Underworld Unleashed
Underworld Unleashed #1 featuring Neron,
art by Howard Porter.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Format Mini-series
Publication date November–December 1995
Number of issues 3, plus cross-overs and special titles
Main character(s) Justice League of America
Creative team as of November 1995
Writer(s) Mark Waid
Penciller(s) Howard Porter
Inker(s) Dan Green
Dennis Janke
Colorist(s) Rick Taylor (Heroic Age)
Creator(s) Mark Waid
Howard Porter

"Underworld Unleashed" was a multi-title comic book cross-over event released by DC Comics in 1995. As well as the core story-line of the three-issue Underworld Unleashed mini-series, most of the DC titles published in November and December 1995 and a number of one-off titles were part of the series.

The main theme of Underworld Unleashed involved the new ruler of Hell, a demon called Neron, offering many of the DC Universe villains and a number of the superheroes their greatest desires in exchange for their soul or completing a task for him; and the consequences of these deals.[1][2]

Underworld Unleashed is one of very few DC Comics major crossovers not to directly involve Superman; at the time of the series he was off-planet as part of The Trial of Superman story arc. This is important to the Underworld Unleashed storyline, since the superheroes involved are driven by the belief that Superman is key to Neron's plans.


Five of the The Flash's 'Rogues Gallery': Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master II, and Weather Wizard are approached with an offer by Abra-Kadabra, who had become an agent of the demon Neron in exchange for true magical powers to replace his technology-based magic. Abra-Kadabra persuades them to cause havoc by destroying five targets 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 and twisted, and they were not told that their actions would cost them their lives and unleash Neron onto the Earth. All five are killed in the ensuing explosions, forming a pentagon which releases Neron.

Soon after, Neron kills a priest who administers to the prisoners of Belle Reve Penitentiary and, disguised as him, offers a deal for the soul of one of the inmates (who is in search of revenge for the theft of a treasured possession) in exchange for a gun. Neron himself had stolen the calendar in question to engineer the situation, and he also makes offers to a number of key Belle Reve personnel or persuades or manipulates them in other ways to be absent that evening. The ensuing chaos allows 142 super-powered criminals to escape from Belle Reve. Another member of the Rogues Gallery, Trickster reads of the deaths of Flash's Rogues Gallery, and determines not to waste any more time on petty crime but finally make a major villain of himself. A week later another villain, Rainbow Raider, shows Trickster a carved candle he and other recently escaped super-villains had received, with instructions to light it at midnight on a certain day to 'open the door to fame, power and glory' . Trickster steals the candle, and on lighting it is instantly transported to Hell, joining about 50 other super-criminals who had done the same. Neron appears to the gathered villains, and offers them all their greatest desires in exchange for their souls, then introduces his 'Inner Council' - Abra Kadabra, Lex Luthor, Circe, Polaris and Joker. The Fiddler works out that Neron is The Devil, and Trickster overhears him; then while several dozen of the villains accept Neron's offer the rest are returned to Earth. At the end of Neron's speech and empowering session, Justice League member Blue Devil, who had worked out that the locations of the deaths of the five Rogues Gallery members formed a pentacle, appears. He is offered film star fame and fortune in exchange for his soul.[3]

The villains who accepted Neron's offer (with the exception of Neron's Inner Council and Trickster) are returned to Earth to fulfil their deals and wreak havoc, many of them with enhanced powers; while Neron turns his attention to Earth's superheroes. As well as trying to gain the souls of Batman, Flash and an unknown number of other superheroes in deals for their souls, Neron offers to resurrect Alexandra DeWitt in exchange for Green Lantern Kyle Rayner's soul. Kyle refuses, and after Neron beats 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 when he has it, Earth will be his. Kyle assumes this means Superman (who is off-world because of his trial in space[4]), and carries the message to Justice League headquarters.[5]

