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Hades (Underworld)

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History

Overview

Hades, is the Olympian underworld, or Realm of the Dead, where the spirits of the Olympian gods and those of their worshipers went to dwell after death. Hades is actually a pocket dimension accessible both from Earth and from Olympus. Hades has typically been ruled by Pluto although others have ruled the domain from time to time.[2] They then pass the guardian Cerberus, who can take the form of a gigantic humanoid warrior or of a savage three-headed dog. The arriving spirits pass through the dismal Asphodel Fields to a section called Erebus, where the palace of Pluto and Persephone stands.[2]

Spirits usually arrive in Hades on the border of the River Styx, which has as its tributaries the rivers Acheron, Cocytus, Aornis, the flaming river Phlegethon, and Lethe, whose waters, when drunk, induce loss of memory. The ferryman Charon conveys the arriving spirits across the Styx.[2]Near the Palace newly arrived spirits are judged by the shades of the mortals Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthys, and are then sent along three paths. Those who were neither truly good nor truly evil in life are sent on the road back to the Asphodel Fields. Those who were evil are condemned to Tartarus, a dark place of terrible punishments; where the Titan warriors are confined. The virtuous travel the path to Elysium, a beautiful and peaceful realm where they dwell happily. Elysium and Tartarus may be separate pocket dimensions from that of Hades proper.[2]

Origins

Ouranos and his wife Gaea the primeval Earth-goddess created the Earth. Ouranos was very proud of the Titans for their physical perfection, but Gaea had other children, known as the Cyclopes, who had one eye in the center of their heads, and the hundred-armed Hekatonkheires. Ouranos hated his other children and exiled them into the other-dimensional world of Tartarus, in Hades. Gaea greatly grieved for her children and called upon one of her sons to depose Ouranos and free their siblings from the underworld. None of her sons would raise a weapon against Ouranos except for Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, who used a sickle to castrate Ouranos and dismember his corpse. The dying Ouranos prophesied that Cronus would be overthrown by one of his own sons.[3]

Titanomachy

Cronus seized Olympus and ruled over Ancient Greece, but he neglected to free the Cyclopes or the Hekatonkheires. His wife, Rhea, upon the birth of each of his own children, Cronus had the infant imprisoned in Tartarus. The offspring he sent there were Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Appalled at the mistreatment of their children, Cronus's wife Rhea concealed her sixth pregnancy from him and secretly gave birth to Zeus and hid him on the island of Crete.[4]Zeus grew to adulthood among the shepherds of Mount Ida, Crete, and then set about taking revenge on Cronus. Zeus went down into Tartarus and freed his siblings, who had all now grown to adulthood, Zeus also freed the three one-eyed giants called Cyclopes and the three hundred-handed giants called Hekatonchieres, all six of whom Cronus had imprisoned there for fear they would help overthrow him.[4] The Cyclopes provided the young Olympians powerful weapons to defeat the the gave Poseidon a powerful "Trident", Hades the Helm of Invisibility and gave Zeus the powerful "Thunderbolts". The young Olypmians and his allies fought a ten year war with the Titans which ended with Zeus's victory. [4]

Aftermath

The Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, and the Hekatonkheires were made their guards. Atlas was given the special punishment of holding up the heavens.[5] When the Olympian world was divided up Zeus got the heavens, Poseidon the sea and Hades was left with the Underworld.[citation needed]

Ancient Greece

Kidnap of Persephone

Pluto was lonely and wanted a queen to help rule his realm he carried off Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was outraged, and refused to allow crops to grow in ancient Greece until Kore was returned. Eventually, a compromise was reached, and Persephone spent only a portion of the year in Hades with her husband.[citation needed]

Twelve Labors of Hercules

As part of his Twelve Labors Hercules was sent to capture and bring back Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, without using weapons. Hercules wrestled down the dog's wild heads, and it agreed to go with him to King Eurystheus. Cerberus was soon returned unharmed to the underworld.[6]

Orpheus' journey to the Underworld

Orpheus' wife Eurydice she was killed by a snakebite. Overcome with grief, Orpheus traveled to the Underworld itself to attempt to bring Eurydice back to life. With his singing and playing he charmed the ferryman Charon and the three headed dog Cerberus, guardians of the River Styx. His music and grief so moved Hades allowed to take Eurydice with him back to the world of life and light. Hades set one condition, however: upon leaving the land of death, both Orpheus and Eurydice were forbidden to look back. The couple climbed up toward the opening into the land of the living, and Orpheus, seeing the Sun again, turned back to share his delight with Eurydice in that moment, she disappeared.[7]

Torment of Tantalus

Tantalus, was thrown out of Olympus and after he died he was punished for eternity in Tartarus; he was made to stand in a pool of water, right under the branches of a fruit tree. However, when he tried to reach for a fruit, the branches would go higher and out of reach, while when he tried to drink a sip of water, the waters of the pool would recede.[8]

Middle Ages

The Land Within is where a group of sorcerers banished the Cat People. The sorcerers were concerned about their rapid population growth. The Cat People's progenitors Helene and Flavius had been the creations of a mystic named Ebrok. The Land Within does not have a sun, their light originates from something called a "glowsphere".[9]

