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Five of the RoguesCaptain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Mirror Master III, and the Weather Wizard — undertake a stran

Underworld Unleashed was a three-issue miniseries published on a bi-weekly shipping schedule from November to December of 1995. All three issues were collected both as a trade paperback in 1998 and as a hardcover 25th anniversary edition in 2020. The miniseries was written by Mark Waid, with illustrations by Howard Porter, and inked by Dan Green and Dennis Janke. Editorial credits include Ruben Diaz, Alisande Morales (assistants) and Brian Augustyn. Accompanying the miniseries were several tie-in issues and four one-shots, which featured various DC Universe characters and expanded upon events taking place within the main miniseries.


Book One

Five of the RoguesCaptain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Mirror Master III, and the Weather Wizard — undertake a strange mission under the urging of fellow Rogue Abra Kadabra. Given little if any explanation, they agree to strike at five specific though seemingly unremarkable locations across the United States (an arms depot is destroyed by Captain Boomerang, a nuclear reactor by Captain Cold, a dormant volcano by Heat Wave, an oil field by the Mirror Master III, and a chemical dump by the Weather Wizard). Each attack is committed simultaneously, yielding explosive results far beyond their expectations. Each one of the five Rogues is consumed by green fire while they are still alive as their respective targets go up in flames.

The incident does not go unnoticed by the super-hero community. In the Justice League Satellite, the members of Justice League America take note of the attacks and spring into action. The Flash III orders Blue Devil to call for back-up as they leave him on the satellite. Blue Devil is the only one, however, to truly realize the strategic pattern of the five "random" locations. By tracing a line between each one of the sites, Blue Devil draws a perfect pentagram. He knows that something has been set free.

In Keystone City, the Trickster is frustrated with the pedestrian pranks that he has been reduced to doing just to make ends meet. When he reads about the tragic fates of the five Rogues he grows depressed, knowing that his fellow super-villains never rated higher than petty crooks. The Trickster decides that he wants to go for the "big score".

At Belle Reve Penitentiary, a convict named Lou goes to the office of the prison's chaplain. He complains that a guard named Finney swiped his prized Betty Grable calendar, and the man behind the desk agrees to help Lou out. He provides Lou with a riot shotgun and tells him that Finney will be in the turbine room at precisely midnight. Lou does not trust the "chaplain", but he accepts the weapon and agrees to carry out his revenge at midnight. After Lou leaves, the man withdraws the missing Betty Grable calendar from behind his desk.

At midnight, Lou ventures down to the turbine room. He finds Finney and viciously guns him down. The gunfire sets off sparks that damage the turbines. Engineers races about to correct the situation, but there is nothing that they can do. The power shuts down and the doors to the prison cells unlock. One hundred forty-two super-villains escape out into the night.

Back in Keystone City, the Trickster teams up with another fellow Rogue — the Rainbow Raider. The Raider shows the Trickster a tapered green candle with intricate carvings on its sides. He also tells the Trickster that someone had delivered it to him, but he has no idea who or why. Before the evening ends, the Trickster surreptitiously pockets the Raider's candle and replaces it with a rubber chicken.

When he lights the candle, he finds himself instantly transported to an unknown location. The Trickster gapes in surprise as he finds himself in the company of over 60 super-villains, many of whom are likewise in possession of a lit green candle.

A demon-lord known as Neron steps out and introduces himself. He takes credit for staging the Belle Reve breakout and for providing the super-villains with their respective green candles. In exchange for their souls, Neron promises each of them their greatest desires. Many of the super-villains are only too happy to accept Neron's offer. Some even feel that their soul belongs to him already. Others, such as the Joker, are present just for the sheer fun of it. Some, however, have little desire to play second fiddle to Neron. Mongul I, for one, refuses to acknowledge Neron's power and attempts to strike him. Neron effortlessly punches Mongul I to the floor, stomps on him with his boot, and then takes his soul. The Trickster debates the value of accepting Neron's offer. He then remembers that he wanted to "take the next big score" and thinks, "It doesn't come bigger than this".

After this display of Neron's sheer power, over half of the super-villains accept his offer, while over half of them reject it. The ones who rejected the offer are sent back to Eartn unharmed by Neron with contempt and the ones who accepted it are given their greatest desires, after which their souls are collected in a huge Soul Jar. Then Neron sends them back to Earth in order to wreak havoc and seek revenge on the super-heroes.

