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Tartarus, is a region of Hades, the Underworld, the realm of the dead. Tartarus was where ferocious monsters and horrible criminals were banished, or where the gods imprisoned their rivals after a war. After the soul entered Erebus, The three judges of the Underworld, Rhadamanthus, Aeacus and Minos, decided who would go to the realm of Elysium and who would be banished to Tartarus.


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.[1]


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.[2]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.[2] 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 his powerful "Thunderbolts". The young Olympians and his allies fought a ten year war with the Titans which ended with Zeus's victory. [2]


The Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, and the Hekatonkheires were made their guards. Atlas was given the special punishment of holding up the heavens.[3] When the Olympian world was divided up Zeus got the heavens, Poseidon the sea and Hades was left with the Underworld.[4]

Ancient Greece

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8]

Modern Age

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.[9]

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.[10]

Thor was tricked by Pluto into thinking Krista was being kept as a slave in the underworld by both him and Hercules.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16] The Avengers battle through Pluto and his hordes on the Pathway of Infinity to reach Olympus.[17]

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.[18]

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.[5]

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 Tartarus. Although they are greatly outnumbered they held their own, impressed Hades let them leave in peace.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

The Olympians went to war with Mikaboshi in his realm of Ama and Hades, the Underworld.[22]

Pluto and the Hell-Lords battled Gloriana (Meggan Puceanu) across the respective realm.[23]

Amadeus Cho and Hercules during a mission to save Zeus from the Hades, while Hercules battled hordes of vengeful enemies in Tartarus[24].[25]

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.[26][27][28]

Minotaurs from Hercules Fall of an Avenger Vol 1 2 001.jpg

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.[29]

Alternate Realities


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,[30] until Howlett was abducted by Savior.[31] Hercules was later rescued and recruited by Charles Xavier's head to join his X-Force.[32]


See Also

Links and References


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