The Father of Lies, Wishweaver, King of Hate.Neron is one of the major demons of Hell, a "Wishweaver", the "King of Hate", and "Lord of Lies". It is not known how old he is, but he has claimed "I brought the very first couple together.", and told Wonder Woman "I am among the first that walked abroad in this universe, and my influence has been known since humanity's first fall from grace.", although it should be remembered he is the Lord of Lies... Although he is unknown to Earth's heroes until the events of Underworld Unleashed, the ancient villain Vandal Savage is already long-acquainted with him - "still making deals .. still collecting souls?" is his first seen greeting to Neron and they discuss matters as old acquaintances.
He specialises in making deals with people for their souls in exchange for their greatest desires. 'Deals are your passion, Neron. You grant us the desires of our hearts - in exchange for our immortal souls' . These deals are classic Faustian arrangements made only to further his own twisted aims, half-truths and treachery which lead to either the misfortune of the deal maker or their death, either as a result of their actions or by Neron claiming their soul when they fail in their task. In other cases he achieves his aim by offering similarly treacherous information, or by granting desires in exchange for the completion of a task for him - usually with similar results. To approach a victim, he will either appear before them directly, or send them a candle (a 'demon stick' made from demon's blood) which, when lit, either summons him or brings them to Hell.
Neron appears to be unable to forego a chance to deal - he is attracted to bargaining to corrupt and gain souls. He is also attracted to purity, and wishes to corrupt and destroy it where he finds it. Both of these are his downfall.
Neron's first appearance to Earth's superheroes and villains occurs during the Underworld Unleashed event, when he plots to take over Earth and Apokolips by either enhancing the powers of, or offering their greatest desires to, dozens of supervillains and superheroes in exchange for their immortal souls. When attempting to tempt Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, he offered to bring back his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, from the dead, similarly he offers to revive Jason Todd to Batman and to bring Barry Allen back from the dead to Wally West.
He tricks five of The Flash's Rogues Gallery ( Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master II, and Weather Wizard ) into causing a series of explosions that kill them. When seen from the sky, the five explosions resemble the points of a pentagram and the symbol, combined with the deaths of the villains, creates a gateway which enables Neron to travel to Earth and to influence humanity. Many super-villains and superheroes are either approached directly with deals for their soul, or given candles which, when lit, either summon Neron to them or them to Hell. Around fifty super-villains had their powers increased to varying degrees as a result.
Ultimately Neron is scheming to take over Earth, and to obtain a 'pure soul' that he could corrupt. Initially everyone assumes this refers to Superman's soul, but he actually seeks the soul of Captain Marvel. In the end, he is thwarted by the Trickster and the most powerful members of Justice League America, including Captain Marvel, though not before causing mass chaos and worldwide destruction on Earth and killing the alien despot Mongul and a number of other villains. Critically to later events, he also makes a deal so that the essence of The Spectre will not go against him, and reveals that he wants The Spectre as his agent and slave and ultimately his replacement in Hell.
After the Underworld Unleashed event, an unknown number of Neron's candles still existed and cause major trouble for their possessors, and others, in later years.
The Flash: Hell to Pay
Two years later, the soulless Rogues previously killed by Neron's trickery return to cause havoc in Keystone City, causing The Flash to challenge Neron for their souls after gaining an audience in Hell by using a candle that The Piper had kept - all of which Neron had supposedly planned. Neron offers The Flash a deal for the Rogues souls, but he refuses, and is allowed to leave Hell with the original Flash, Jay Garrick, who Neron had captured earlier. Knowing that the now almost-immortal Rogues are too powerful Neron's ploy is that Flash will be forced to bargain to save Keystone City. Neron refuses Flash's soul and asks for his love for news reporter Linda Park instead, because of its purity. He gets it, and Linda's soul also, which she bargained earlier in exchange for Neron not going after Flash's soul. Neron planned this in order to use Flash's 'Speed Force' to enter and rule Heaven, but the plan backfires and the essence of their love 'corrupts' him, forcing him to frantically offers Flash and Iris a deal to take their love back.
Immediately afterwards he captures Wonder Woman and Artemis in Hell as part of a plan to cause the downfall of his enemy Etrigan the Demon. After being seriously hurt by Artemis in the ensuing battle, he kills Wonder Woman.
