Hades is a member of the Olympians, a group of humanoid beings that hail from the pocket dimension of Olympus. He was worshiped by the humans of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. He is the God of Death and Ruler of Hades, the Olympian realm of the dead.
Hades was the eldest son of Cronus, ruler of the superhuman extra-dimensional race of Titans, and his wife, the Titaness Rhea. However, Cronus feared Ouranos' prophecy. Any child Rhea bore him he either imprisoned in Tartarus or by his own account ate and imprisoned in his stomach to prevent them from being a threat. First he consumed Poseidon, then Hades and the rest of his siblings 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. When he was grown Zeus went down into Tartarus and freed Poseidon and his siblings, who had all now grown to adulthood.
When Zeus usurped Cronus, Pluto aided in the war by stealing Cronus' principal weapons from his palace while wearing a helmet of invisibility. Zeus became ruler of the pocket dimension called Olympus and of the race of Olympian gods, and confined the defeated Titan warriors to Tartarus, the darkest section of Hades, the Olympian underworld. He knew that they needed a stern warder and that the brooding Pluto was the only one of his siblings who found life in the underworld suitable to his temperament. Therefore, Zeus assigned ruler-ship of the entire underworld to his elder brother. Pluto was quite pleased with this new role and rarely left the underworld over the following centuries.
The most infamous exception was when Pluto carried off Kore, the goddess of spring, to the underworld, to force her to become his wife. Kore's mother, the fertility goddess Demeter, was outraged, and refused to allow crops to grow in ancient Greece until Kore was returned. Eventually, a compromise was reached, and Kore spent only a portion of the year in Hades with her husband. As queen of Hades, Kore was known as Persephone.
Since the time of his appointment as ruler of Hades, Pluto populated his realm with the "shades" of mortals who had worshiped the Olympian gods. When the worship of Olympian gods died out, giving way to Christianity, Zeus forbade Pluto from collecting any more "souls." Pluto obeyed the edict resentfully, having become accustomed to an ever-growing number of subjects in his realm. The bitter Pluto finally convinced himself that Zeus had proved himself to be an incompetent leader by allowing the worship of the Olympians to come to an end. Zeus, noting Pluto's increasingly ominous rebelliousness, warned him against attempting to overthrow him and sentenced him to remain monarch of Hades until Pluto could find a willing replacement.
In the 6th century he empowered Tyrannus and sent him to destroy Merlin. He travelled to Britannia to conquer the kingdom of Camelot and take the throne from King Arthur.He was stopped by merlin's champion the Black Knight; Sir Percy of Scandia. He was no match against the young knight and fled leaving his master Pluto to continue the battle, who ultimately lost and retreated back to his ream.
In recent years, during one of Hercules' sojourns on Earth, Pluto appeared on Earth in the guise of Hayden P. Hellman (nicknamed "Mr. Pluto"), a movie producer at California Stardust Studios. Thus disguised, Pluto had the naive Hercules sign a contract that Hercules believed was for appearing in a project film. But in fact, it was an Olympian contract binding Hercules to become Pluto's successor as ruler of Hades. 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.
Travelling to the Future
But Pluto still wished to add new conquests to his kingdom. He traveled to an alternate future of Earth in which nuclear radiation had transformed many human beings into inhuman-looking Mutates. Pluto brought an army of mutates back to his own time to conquer Earth for him. Pluto and his mutates were opposed by Thor, his fellow Asgardians Balder and Sif, and the United States Armed Forces. Finally, Zeus himself intervened, banishing both Pluto and his mutates to Hades.
Death of Odin
Later, 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. 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.
Battling in Hades
Hildegarde met with Odin to find Krista, and sees her in Pluto's underworld as a slave and standing over her are Pluto and Hercules. Thor and Hercules are having an arm wrestling match to determine who will face Pluto, when Zeus interrupts and tells them to fight together. They travel together to the gates of Hades and are attacked by Pluto's minions. They defeat the minions, then go to visit Chaga, to learn who it is that's against them. She tells them that it's Pluto and Ares. They fly to the gates of Hades and there meet Ares, whose power has been increased by Pluto. They manage to defeat him and then they enter Hades. Thor and Hercules enter Hades and are attacked by demon-bats, and snake women. They fight their way past, only to find that Pluto has fled with Krista. They go to Asgard, where Odin reveals that Pluto has gone to Manhattan. Thor and Hercules follow him there. Thor defeats Pluto and drives him away. He then discovers that Krista is dying, and only Don Blake can save her.