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 super-villains in his debt. He also spreads chaos to New Apokolips, giving all those who desire the missing Darkseid's throne information on each other's plans, thus setting New Apokolips to war with itself.[6] Back in Hell, Luthor and The Joker force Trickster to reveal that Neron's power is contained within his Soul Jar, and succeed in rupturing the Jar using Polaris', Kadabra's and Circe's mystical and scientific resources together. As the Jar is breached a swirl of green smoke reaches outward, spiriting Polaris, Kadabra and Circe away, which is what Luthor and the Joker had actually planned. However, Neron had pre-empted them by fooling Trickster into giving them false information, thus removing his Inner Council before they could become a threat to his power. He traps Luthor and The Joker in a snowglobe - although they believe they are in a snowstorm in Metropolis, until they reach the glass walls of the globe.[7] As Earth collapses into war, anarchy and chaos, the Justice League calls most of the world's heroes 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 he wanted, and that he had already been captured. The elite of the Justice League decide to take the fight to Neron, and Blue Devil, who had been fooled by Neron's Faustian deal into causing the death of his agent Marla Bloom, takes them to Hell. Now alone in Hell after the fall of the Inner Council, Trickster, who had not yet been offered a deal for his soul, realizes that he had been taken for a fool again and Neron had deeper plans that he had not revealed. He begins to scheme against him.[5]

On Earth, Doctor Fate's home, the Tower of Nabu, has become the portal to the Underworld that the demon Blaze is trying to secure so Neron can send Hell's demonic forces to Earth. Sentinel and Fate fight to close the portal, Sentinel destroying the tower to do so.[8] While Fate battles back from being flung into far dimensions,[9] Sentinel is drawn away from his partner, Molly/The Harlequin, who opens a box containing one of Neron's candles and accepts a deal to become young again, losing her soul in the process. Sentinel contacts The Phantom Stranger, Zatanna and Jim Corrigan (Spectre, but without his full powers as the Spectre force within him had made a deal with Neron for a separate existence) for help. Together with Deadman, they enter Hell to get Molly's soul back from Blaze. The Spectre tries to help, but discovers his deal precludes him opposing Neron and he is Neron's slave, destined to become his successor. Realizing he is not prevented from fighting other demons, however, he joins the others, and Sentinel rescues Molly's soul. Blaze is forced to flee Neron for failing to stop the supernatural team, and while the heroes escape Sentinel is captured by Neron and taken to Hell captive.[10]

With Blue Devil's power, the Justice League pierces the barrier to the Underworld and confronts Neron's demonic army, battling through the circles of Hell to find Superman. Ray, Firestorm, Captain Atom and Maxima are killed on the way, while the other superheroes, with the exception of Captain Marvel, begin to be corrupted by the influence of their Hellish surroundings. In Hell, the demon Satanus bargains with Neron for the return of his soul after failing in his task to stop the Leymen of Primal Force,[11] offering up the whereabouts of his sister Blaze in exchange, but once his soul is returned and Blaze caged by Neron, he reveals to her that Neron can be beaten by a single word that if spoken, even in Hell, would give Neron pause. For this treachery Neron kills Satanus, though not before his comment is overheard by Trickster. At that moment Blue Devil, seeking revenge for the death of Marla, finally reaches Neron ahead of the Justice League, and is killed; while Neron reveals that it was Captain Marvel's soul he wanted all the time, just as The Trickster realizes the truth.

Neron has kept Blaze alive because her demonic magic powers dampen Captain Marvel's powers. She reverses this by augmenting his powers instead, saving him from death; while Blue Devil, who cannot die in hell, attacks Neron in a new demon body. Taking advantage of the diversion, Trickster tells Captain Marvel about the magic word, and Captain Marvel deduces that the word is 'SHAZAM'. When he uses it, the resulting lightning bolt in Hell stuns Neron and releases the Justice League from their spell to attack again; and Trickster uses the time to persuade Captain Marvel that he has a plan to defeat Neron. Captain Marvel suddenly offers Neron his soul, in exchange for 'the release of my friends ... the release of Earth. No 'and', nothing else. Nothing' . Neron tries to take the offer, but because it was purely altruistic, the first time someone had asked for something without personal gain, he cannot. Taunted by Trickster he disappears, and everyone is returned to Earth, including Joker and Lex Luthor, freed from their shattered snow globe.[12]

