Underworld Unleashed

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Underworld Unleashed
Cover of Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995) featuring (top) Neron,
(bottom, left to right) Doctor Polaris I, Lex Luthor, the Joker, Circe I and Abra Kadabra,
art by Howard Porter.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatMiniseries
GenreSuperhero
Crossover
Publication dateNovember 1995 – late December 1995
No. of issues3, plus several tie-in issues and four one-shot issues
Main character(s)Justice League America
Neron
the Trickster I
Creative team as of November 1995
Created byMark Waid
Howard Porter
Written byMark Waid
Artist(s)Howard Porter
Dan Green
Chris Eliopoulos
Dennis Janke
John Nyberg
Rick Taylor
Heroic Age
Penciller(s)Howard Porter
Inker(s)Dan Green (issues #1-2)
Dennis Janke (issue #3)
John Nyberg (issue #3)
Letterer(s)Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist(s)Rick Taylor (colorist)
Heroic Age (color separator)
Editor(s)Brian Augustyn (editor)
Stephen Wacker (assistant editor)

Underworld Unleashed was a multi-title comic book crossover event released by DC Comics in 1995. As well as the core storyline of the three-issue Underworld Unleashed miniseries (November 1995-late December 1995), most of the issues of the DC titles that were published in November and December 1995 (including two in October 1995 and one in January 1996) and four one-shot issues that were published at the same time were also part of the event.

The main theme of Underworld Unleashed involved the new ruler of Hell, a demon-lord named Neron, who offered many of the DC Universe supervillains and a number of the DC Universe superheroes various deals-in which they would be given their greatest desires in exchange for their souls or for completing a task for him-and the consequences of those deals.[1][2]

Underworld Unleashed is one of the very few major DC Comics crossover events not to directly involve Superman; at the time of the event he was off-world and in outer space as part of a crossover storyline in the Superman comics called 'The Trial of Superman!' (November 1995-January 1996). This is important to the Underworld Unleashed crossover event, since the superheroes involved are driven by the belief that Superman is the key to Neron's plans.

Plot[edit]

Five members of the Flash's Rogues Gallery-Captain Boomerang I, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Mirror Master II and the Weather Wizard-are approached with an offer by fellow Rogue Abra Kadabra, who had become an agent of the demon Neron in exchange for true magical powers to replace his technology-based magical powers. Abra Kadabra persuades them to cause havoc by destroying five separate targets (an arms depot by Captain Boomerang I, a nuclear reactor by Captain Cold, a dormant volcano by Heat Wave, an oil field by the Mirror Master II and a chemical dump by the Weather Wizard) simultaneously, with the promise of 'respect' and 'a guarantee that they would be remembered forever, not as has-beens but as the most infamous villains of their age' . But Neron's deals are demonic, twisted and unfair and they were not told that their actions would cost them their lives and unleash Neron upon Earth. All five are killed in the ensuing explosions (which consume them in green fire), all of which form the points of a pentagram that creates a gateway which releases Neron.

Soon after, Neron kills the Chaplain of Belle Reve Penitentiary and then, disguised as the Chaplain, accompanies Father Richard Craemer, a priest who administers to the prisoners of Belle Reve (as well as being an advisor to the Suicide Squad and a friend and counsellor to the Spectre), on his rounds at the prison. He next makes a deal with Lou Krupke, one of the inmates (who is bent on revenge for the theft of a treasured calendar that he believes to have been stolen by a Belle Reve guard named Finney), in exchange for a gun that he had bought earlier before entering Belle Reve. Neron himself had already stolen the calendar in question in order to engineer the situation and he also makes deals with a number of key Belle Reve personnel or persuades/manipulates them in other ways to be absent that evening. Krupke kills Finney with the gun and, at the same time, damages the electrical turbines that give Belle Reve its power. The resulting chaos allows 142 supervillains to escape from Belle Reve. When it is all over, Neron claims Krupke's soul.

A few weeks later, another member of the Rogues Gallery, the Trickster I, reads of the deaths of his fellow Rogues and determines not to waste any more time on petty crimes, but to finally make a major supervillain of himself. One week after this incident another Rogue, the Rainbow Raider III, shows the Trickster I a carved black candle that he and other recently escaped supervillains had received, with instructions to light it at midnight on a certain day to 'open the door to fame, power and glory' . The Trickster I steals the candle, secretly replaces it with a rubber chicken, and upon lighting it is instantly transported to Hell, joining over 60 other supervillains who had done the same. Neron appears to the gathered supervillains and offers them all their greatest desires in exchange for their souls, then introduces his "Inner Council"-Lex Luthor, the Joker, Circe I, Doctor Polaris I and Abra Kadabra. The Fiddler II figures out immediately that Neron is actually the devil and the Trickster I overhears him; then several dozen of the supervillains accept Neron's offer while the rest who rejected it are returned to Earth by him (with the exception of one-Mongul I-whom Neron kills with his bare hands and takes his soul after the alien tyrant refuses to make a deal and attacks him because he believes that Neron has insulted him by calling all of the assembled supervillains-including him-failures before Neron came into their lives). As each supervillain accepts the offer, their souls (which look like green vapor) are collected in a large clear container called the Soul Jar. At the end of Neron's speech and empowering session, Justice League America member Blue Devil, a former friend of the Trickster I who had worked out that the locations of the deaths of the five Rogues Gallery members formed the points of a pentagram, appears. He is offered fame and fortune in exchange for performing a simple task: the destruction of an unmanned electrical power station.[3]

The supervillains who accepted Neron's offer (with the exception of Neron's Inner Council and the Trickster I) are returned to Earth to fulfill their sides of their deals and wreak havoc, many of them with enhanced powers; while Neron turns his attention to Earth's superheroes. In addition to trying to gain the souls of the Batman I, the Flash III and an unknown number of other superheroes, Neron offers to resurrect Alexandra "Alex" deWitt from the dead in exchange for Green Lantern V's (Kyle Rayner) soul. Kyle refuses, and after Neron defeats him in battle he spares his life, giving Kyle the message that what he covets most is 'a far more noble soul' who Kyle knows and that when he has it, Earth will be his. Kyle assumes this means Superman (who is off-world because of his trial in outer space[4]) and carries the message to the Refuge, Justice League America's space station headquarters.