Battling the Champions
Sometime later, Pluto made alliances with death gods of other dimensions, and then demanded that Zeus command Hercules and the goddess Venus to marry Pluto's allies Ares and Hippolyta. Zeus, fearing that Pluto would otherwise lead the other death gods in an attack on Olympus, at first agreed. In fact, Pluto still intended to conquer Olympus; Pluto believed that Hercules and Venus were the only two Olympians who could prevent his taking over Olympus, but, according to Zeus' law, once they were married to Ares and Hippolyta, Hercules and Venus would be unable to oppose them in combat. But finally, Zeus called Pluto's bluff, withdrew commands for the marriages, and sent Pluto back to Hades. This plot led to the formation of the Champions of Los Angeles. Pluto met with the death-gods of other pantheons on yet another occasion, when the primordial Demogorge threatened all gods.
Jane Foster was taken captive of Pluto. Pluto then revealed his allies Loki and Ulik. Thor and Ulik battled, until Ulik discovers that he was but the pawn of Pluto and Loki. Enraged, Ulik attacked them. After saving Pluto from Ulik, and sending Ulik back to Asgard, Pluto released Thor and Jane back to Earth, with Jane's memory erased of her ordeal and what happened earlier.
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 overpower 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 its 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.
Pluto met with the other Hell Lords in Hades. They 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 began consuming the Hell Lords one by one. But Odin and Thor arrived to defeat the Demogorge, releasing all its captives.
Namor was captured by Neptune and brought to Hades. He escaped from the clutches of Cerberus, and with the help of a mysterious stranger, was led to the Fortress Tartarus where he freed the captive Avengers. They then freed Thor from Pluto's mercy and attempted to leave Hades on the Pathway of Infinity. Pluto destroyed the bridge and the Avengers prepared to make their stand. The Avengers battled through Pluto and his hordes on the Pathway of Infinity to reach Olympus. They took a moment to regroup and were joined by the mysterious stranger and decided to seek out the other gods. After a brief battle, they convinced Athena, Hephaestus, and Venus to help them talk to Zeus. Meanwhile, Artemis had captured the Wasp and brought her to Zeus. The Avengers and their allies approached Zeus who wasn't in a mood to listen.
When the Asgardians disappeared after Ragnarök, Zeus feared for the continued existence of the Olympians as well and decided to hide among humanity. Hades became a clichéd Mafia crimelord, even joking that he was still a lord of the underworld.
Hercules went to Pluto (now calling himself Hades again) for permission to enter the Underworld. Hercules, Jimmy, Robert, and Gordon Allsworth all then head to the Underworld where Charon ferries them across.
To get round Zeus' decree, Hades attempted to conquer Earth with the help of Lorelei. Hades transformed Lorelei into a copy of the Valkyrie and drained her of her power and memories. He then used the absorbed power to take control of the real Valkyrie to turn Earth into a realm of the dead itself. The 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. The clash of the two Valkyrie's releases Lorelei from the spell and together they turned on Pluto and ended his plan.
The Olympus Group
Hades and Hera created the Olympus Group, which became the modern seat of power for the Olympians. They inherited Zeus' shares and bought out Poseidon. The organization planned the the deaths of both Hercules and Athena.
Hercules and Amadeus Cho went to the Underworld, via the entrance at a Atlantic City casino. People have to bet their way into the afterlife. Pluto's had the spirits attack Hercules, but he easily defeated them. Hades held a trial for Zeus, ostensibly in the name of all his victims in Hades, with 501 jurors in a mock Athenian trial. He tried to get Hercules out by offering him the soul of his adoptive father, who told him to to rescue the king of the gods. Hades planned to take over the earth and Olympus. Zeus was found guilty, and was told to drink from the Lethe river, which would erase his memory, which would cause him to be reborn as a child. This punishment does not please the spirits and they turned on Hades.