20th Century

At some undisclosed period of time, Zeus had banished Loki to Hades, replacing Pluto as ruler. Where Pluto was at this time is unknown. During this period, Loki became obsessed with ruling Olympus and winning the heart of Venus. An attempt to escape Hades and conquer the Earth, this plot plot was foiled by Venus[10]. Loki amassed an army of Demons from Hades to invade Olympus while the gods were busy putting Venus on trial thanks to the machinations of Zeus' daughter Joya. With Loki's forces at the gates, Joya realized the errors of her ways and disguised herself as Venus to trick Loki into returning to Hades. Loki eventually realized the ruse, and the fate of Joya is unknown[11].[12]

Modern Age

In the modern era Hades came to Earth to trick Hercules' Earth into a binding contract so he would become the successor as ruler of Hades. He disguised himself as Hayden P. Hellman (nicknamed "Mr. Pluto"), a movie producer at California Stardust Studios. The naive Hercules signed a contract that Hercules believed was for appearing in a project film. Having signed the contract, Hercules was unable to battle Pluto on his own behalf, but the Asgardian god Thor fought against Pluto's forces to free Hercules. Shocked by the massive destruction wrought in Hades by Thor, Pluto realized that he loved his kingdom and could not bear to forsake it. Pluto therefore released Hercules from the contract.[13]

The Titan Typhon banished all the Olympians to the Land of Shades, but Hercules defeated Typhon and restored the gods to Olympus. The gods Kratos and Bia served as bailiffs, holding Typhon while Zeus judged him and then leading Typhon to Hades to serve his eternal sentence.[14]

Odin, monarch of the Asgardians, physically died. But time had been magically suspended about him so that his spirit would not yet leave his body. Pluto attempted to claim Odin's soul but was opposed by Odin's son Thor and by the Asgardian death goddess Hela ruler of Hel. Rather than allow Pluto to deprive her of Odin's soul, Hela restored Odin to life. Odin interrupted the battle between Thor and Pluto, and Pluto returned to Hades. Still later, Pluto and his nephew Ares conspired to provoke a battle between Thor and Hercules. But Thor and Hercules learned of the deception, and Thor managed to defeat Pluto on Earth.[15]

Thor was tricked by Pluto into thinking Krista was being kept as a slave in the underworld by both him and Hercules.[16] But when Thor learned the truth and they teamed up with Hercules to travel together to the gates of Hades and were attacked by Pluto's minions. They defeated the minions and went to visit Chaga, to learn who it is that's against them. She told them that it was Pluto and Ares. They flew to the gates of Tartarus and there met Ares, whose power has been increased by Pluto. They manage to defeat him and then they entered Tartarus.[17] When they entered they were attacked by demon-bats, and snake women. They fought their way past, only to find that Pluto has fled with Krista.[18]

The Stranger transported Fantastic Four and the Hulk to Hades where Pluto had devised a device that fired hellish energy into the heart of a black hole in the hopes of destroying the universe so that Pluto might rule over a universe of eternal darkness. When the Hulk attempted to attack straight on, both the Thing and Stranger tried to get the simple minded monster to exercise restraint and form a strategy, which leads to the Thing and the Hulk coming to blows, and forcing the Stranger to attack Pluto head on. During the fight Pluto manages to over power the Stranger, and unleashes a horde of demons on the Thing and the Hulk. Pluto then threatens to throw the Stranger's body into the device (thereby speeding up it's process of destroying the universe) however the Hulk becomes furious and uses his strength to destroy the device itself, leaving the Thing to save the Stranger while Pluto falls into the device of his own making. Pluto's spirit is fired up into the black hole where it is seemingly destroyed, ending his threat.[19]

Pluto met with Hell-Lords in Hades. They have decided to merge their respective realms, thus increasing their power, and to begin taking in new souls. They performed a ritual creating the nexus of the netherworlds. Unfortunately, this also summoned the Demogorge, who begins consuming the Hell-Lords one by one. But Odin and Thor arrived to defeat the Demogorge releasing all it's captives.[20]

The West Coast Avengers traveled to the Land Within to cure Tigra of her problem with having two souls. [21]

Namor was captured by Poseidon and brought to Hades. He escaped from the clutches of Cerberus and with the help of a mysterious stranger is led to the Fortress Tartarus where he frees the captive Avengers. They then free Thor from Pluto's mercy and attempt to leave Hades on the Pathway of Infinity. Pluto destroys the bridge and the Avengers prepare to make their stand.[22] The Avengers battle through Pluto and his hordes on the Pathway of Infinity to reach Olympus.[23]

Charon took Ares to meet Pluto, in hopes of forming an alliance against Thor during a time when he was suffering from madness.[24]

Silver Surfer was imprisoned in Hades for sometime.[25]

Loki of Asgard, traveled into Tartarus to recruit an army of Titans and monsters including; Typhon, Kottus, Arges and the Yellow-Crested Titan. He freed them so they would join him to attack Hercules and invade Olympus. However Hercules and the Avengers teamed up with the Olympians to stop them and returned them to their imprisonment in Hades.[26]