Offers of Neron

Superheroes who accepted Neron's offer

  • Blue Devil - Made a deal for fame and fortune in exchange for destroying an unmanned power station, indirectly causing the death of his agent Marla Bloomberg.[3][13]
  • Guy Gardner - Offered the resurrection of his loved ones and the return of Coast City in exchange for killing John Stewart. He agreed because Neron lied to him, telling him Stewart should already be dead but a rift in time had prevented it, and this had caused Guy's tragic history to occur. Guy then changed his mind.[14]
  • Hawkman - One of his "Hawk-Avatar" spirits sold its soul to gain ascendance over the other avatars also resident in his body, but failed.[5][15]
  • Madame Xanadu - Offered power over demons in exchange for her soul on her death, which she accepted - to trick Neron because she was immortal. Neron offered a deal just to prove that he could tempt those with 'gray souls' as well as those who were evil.[16]
  • The Ray - Thought Neron was a beautiful woman, Kathy Noren, who worked in his office. Neron makes a deal with Vandal Savage not to go after Ray's soul in exchange for Vandal guiding Neron to Atomic Skull instead. Ray then approaches Kathy/Neron,[17] who avoids the conditions of the deal with Vandal Savage by letting Ray make the offer to take flowers to a hospital in exchange for Death Masque no longer having existed - and thus Ray's father would not die. Did not fulfill the terms of his deal.[5][18][19]
  • The Spectre - The essence of The Spectre (not his host, Jim Corrigan) agreed not to oppose Neron in order to be free of Corrigan. The deal did not include not fighting other demons, so Spectre became involved in the supernatural heroes attack on Hell.[5][10][20]
  • Vril Dox II - Sold somebody's soul[21] for information on how to regain control of L.E.G.I.O.N. by killing his son Lyrl Dox. Also had Iceman killed (actually he asked for him 'to no longer be a problem' , but was happy with the result).[22][23]

Superheroes who rejected Neron's offer

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 shown dealing with Neron in Underworld Unleashed #2.

  • Flash (Wally West) - Offered the resurrection of Flash (Barry Allen).[5]
  • Knockout - Offered "power, prestige, anything you could dream of" (Superboy vol 3 #22);
  • Oracle (Barbara Gordon) - Offered the use of her legs again, invulnerability and powers to rival Superman's if she would become his librarian, while her soul was hers to keep. She declined, fearing she would lose her soul anyway Underworld Unleashed - Patterns of Fear).
  • Triumph - Was offered his lost 10 years back, and thus the opportunity to become a major hero and lead the Justice League America if he opened a box containing one of Neron's candles.[19][25][26]

Villains who accepted Neron's offer

The following is an incomplete list of the super-villains 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 not followed elsewhere in the series.

  • Abra Kadabra - Neron's Lieutenant, was given real magic powers instead of his technological based magical powers and become part of Neron's Inner Council. It is not said whether he sold his soul prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.
  • Azrael - One of the Azrael characters who fell to his death after battling the real Azrael,[29] was offered his life. As a result he was saved during his death fall, given the Azrael/Batman costume and offered the chance to kill Batman, to distract Batman from Neron's plans. Chronologically the first event of Underworld Unleashed.[30]
  • Blackguard - Offered enhanced intelligence, strength, and equipment.[31]
  • Blaze - Initially became one of Neron's Lieutenants and assigned to keep the DC Universe's mystical heroes occupied. Sold to Neron by her demon brother Satanus in return for his own soul back.[10][12][33]
  • Blockbuster (Roland Desmond) - Asked to be smarter, but later realized he should have asked for more.[3][34]
  • Bolt - Given a chance to carry out his 'dream' assassination....the murder of a well-protected computer expert.[35]
  • Brimstone - Techno-seed and the Brimstone personality possess a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who deals with Neron for power. he was killed. He was referred to in Underworld Unleashed - Patterns of Fear.
  • Buggmeister - A criminal on the run from Lobo who exchanged his soul for insect powers. Eaten by a giant cockroach.[36]
  • Captain Boomerang - He was given healed, cybernetic hands and the promise he would be one of the greatest villains ever. He was killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • Captain Cold - Promised he would be one of the greatest villains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • Cheetah - Initially it seemed that the Cheetah had been given a more bestial form, and becomes more animal as she gets angrier.[31] Later, it was explained that she had sold her soul to resurrect a friend, resulting in the aforementioned reversion to a more feral state.[37]
  • Chiller - Given a chance to carry out his dream assassination....the murder of a well-protected pop star.[35]
  • Chronos - In exchange for attempting to kill Atom, he was given time-travel, time manipulation, and phasing powers, but these caused accelerated aging. He then devised a glove that allowed him to age others instead, thus partly negating the deal.[3][38][39]
  • Circe - She was given greater power to avenge her defeats by Wonder Woman. She became part of Neron's Inner Council prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.
  • Copperhead - He became a snake-man hybrid, with enhanced reflexes and agility, venomous fangs, a forked tongue, venomous claws and a prehensile tail; but now susceptible to cold.[3][40]
  • Deadshot - He was given the chance to carry out his dream assassination....the destruction of an entire kindergarten.[41]
  • Doctor Bedlam of New Apokolips - unknown offer designed to cause maximum chaos and death on New Apokolips.[6]
  • Doctor Polaris - Sold his soul to be rid of his benevolent personality, Neal Emerson. Became part of Neron's Inner Circle prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.
  • Earthworm - He was given great superhuman powers, including humanoid worm-like physiology, stretching powers, vibrational drill power, and psionic control of vermin.[43]
  • Enforcer ('Joe Gardner', a Draalian clone of Guy Gardner) - He was given enhanced equipment, superhuman strength, durability, and flight powers.[44]
  • Evil Star II - He becomes able to create dozens of his 'Starling' spawn, though they are no longer indestructible as were the original five 'Starlings'.
  • Gorilla Grodd - He gained restored intelligence and psionic powers. Told the whereabouts of The Talisman of Arok to legitimise his reign over Gorilla City, but Catwoman keeps it from him.[45]
  • Heat Wave - He was promised he would be one of the greatest villains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]
  • Hellgrammite - He was given enhanced powers, and his 'Drone' offspring can no longer be converted back to human by exposure to x-rays.[46]
  • Ice Man - He was given completely new set of non-ice based powers and enhanced strength. Killed by Neron as part of a later deal with Vril Dox.[23]