Fall of Hercules
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.
Hades and the Hell-Lords battled X-Factor. Tier Sinclair became the central mover in a war between the various Hell Dimensions. The first to kill him would be crowned King of Hell. After Tier was able to kill Pluto, Mephisto decided that the rules were forfeit and turned his attention to his fellows. X-Factor became the last line of resistance and fought the seemingly victorious Mephisto. Strong Guy took the opportunity to kill Tier in the chaos, winning the War and becoming the King of Hell.
- Superhuman Strength: Pluto is physically stronger than most Olympian gods. He is capable of lifting about 75 tons without using his powers to supplement his strength. His physical strength is known to be matched by Neptune and Ares and to be surpassed by Zeus and Hercules.
- Superhuman Speed: Pluto is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Pluto's highly advanced musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As a result, he possesses almost limitless physical stamina. Among the Olympians, his stamina is equaled only by his nephews Ares and Hercules and by his brothers Neptune and Zeus.
- Superhuman Durability: Due to his unique physiology, Pluto's body is highly resistant to physical injury. He can withstand great impacts, high caliber bullets, temperature extremes, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury. Among the Olympians, his resistance to injury is equaled only by his brother Neptune and surpassed by Zeus.
- Superhuman Agility: Pluto's agility, balance, and body coordination function at levels beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Pluto's reaction time functions at a level that is beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Immortality: Like all Olympians, Pluto is functionally immortal. He has not aged since reaching adulthood and is immune to the effects of aging. He cannot die by any conventional means. He is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Like all Olympians, despite his superhuman durability, it is possible to physically (or even mentally) injure Pluto. However, if injured, he is able to heal with superhuman speed and efficiency. The full limits of his healing powers are unknown. However, they are believed to be considerably higher than those of the vast majority of his race, being the Olympian god of death itself.
- Allspeak: Do to the Allspeak (also called All-Tongue), Pluto can communicate in all languages, Earth's dialects, and various alien languages.
- Magical Energy Manipulation: Pluto is capable of manipulating vast amounts of mystical energy for a variety of purposes that include..
- Mystical Force Beams: His energy manipulating powers are equaled among the Olympians by Neptune and exceeded only by Zeus.
- Inter-Dimensional Teleportation
- Strength Enhancement
- Mystical Force Fields
- Enchantment of People and Objects
- Hellfire: He is capable of creating mystical flame (to which he himself is immune) or weapons of mystical flame such as a spear or sword, whose touch can paralyze an opponent, even gods such as Hercules.
- Lifeforce Absorption: Pluto is capable of draining the energy and life-force from those that he touches, skin to skin, with his hand, even other gods.
- Memory Manipulation:
Pluto controls vast magical powers, possessing sufficient mastery to defeat the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, Doctor Strange, in direct combat (despite Strange's powers considerably enhanced by the Eye of Agamotto and the aid of the other three Defenders).
- Death God: As a Death God, Pluto has a pact with Death that allows him to claim the souls of any worshipper of the Greek Gods and take them to his Underworld as his servants. The various Death Gods have their own alliance, though there is some internal competition as well, as seen when both Hela and Pluto tried to claim the soul of Odin after his death.
- The Realm of Hades: The land of Hades itself is a pocket dimension where the souls of gods and worshipers go after death, though it does have several residents as well, including Cyclopes, centaurs, Yellow-Crested Titans, harpies, demon bats, snake-women, the ferryman Charon, Cerberus, and others. Hades is made up of several rivers including the Styx (which contains deadly creatures), Acheron, Cocytus, Aornis, Phlegethron (which is generally aflame), and Lethe (which induces memory loss). Pluto and Persephone share a large palace in Hades. The most wicked souls were sent for torture in Tartarus while the purest souls were sent on to peaceful Elysius. The Pathway to Infinity connects Hades to Olympia, and Hades contains other portals to Earth and other dimensions. It has been purported that any soul that remains in Hades becomes demonic and monstrous, completely subject to Pluto's whims. Pluto is more powerful in Hades than in other realms, due to his ability to manipulate the energies of the underworld. Pluto has purported that his powers are at their peak when he is in his realm.
