"Underworld Unleashed": The Rogues undertake a strange mission under the urging of Abra Kadabra. Given little explanation, they agree to strike at five specific, though seemingly unremarkable locations across the United States. Each attack is c
- Please allow me to introduce myself. I come to you with an irresistible offer. My name is Neron.
- — Neron
Synopsis for "Underworld Unleashed"
The Rogues undertake a strange mission under the urging of Abra Kadabra. Given little explanation, they agree to strike at five specific, though seemingly unremarkable locations across the United States. Each attack is committed simultaneously, yielding explosive results far beyond their expectations. Each of the Rogues is consumed by raging green fire, as their respective target sites go up in flames.
The incident does not go unnoticed by the superhero community. In the Justice League satellite, the League members take note of the attacks and spring into action. Flash orders Blue Devil to call for backup as they leave him on the station. Blue Devil is the only one to realize the strategic pattern of the five random locations. By tracing a line between each site, 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 just to make ends meet. When he reads about the tragic fate of the Rogues, he grows depressed, knowing that his fellow villains never rated higher than petty crooks. 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 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 doesn't trust the "chaplain," but he accepts the weapon and agrees to carry out his vengeance. 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 race about to correct the situation, but there is nothing they can do. The power shuts down and the doors to the prison cells unlock. Dozens of super-powered criminals escape out into the night.
Back in Keystone, the Trickster allies himself with another old Flash foe — the Rainbow Raider. The Raider shows him a tapered candle with intricate carvings on the side. He tells 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 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 dozens of super-criminals, many of whom are likewise in possession of a green, lighted candle.
A demonic being known as Neron steps out and introduces himself. He takes credit for staging the Belle Reve breakout and for providing the villains with their respective candles. In exchange for their souls, Neron promises each of them their fondest desire. Many of the 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 thrill of it. Some however, have little desire to play second fiddle to Neron. Mongul for one, refuses to acknowledge Neron's power and attempts to strike him. Neron effortlessly punches Mongul to the floor, then stomps on him with his boot. 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."
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.
Appearing in "Underworld Unleashed"
- Justice League America
- Abra Kadabra
- Atomic Skull
- Black Bison
- Black Hand
- Black Spider
- Crazy Quilt
- Doctor Alchemy
- Doctor Phosphorous
- Doctor Polaris
- Doctor Spectro
- Gentleman Ghost
- Golden Glider
- Gorilla Grodd
- The Joker
- Killer Frost
- Killer Moth
- Lex Luthor
- Major Disaster
- Mongul (Dies)
- Neron (First appearance)
- Ocean Master
- Poison Ivy
- Rainbow Raider
- Silver Swan
- Solomon Grundy
- White Dragon
- Carl (a guard captain at Belle Reve)
- Chricton (the warden of Belle Reve)
- Deke Hobbsner (a gunshop owner)
- Finney (a guard at Belle Reve)
- Lou (a prisoner at Belle Reve)
- Scmidt (a guard at Belle Reve)
- Simon (an engineer at Belle Reve)
- Captain Cold's Cold Gun
- Candle of Neron
- Medusa Mask
- Philosopher's Stone
- Trick Boomerangs
- Trident of Lucifer
- Weather Wand
- Underworld Unleashed is a three-issue limited series published on a bi-weekly shipping schedule. Each issue is double-sized (52 pages), which retailed at $2.95 per issue.
- This issue is reprinted in the Underworld Unleashed trade paperback.
- Many of the supervillains seen in this issue make cameo appearances only.
- Abra Kadabra served as Neron's agent and manipulated the Rogues Gallery into bringing Neron to Earth.
- First appearance of the intelligent Blockbuster.
- The Fiddler's appearance in this issue makes no reference to his on-panel death in his last previous appearance. It has been speculated that he was resurrected by Neron.
- For reasons that are never provided, all of the supervillains at Belle Reve had access to their costumes, equipment and weaponry even from within the confines of their cell.
- Underworld Unleashed #2
- Underworld Unleashed #3
- Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1
- Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips - Dark Uprising #1
- Underworld Unleashed: Batman - Devil's Asylum #1
- Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1
Links and References