JLA: Paradise Lost
Next, Neron's ambitions for Heaven are furthered when he notices chaos and 'strife between the orders of angels' when Asmodel, a King-Angel who has waited a million years to rebel against Heaven, and Zauriel, an angel who knows his secret, use Earth as their battlefield. Asmodel makes a deal with Neron to help in his plans to take over Heaven, but at the last moment of the assault on Heaven Neron abandons his support and returns to Hell.
Immediately after this he is once again tricked by Trickster and defeated by an agent of Heaven.
Day of Judgement and after
Etrigan the Demon causes trouble in Neron's realm by bonding Asmodel (who is bound in Hell and tortured by Neron) to the spirit of The Spectre (who is awaiting a new host after the death of Jim Corrigan). The Spectre freezes Neron. In the chaos caused by Hell's realms invading Earth, Neron uses Superman's body as a gateway, and once again attempts to claim The Spectre's force for himself. He is thwarted when the Spectre chooses ex-Green Lantern Hal Jordan as its new human host instead, and punished by his fellow Hell-Lords for using Hell's power for his own pleasure. His Royalty is stripped, and he is demoted to the position of Rhyming Demon - Etrigan's plan all along. Later it is disclosed that Superman was not just used as a conduit to Earth, but was actually replaced by Neron in disguise while his psyche was battling for Lois Lane's soul in Hell.
To regain his place in Hells pantheon, Neron next tries to collect a number of dead superheroes' souls, Deadman, Flash (Barry Allen), Robin (Jason Todd) and Superman (who has been killed by Doomsday). Unable to enter Superman's body himself, he discovers that his surrogate Caldera is rejected by Superman's body also, so uses Caldera's soul as the fourth of the five he requires. He then turns his attention to Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, tricking Deadman into saving Green Lantern from death during his battle with Mongul, ensuring Neron will have the chance to tempt Green Lantern later in his history after he has destroyed the planet Oa, and thus win back his position in Hell. Neron erases Deadman's memory of him so he cannot prevent this happening, but is thwarted when The Spectre restores his memory and Deadman changes the future by ensuring Caldera dies before Neron can offer him a deal.
Despite this setback, Neron appears to have somehow regained his position and powers within two years, after which the demon Calcabrina offers Neron the souls of 66 members of the Human Defense Corps in an attempt to deflect the both the Corps and other Earthly forces from war with him (although the deal is never completed as it is interrupted by the Corps launching a successful rescue bid in an attack on Hell). A year after this he enters into a deal with Richard Dragon which fails.
Under thrall to Neron, Felix Faust plots to deliver him Ralph Dibny's soul at its moment of greatest despair. Pretending to be Dr. Fate, he attempts to convince Dibny that he can resurrect his dead wife, Sue, and teaches him magic skills, but is tricked by Ralph, who has known for some time that he is not Dr Fate and Neron is responsible for the plot. When Neron appears he is goaded by Dibny into killing him, but discovers he has been tricked as Dibny has established a circle of binding around Dr. Fate's tower which can only be undone by the person who cast the spell that created it. Neron is trapped in the Tower of Fate with Faust.
The binding did not last long - through some unknown method Neron soon finds a way to escape and makes a deal with Kid Devil, exchanging the superpowers he has dreamed of for his soul when he reaches 20 years old if his trust in his idol Blue Devil is broken. Typically Faustian, he then reveals Blue Devil was responsible for Kid Devil's aunt Marla dying and had hidden the fact from him.
Reign in Hell
Neron is opposed by the demons Blaze and Satanus, who attempt to take control of Hell while he is imprisoned in the Tower of Fate. The hordes of Purgatory invade Hell under their command, and influence Hell's demons against Neron by offering hope and redemption for the damned. To defeat the legions of the damned Neron has Lilith the Mother of Monsters recall all of her children to Hell to fight on his side. Despite this, and when Neron seems to be victorious, he is killed by Satanus, who had used the cover of war to infect Hell with a magical microbe that reverts demons to humans. For Neron the infection causes the many demonic entities he had consumed over the millennia to be driven from him and, no longer a match for Satanus, he is beheaded.