Underworld Unleashed – 1

General Info

Issue No:
1
On Sale Date:
September 1995
Cover Date:
November 1995
Era:
Modern Age
Story Title:
Part One: Underworld Unleashed

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Howard Porter, Dan Green
Writer:
Mark Waid
Penciller:
Howard Porter
Inker:
Dan Green
Letterer:
Chris Eliopoulos
Colourist:
Rick Taylor
Editor:
Brian Augustyn, Ruben Diaz (associate), Ali Morales (assistant)

Characters

Main:
Trickster (Jesse James), Justice League: Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Blue Devil (Daniel Cassidy), Crimson Fox (Vivian D'Aramis), Fire (Beatriz da Costa), Flash (Wally West), Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), Nuklon (Albert Rothstein)
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Neron, Rainbow Raider (Roy G. Bivolo), Cheetah (Barbara Ann Minerva), Riddler (Edward Nashton), Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley), Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane), Prankster (Oswald Loomis), Metallo (John Corben), Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Blockbuster (Roland Desmond), Gorilla Grodd, Psycho Pirate (Roger Hayden), Lex Luthor, Circe, Joker, Deadshot (Floyd Lawton), Chronos (David Clinton), Mongul - plus numerous cameos
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Carl, Chricton, Deke Hobbsner, Finney, Lou, Scmidt, Simon
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Synopsis

The Rogues Gallery undertake a strange mission under the urging of Abra Kadabra. Given little explanation, they agree to strike at five specific though seemingly unremarkable locations across the United States. Each attack is committed simultaneously yielding explosive results far beyond their expectations. Each of the Rogues is consumed by raging green fire as their respective target sites go up in flames.

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

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

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

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

Back in Keystone, the Trickster allies himself with another old Flash foe – the Rainbow Raider. The Raider shows him a tapered candle with intricate carvings on the side. He tells Trickster that someone had delivered it to him, but he has no idea who or why. Before the evening ends, the Trickster surreptitiously pockets the candle and replaces it with a rubber chicken.

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

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

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