There is one more guest who arrives after receiving a special invitation — Blue Devil. Blue Devil steps out from a spiraling green haze of smoke and addresses Neron.

Book Two

Blue Devil agrees to accept a task on behalf of Neron. He knows that making a deal with the devil is a bad decision, but Neron only asks him to destroy an abandoned power station, nothing more. Blue Devil scopes out the territory and makes certain that no innocents will be harmed by his actions. He then strikes his trident upon the ground and a rippling wave of energy emerges, consuming the power station.

Meanwhile in Hell, Neron sets a welcome table for five of the super-villains who had previously agreed to serve him as his "Inner Council"; namely Abra Kadabra, Lex Luthor, Doctor Polaris, Circe and the Joker. Neron finds the Trickster scurrying about behind the others and pulls him out into the open. The Trickster really has no idea why he is even bothering to listen to the arch-demon. Neron leaves, and the other five super-villains have fun tormenting the Trickster, especially the Joker. Convinced that he knows the source of Neron's power, they interrogate him further, until the Trickster reveals that Neron's power is contained within his Soul Jar. The five super-villains then begin conspiring to steal Neron's power for themselves.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, the Flash III races about the city putting out fires. Neron appears before him and makes him an offer. In exchange for his soul, he will grant him his greatest desire – the return from the dead of his mentor Barry Allen. An image of Barry flickers in front of the Flash III's eyes, but the hero knows better than to make deals with demons. He rejects the offer and runs off.

Later, Neron appears inside the Batcave. He addresses Batman and makes a similar offer. The visage of Batman's deceased former protégé, Jason Todd, walks up to greet him. Batman is haunted by the image, but staunchly rejects Neron's offer.

Neron appears next in Honolulu, Hawaii where he approaches Superboy. He offers Superboy the chance to become what he has always dreamed of being — Superman. Like the others, Superboy rejects the offer.

There are some super-heroes, however, who actually accept the demon's offer. Hawkman, the Ray II, Triumph and the Spectre are among those who agree to sell their souls in exchange for their greatest desires.

In California, film producer Marla Bloom flies across a remote bluff in a helicopter in the hopes of capturing some ideal stock footage for a film. Her location brings her close to the power station that Blue Devil only recently destroyed. Unable to see because of the loss of power, their helicopter collides with a power transformer and explodes, killing all aboard. Blue Devil soon hears the news and falls into a state of shock, knowing that Neron had lied to him.

In New York, Neron appears and finds Green Lantern V averting a crisis in Central Park. He makes the same offer that he made to the others; in this case, to resurrect Alexandra Dewitt from the dead, but Green Lantern V reacts violently to this and the two of them begin battling each other all across Central Park. Neron gains the upper hand, but also mentions that the soul that he covets most is one of purity and innocence.

Back in Hell, Luthor and the Joker come up with a plan to pierce through Neron's Soul Jar. Circe, Polaris and Kadabra pool their magical and scientific resources together and succeed in rupturing the jar. As the jar is breached, a swirl of green smoke reaches outward and spirits Circe, Polaris and Kadabra into it. Luthor and the Joker are not at all shocked by the spectacle; in fact, everything went exactly as they had planned. Now there is no one else to challenge their bid for power. The Trickster keeps a safe distance from them, and wanders off to come up with his own plan.

At the Justice League satellite, the Flash III and Green Lantern V call in all of the League's members and reserve members and tell them about their respective experiences with Neron. Green Lantern V mentions Neron's quest for a pure soul, and the other heroes believe that he intends on capturing Superman's soul. The Man of Steel is not present at this meeting and no one knows where he is.

Book Three

As Neron's power continues to grow, the effects of his influence have taken hold of Earth. The entire world appears to be erupting in waves of violence and panic.