Meanwhile, Neron causes further disruption on an Earth now seething with violence and war as a result of his demonic influence on people and the chaos caused by the supervillains who are in his debt. He also spreads chaos on New Apokolips, giving all those who desire the missing-and-presumed-dead Darkseid's throne information on each other's plans, thus causing New Apokolips to wage war with itself.[5] Back in Hell, Luthor and the Joker force the Trickster I to reveal that Neron's power is contained within his Soul Jar and succeed in rupturing the Jar using Circe I, Polaris I and Kadabra's magical and scientific resources together. As the Jar is breached a swirl of green vapor reaches outward, then picks up Circe I, Polaris I and Kadabra and pulls them right into the Jar, after which the Jar reseals, which is what Luthor and the Joker had actually planned all along. However, Neron had preempted them by fooling the Trickster I into giving them false information, thus removing his Inner Council completely before they could become a threat to his power. He shrinks Luthor and the Joker in size and traps them in a snow globe-although they both believe that they are in a snowstorm in Metropolis until they reach the glass walls of the globe.[6]

As Earth collapses into violence, war, anarchy and chaos, Justice League America calls most of the world's superheroes together to stand against Neron. Like Kyle, all assume that because he is missing, it is Superman that Neron referred to as the pure soul that he wanted and that he had already been captured. The elite of Justice League America decide to take the fight to Neron and Blue Devil, who had been fooled by Neron's Faustian deal into indirectly causing the death of his friend, filmmaker Marla Bloom, takes them to Hell. Now alone in Hell after the fall of the Inner Council, the Trickster I, who had not yet been offered a deal for his soul, realizes that he had been taken for a fool yet again, that no deal was forthcoming for him at all and that Neron had deeper plans that he had not revealed to him. He begins to scheme against him.[7]

On Earth, Doctor Fate I's (Kent Nelson) home, the Tower of Nabu, has become a portal to Hell that the demoness Blaze is trying to secure so that Neron can send Hell's demonic forces to Earth. Sentinel and Fate IV (Jared Stevens) fight to close the portal, Sentinel destroying the tower to do so.[8] While Fate IV battles back from being flung into far dimensions,[9] Sentinel is drawn away from his wife Molly Mayne-Scott, a.k.a. the Harlequin I, who opens a box containing one of Neron's candles and accepts a deal to become young again and to have the power to create nightmares, losing her soul in the process. Sentinel contacts the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna and Jim Corrigan (a.k.a. the Spectre, but without his full powers as the Spectre-Force within Corrigan had made a deal with Neron for a separate existence from Corrigan) for help. Together with Deadman, they enter Hell to get Molly's soul back from Blaze. The Spectre tries to help, but discovers that his deal keeps him from opposing Neron and, as a result, he is Neron's slave and is also destined to become his successor. Realizing that he is not prevented from fighting other demons, however, he joins the others in the battle and Sentinel frees Molly's soul in exchange for his own. Blaze is forced to flee from Neron for failing to stop the supernatural team and while the magical superheroes escape, Sentinel is captured by Neron and imprisoned in Hell inside a jewel worn around Neron's neck.[10]

Using what is left of Blue Devil's candle, Justice League America pierces the barrier to Hell and confronts Neron's demonic army, battling through the realms of Hell to find Superman. The Ray II, Firestorm II (Ronald Roy "Ronnie" Raymond), Captain Atom II and Maxima are killed on the way, while the other superheroes (except for Captain Marvel) begin to be corrupted by the influence of their hellish surroundings. Meanwhile, the demon Satanus bargains with Neron in the throne room of Hell for the return of his soul after failing in his task to stop the Leymen of Primal Force publicly,[11] offering up the whereabouts of his sister Blaze in exchange; but once his soul is returned to him and Blaze is imprisoned by Neron, he reveals to her that Neron can be beaten by a single word that if spoken, even in Hell, would give even Neron pause. For this betrayal Neron kills Satanus, though not before his comment is overheard by the Trickster I. At that moment Blue Devil, seeking revenge for the death of Marla, finally reaches Neron ahead of Justice League America and is killed by him; after which the superheroes (again, except for Captain Marvel) become completely evil upon entering Neron's throne room and Neron reveals that it was Captain Marvel's soul that he wanted all along, just as the Trickster I realizes the truth.

Neron has kept Blaze alive because her demonic powers dampen Captain Marvel's powers. She reverses this by augmenting his powers instead, saving him from death; while Blue Devil, who cannot die while he is in Hell, attacks Neron in a new demonic body. Taking advantage of the diversion, the Trickster I tells Captain Marvel about the word and Captain Marvel deduces that the word is 'Shazam' . When he uses it, the resulting lightning bolt in Hell stuns Neron and releases Justice League America from their spell, allowing them to attack him again. Sentinel is also released from his captivity and he joins the other superheroes in the fight. The Trickster I then uses the time provided to persuade Captain Marvel that he has a plan to defeat Neron and quickly tells him what to do. Then Captain Marvel suddenly offers Neron his soul, in exchange for 'the release of my friends ... the release of Earth' . When Neron asks him 'And...' ? he says 'No "and", nothing else. Nothing' . Neron accepts the offer and tries to take Captain Marvel's soul (which looks like pure white light), but because the deal was purely altruistic and self-sacrificing, the first time that someone had ever asked for something without personal gain involved, because he cannot collect on a deal without there being something in it for the one he is dealing with and because Captain Marvel's soul is so pure that even a demon like himself cannot touch it without being actually, physically burned, he cannot do it-then he suddenly realizes that he still has to honor his side of the deal. Taunted by the Trickster I, he disappears in a explosion of green fire, the Soul Jar is shattered (thus releasing its contents-the souls of everyone involved, whether superhero, supervillain or otherwise-and returning them to their rightful bodies (with the exception of the five Rogues, Mongul I and two other supervillains who had previously made deals with Neron named Purgatory[12] and the Ice Man [13]),[14] the four superheroes who had been killed previously are resurrected from the dead and everyone is returned to Earth, including Luthor and the Joker, who are freed from the shattered snow globe, returned to normal size and sent back to Earth.[15]

At the same time, all of the supervillains who had accepted Neron's offer, in addition to regaining their souls, are allowed to keep their enhanced powers and are no longer in debt to him, although one of them-Major Disaster-while silently gloating about this fact, soon finds out by looking at his reflection in a window that he has the number 666 etched into his forehead (and that only he can see it), thus implying that the rest of them do, too.[16]

Offers of Neron[edit]

Superheroes who accepted Neron's offer[edit]

