Mala was a Kryptonian sentenced for crimes and trapped within the Phantom Zone. She persuaded Superman to release her, saying her 20 year sentence was complete. She was going to fight crime with Superman, but soon realized he was a protector and not a ruler, as she thought beings of their power should be. She released Jax-Ur from his imprisonment and turned on Superman.
Mala was created for Superman: The Animated Series. She has similarities to other female Kryptonians such as Ursa and Faora, but also shares a name with a male Kryptonian who appeared in the pages of Superman comics in the 1950's.