The full might of Justice League America pierces the barrier to the Underworld and confronts Neron's demonic army. Convinced that Neron has captured Superman, they navigate through the circles of Hell to find him. Neron, meanwhile, sits upon his throne with Lord Satanus kneeling before him. Lord Satanus acknowledges Neron's power, and offers up his own sister Lady Blaze in exchange for lenience. Lady Blaze is outraged, citing that they have no chance of overcoming Neron if their power is divided. In a moment of brief defiance, Lord Satanus remarks to her that there is a single word which, if it was spoken aloud, would even give Neron pause. Neron destroys Lord Satanus before he has a chance to even say the word, but the Trickster, having stayed hidden behind Neron's throne, now realizes that there is, in fact, a way to beat the devil.

Back on Earth, some of the JLA members and reserve members conduct damage control in various cities that are swept up in a grip of violence. Triumph, Gypsy and Mystek fight demonic gargoyles in Paris. The Blue Beetle II and Booster Gold try to help crowds of people consumed by a mystical hunger. In Montana, Damage, the Green Arrow II and the Black Condor II protect a National Guard armory from civilian raids. In San Francisco, the Sentinels of Magic fight off hordes of cultists and demonic agents. In Gotham City, Major Disaster causes a massive traffic jam, which gives Gorilla Grodd, Metallo and the Blockbuster II the chance to hijack a truck carrying nuclear weapons. Fortunately, Batman, Robin III, the Black Canary II and the Huntress arrive just in time to stop them.

Back in Hell, the rest of the JLA continue their advance against Neron's minions. Blue Devil is the first to reach him, and threatens to gain his "pound of flesh" for the inadvertent death of Marla Bloom. Neron turns Blue Devil's trident against him and the resulting energy surge appears to destroy him.

Soon afterward, the super-heroes discover that Superman is not trapped in the Underworld at all. The Trickster then begins to realize that Superman was never the "pure soul" that Neron sought: his true target had been Captain Marvel all along. The evil influence of Hell begins to overwhelm the super-heroes and they fall prey to their darkest and most base instincts. Neron manipulates them into attacking Captain Marvel who, thus far, seems to be unaffected by the corruptive influence of Hell. Captain Marvel tries to talk to the super-heroes, but they keep coming after him.

Unexpectedly, Blue Devil rises from the dead — now a true devil rather than a man in a devil costume. As Blue Devil concerns himself with Neron, the Trickster sneaks away and approaches Captain Marvel. He tells him that Neron fears a magic word, and Captain Marvel immediately knows what to do. He speaks the magic word, "Shazam!", and a powerful mystic lightning bolt strikes in Hell, freeing the other super-heroes from Neron's dark influence. While the super-heroes attack Neron, the Trickster pulls Captain Marvel aside and tells him his plan. Captain Marvel offers his soul willingly in exchange for Neron freeing Earth, all of the super-heroes and by unspoken extension all of the super-villains, with no other demands. Neron greedily takes Marvel's soul and accepts the offer, only to discover that a pure soul that was offered altruistically could not be taken or kept by him at all, as the Trickster knew would be the case. Suddenly, Neron then realizes that he still has to honor his side of the deal, no matter what. Taunted by the Trickster, he disappears in disgust and everyone is returned to Earth; thus Earth, all of the super-heroes and all of the super-villains (the latter of whom get to keep their new enhanced powers and / or forms, but at the same time no longer owing their souls to Neron) are freed, with Captain Marvel keeping his soul in the process.

Crossover Issues

Underworld Unleashed crossed over into nearly every DC Comics title that was being published at the time. Each crossover issue(s) mentioned the crossover event's title on the top of its front cover and pitted the respective series' title character against a different super-villain.

At What Price, A Soul?

The following is a list of the characters that are known to have either accepted or rejected Neron's offer, and includes what the ones who accepted or rejected the offer were promised in return.