- Control Over Life and Death: As a god of death, Pluto holds the power of life and death over the gods of Olympus. Death for an Olympian is somewhat different from death for an Earth human being. In both cases, the corporeal body ceases all functions and activities, but whereas mortal spirits flee the physical form at the moment of death, the spirits of gods remain in their bodies until the death god draws them out and dispatches them to her realms. These spirits (or astral selves) remain integral for eternity and reside, apparently forever, in the other-dimensional realm of Hades where they take on a quasi-physical existence. Even those of powers surpassing his in terms of raw might or his own pantheon's ruler is subject to his Hades upon death, such as Zeus.
Although he typically prefers to use minions, Pluto is a formidable hand to hand combatant. He is skilled in the use of the axe and the sword.
Pluto is bound by the various edicts given by Zeus, which have included the inability to succeed rule of Hades to someone else, inability to seek out other realms to conquer, and inability to leave Hades at all; however, Pluto has surrendered his role as Lord of the Dead as his attachment for the Earthly plane increased, from Zeus' death to the Dark Reign of Earth.
- Olympian Battle Armor: Pluto wears Olympian battle armor made of enchanted, virtually indestructible Adamantine.
- Helmet: Pluto is in possession of a helmet that renders him invisible and undetectable, even to his fellow gods.
- Adamantine Battleaxes: Pluto owns several Adamantine battleaxes; he can use these axes to channel his magical energies if he so chooses. One such enchanted axe was known as the Midnight Axe.
Pluto has also made occasional use of potent mystical items such as;
- The Gem of Tartarus: Which encased the four original Defenders within an enchanted pillar which Strange's magic, Radd's Power Cosmic, and the Hulk and Namor's tremendous brute force could not damage, though the Gem itself was fragile and swiftly shattered with one slash from Hellcat.
- Mystical Chariot: Pluto sometimes rides a mystical chariot capable of flight and traversing the dimensions.
- Hades early appearances reprinted in various comics.
- Hades appeared in various flashbacks since his first appearance.
- In Greek Mythology, Pluto (Hades) was a grim god, but not a maligned one, having nothing in common with the Christian devil, but yet, because of his connection to the dead, he has been depicted as a sinister and diabolical character in the Marvel Universe as well as in Disney's “Hercules.” In mythology, he has such an affinity to the underworld that it would be incomprehensible to him to allow anyone else to rule it. He has been portrayed more accurately in the DC Universe and “The Legendary Journeys” cosmology. While prevalent in the history of the “Legendary Journeys” timeline, Hades has barely shown any known activity in the DC Universe as he does in the Marvel Universe. The name/title Pluto, from the Greek Πλούτων (Ploutōn), emphasizes the god's, and the underworld's, status as the source of wealth and prosperity, mineral, agricultural and potentially even spiritual.
- It should be noted that that the position of “god of dead” is often not equal to “god of death” or “god of the underworld.” While some cultures do unite the roles, they are not always preclusive. In Greek-Roman myth, Hades is the god of the dead while his vizier, Thanatos, the god of death, is the actual presence who guides the dead to the underworld. In Celtic Myth, Mider rules the divinities of the underworld while his son Arawn is the god of dead. In African myth, Ndriananadhary rules the underworld while Damballah rules the dead and Sagbata represents the forces of death. In Mexican myth, there are twelve lords of the underworld and one god, Ahpuch, who rules over the dead. Even in Egyptian myth, Osiris and Seth are, respectively, god of the dead and god of death. In Norse myth, Odin serves the role as god of the honored dead, while Hela rules over the spirits of those not admitted into Odin’s Valhalla, a Hall of Heroes.
- 67 appearance(s) of Hades (Earth-616)
- 6 minor appearance(s) of Hades (Earth-616)
- 25 mention(s) of Hades (Earth-616)
- 27 image(s) of Hades (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Hades (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Hades (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Pluto (Olympian) at marvel.com
- Pluto (Olympian) at marveldirectory.com
- Pluto at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe