Public Domain Super Heroes

Real Name

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (birth to adoption), Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus (adoption to accession), Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (as emperor), Imperator Nero Cladius Divi Claudius filius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (imperial name)


December 15, 37


June 9, 68

Historical Background[]

Nero was the Emperor of Rome from 54-68 AD. In the year 64 AD, Rome burned and there are rumors that Nero, disgusted with the condition of the city, is the one who set the fire. Other legends state that he played his lyre and made merry while the city burned and casualties mounted. To appease his unhappy people, he built theaters and sport arenas for entertainment, and persecuted Christians. He sometimes lit his garden by burning Christians alive. He may have been the man responsible for the executions of the apostles Peter and Paul. Nero is also known to have executed his mother and poisoned his wife. At the age of 30, he committed suicide.

Popular Culture Depictions[]

In popular culture, particularly in comics, Nero is almost always depicted as a fat, pale, sweaty man with no hair, but a toga and a laurel wreath around his head. He is usually depicted as a coward, who delights in the deaths of others. Nero is frequently depicted throwing Christians and other prisoners into arenas with lions, although there is no direct evidence that he executed Christians in this manner (that is not to say it was an unlikely scenario, given that he is known to have had them torn apart by dogs).

Public Domain Comic Appearances[]

  • Clue Comics #10
  • Popular Comics #33
  • Pirates Comics #3
  • Headline Comics #4
  • Smash Comics #52
  • Boy Comics #24
  • Jumbo Comics #54
  • Pep Comics #41
  • Airboy Comics vol. 3 #6
  • Zip Comics #40
  • Jackpot Comics #3, 6
  • Master Comics #73
  • Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics #9
  • Charlton Premiere vol. 2 #1

See Also[]