  • Blue Devil - He was offered fame and fortune in exchange for destroying an unmanned electrical power station, indirectly causing the death of his friend, filmmaker Marla Bloom, who had been scouting the area for a film. The fame and fortune resulted all because he was free to pursue other film opportunities without her.[3][7]
  • The Harlequin I (Molly Catherine Mayne-Scott) - She had her youth restored and was given the power to create nightmares, but her soul was won back and the deal undone by her husband Sentinel (see below) at the cost of his own soul.[10]
  • Hawkman III (Katar Hol) - One of his 'hawk-avatar' spirits within him sold its soul in order to gain ascendance over the other avatars also resident in his body, but it failed to do so.[7][17]
  • Lobo - He had Neron rid him of a radio that had been implanted in his head for twenty years by wishing it to be inside Neron's head after he refused to accept Lobo's first offer-Neron's own soul-as the demon did not have one.[7][18]
  • Madame Xanadu - She was given the power to control and command three demons named Bathopet, Maw and Atopeh in exchange for her soul upon her death. Accepted the offer only in order to trick Neron because she was immortal.[19][20]
  • The Ray II (Raymond C. "Ray" Terrill) - He thought Neron was a beautiful woman, Kathy Noren, who worked in his office. Neron makes a deal with Vandal Savage not to go after the Ray II's soul in exchange for Savage guiding Neron to the Atomic Skull II instead. The Ray II then approaches Kathy/Neron,[21] who avoids the conditions of his deal with Savage by letting the Ray II accept an offer to take flowers to a hospital and give them to Eleanor Hart, the dying serial film actress who had portrayed 'Zelda Wentworth' (the Atomic Skull II's one true love (at least in his own mind)), in exchange for Death Masque no longer having existed-and thus the Ray II's father, Lanford "Happy" Terrill (originally known as the Ray I), would not die. Did not fulfill the terms of his deal and so did not lose his soul nor benefit from the deal. Later killed on the way to Hell during the superheroes' battle with Neron there, but resurrected from the dead after Neron is defeated.[7][16][22][23]
  • Sentinel (Alan Ladd Wellington Scott (originally known as Green Lantern I)) - He offered his soul to Neron in order to free the soul of his wife, the Harlequin I (see above), who had sold it to Neron previously; this resulted in Sentinel being taken captive in Hell and imprisoned in a jewel worn around Neron's neck.[10] He was later freed from his captivity and joined the other superheroes in the final battle against Neron.[16]
  • The Spectre (James Brendan "Jim" Corrigan) - The Spectre-Force (not its host, Jim Corrigan) agreed not to oppose Neron in order to be free of Corrigan. As a result, the Spectre became Neron's slave and potential successor in Hell. However, the deal did not include not fighting other demons, so the Spectre became involved in the magical superheroes' attack on Hell.[7][10][19]
  • Vril Dox II (a.k.a. Brainiac 2) - He sold the soul of a future descendent of his own family[24] for information on how to regain control of L.E.G.I.O.N. and, using that information, lobotomized his son Lyrl Dox (a.k.a. Brainiac 3), thus removing Lyrl's twelfth-level intelligence and reducing his mind to that of a normal one-year-old child of Earth. Also had the Ice Man killed (actually he asked for him 'to no longer be a problem' , but was happy with the result).[13]
  • The Warrior (Guy Darrin Gardner (originally known as Green Lantern III)) - He was offered the resurrection of his loved ones and the return of Coast City in exchange for killing Green Lantern IV (John Stewart). He originally agreed because Neron had lied to him, telling him that Stewart should already be dead, but that a rift in time had prevented it and that this had caused the Warrior's tragic history to occur. The Warrior then changed his mind and reneged on the deal.[7][25]

Superheroes who rejected Neron's offer[edit]

The following is an almost complete list of the superheroes who are known to have refused Neron's offer. A number of others may be very briefly being shown dealing with Neron in Underworld Unleashed #2.

  • The Batman I (Bruce Wayne) - He was offered the resurrection of Robin II (Jason Peter Todd) from the dead.[7][26]
  • Captain Atom II (Nathaniel Christopher Adam) - Unknown offer. Later killed on the way to Hell during the superheroes' battle with Neron there, but resurrected from the dead after Neron is defeated.[7][16]
  • Damage - Unknown offer.[7]
  • The Flash III (Wallace Rudolph "Wally" West) - He was offered the resurrection of the Flash II (Bartholomew Henry "Barry" Allen) from the dead.[7][27]
  • Green Lantern V (Kyle Rayner) - He was offered the resurrection of Alexandra "Alex" deWitt from the dead.[7]
  • Knockout - She was offered 'power, prestige, anything you could dream of' .[28]
  • Max Mercury - Unknown offer.[7]
  • Mystek - Unknown offer.[23]
  • The Oracle (Barbara "Babs" Gordon (originally known as Batgirl I)) - She was offered the use of her legs again, plus invulnerability and superpowers to rival even Superman's if she would become Neron's librarian, while her soul was hers to keep. She refused, knowing that she would lose her soul anyway, no matter what Neron had promised her.[29][30]
  • The Silver Swan II (Valerie Beaudry) - Unknown offer.[3][31]
  • Superboy (Kon-El a.k.a. Conner Kent) - He was offered the chance to become Superman.[7][32]
  • Triumph - He was offered his lost ten years back and thus the opportunity to become a major superhero and lead Justice League America if he simply opened a box containing one of Neron's candles.[7][23][33]

Supervillains who accepted Neron's offer[edit]

The following is an incomplete list of the supervillains who are known to have accepted Neron's offer. Others who accepted may have been briefly shown dealing with Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1, but were not followed elsewhere in the miniseries.

  • Abra Kadabra - Neron's lieutenant; he was given real magical powers that replaced his technology-based magical powers. Became part of Neron's Inner Council, but was betrayed by fellow Inner Council members Lex Luthor and the Joker. It is not known whether he sold his soul prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.[3]
  • The Atomic Skull II (Joseph Martin) - His sanity was restored and he was given enhanced power which he used to attempt to gain the love of 'Zelda Wentworth' (who, in his mind, was the woman he loved).[3][22][34]
  • Azrael VI (real name unknown) - One of the potential successors to the mantle of Azrael who seemingly fell to his death after battling Azrael V (Jean-Paul Valley)[35] was actually saved during his fall by Abra Kadabra (who was acting on behalf of Neron at the time) and offered his life. As a result of his taking the deal he survived the fall, then was given the armored Azrael/Batman costume (which he used for illegal underground fights) and was also given the chance to kill the Batman I in order to distract him and to keep him from discovering Neron's plans.[36]
  • Blackguard - He was given enhanced intelligence, strength and equipment.[3][37]
  • Black Manta - He was transformed into a human-manta ray hybrid with superhuman powers. Chronologically the first story of Underworld Unleashed, taking place before the crossover event even got started.[38][39]
  • Blaze (has used the alias Angelica Blaze) - She initially became one of Neron's lieutenants and was assigned to keep the DC Universe's magical superheroes occupied. Sold to Neron by her brother Satanus when she failed to do so in exchange for his soul being returned to him.[10][16][40]
  • The Blockbuster II (Roland Desmond) - He asked to be smart (and, indeed, was given the mind of a genius), but later realized that he should have asked to be human again as well.[3][41]
  • Bolt - He was given a chance to carry out his dream assassination...the murder of a well-protected computer expert.[3][42]
  • Brimstone - The Apokoliptian techno-seed and the Brimstone personality both possessed a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who made a deal with Neron for power and was then killed. Referred to in Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1.[23][29]
  • The Buggmeister - An alien criminal on the run from Lobo named Doc Bugg who sold his soul in exchange for insect powers and an insect-like body. Eaten alive by a giant stag beetle.[18]
  • Captain Boomerang I (George "Digger" Harkness) - He was given new cybernetic hands (after having been shot through the hands by Deadshot while both of them were on a mission for the Suicide Squad)[43] and was promised that he would be one of the greatest supervillains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • Captain Cold - He was promised that he would be one of the greatest supervillains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • The Cheetah III (Barbara Ann Minerva; has used the aliases Priscilla Rich, Deborah Domaine and Sabrina Ballesteros) - Initially it seemed that the Cheetah III had been transformed into a more cheetah-like form than she had before, with the mind of a wild animal to match, and could grow more savage the angrier she became.[3][37] Later, it was explained that she had sold her soul to bring a friend back from the dead, resulting in the aforementioned reversion to a more bestial state.[44]
  • Chiller - He was given a chance to carry out his dream assassination...the murder of a well-protected rock star.[3][42]
  • Chronos I (David Langhorn Clinton) - In exchange for killing the Atom II (Raymond "Ray" Palmer), he was given time travel, time manipulation and phasing powers, but these caused accelerated aging. He then devised a special glove that allowed him to age others instead when he held them with it, thus partly negating the deal.[3][45][46]
  • Circe I (has used the aliases Cassandra Colchis and Donna Milton) - She was given greater magical powers in order to avenge her many defeats by and to kill Wonder Woman. Became part of Neron's Inner Council prior to Underworld Unleashed #1, but was betrayed by fellow Inner Council members Lex Luthor and the Joker.[3]
  • The Copperhead I ("John Doe" (real name unknown)) - He was transformed into a human-snake hybrid with enhanced reflexes and agility, venomous fangs, claws, a forked tongue and a prehensile tail, but was now susceptible to cold temperatures.[3][47]
  • Deadline - He was given the chance to carry out his dream assassination...the murder of a Texas district attorney.[3][42]
  • Deadshot - He was given the chance to carry out his dream assassination...the murder of an entire kindergarten class.[3][42]
  • Doctor Bedlam of Apokolips - Unknown offer designed to cause maximum death and chaos on New Apokolips.[5]
  • Doctor Phosphorus - He was given greater burning power and personal temperature control, which allowed him to wear clothes without having them burn off of him.[3][48]
  • Doctor Polaris I (Neal Emerson; has used the aliases Baxter Timmons and Repulse) - He was given greater power and the chance to be rid of his benevolent personality of Neal Emerson. Became part of Neron's Inner Council prior to Underworld Unleashed #1, but was betrayed by fellow Inner Council members Lex Luthor and the Joker.[3]
  • The Earthworm - He was given enhanced superhuman powers, including a humanoid worm-like physiology, stretching powers, a vibrational drilling power and psionic control of all sewer-dwelling vermin.[3][37]
  • The Enforcer III ("Joe Gardner", a Draalian clone of Guy Darrin Gardner) - He was given enhanced equipment (including a power glove similar to Sinestro's (full name: Thaal Sinestro) power ring), enhanced superhuman strength and durability and flight powers.[3][49]
  • Evil Star II (real name unknown) - He was given the power to create dozens of his Starling spawn, although they were no longer indestructible as the original five Starlings had been.[49]
  • Gorilla Grodd - He was given back his intelligence, his speech and his psionic powers (after having lost all three of them in a battle in which he and Hector Hammond had teamed up to fight Green Lantern II (Harold "Hal" Jordan) and the Flash III).[50] Told the whereabouts of the Talisman of Arok in order to legitimise his reign over Gorilla City, but the Catwoman keeps it from him.[3][51]
  • Heat Wave - He was promised that he would be one of the greatest supervillains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • The Hellgrammite - He was given enhanced physical powers and his drone offspring could no longer be changed back into human form by exposure to X-rays.[3][52]
The Ice Man as he appears in R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #13.
  • The Ice Man - He was given a completely new set of non-ice based powers and enhanced strength. Killed by Neron as part of a later deal with Vril Dox II.[13]
  • The Joker - He sold his soul for a box of Cuban cigars and seemed to have made the deal just for the sheer fun of it. Became part of Neron's Inner Council prior to Underworld Unleashed #1 but, along with Lex Luthor, double-crossed him and betrayed the other three Inner Council members.[3][7]
  • Killer Frost II (Louise Lincoln) - She was given greater cold power.[3][28]
  • Killer Moth I (Drury Walker; has used the alias Cameron van Cleer) - He was transformed into a carnivorous human-moth hybrid and changed his name to Charaxes (the name was based on an actual butterfly genus).[3][53][54]
  • Kryppen (full name unknown) - An inmate at Arkham Asylum who made a deal with Neron to bring him the Batman I's soul by poisoning everyone in Arkham and then forcing the Batman I to kill someone in the asylum to get the antidote from him. The plan was thwarted when the Batman I poisoned Kryppen instead in order to make him give up the antidote's location. He is one of two people on this list who is not a supervillain; instead, he is an ordinary criminal.[55]
  • Lex Luthor (full name: Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor) - He was restored to full health and vitality after his cloned body fell victim to a 'clone plague' that ultimately paralyzed him and made him a prisoner in his own body, unable to even blink, in exchange for his soul and giving 'consultancy' to Neron. Became part of Neron's Inner Council prior to Underworld Unleashed #1 but, along with the Joker, double-crossed him and betrayed the other three Inner Council members.[3][7][15]
  • Major Disaster - He was given the magical ability to perceive probability and to locate weak points in objects and people, but was now only able to see the worst in life,[56] in exchange for killing Aquaman. Mistakenly kills Thanatos I instead (who looked like Aquaman and had usurped the throne of Atlantis in his absence), believing that he was Aquaman.[3][57][58]
  • Malcolm Merlyn the Dark Archer (Arthur King) - He was given the chance to carry out his dream assassination...the murder of the Batman I.[3][42]
  • Metallo III (John Corben) - He was given the ability to morph into any mechanical shape he could imagine, to project his consciousness into any technological or metallic device and to absorb any machinery that he came into contact with in order to further enhance his body.[3][59][60]
  • The Mirror Master II (Evan McCulloch) - He was promised that he would be one of the greatest supervillains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • The Mist I (Kyle Nimbus) - He was cured of his senile dementia and his sanity was restored in exchange for destroying Opal City and harming the Shade I.[61]
  • Mister Freeze - He was given natural cryokinetic powers (such as the ability to emit ice blasts from his hands, thus no longer needing his freeze gun) and was made able to survive in warmer temperatures without his cryogenic suit, although later he was reverted to his original subzero biology (how this happened is never revealed or shown) and built a new cryogenic suit and freeze gun as a result. He also briefly changed his name to Freeze before changing it back to Mister Freeze.[3][12][62]
  • The New Gods of Apokolips - Granny Goodness and Virman Vundabar were given information about each other's plans (so as to perpetuate their civil war with each other), although Targa, a Hunger Dog who sought revenge for the murder of his family, refused to make a deal, even when Neron told him that he was destined to rule New Apokolips (it is possible, however, that he may have been lying, as usual) and, as a result, was surprised to find one righteous being in a world that was so steeped in evil that it was drowning. In exchange, Neron caused war and chaos on New Apokolips just for the sake of doing so.[5]
  • The Ocean Master - He was given a trident that granted him great mystical power, but it also caused him excruciating pain and horribly scarred his face when he was not actually holding it.[3][63]
  • The Psycho-Pirate II (Roger Hayden) - His sanity was restored and he was given enhanced power by being merged with his Medusa Mask (which was reduced to an eyepatch over his right eye, with the metal of the mask largely replacing one half of his brain), becoming a psychic vampire as a result who stayed sane by draining the remaining life and the sanity out of others after his mask had fed on their emotions.[3][64]
  • Purgatory - A man named Paul Christian who lost his legs and was given temporary legs by Green Lantern V. He was given permanent legs and a Green Lantern-type green flame power in exchange for killing Green Lantern V. Taken to Hell by Neron when he fails to do so after two attempts.[12]
  • The Rag Doll I (Peter Merkel Senior) - His youth was restored and his flexibility was enhanced in exchange for destroying Opal City and harming the Shade I.[61]
  • The Rainbow Raider III (Roy G. Bivolo) - He apparently was going to accept the offer, but his chance to do so was taken from him by the Trickster I, who secretly stole his candle and replaced it with a rubber chicken. Later, Neron told the Trickster I in Hell that he considered the Rainbow Raider III to be so pathetic as a supervillain that he never would have even offered him a deal to begin with; indeed calling him a 'paramecium' to the Trickster I's face.[3][65]
  • Satanus (has used the alias Colin Thornton) - He became one of Neron's lieutenants and was assigned to kill the Leymen of Primal Force publicly. When he failed to do so, he traded information on the whereabouts of his sister Blaze in exchange for him getting his soul back, but was killed by Neron after he betrayed him once his soul had been returned to him.[11][16]
  • The Shadow Thief I (Carl Sands) - He was given a more powerful shadow suit that possessed the ability to bring shadows to life and to change other people and objects into evil shadows that were under his control.[3][66]
  • Shrapnel - He was given enhanced power.[3][23]
  • Sledge - He was given enhanced strength.[3][23]
  • Louis "Louie" Snipe - The dead criminal informer who helped kill Jim Corrigan before he became the Spectre.[67] His spirit was briefly freed from Hell in exchange for becoming a host for the Spectre-Force instead of Corrigan. The deal was never completed, however, and Snipe's spirit was trapped in a clay doll due to Corrigan's intervention. He is one of two people on this list who is not a supervillain; instead, he is the spirit of an ordinary criminal.[19]
  • The Spellbinder III (Fay Moffit) a.k.a. Lady Spellbinder - She was given visually-based illusion powers that only worked if her eyes were uncovered. The deal was made after she killed her boyfriend, the Spellbinder I (Delbert Billings), who refused the offer. Neron then told her after the Spellbinder I's death that, when he made the deal, he was not actually offering it to the Spellbinder I at all (and, in fact, most likely would never have even offered it to him to begin with, since he obviously considered the Spellbinder I to be beneath him).[68][69]
  • Star Sapphire II (Caroline "Carol" Ferris) - Carol Ferris was offered a normal life without Star Sapphire II's spirit or her child (which was actually the child of Star Sapphire II and the Predator (both of whom were aspects (female and male, respectively) of her own personality). She was separated from both Star Sapphire II and the Predator, after which both of them were killed by Neron, who then took the child away in his arms.[3][70][71]
  • The Trickster I (Giovanni Giuseppe a.k.a. James Jesse) - He was not actually offered a deal, but Neron used him to watch his Inner Council, telling him that there would be time for a deal later. However, when he realized that no deal was going to be done for him after all and that Neron, a master player, had used him as a pawn, he became a key figure in the demon's defeat. Afterwards, realizing that he had just pulled off the biggest sting of his career-and that no one had even witnessed it-he decided to reform, because he definitely did not want to go to Hell where Neron could get a hold of him when he died.[3][7][16]
  • Tezcatlipoca II (Chama Sierra) - He was transformed into a human-jaguar hybrid.[72]
  • The Weather Wizard - He was promised that he would be one of the greatest supervillains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]

Supervillains who rejected Neron's offer[edit]

The following is an incomplete list of the supervillains who are known to have refused Neron's offer. Others who were briefly shown dealing with Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1 may also have refused, but have not been directly identified as having done so. Those in the latter category are herein marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Airstryke - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Black Bison II (John Ravenhair)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Black Hand* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Black Spider I (Eric Needham)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Carapax the Indestructible Man (full name: Conrad Carapax)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Catman I (Thomas Reese Blake)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Cluemaster* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Crazy Quilt I (Paul Dekker)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Doctor Alchemy I (Albert Desmond; originally known as Mister Element I)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Doctor Spectro* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Dummy* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Fiddler II (Isaac Bowin) - He was the only person that recognized Neron as the devil right from the beginning.[3]
  • The Gentleman Ghost* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Ghost* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Golden Glider* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Gunhawk* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Harlequin IV (real name unknown)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Hi-Tech* - Unknown offer, although Neron showed her a vision of a handful of diamonds that he was holding.[3]
  • The Hyena I (Summer Day)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Jewelee* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Magpie II (Margaret Pye)* - Unknown offer, although she was seen in a vision of Neron's making (which was shown to all of the supervillains assembled in Hell on a clear cliff wall) sitting on a huge pile of gold. Also shown in the same vision were the Atomic Skull II embracing Lois Lane (who, in his mind, was the woman he loved, 'Zelda Wentworth' ) and Metallo III holding the cape of Superman.[3]
  • Mammoth* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Man-Bat* - Unknown offer; he appeared here in his human form of Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langstrom.[3]
  • Mongul I - Neron killed him with his bare hands and took his soul after Mongul I refused to make a deal and attacked him, all because he thought that Neron had insulted him when he said that all of the supervillains assembled in Hell-including Mongul I-were all failures before Neron came into their lives.[3]
  • The Parasite II (Rudolph "Rudy" Jones)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Pied Piper II (Hartley Rathaway; has used the aliases Thomas Peterson and Henry Darrow) - A reformed supervillain by this time; he had received a candle and kept it, but ultimately chose not to light it.[56]
  • Poison Ivy - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Prankster - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Punch I (Clyde Phillips)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Ratcatcher* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Riddler - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Scarecrow - He claimed to have accepted Neron's offer while battling Hawkman III, but privately revealed that he was bluffing and had not taken the deal after all.[3][17]
  • The Shade I (Richard Swift) - He claimed to have reformed and that he was no longer a supervillain, even going so far as to tell Neron, in effect, to 'Go peddle your wares elsewhere' , as he was already immortal, had great wealth that he had no need to increase and saw no way that his powers could be effectively enhanced.[73] Neron would later seek revenge on the Shade I by making deals with, and giving enhanced powers to, the Mist I and the Rag Doll I.[61]
  • The Shark III (no real name; has used the aliases T.S. Smith and Karshon)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Solomon Grundy* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Sonar II (Bito Wladon Junior)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The Spellbinder I (Delbert Billings) - When he refused Neron's offer, he was killed by his girlfriend Fay Moffit who took the deal and became the Spellbinder III.[68]
  • Terra-Man II (Tobias "Toby" Manning)* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • Vandal Savage - He offered his soul willingly, without even having to be asked-and, indeed, was the only supervillain ever to do so-but this time Neron himself refused the offer, saying to him 'Your soul-what's left of it-is black and tasteless.' Because his soul was exactly that-and was definitely not innocent-Neron did not want it. [22][74]
  • The Ventriloquist I (Arnold Wesker) and Scarface* - Unknown offer.[3]
  • The White Dragon I (Daniel William Ducannon)* - Unknown offer.[3]

List of Underworld Unleashed titles[edit]

The following DC Comics titles contained stories linked to Underworld Unleashed. They are listed in a roughly chronological order, as the story did not flow in a strictly linear manner-most of the titles fit loosely into a framework delineated by the three issues of the miniseries:

Prologue[edit]

  • Superboy (vol. 3) #20 (October 1995): 'The Hunt' ;[75]
  • Azrael #10 (November 1995): 'Arena' ;[76]
  • Steel (vol. 2) #21 (November 1995): 'Stalker' .

Main story[edit]

  • Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995): 'Underworld Unleashed' ;
  • Manhunter (vol. 2) #11 (October 1995): 'Until the End of the World' ;[77]
  • Manhunter (vol. 2) #12 (November 1995): 'The World is a Wonderful Place' ;
  • Fate #13 (November 1995): 'The World, the Flesh, & the Devil' ;
  • The Ray (vol. 2) #18 (November 1995): 'Monsters' ;
  • The Ray (vol. 2) #19 (December 1995): 'Monster3' ;
  • Justice League Task Force #30 (December 1995): 'Thunderworld' ;
  • Starman (vol. 2) #13 (November 1995): 'Sins of the Child Part II: Ted's Day' ;
  • Detective Comics #691 (November 1995): 'Will It Go 'Round in Circles' ;
  • Detective Comics #692 (December 1995): 'Lying Eyes' ;
  • Aquaman (vol. 5) #14 (November 1995): 'Lamentations' ;
  • Damage #18 (November 1995): 'Going Down' ;
  • The Flash (vol. 2) #107 (November 1995): 'Fade to Black!' ;
  • Green Arrow (vol. 2) #102 (November 1995): 'Underworld Unleashed: Jaguar Moon' ;
  • Green Arrow (vol. 2) #103 (December 1995): 'Underworld Unleashed: Gods and Tourists' ;
  • Green Lantern (vol. 3) #68 (November 1995): 'Hellfire and Ice' ;
  • Green Lantern (vol. 3) #69 (December 1995): 'Bargains' ;
  • Guy Gardner, Warrior #36 (November 1995): 'The Darker Side of Evil' ;
  • Guy Gardner, Warrior #37 (December 1995): 'Let's Make A Deal' ;
  • Extreme Justice #10 (November 1995): 'Sapphire Blues' ;
  • Extreme Justice #11 (December 1995): 'Creation for Two' ;
  • Impulse #8 (November 1995): 'Smart Men, Foolish Choices' ;
  • Justice League America #105 (November 1995): 'The Killer Elite' ;
  • Justice League America #106 (December 1995): 'Up from the Underworld' ;
  • Deathstroke #53 (November 1995): 'The Borgia Plague Part One' ;[78]
  • Deathstroke #54 (December 1995): 'The Borgia Plague Part Two' ;
  • Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips--Dark Uprising #1 (November 1995): 'Apokolips: Dark Uprising' ;
  • Underworld Unleashed: Batman Devil's Asylum #1 (November 1995): 'Arkham: Devil's Asylum' ;
  • The Spectre (vol. 3) #35 (November 1995): 'Evil Intent' ;
  • The Spectre (vol. 3) #36 (December 1995): 'Forces of Hell' ;
  • Fate #14 (December 1995): 'No Direction Home' ;[79]
  • Underworld Unleashed: Abyss--Hell's Sentinel #1 (December 1995) (no title);
  • Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1 (December 1995): 'Patterns of Fear' ;
  • Underworld Unleashed #2 (early December 1995): 'The Devil to Pay' ;
  • Showcase '95 #12 (December 1995): 'The Shade-Incident in an Old Haunt' ;[80]
  • Superboy (vol. 3) #22 (December 1995): 'Fire and Ice' ;
  • Hawkman (vol. 3) #26 (November 1995): 'Fear Visits' ;
  • Hawkman (vol. 3) #27 (December 1995): 'Hawkmad!' ;
  • Lobo (vol. 2) #22 (December 1995): 'Soul2Soul' ;
  • Robin (vol. 2) #23 (December 1995): 'Buggin' ;
  • Robin (vol. 2) #24 (January 1996): 'Insects and Violence' ;
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #75 (December 1995): '2-Timer' ;
  • Legionnaires #32 (December 1995): 'Here and Now' ;
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #13 (November 1995): 'Earthbound' ;
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #14 (December 1995): 'Howl' ;[81]
  • Batman #525 (December 1995): 'Frozen Assets' ;[82]
  • Catwoman (vol. 2) #27 (December 1995): 'Groddspell' ;
  • Primal Force #13 (November 1995): 'Severance' ;
  • Primal Force #14 (December 1995): 'The Course of All Things' ;[83]
  • Superman (vol. 2) #107 (December 1995): 'Bottled Up' ;[84][85]
  • The Adventures of Superman #530 (December 1995): 'Different Demons' ;
  • Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #3 (winter 1995): 'Fighting Back' ;
  • Underworld Unleashed #3 (late December 1995): 'Seduction of the Innocent' .

Additional stories[edit]

Before Underworld Unleashed began[edit]

  • Azrael #4 (May 1995) is a story that takes place several months before the crossover event started which is then continued-and finished-early on in the same event.