  • The Joker - He sold his soul for a box of Cuban cigars. He became part of Neron's Inner Council, but double-crossed him prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.[5]
  • Krypen - An inmate at Arkham Asylum who made a deal with Neron to get him Batman's soul by poisoning everyone in Arkham and then forcing Batman to kill someone to get the antidote. Plan was thwarted when Batman poisoned Krypen to make him give up antidote's location.[50]
  • Lex Luthor - He was restored completely to health after his cloned body fell victim to a 'clone plague' in exchange for his soul and giving 'consultancy' to Neron. Became one of Neron's Inner Council but double-crossed him prior to Underworld Unleashed #1.[5][51]
  • Lobo - He has Neron rid him of a radio that had been implanted in his brain for 20 years by wishing it to Neron after Neron refused to grant the first deal - Neron's own soul - as he didn't have one.[36]
  • Major Disaster - He was given the magical ability to perceive probability and locate weak points in objects and people in exchange for killing Aquaman. Mistakenly kills Thanatos (who has usurped Aquaman's place in Atlantis) instead.[52]
  • Merlyn - He was given the chance to carry out his dream assassination....the murder of Batman.[53]
  • Metallo - He gained the ability to morph into any mechanical shape he could imagine and project his consciousness into any technological or metallic device, as well as absorbing any machinery he came in contact with to enhance his body[3][54][55]
  • Mirror Master II - He was promised he would be one of the greatest villains ever. Died carrying out his task.[3]
  • Mist - He was cured of his senile dementia in exchange for destroying Opal City and harming the Shade.[56]
  • Mr. Freeze - He was given natural cryokinetic powers and being able to survive in warmer temperatures. Although this was later reverted.[57][58]
  • New Gods of Apokolips - Granny Goodness and Virman Vundarbar were given information about each other's schemes (so as to perpetuate their civil war), although Targa of New Apokolips refuses a deal. In exchange Neron caused war and chaos on New Apokolips[6]
  • Ocean Master - He was given a staff that granted him magical powers, but it caused him excruciating pain when he was not actually holding it.[52]
  • Psycho Pirate II (Roger Hadley) - He was given more power and merged with his Medusa Mask; becomes a psychic vampire who stays sane by leeching the remaining power after his mask has fed on others.[28][59]
  • Purgatory - A man who lost his legs and was given temporary legs by Kyle Rayner. He gained permanent legs and a Green Lantern-type green flame power in exchange for killing Green Lantern. Taken by Neron when he fails.[60]
  • Rag Doll (Peter Merkel, Sr.) - Youth restored and flexibility enhanced by Neron in exchange for destroying Opal City and harming the Shade.[56]
  • Satanus - He became a Lieutenant of Neron and was assigned to kill the Leymen of Primal Force publicly. When he failed, he traded information on the whereabouts of his sister for his soul back, but was killed after threatening Neron when it was returned[11][12]
  • Shadow Thief - He was given a more powerful costume possessing the ability to bring shadows to life and change other people and objects to evil shadows under his control[61]
  • Louie Snipe - The informer who helped kill Jim Corrigan before he became The Spectre. His soul was freed from Hell in exchange for acting as host for The Spectre instead of Corrigan.[62]
  • Spellbinder (Fay Moffit) - She given visually based illusion powers if her eyes are uncovered. The deal was made after she shot the original Spellbinder (Delbert Billings), who refused to deal.[63]
  • Star Sapphire/(Carol Ferris) - She was offered a normal life without Sapphire's spirit or her child. She was separated from Carol, and the child taken by Neron.[64]
  • Trickster is not actually offered a deal, but Neron uses him to watch his Inner Council, telling him that there would be time for a deal later.
  • Weather Wizard - He was promised he would be one of the greatest villains ever. Killed carrying out his task.[3]

Villains who rejected Neron's offer

The following is an incomplete list of the super-villains 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.

  • The Fiddler - He was the only person to have recognized Neron as the Devil at the beginning.[3]
  • Mongul - He was killed by Neron after refusing a deal and attacking him.[3]
  • The Scarecrow - He claimed to have dealt with Neron while battling Hawkman, but privately revealed he was bluffing.[15]
  • Spellbinder (Delbert Billings) - When he refused Neron's deal, he was killed by his girlfriend who took the deal and became the new Spellbinder.[66]
  • The Shade - He claimed to no longer be a villain telling Neron to "'go peddle his wares elsewhere'" as he is already immortal and has great wealth.[67]
  • Vandal Savage - He offers his soul, but Neron refuses it as it is "black and tasteless" rather than innocent[68]

List of Underworld Unleashed titles

The following DC Comics titles contained stories linked to Underworld Unleashed. They are listed in a roughly chronological order as the series did not flow in a strictly linear manner - most titles fit loosely into a framework delineated by the 3 issues of the limited series:

  • Azrael vol 1 #10 (November 1995): 'Arena' ;[69]
  • Steel vol 2 #21 (November 1995): 'Stalker' ;
  • Superboy Vol. 3 #20:[70]
  • Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995)
  • Manhunter Vol. 2 #11 (October 1995): 'Until the End of the World' ;
  • Manhunter Vol. 2 #12 (November 1995): 'The World is a Wonderful Place' ;
  • Fate #13 (November 1995): 'The World, the Flesh, & the Devil' ;
  • Ray Vol. 2 #18 (November 1995): 'Monsters' ;
  • Ray Vol. 2 #19 (December 1995): 'Monster3' ;
  • 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' ;
  • 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' ;
  • Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips - Dark Uprising #1 (November 1995);
  • Underworld Unleashed: Batman - Devil's Asylum #1 (1995);
  • Spectre Vol. 3 #35 (November 1995): 'Evil Intent' ;
  • Spectre Vol. 3 #36 (December 1995): 'Forces of Hell' ;
  • Fate #14 (December 1995): 'No Direction Home' ;[71]
  • Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1 (December 1995);
  • Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1 (December 1995);
  • Underworld Unleashed #2 (early December 1995): 'The Devil To Pay' ;
  • Showcase '95 #12 (December 1995)- The Shade - 'Incident In An Old Haunt' ;
  • Superboy Vol. 3 #22 (December 1995): 'Fire and Ice' ;
  • Hawkman Vol. 3 #26 (November 1995):
  • 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):
  • 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' ;[72]
  • Batman #525 (December 1995): Frozen Assets;[73]
  • Catwoman Vol. 2 #27 (December 1995): 'Groddspell' ;
  • Justice League Task Force #30 (December 1995): 'Thunderworld' ;
  • Primal Force #13 (November 1995): 'Severance' ;
  • Primal Force #14 (December 1995): 'The course of all things' ;[74]
  • Adventures of Superman #530 (December 1995): 'Different Demons'
  • Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #3 (Winter 1995): 'Fighting Back' ;
  • Superman vol 2, #107 'Bottled up' (December 1995);[75]
  • Underworld Unleashed #3 (late December 1995): 'Seduction of the Innocent' .

In addition:

  • Deathstroke #53 (November 1995) alludes to events in Underworld Unleashed but is not identified as a tie-in on the cover.
  • Starman v.2 #71 revealed that the Shade's rejection of Neron led to deals with the Rag Doll and the Mist to destroy his adopted home, Opal City, but these deals were only seen in flashbacks to the story published well after the crossover.
  • Aquaman v.5 #18 reveals the Ocean Master's deal a few months after the crossover ended, but is not a labeled tie-in.

Other information

  • When the villains arrive in Hell (Underworld Unleashed #1), Neron's first words to them are Please allow me to introduce myself, 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 (Green Lantern #68).
  • There are later repercussions from Neron's actions, mainly due to a number of candles still extant. Among these, both Triumph and Kid Devil are seriously affected, but these events are outside of the Underworld Unleashed story arc.


The 3-issue limited series Underworld Unleashed, together with Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel # 1 was collected as a trade paperback Underworld Unleashed DC Comics, 1998, 158pp (ISBN 1-56389-447-5).


