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Hades is the Olympian God of the Dead and ruler of the Grecian underworld; the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world of the living.

The elder brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter and Hestia, Hades spends the majority of his time in the underworld with the intention of maintaining relative balance between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

Background[]

Hades was the first-born son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. When Cronus learned that he was destined to be overcome by his own children, he devoured his sons and daughters as they were born to prevent the prophecy from coming true. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea devised a plan to save her children and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his own father.
Hidden in Crete by his mother, once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Metis to force Cronus to disgorge his elder brothers and sisters. After freeing his siblings, Zeus released the hundred-handed Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes; who forged three weapons for the Sons of Cronus; thunderbolts for Zeus, a trident for Poseidon and the Helmet of Darkness for Hades.
In a ten-year war called the Titanomachy, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, with the help of the Hecatonchires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans.

Following their victory, Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots to decide who would rule which realms on Earth. Zeus received the sky, Poseidon received the seas, and Hades received the underworld. Although he was dissatisfied with his turnout, Hades felt that the draw was fair and moved to tend to his new realm and duties; which included acting as jail-keeper for the monstrosities that once walked the lands of the living.
As the new Olympian Gods began tending to their realms, the sorceress Hecate cast a spell to hide the newly anointed gods from wandering eyes, reasoning that the Olympians were greatly weakened after usurping power from Cronus and she feared that other gods in the universe would take advantage of their weakness and seize Earth for themselves. Hecate would later lift the spell during the beginning of the age of Ancient Greece.

As time wore on, while he retained his duty as lord of the underworld with a diligent and fair rule, Hades felt empty and alone as the other gods languished with seeming abandon in the skies above.
One day, the vegetation goddess Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, came into being and grew to become a goddess of great beauty in vision and spirit. While the gods Hermes and Apollo both attempted to woo her; Persephone's mother, Demeter, rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian gods.
Himself enthralled with the goddess, Hades goes to his younger brother, Zeus, to inquire how to gain Persephone's favor. Permitting Hades' potential courtship with his daughter, Zeus advised his brother to abduct her as her mother was not likely to allow her daughter to live with Hades in the underworld. While Persephone was gathering flowers with the sea nymphs, Artemis and Athena, Hades burst through a cleft in the Earth and abducted her.
When she found her daughter had disappeared, Demeter searched for her all over the world, neglecting the Earth in the depth of her despair and causing nothing to grow. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to agree to return Persephone.
Hades, meanwhile, had treated his perspective bride with utmost respect and civility; showing her the breadths of his realm and letting her stay in the best room of his castle. While originally disgusted with the god, Persephone began to warm up to Hades and, when Hades was forced to comply with Zeus' request to return her to her mother, she noticed Hades' attempt to trick her into eating pomegranate seeds; which would condemn her to remain in the underworld.
As Persephone was delivered to her mother by Hermes, it was discovered that she had complied with Hades' trickery and had eaten the pomegranate seeds to remain with the elder god. Torn between appeasing the wishes of Demeter and upholding the laws between the worlds of the living and dead, Zeus decreed that Persephone would spend half of each year with Hades, and the remaining half of the year with the gods and her mother.

Following this, Hades cast aside his first wife, Hecate; who had been given the title of queen as a reward for her service to the gods, in favor of Persephone, retaining the former only as a handmaiden. Fuming over her fate, Hecate later formed an alliance with the exiled Princess of Corinth; Circe, that would eventually provide her with the opportunity for revenge.

One day Theseus, king of Athens, and Pirithous, prince of the Lapiths, pledged to kidnap and marry daughters of Zeus. While Theseus chose Helen, Pirithous chose Persephone. As the duo traveled to the Underworld, Hades knew of their plan to capture his wife and so pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast upon their arrival. But as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and Hades imprisoned them within the dungeons of the underworld as punishment for daring to seek the wife of a god for their own.

Upon discovering the existence of the Olympian gods, the New God Uxas of Apokolips came to Rome where he spread tales of the "great Olympian gods" and as a result their following grew tremendously. In order to tend to the needs of two countries of worshipers, the Olympians created avatars of themselves to serve as their Roman representatives. While the effort meant that the gods could receive the power of faith from two countries, Uxas knew that the pantheon would be less powerful divided than it ever could be together.

As centuries pass into the 21st century, some time into the Olympian God's "Cosmic Migration", the Titan Phobos returns to Earth alongside Ares' daughter, Eris, in an alliance with Circe, who had amassed great power by bringing together gods of various pantheons, including the Roman pantheon, and so challenged the Olympians for their domain in order to change reality in Hecate's name.
When Persephone was duped into believing that Pluto; the Roman god of the Underworld, was her husband, she accidentally led Circe's forces to New Olympus, where Zeus summoned Hermes and their champion; Diana of Themyscira to New Olympus. While Wonder Woman and Earth's heroes were able to turn the tide against Circe, the "War of the Gods" resulted in the deaths of numerous gods and celestial beings, including Hermes.

Involvement[]

Associated Equipment[]

Trivia[]

  • Hades is voiced by Mike MacRea
  • Hades first appeared in Wonder Woman #329 (1986).
  • When venturing outside of his realm, Hades dons the Helmet of Darkness, which grants the wearer complete invisibility even from the eyes of the gods.
  • Hades' staff is known as the Staff of Reward and Punishment, it was carved from a tooth of Cerberus.
  • The tale revolving around Hades' abduction of Persephone is known as the "Rape of Persephone".
  • Hades has had two children with Persephone; the death goddess Macaria and the three Erinyes (The Furies)(Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone); the goddesses of vengeance. While he had slept with his daughter once before (with her mother's knowledge and consent), after her marriage to Hades, Zeus would seduce and sleep with Persephone again; this time while disguised as Hades (although some say that Persephone knew it was her father but continued the ruse because she wanted to have sex with him), and from this liaison the minor god Iacchus was born.
  • As god of the Underworld, Hades had dominion over the spirits of the dead. His realm was divided into three sub-sections, the Asphodel Fields (a misty after-world), Tartarus (abode of the damned), and the Elysian Fields (the paradisal resting place of great heroes). Hades ruled these realms beside his queen, Persephone.
  • Hades shared a sometimes tense relationship with the Amazons of Themyscira. The Amazons had been appointed to guard an entryway to his realm, Doom's Doorway (aka the Gates of Tartarus), behind which were trapped many monsters and undead abominations. Over the centuries, many Amazons lost their lives when the Doorway was occasionally breached. Despite their loss, the Amazons always attempted to show proper respect to the lord of the underworld, as one of the honored gods of their faith. They even built a large Tabernacle to the god of the Dead which carried its own priestess who served a 1,000 years before being replaced by another.
  • Wonder Woman has often had an uneasy relationship with Hades. On several occasions, she has had to journey to the Underworld to request a boon from its ruler or to free the soul of a slain comrade, such as the Amazon Artemis and the murdered messenger god Hermes, which she succeeded in.

Gallery[]

See also[]

External links[]

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