022) #9 has brought back the Phrox, an alien species from Dimension Z, in a major way. Here are five need-to-know facts about this unique world. 

Zola Ruled Dimension Z

After arriving in Dimension Z, Rogers quickly learned that the majority of the world was under Zola’s thrall. Worse, Zola enforced his will using an army of genetically-altered beings known as mutates. It’s not entirely clear just how Zola took control of the place, but he did use it as a staging ground for an attempted invasion of Earth. Additionally, Zola cast himself as a god and was worshipped by his followers in Dimension Z. 

Zola Ruined Dimension Z’s Ecosystem

Dimension Z is, in many ways, just one big laboratory for Zola’s experiments. At some point, while creating his mutate army, Zola also experimented on other creatures, creating numerous unique animal species with names like spider-wolves, smoke lizards, and burrow squids. However, Zola’s experiments did immense damage to the ecosystem, effectively ruining the food chain and causing famine. As such, Dimension Z resembled a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Time Works Differently in Dimension Z

Time in Dimension Z doesn’t work quite the same way it does on Earth-616. Rogers ended up spending more than a decade in Dimension Z raising Ian, only to learn from Sharon Carter that a fleeting few minutes had passed in the main Marvel Universe. 

It’s never entirely clear just how much faster time passes in Dimension Z, but there’s some indication that it can vary. Ian and Sharon, for example, were trapped in Dimension Z without Rogers, where they spent a decade helping the Phrox against Zola’s mutates. Significantly more than a few minutes passed for Rogers on the outside while they were there, but when Ian and Sharon returned to Earth-616, they were approximately a decade older.

Dimension Z’s Capitol Was Actually a Battle Station

Zolandia served as Zola’s main base of operations in Dimension Z, and while the fortress initially seemed just like any other imposing mad scientist’s lab, it was also a fully operational battle station. Towards the end of Rogers’ time in Dimension Z, Zola launched his assault on Earth by bringing Zolandia to New York City. In the end, Rogers and his allies stopped the incursion, but the attempt still proved just how powerful Zola was in Dimension Z.

The Phrox Are a Species That Oppose Zola

Shortly into his time in Dimension Z, Rogers encountered the Phrox, a humanoid species with natural armor plating. The exact origins of the group aren’t clear, but the Phrox opposed Zola and nearly executed Rogers, believing he might be one of the villain’s soldiers. 

The Phrox’s understandable dislike of Zola stemmed from the scientist’s attempts to conquer and experiment on them. Additionally, Zola’s damage to Dimension Z’s ecosystem killed many Phrox and wrecked their society. To survive, the Phrox engaged in farming, hunting, and fishing, while also tangling with Zola’s mutates. 

Although the Phrox were generally on the side of good during Remender and Romita Jr.’s run, their return in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOL OF TRUTH #9 is anything but peaceful.

To see what the Phrox are up to now, pick up CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOL OF TRUTH #9 by Tochi Onyebuchi and R.B. Silva, on sale now!

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