  1. Writer Mark Waid said, in his afterword to the trade paperback reprint of the series, that his original concept was to beef up a bunch of the old, lame DC villains, but then he decided that they were actually pretty cool as they were, so he didn't need to beef them up after least not too much - 'Underworld Unleashed' Trade Paperback, DC Comics 1998 (ISBN 1-56389-447-5)
  2. Mark Waid wasn't impressed with the concept or his own work on Underworld Unleashed. In the afterword to the trade paperback reprint of the series he said of the series '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. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995)
  4. 'The Trial of Superman' story arc in the late 1995 - early 1996 Superman titles
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 Underworld Unleashed #2 (Early December 1995)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips - Dark Uprising #1 (November 1995)
  7. Superman vol 2 #107 (December 1995))
  8. Fate #13 (November 1995)
  9. Fate #14 (December 1995)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1
  11. 11.0 11.1 Primal Force #13 - #14 (November - December 1995)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Underworld Unleashed #3 (late December 1995)
  13. Justice League America #105
  14. Guy Gardner, Warrior #36 - 37)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hawkman vol 3 #27
  16. Spectre vol. 3 #35 - #36
  17. It is unclear as to whether it is actually Neron who is disguised as Kathy. Kathy changes into Neron when Ray kisses her, but later changes from Neron into Circe, and later again appears as Neron in Justice League Task Force #30 (avoiding Ray's question as to which he is). Circe does not approach anyone else in the series, and she is shown in Hell with the others of the Inner Circle throughout the series, which leads to the supposition it is Neron all along.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Ray vol. 2 #18 - #19
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Justice League Task Force #30
  20. Spectre vol 3 #35 - #36
  21. When asked, Vril does not make it clear whether he sold his own soul or someone else's. Neron told Vandal Savage in The Ray #19 that it was not possible to sell someone else's soul, but he might have been lying.
  22. L.E.G.I.O.N. #14
  23. 23.0 23.1 R.E.B.E.L.S. #13
  24. Note: A continuity error. Although Silver Swan is among the villains assembled by Neron in the first issue of Underworld Unleashed, she had become an active superhero four years before in the DC cross-over mini-series War of the Gods (1991)
  25. He did not agree, but his soul was accidentally sold by Gypsy and The Ray months after the Underworld Unleashed event.
  26. Justice League Task Force #35
  27. Note: technically not a super-villain in the DC Universe at the point, more a misguided nuisance
  28. 28.0 28.1 Underworld Unleashed - Patterns of Fear
  29. Azrael #4, March 1995
  30. Azrael #10
  31. 31.0 31.1 Guy Gardner, Warrior #36
  32. Superboy Vol. 3 #20
  33. Fate #12-14
  34. Impulse #8
  35. 35.0 35.1 Justice League of America #105
  36. 36.0 36.1 Lobo #22
  37. Wonder Woman vol. 2 #119
  38. Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #75
  39. Legionnaires #32
  40. Damage #18
  41. 41.0 41.1 Justice League of America #105-106
  42. Starman vol. 2 #13
  43. Guy Gardner #36
  44. Guy Gardner Warrior #37
  45. Catwoman #27
  46. Adventures of Superman #530
  47. Superboy vol 3 #22
  48. Note: possibly a continuity error. Killer Moth is seen in Underworld Unleashed #1 as one of the villains in Hell who agrees the bargain there, but Robin vol. 3 #23 shows the deal taking place in his prison cell. It is possible that the deal was similar to Metallo's and Killer Moth 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
  49. Robin vol 3 #23
  50. Underworld Unleashed: Devil's Asylum
  51. Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #3
  52. 52.0 52.1 Aquaman vol. 5 #14
  53. Justice League of America #106
  54. note: this is a different deal to all the others. Metallo was approached directly by Neron and given a temporary new body and the candle to burn and a deal was struck later in Hell after he had burned the candle.
  55. Steel vol 2 #21
  56. 56.0 56.1 Starman vol. 2 #71
  57. Green Lantern vol. 3 #68-69
  58. Batman #535
  59. Manhunter vol. 2 #11 - 12
  60. Green Lantern vol. 3 #68 - 69
  61. Flash vol 2 #107
  62. The Spectre vol 3 #36 - 37
  63. Detective Comics #691 - 692
  64. Extreme Justice #10-11
  65. Green Arrow vol 2 #102-103
  66. Detective Comics #691
  67. Showcase '95 #12
  68. The Ray vol. 2 #18
  69. This is directly linked to an earlier event in Azreal #4 (March 1995), and explicitly occurred several months before Underworld Unleashed #1 - the false Azrael who made the deal took several months to heal from his fall in Azrael vol 1 #4 (instead of being killed)
  70. Black Manta's new powers and form are shown, and Neron is alluded as the cause to a month before the crossover starts.
  71. Note: not identified on the cover as linked to the series, but completes the linked storyline of the previous issues, and contains the introduction to Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel
  72. Note: Not identified as an Underworld Unleashed tie-in on the cover, but explains the second part of Vril Dox's deal with Neron
  73. Note: although identified as an Underworld Unleashed cross-over the story has no real links to the series other than Mr Freeze possibly showing new powers
  74. Note: not identified as an Underworld Unleashed title but continues directly from previous issue
  75. Note: although not identified as an Underworld Unleashed cross-over, it has Lex Luthor and The Joker thinking they are in Metropolis but later discovering they are really under Neron's spell in the snow globe shown at the end of Underworld Unleashed #2

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