Super-heroes and super-villains that are known to have accepted Neron's offer

  • Abra Kadabra — Given true magical powers which replaced his futuristic science-based ones; became one of Neron's lieutenants.
  • the Atomic Skull II — The restoration of his sanity and enhanced power which he used in order to impress "Zelda Wentworth" who, in his mind, was the woman that he loved.
  • Black Manta — Transformed into a human / manta ray hybrid creature with superhuman powers[1] (Aquaman later transformed Black Manta back into his human form, thus negating the deal).[2]
  • Blackguard — Given enhanced strength, intelligence and equipment.
  • the Blockbuster II — Wanted to be smart instead of stupid; given a genius-level intellect, but soon realized that he should have asked to be human again as well.
  • Blue Devil — Given a chance at fame and fortune.
  • Bolt — Given a chance to carry out his "dream" assassination: the murder of a well-protected computer expert.
  • Brimstone — The Apokoliptian techno-seed and the Brimstone personality both possessed a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who had made a deal with Neron for power in exchange for his soul and was killed; with this man's death, Brimstone was destroyed yet again.[3]
  • the Bugmeister — Given an insectoid appearance, powers based on insects (including flight) and the power to psionically control all insects. Eaten alive by a giant stag beetle of his own creation after Lobo ordered it to do so.
  • Captain Boomerang — Manipulated by Abra Kadabra with the promise of greater glory for the Rogues and also given cybernetic hands to replace his real ones, which had been previously shot off and severed by Deadshot during an earlier mission with the Suicide Squad.[4]
  • Captain Cold — Manipulated by Abra Kadabra with the promise of greater glory for the Rogues.
  • the Cheetah — Sold her soul in exchange for resurrecting from the dead her friend and manservant Chuma,[5] an African ritual priest and the caretaker of the Vine-God Urzkartaga (the latter of whom had originally transformed her into the Cheetah in the first place);[6] transformed into a human / cheetah hybrid creature with the mind of a savage beast and the power to grow even more savage the angrier she became (Wonder Woman and Chuma later transformed the Cheetah back into her human form, thus negating the deal).[7]
  • Chiller — Given a chance to carry out his "dream" assassination: the murder of a well-protected rock star.
  • Chronos — Given time travel, time manipulation and phasing powers in exchange for killing the Atom II, but these all caused accelerated aging; created a special power glove which enabled him to transfer said aging to others when he held them with it, thus partly negating the deal.
  • Circe — Given greater magical power in order to both avenge her many defeats by, and to kill, Wonder Woman.
  • the Copperhead — Sold his soul in exchange for no longer being considered a joke; transformed into a human / venomous snake hybrid creature with enhanced reflexes and agility, venomous fangs, claws, a forked tongue and a prehensile tail, but was now vulnerable to cold temperatures as an actual snake would be.
  • Deadline — Given a chance to carry out his "dream" assassination: the murder of a Texas District Attorney.
  • Deadshot — Given a chance to carry out his "dream" assassination: the murder of an entire kindergarten class.
  • Doctor Phosphorus — Given greater burning power and personal temperature control which allowed him to wear clothes without having them burn off of his body.
  • Doctor Polaris — The restoration of his sanity and the removal of his Neal Emerson persona from him.
  • the Earthworm — Given enhanced powers that included a humanoid worm-like physiology, stretching powers, a vibrational drill power, and the power to psionically control all sewer-dwelling vermin.
  • the Enforcer III — Given a yellow power glove that was similar to Sinestro's yellow power ring, enhanced superhuman strength, enhanced durability and flight powers.
  • Evil Star II — Given the power to create dozens of his Starling spawn which were now more savage and vicious than his original four Starlings were; however, they were no longer indestructible as said original four Starlings were.
  • the Faux-Azrael — Wished to survive his fall from the Ice Cathedral at the end of his first battle with Azrael[8] and then be given another chance to kill him; he then accepted a counter-offer from Abra Kadabra (who was acting on behalf of Neron at the time as his lieutenant) to be given the chance to kill Batman instead in order to distract him and to keep him from finding out about Neron's plans before Neron was ready to put them into action.
  • Gorilla Grodd — The restoration of his genius-level intelligence, speech and psionic powers.[9]
  • the Harlequin — The restoration of her youth and the power to create nightmares; her soul was won back and the deal undone by her husband Alan Scott at the (temporary) cost of his own soul (see below).
  • Hawkman — One of his hawk avatars accepted Neron's offer in order to gain ascendance over all of the others that were living in his body, but it failed to do so.