After Underworld Unleashed ended[edit]

  • Aquaman (vol. 5) #18-20 (March–May 1996) reveals the Ocean Master's deal with Neron a few months into the following year after the crossover event ended, but it is not labeled as a tie-in.
  • Justice League Task Force #37 (August 1996), the last issue of the series, reveals that Triumph's previously rejected deal with Neron was accidentally (and unwittingly) accepted by Gypsy and the Ray II due to their misguided good intentions many months into the following year after the crossover event ended, but it is not labeled as a tie-in.
  • Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #115-119 (November 1996-March 1997) reveals the exact reason that the Cheetah III made her deal with Neron several months into the following year after the crossover event ended, but it is not labeled as a tie-in.
  • The Flash (vol. 2) #125-129 (May-September 1997) reveals the resurrection from the dead of-and the restoration of their souls to-the five Rogues who were previously killed by Neron's treachery two years after the crossover event ended, but it is not labeled as a tie-in.
  • Starman (vol. 2) #70-72 (October–December 2000) reveals that the Shade I's rejection of Neron's offer in Showcase '95 #12 led to deals with the Mist I and the Rag Doll I in order to harm the Shade I and destroy his adopted home of Opal City, but these deals were only seen in flashbacks within the story, which was published several years after the crossover event ended.
  • Teen Titans (vol. 3) #42 (February 2007) reveals Kid Devil's deal with Neron, which transformed him into Red Devil-and the consequences of the deal-in a story that was published several years after the crossover event ended.

Other information[edit]

  • When the supervillains arrive in Hell, Neron's first words to them are 'Please allow me to introduce myself' ,[3] the opening line of the Rolling Stones' song Sympathy For the Devil. It is also the first thing he says to Paul Christian, who becomes Purgatory thanks to him.[12]
  • There are later repercussions from Neron's actions, mainly due to an unknown number of candles that still exist and have not been used. Among the superheroes, both Triumph[86] and Kid Devil/Red Devil[87] are most seriously affected, but these events happen outside of the Underworld Unleashed crossover event.
  • In 1996 DC Comics published Rogues Gallery, a one-shot issue that contained different artists' renditions of many of the supervillains that were in the crossover event. They are, in order:
    • The Joker;
    • Blaze;
    • Satanus;
    • Lex Luthor;
    • Circe I;
    • Abra Kadabra;
    • The Trickster I;
    • The Spellbinder III;
    • Two-Face;
    • The Riddler;
    • Clayface III (Preston Payne);
    • Mister Zsasz;
    • Poison Ivy;
    • Doctor Phosphorus;
    • The Scarecrow;
    • The Ventriloquist I and Scarface;
    • Merlyn the Dark Archer;
    • Black Adam with Blaze;
    • The Hellgrammite;
    • The Dementor;
    • Mongul I;
    • Metallo III;
    • Deadshot and Bolt;
    • The Shadow Thief I;
    • Chronos I;
    • Darkseid,
    • DeSaad;
    • Granny Goodness;
    • The Female Furies;
    • Killer Frost II;
    • The Cheetah III;
    • Neron.[88]

Reprints[edit]