Tartarus (Hades) from Thor Annual Vol 1 19 001

Tartarus

Charon regularly took Hades through Tartarus to view all the tortured souls who were dammed there. He witnessed Tantalus and Sisyphus as they performed their endless punishments. Hades used this time to plot his next attack against the Asgardian Thor. He recruited Hrinmeer and sent him on the back of Cerberus to kill Thor but he failed.[8]

The Puppy teleported the Fantastic Four to Tartarus where they fight through to where Caledonia was being held prisoner. However before they could free her, Hades unleashed Cerberus who later joined by Hippolyta who was commanding the forces of Tartaurus. Although they are greatly outnumbered they held their own, impressed Hades let them leave in peace.[27]

Hades transformed Lorelei into a copy of the Valkyrie he Valkyrie's presence masked his own influence and Zeus' decree still allowed Hades to annex other realms of the dead. Hades is eventually stopped by the Defenders who brought Lorelei along, thinking her to be their teammate.[25]

As part of his "New" Twelve Labors, Eurystheus told Hercules that he must travel to Hades and retrieve a flower from his wife, whom Hercules had murdered. He and the crew traveled to the River Styx. Now in Hades he knocked out Cerberus and went through the gate. He met his wife Megara and children and forgave him for his actions knowing fall well he his madness was caused by Hera. She gave him the flower.[28]

The Olympians went to war with Mikaboshi in his realm of Ama and Hades, the Underworld.[29]

Pluto and the Hell-Lords battled Gloriana (Meggan Puceanu) across the respective realm.[30]

Amadeus Cho and Hercules during a mission to save Zeus from the Hades, while Hercules battled hordes of vengeful enemies in Tartarus[31], Amadeus ended up in the Elysian Fields (the Greek version of Heaven), where he met his parents again. Before he could finish apologizing for having "caused" their death by winning Brain Fight, Helen Cho and Philip Cho interrupted him and hugged him, happy and proud of what their son had become. Before he could come back to Earth, however, Helen told Amadeus something he didn't know yet: Maddy didn't die in the explosion, and was still alive, taken by the Excello and kept somewhere, needing his help. She would have watched over her children from the Elysian Fields, but she couldn't have done much else: it was up to Amadeus to make things right, and to reunite what remained of there family.[32]

Chaos Wars

Hades was recently usurped by the Chaos King Mikaboshi despite his best efforts to resist, and was placed under his thrall alongside Hela and the other death gods until Hercules manages to indirectly banish him to the Continuum bubble universe.[33][34][35]

Minotaurs from Hercules Fall of An Avenger Vol 1 2 001

When Amadeus Cho went to Hades looking for Hercules he was almost attacked by a group of Minotaurs until told to stand down by Persephone.[36]

When Phobos was slain in battle against the Gorgon he was sent to Elysium. He was reunited with his proud father in the afterlife. Due to his godly nature he will, no doubt, return some day.[37]

Ares was resting in Elysium with his son when he was attacked by the Collectors goons and transported to him to be part of his Contest of Champions.[38]

Alternate Realities

Earth-12025

On the day Howlett and Hercules defeated a large dragon-like monster attacking Canada, they revealed their love. As punishment, Zeus banished the couple to the pits of Tartarus where together they fought damned souls near nearly four years,[39] until Howlett was abducted by Savior.[40] Hercules was later rescued and recruited by Charles Xavier's head to join his X-Force.[41]

Earth-12041

The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. traveled to ancient Greece and teamed up with Hercules to stop Pluto from turning everyone on Earth to stone after he had stolen the Shield of Minerva. They had to battle his army of Minotaurs when Hades took them to the Underworld.[42]

Points of Interest

Residents


Notes

  • No special notes.


Trivia

  • No trivia.


See Also


Links and References

  • None.

Footnotes

  1. Deadpool: Too Soon? Infinite Comic #8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #8
  3. Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Incredible Hercules #130
  5. Incredible Hercules #123
  6. Thor and the Warriors Four #4
  7. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
  8. 8.0 8.1 Thor Annual #19
  9. Fear #22
  10. Venus #6
  11. Venus #7
  12. Venus #10
  13. Thor #130
  14. Avengers #50
  15. Thor #199
  16. Thor #221
  17. Thor #222
  18. Thor #223
  19. Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5
  20. Thor Annual #10
  21. West Coast Avengers Vol 2 #15
  22. Avengers #282
  23. Avengers #283
  24. Thor #462
  25. 25.0 25.1 Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection #2-4
  26. Avengers Annual #23
  27. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #21
  28. Hercules Vol 3 #5
  29. Ares #5
  30. Captain Britain and MI-13 Annual #1
  31. 31.0 31.1 Incredible Hercules #129
  32. Incredible Hercules #130-131
  33. Chaos War #2
  34. Chaos War: Ares #1
  35. Dark Avengers: Ares #2
  36. Hercules: Fall of An Avenger #2
  37. Secret Warriors #22
  38. Contest of Champions #2
  39. X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #10
  40. Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #45-#46
  41. X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #7
  42. Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 2 16

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