  • Heat Wave — Manipulated by Abra Kadabra with the promise of greater glory for the Rogues.
  • the Hellgrammite — Given enhanced physical powers and his "Drone" offspring could no longer be converted back into humans by exposure to X-rays.
  • the Ice Man — Given a completely new set of non-ice based weapons and enhanced strength; killed by Neron as part of a later deal with Vril Dox II (see below).
  • the Joker — Given a box of genuine Cuban cigars; seemed to have accepted Neron's offer simply for the sheer fun of it.
  • Killer Frost II — Given greater cold power.
  • Killer Moth — Sold his soul in exchange for being feared instead of being considered a joke; transformed into a carnivorous human / moth hybrid creature and called himself Charaxes (this name is based on an actual butterfly genus). Accepts Neron's offer in issue #1, but this is later revealed to be a continuity error as he is then seen accepting Neron's offer in his prison cell in Robin (Volume 2) #23.
  • Lady Blaze — Became one of Neron's lieutenants and was ordered to keep Earth's magical super-heroes occupied.
  • Lex Luthor — The restoration of his health and vitality.
  • Lobo — The chance to get rid of a miniature radio that had been implanted into his brain 20 years ago at the time by having it transferred into Neron's brain instead after Lobo's original offer – Neron's own soul – was rejected because Neron did not have one.
  • Lord Satanus — Given leniency for failing Neron (in exchange for his sister, Lady Blaze); became one of Neron's lieutenants in Lady Blaze's place.
  • Madame Xanadu — Given the power to command and control three demons named Bathopet, Maw and Atopeh in exchange for her soul when she died, thereby tricking Neron because she was immortal and, therefore, could not die. Neron, however, in a cruel twist, told her that he had only made the deal with her in order to prove that he could tempt those with "gray souls" as well as those who were evil.
  • Major Disaster — Sold his soul in exchange for no longer being considered a joke; given the magical ability to perceive probabilities and to locate the weak points in people and objects (but now also able to see only the worst in life) in exchange for killing Aquaman; killed Thanatos instead (who had taken over the throne of Atlantis in Aquaman's absence at the time)[10] after mistakenly believing that he was Aquaman.
  • Malcolm Merlyn the Dark Archer — Given a chance to carry out his "dream" assassination: the murder of Batman.
  • Metallo — Given the power to morph his body into any mechanical shape that he could imagine, project his consciousness into any metallic or technological device that was near him and absorb any machinery that he came into contact with in order to enhance his body and to grow larger in size. Metallo's deal was different than all of the others as he was approached by Neron and given both a temporary new body and a candle to light in Steel (volume 2) #21 before all of the super-villains were assembled in Hell in issue #1, then his deal was made in Hell after he had lit the candle.
  • the Mirror Master III — Manipulated by Abra Kadabra with the promise of greater glory for the Rogues.
  • the Mist — The restoration of his sanity and the curing of his senility in exchange for destroying Opal City and thus harming the Shade as a result.
  • Mister Freeze — Given natural cryokinetic powers such as the power to shoot out blasts of cold from his hands which replaced his freeze-gun and the ability to survive in warm climates without having to constantly wear his cryo-suit (but was then reverted back to what he was before he accepted Neron's offer for unknown reasons, thus possibly undoing the deal).
  • the New Gods of ApokolipsGranny Goodness and Virman Vundabar were both given information about each others' schemes (so as to perpetuate their ongoing civil war with each other) and Doctor Bedlam made an unknown offer designed to cause chaos and death on Apokolips, although Targa, a Hunger Dog who sought revenge for the murder of his father, absolutely refused to make a deal even after Neron told him that he was destined to rule Apokolips (however, in this case he may have been lying, as usual) and, as a result, was actually surprised to find even one righteous being on a planet that was so steeped in evil that it was drowning. In exchange for all of this, Neron caused war and chaos on Apokolips between Darkseid's Elite and the Hunger Dogs just for the sake of doing so, which was only stopped by the seeming appearance of the missing-and-presumed-dead Darkseid,[11] after which the Lord of Apokolips forgave his Elite and even Targa, but then decided that someone had to pay for all of this, so he instantly killed some of the Lowlies and stopped the Hunger Dogs' rebellion dead in its tracks. However, "Darkseid" was actually a disguised DeSaad, who had accepted an unknown offer for his own ends and assumed his master's form in order to rule Apokolips temporarily (with Kalibak, Darkseid's oldest son, chosen by him as acting regent) unknown to everyone else and thus keep things relatively under control until Darkseid returned (as DeSaad figured that he actually would one day). Neron, meanwhile, was all too happy to privately mock DeSaad with the fact that he had actually caused strife among even the New Gods themselves before he left Apokolips to return to Earth.