The three-issue miniseries Underworld Unleashed, together with the one-shot issue Underworld Unleashed: Abyss-Hell's Sentinel #1, was collected as a trade paperback called Underworld Unleashed (DC Comics, 1998, 158pp (ISBN 1-56389-447-5)).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Writer Mark Waid said, in his afterword to the trade paperback reprint of the miniseries, that his original concept was to beef up a bunch of the old lame DC supervillains, but then he decided that they were actually pretty cool as they were, so he did not need to beef them up after all...at least not too much.-Underworld Unleashed trade paperback (DC Comics, 1998 (ISBN 1-56389-447-5))
  2. ^ Mark Waid was not impressed with the concept of or his own work on Underworld Unleashed. In his afterword to the trade paperback reprint of the miniseries he said of the storyline: "Knuckle-headed, well-intended creators ashamed of corny old characters have been, for most of a decade, dragging half-forgotten heroes and villains kicking and screaming into their own little hardware store of creativity. There, haunted by a guilty fear that these ancient superdoers aren't kewl enough for a generation of videogame-entranced readers, said knuckle-headed creators fool themselves into thinking they're doing them a good turn by bludgeoning all the innocent charm and colorful individuality out of them. I tried that once. Learned a lesson." -Underworld Unleashed trade paperback (DC Comics, 1998 (ISBN 1-56389-447-5))
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb Underworld Unleashed #1
  4. ^ 'The Trial of Superman!' , a crossover storyline in the Superman comics (November 1995-January 1996) that was happening at the same time as this crossover event
  5. ^ a b c Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips-Dark Uprising #1
  6. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #107
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Underworld Unleashed #2
  8. ^ Fate #13
  9. ^ Fate #14
  10. ^ a b c d e Underworld Unleashed: Abyss-Hell's Sentinel #1
  11. ^ a b Primal Force #13-14
  12. ^ a b c d Green Lantern (vol. 3) #68-69
  13. ^ a b c R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #13-14
  14. ^ Note: the five Rogues would eventually be resurrected from the dead, regain their souls and would, like the other supervillains, no longer be in debt to Neron two years later in The Flash (vol. 2) #125-129 (May–September 1997). Mongul I, Purgatory, the Ice Man and the Spellbinder I would be the only permanent deaths in this crossover event.
  15. ^ a b Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #3
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Underworld Unleashed #3
  17. ^ a b Hawkman (vol. 3) #26-27
  18. ^ a b Lobo (vol. 2) #22
  19. ^ a b c The Spectre (vol. 3) #35-36
  20. ^ Neron, however, in a cruel twist, had only offered Madame Xanadu a deal just to prove that he could tempt those with 'gray souls' as well as those who were evil.
  21. ^ It is unclear as to whether or not it actually is Neron who is disguised as Kathy. Kathy changes into Neron when the Ray II kisses her, but later changes from Neron into Circe I and later appears again as Neron in Justice League Task Force #30 (avoiding the Ray II's question as to which one of them he really is). Circe I does not approach anyone else in the crossover event and she is shown in Hell with the other four members of the Inner Council throughout the event, which leads to the supposition that it is Neron all along.
  22. ^ a b c The Ray (vol. 2) #18-19
  23. ^ a b c d e f Justice League Task Force #30
  24. ^ When asked, Vril Dox II does not make it clear as to whether he sold his own soul or someone else's. Neron told Vandal Savage in The Ray (vol. 2) #18 that it was not possible to sell someone else's soul, but he may have been lying.
  25. ^ Guy Gardner, Warrior #36-37
  26. ^ The Batman I was wise to refuse Neron's offer, as Jason Todd later returned to life anyway in Batman Annual #25 (May 2006).
  27. ^ Like the Batman I, the Flash III was also wise to refuse Neron's offer, as Barry Allen also returned to life anyway in the later DC Comics crossover event Final Crisis (2008).
  28. ^ a b Superboy (vol. 3) #22
  29. ^ a b Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1
  30. ^ Like the Batman I and the Flash III, the Oracle was also wise to refuse Neron's offer, as she would later regain her mobility and become Batgirl I again in Batgirl (vol. 4) #1-6 and #0 (November 2011-April 2012 and November 2012).
  31. ^ Note: a continuity error. Although the Silver Swan II is among the supervillains assembled by Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1, she had become an active superhero four years before the crossover event started in the earlier DC Comics crossover event War of the Gods (1991).
  32. ^ Ironically, Superboy would have risked nothing by accepting Neron's offer, as he did not actually have a soul with which to sell at the time. He did not develop a true "soul" until later, in Teen Titans Annual (vol. 3) #1 (April 2006).
  33. ^ He did not accept, but his soul was accidentally (and unwittingly) sold to Neron by Gypsy and the Ray II many months into the following year after the crossover event ended in Justice League Task Force #37 (August 1996) when they unknowingly lit his candle. This resulted in Triumph getting his lost time back but as a failure of a superhero, with the Justice League Task Force still the same as it had always been and Gypsy still alive even without him being in the League. It was because of this incident that Triumph later became evil.
  34. ^ Note: technically not a real supervillain in the DC Universe at this point, more like a misguided nuisance
  35. ^ Azrael #4 (May 1995)
  36. ^ Azrael #10
  37. ^ a b c Guy Gardner, Warrior #36
  38. ^ Superboy (vol. 3) #20
  39. ^ Black Manta was later changed back into his human form by Aquaman in Aquaman (vol. 6) #8-12 (September 2003-January 2004). A similar transformation had been done to the Cheetah III by Wonder Woman and a friend of hers (who had been raised from the dead in exchange for her soul because of her deal with Neron) much earlier (see Reference 44).
  40. ^ Fate #13-14
  41. ^ Impulse #8
  42. ^ a b c d e Justice League America #105-106
  43. ^ Superboy (vol. 3) #13-15 (March–May 1995)
  44. ^ Wonder Woman and the Cheetah III's friend later changed her back into her human form in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #115-119 (November 1996-March 1997). A similar transformation would also be done to Black Manta by Aquaman much later (see Reference 39).
  45. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #75
  46. ^ Legionnaires #32
  47. ^ Damage #18
  48. ^ Starman (vol. 2) #13
  49. ^ a b Guy Gardner, Warrior #37
  50. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 3) #30 (early October 1992), The Flash (vol. 2) #69 (October 1992), Green Lantern (vol. 3) #31 (late October 1992) and The Flash (vol. 2) #70 (November 1992)
  51. ^ Catwoman (vol. 2) #27
  52. ^ The Adventures of Superman #530
  53. ^ Robin (vol. 3) #23-24
  54. ^ Note: possibly a continuity error. Killer Moth I is seen in Underworld Unleashed #1 as one of the supervillains in Hell who agrees to the deal there, but then Robin (vol. 3) #23 shows the deal taking place in his prison cell. It is possible that the deal was similar to Metallo III's and Killer Moth I was given a candle in his cell to transport him to Hell, but this is not specified in the story and he is later seen in the same issue using his new powers in his cell.
  55. ^ Underworld Unleashed: Batman-Devil's Asylum #1
  56. ^ a b The Flash (vol. 2) #125-129 (May-September 1997)
  57. ^ Aquaman (vol. 5) #14
  58. ^ Note: although identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, this issue has no real connection to the crossover event other than Major Disaster's appearance in it, which is not even an important part of this issue's main story.
  59. ^ Steel (vol. 2) #21
  60. ^ Note: this is a different deal than all of the others. Metallo III was approached directly by Neron and given a temporary new body and the candle to light, then a deal was struck later in Hell after he had lit the candle.
  61. ^ a b c Starman (vol. 2) #70-72 (October–December 2000)
  62. ^ Batman #535
  63. ^ Aquaman (vol. 5) #18-20 (March–May 1996)
  64. ^ Manhunter (vol. 2) #11-12
  65. ^ This is the first of three incidents in the crossover event that clearly show that even Neron has standards when it comes to making deals (for the other two, see References 69 and 74).
  66. ^ Flash (vol. 2) #107
  67. ^ The Spectre (vol. 3) #1 (December 1992)
  68. ^ a b Detective Comics #691-692
  69. ^ This is the third of three incidents in the crossover event that clearly show that even Neron has standards when it comes to making deals (for the other two, see References 65 and 74).
  70. ^ Extreme Justice #10-11
  71. ^ The reason why Neron wanted the child was never revealed and the incident was never referred to or even mentioned again. Later, the DC Comics crossover event Infinite Crisis (2005) erased it from history.
  72. ^ Green Arrow (vol. 2) #102-103
  73. ^ Showcase '95 #12
  74. ^ This is the second of three incidents in the crossover event that clearly show that even Neron has standards when it comes to making deals (for the other two, see References 65 and 69).
  75. ^ Black Manta's new body and powers are shown in this issue and Neron is alluded to as the cause (although his name is never mentioned and he is never seen or shown) in this tie-in (which is never identified as such) that occurs one month before the crossover event even starts.
  76. ^ This is directly linked to, and finishes, an earlier story in Azrael #4 (May 1995), which occurred several months before the crossover event started. Azrael VI, who took the deal, also took several months to heal from his fall in this story (instead of being killed).
  77. ^ Note: although not identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, this issue leads into the next issue, which is identified as such.
  78. ^ Note: although not identified as Underworld Unleashed tie-ins on the covers, this issue-and the one following it-both refer to what is happening in the crossover event.
  79. ^ Note: not identified on the cover as connected to the crossover event, but completes the linked storyline of the previous issues and contains the introduction to Underworld Unleashed: Abyss-Hell's Sentinel #1.
  80. ^ Note: this is the only story in this issue of Showcase '95, a yearly anthology series, that is actually a part of the crossover event. The issue is also not identified as a tie-in.
  81. ^ Note: not identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, but explains the second part of Vril Dox II's deal with Neron.
  82. ^ Note: although identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, this issue has no real connection to the crossover event other than one of Mister Freeze's two henchmen mentioning their boss's battle with Green Lantern V to the other one in passing (the two henchmen in this story are named Ice and Cube (a Caucasian woman and an African-American man, respectively), with each one having a tendency to finish a sentence spoken by the other in rhyme).
  83. ^ Note: not identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, but continues directly from the previous issue.
  84. ^ Note: although not identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, this issue has Luthor and the Joker thinking they are in Metropolis, but later discovering they are really under Neron's spell and trapped in the snow globe shown at the end of Underworld Unleashed #2.
  85. ^ Note: this issue of the crossover event-and the two following it-are also tie-ins to the crossover storyline 'The Trial of Superman!' .
  86. ^ Justice League Task Force #37 (August 1996)
  87. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #42 (February 2007)
  88. ^ Rogues Gallery (1996)

External links[edit]