  • the Ocean Master — Given a trident that gave him magical powers but also caused him excruciating pain and hideously scarred his face when he was not actually, physically holding it, which had to be done at all times.
  • the Psycho-Pirate II — The restoration of his sanity and his face and brain being merged with his Medusa Mask; became a psychic vampire as a result who fed on the life force of others after his mask had fed on their emotions. The Psycho-Pirate II's deal was possibly like Metallo's in that it was possibly different than all of the others; at the end of Manhunter (Volume 2) #11, he was approached in Arkham Asylum by Neron in the form of one of the doctors that worked there and offered a deal (along with presumably being given a candle to light off-panel) again before all of the super-villains were assembled in Hell in issue #1, then his deal was also made in Hell after he had lit the candle. He was then next seen in Manhunter (Volume 2) #12 (which was the last issue of that series) with a new costume and his now-enhanced powers.
  • Purgatory — A man who lost his legs and was given temporary legs by Green Lantern V; then given real legs and a green flame power by Neron in exchange for killing Green Lantern V. Taken to Hell by Neron while he was still alive after he failed to do so in two attempts.
  • the Rag Doll — The restoration of his youth and health and enhanced flexibility in exchange for destroying Opal City and thus harming the Shade as a result.
  • the Ray II — Convinced that Neron was a beautiful woman named Kathy Noren who worked in his office. Earlier, Neron had made a deal with Vandal Savage that he would not go after the Ray II's soul in exchange for Savage guiding Neron to the Atomic Skull II instead so that he could have his soul. The Ray II then approached Kathy / Neron, who deviously avoided the conditions of his deal with Savage by letting the Ray II accept a (seemingly) innocent offer to simply take some flowers to a hospital and give them to Eleanor Hart, a dying former serial film actress who had once played "Zelda Wentworth", the woman whom the Atomic Skull II loved (at least in his own mind) in exchange for Death Masque never even existing — and thus the Ray II's father, Langford "Happy" Terrill, who had once been the original Ray, would not die. Did not fulfill the terms of his deal and so did not lose his soul nor benefit in any way, shape or form from it.
  • Sentinel – Given the chance to save the soul of his wife Molly Mayne-Scott and undo her deal with Neron after she had already accepted his offer (see above).
  • the Shadow Thief — Given a more powerful costume that possessed the ability to bring shadows to life and change other people and objects into evil shadows that were under his mental control.
  • Shrapnel — Given enhanced power.
  • Sledge — Given enhanced strength.
  • the Spectre Force — Separation from Jim Corrigan, his human host at the time.
  • the Spellbinder III — Given the power to create actual, physical illusions that her victims would believe were real; however, this power only worked if her eyes were uncovered.
  • Star Sapphire II — Carol Ferris herself was offered a normal life without both Star Sapphire II's spirit and her child (the latter of whom was actually the child of both Star Sapphire II and the Predator, who were the two aspects (female and male, respectively) of Carol's own personality); separated from both Star Sapphire II and the Predator, after which both of them were killed by Neron, who then quietly took the child away in his arms without even looking back (the exact reason why Neron wanted the child in the first place was never revealed and the incident was never referred to or even mentioned again; after this, the later DC Comics crossover event Infinite Crisis erased it from history).
  • Tezcatlipoca — Transformed into a human / jaguar hybrid creature.
  • the Trickster — Given the chance to become an A-list super-villain (although he never actually accepted the offer).
  • Vril Dox II (alias Brainiac 2) — Offered up the soul of his son, Lyrl Dox (alias Brainiac 3), in exchange for control of L.E.G.I.O.N.; later had the Ice Man killed (see above) (actually, he asked for him to "no longer be a problem," but was happy with the result).
  • the Warrior — Was offered the restoration of both Coast City and its inhabitants in exchange for killing Green Lantern IV (John Stewart); he originally accepted the offer because Neron had lied to him, telling him that Stewart should have already been dead, but that a rift in time had prevented it and that this had caused his tragic history to occur in the first place. Later changed his mind and reneged on the deal, thus saving his soul.
  • the Weather Wizard — Manipulated by Abra Kadabra with the promise of greater glory for the Rogues.

Super-heroes and super-villains that are known to have rejected Neron's offer

  • Airstryke — Unknown offer.
  • Batman — The resurrection from the dead of Robin II (Jason Todd).
  • Black Adam — Unknown offer.
  • Black Bison — Unknown offer.
  • Black Hand — Unknown offer.
  • the Black Spider — Unknown offer.
  • Blockhouse II and Jolt II — Unknown offer(s). (Final appearance of both)
  • Captain Atom — Unknown offer.
  • the Catman — Unknown offer.
  • the Cluemaster — Unknown offer.
  • Crazy Quilt — Unknown offer.
  • Damage — Unknown offer.
  • Doctor Alchemy — Unknown offer.
  • Doctor Spectro — Unknown offer.
  • Dumas — Unknown offer.
  • the Dummy — Unknown offer.
  • the Fiddler — The only one of the super-villains assembled in Hell in issue #1 who recognized Neron as the devil himself right from the beginning.
  • the Flash III — The resurrection from the dead of the Flash II (Barry Allen).
  • the Gentleman Ghost — Unknown offer.
  • the Ghost — Unknown offer.
  • the Golden Glider — Unknown offer.
  • Green Lantern V — The resurrection from the dead of Alexandra DeWitt.
  • Gunhawk — Unknown offer.
  • the Harlequin IV — Unknown offer.
  • Hi-Tech — Unknown offer, although Neron briefly tempts her by showing her a handful of diamonds that he is holding.
  • the Hyena — Unknown offer.
  • Knockout — Offered "power, prestige, anything you could dream of".
  • the Magpie — Unknown offer.
  • Max Mercury — Unknown offer.
  • Mongul I — Killed by Neron after refusing his offer and then attacking him because he thought that Neron had insulted him by saying that all of the super-villains assembled in Hell — including him — were all failures before Neron came into their lives.
  • Mystek — Unknown offer.
  • the Oracle — Was approached by Neron, but not in the same way that the other super-heroes and the super-villains were. For her, she would regain the use of her legs and be given super-powers that would rival even those of Superman if she would become his librarian; her soul, however, was hers to keep. She refused the offer, knowing that she would lose her soul anyway no matter what Neron had promised her.
  • the Parasite II — Unknown offer.
  • the Pied Piper — Seen among the super-villains assembled in Hell in issue #1, but this was a continuity error as it was revealed that the Pied Piper had received a candle in The Flash (Volume 2) #106, but immediately knew that there was something not quite right about it. It was later revealed in The Flash (Volume 2) #127 that he had kept the candle, but ultimately decided not to light it after all, thus saving his soul.
  • Poison Ivy — Unknown offer.
  • the Prankster — Unknown offer.
  • Punch and Jewelee — Unknown offer(s).
  • the Riddler — Unknown offer.
  • the Scarecrow — Claimed to have accepted Neron's offer while battling Hawkman, but privately revealed that he had been bluffing and had not accepted it after all.
  • the Shade — Claimed to have reformed and to no longer be a villain, even going so far to tell Neron right to his face when the demon had told him that he was creating an army of super-villains, "Go peddle your wares with them", as he was already immortal, had great wealth that he saw no need to increase and saw no way that his powers could be effectively enhanced.[12] Furious at this refusal and vowing revenge on the Shade for said refusal, Neron later indirectly organized a massive attack on Opal City with the help of the Mist, the Rag Doll and Doctor Phosphorus in order to destroy it and thus harm the Shade as a result. Neron's revenge on the Shade was an important part — albeit brief and off-panel — of a master plan of the Shade's arch-enemy Simon Culp, who wanted to have his own revenge on the Shade as well.[13]
  • the Shark III — Unknown offer.
  • the Silver Swan II — Among the super-villains assembled in Hell in issue #1, but this was also a continuity error as by this time she was no longer a super-villainess, but had reformed and become an active super-heroine in the earlier DC Comics crossover event War of the Gods.
  • Solomon Grundy — Unknown offer.
  • the Spellbinder — Refused Neron's offer, then after this was immediately shot and killed by his girlfriend Fay Moffit, who then took the deal for herself and became the Spellbinder III as a result.
  • Superboy — Was offered the chance to become Superman.
  • Terra-Man — Unknown offer.
  • Triumph — Was offered his precious lost 10 years back and, thus, a chance to become a major super-hero and lead Justice League America if he simply lit one of Neron's candles (which had just been given to him by the demon) and which he was told that he could light at any time when he wanted to signal to Neron that he wished to accept the offer. He did not accept the offer, but it was unwittingly and unknowingly accepted for him when his teammates Gypsy and the Ray II lit his candle by mistake. As a result of this, Triumph got his 10 years back and was never a member of Justice League Task Force, but he also found out that the world was just as it was before, Gypsy was still alive even without him being in the League and his absence from it had made no difference at all in the overall scheme of things.[14] It was because of these events that Triumph later became a super-villain.
  • Vandal Savage — Offered his soul willingly and without being asked if he even wanted to make a deal, but this time Neron himself refused Savage's soul because it was, in Neron's own words, "black and tasteless" instead of innocent. Because of this, Neron did not want it at all under any circumstances.
  • the Ventriloquist and Scarface — Unknown offer(s).
  • the White Dragon — Unknown offer.


Issues in event have not yet been added.


  • It was, at first, believed by all of the super-heroes involved in the Underworld Unleashed crossover event that Superman was Neron's target, but it later turned out to actually be Captain Marvel instead. Superman did not take part in this crossover event, as he was then off-planet and involved at the same time in the multi-part crossover storyline "The Trial of Superman!", which was completely unknown to the other super-heroes at that time.
  • The details of the Ocean Master's deal with Neron were later revealed in Aquaman (Volume 5) #1820.
  • The aftermath and consequences of Marla Bloom's death were later revealed in Teen Titans (Volume 3) #42.
  • Many of the super-villains that were seen in issue #1 only made cameo appearances in it.
  • Although many of the super-villains that were seen throughout this entire crossover event sold their souls to Neron and were given grim and gritty upgrades in exchange, only a small number of said upgrades were actually carried over into other stories after the end of it. A prime example of one such upgrade that was not carried over was that of the Psycho-Pirate II who, after appearing in this crossover event, appeared next in another one, Joker: Last Laugh, but now having gone back to wearing his original costume and Medusa Mask and with his Post-Crisis insanity having been returned to him (how and why this happened is never explained, seen or shown).
  • The Fiddler's appearance in issue #1 does not even mention his on-panel death in his previous appearance in Hawkworld Annual (Volume 2) #1.
  • Issue #1 was the first appearance of the intelligent Blockbuster II.
  • Issue #1 was also the last appearance of the super-villain team of Blockhouse II and Jolt II (they both first appeared in Superman: The Man of Steel #7 and 8).


Recommended Reading

Links and References

  1. Superboy (Volume 3) #20
  2. Aquaman (Volume 6) #812
  3. In fact, Brimstone had appeared several times before and then several times since this crossover event, each time with no explanation as to how it was re-created after it had been destroyed.
  4. Superboy (Volume 3) #1315
  5. Chuma's death occurred in Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #2733.
  6. The Cheetah's origin was also revealed in Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #2733.
  7. Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #115119
  8. Azrael #14
  9. Gorilla Grodd had lost all three of these at the end of a team-up with Hector Hammond against Green Lantern II and the Flash III, which was told in the four-part crossover storyline The Flash/Green Lantern: Gorilla Warfare.
  10. Aquaman (Volume 5) #1213
  11. Darkseid's apparent "death" had occurred before the crossover event began in The New Gods (Volume 4) #12. After the crossover event ended, he would return from the dead yet again and reclaim the throne of Apokolips in The New Gods (Volume 4) #615.
  12. Showcase '95 #12
  13. Starman (Volume 2) #6173, which was a story arc — one of many in this series and one that took place near the end of it — that was later published in a trade paperback titled Starman: Grand Guignol.
  14. Justice League Task Force #37 (which was the last issue of that series)
Underworld Unleashed TP
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Underworld Unleashed
The events from this issue or series are related to the Underworld Unleashed crossover event, in which the demon Neron bargained for power with the super-heroes and super-villains of Earth in exchange for their souls. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Underworld Unleashed Crossover category.

Zero Hour

The Final Night