Almost 30 years ago, Mark Waid and Alex Ross invented a fan-favorite potential future for the DC Universe in their critically acclaimed miniseries Kingdom Come. Set in an era where Superman retired after the public chose to embrace a deadly wave of new antiheroes, this concept introduced audiences to the bitter and deadly Magog.
Following the massive success of Kingdom Come, DC presented fans with a series of potential origins for Magog over the years, all of which now appear to have been swept under the rug with Mark Waid’s return to Earth 22 in recent pages of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest. In other words, DC has finally perfected and refined the backstory to one of their greatest threats.
Magog has been a destructive force in DC Comics since his debut, but recent revelations have brought attention to his multiple incarnations.
Who Is David Sikela?
While exploring the early days of Batman and Superman’s partnership in World’s Finest, Mark Waid dreamt up a new character named David Sikela. Born to his father, Asher, and his mother, Gayle, David was a refugee from an alternate universe, echoing Superman’s origins.
When his planet was moments away from destruction, David’s parents placed him in a bleedship and set him to Earth Prime (otherwise known as Earth 0), where Batman and Superman discovered him. The duo quickly realized that David’s biology gave him powers much like Superman’s, who then took David under his wing as his protégé, Boy Thunder.
Who Is Boy Thunder?
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #10 revealed a stunning revelation that brings the DC Universe closer than ever to the future seen in Kingdom Come.
Thanks to Superman and Batman, David was well on the path to becoming a hero. First, he was given a costume inspired by Hel-Oz, an ancient Kryptonian legend. Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that this costume resembles that of Nova, an alternate version of Superman without any powers from the Silver Age story “That Has Been Superman!”
Shortly after that, Robin introduced David to the other members of the Teen Titans, who taught him the ins and outs of being a superhero. Superman began noticing some troubling behavior as he worked more closely with David. The young man was quick to anger. This pronounced temper often made David hard-headed and difficult to reason with. Everything came to a head for Boy Thunder and Superman when David was kidnapped by the Joker, who whisked him away to an interdimensional hideout provided by a fellow supervillain, The Key. There, David endured prolonged torture as the Clown Prince of Crime tried desperately to uncover Superman and Batman’s secret identities.
The World’s Finest arrived just in time to free David before the Joker could kill him, but Boy Thunder was left traumatized, including a visible scar over his right eye. Once he recovered, David vowed to get revenge on the Joker, promising to kill him should he ever see him again. This promise deeply concerned Superman and Batman. However, before they could talk Boy Thunder out of this course of action, The Key triggered the interdimensional ship’s systems, causing David to disappear into the Multiverse.
Who Or What Is Gog?
Upon his arrival on Earth 22, David met the entity known as Gog. Millennia ago, Gog lived on Urgrund, home of the Then-Gods, also known as Third World. Each god turned on the other, with Gog alone condemning the war. Gog’s cries for peace went unheard, and he was exiled into the void. As the war of Urgrund ended, it left two molten celestial bodies that, over time, became Apokolips and New Genesis.
Gog’s exile ended with his fall to a primordial Earth. There, he was left with nothing but regret, pain, and madness. Over the centuries, he eventually befriended the New God, Metron. As time passed, they watched humanity take its first steps. Instilled with an unwavering sense of right and wrong, Gog was a force for good, but it wouldn’t last. One day, Metron shared the secrets of the Multiverse with Gog.
The deity immediately comprehended the immensity of what Metron confided in him, and, as a result, he fell silent for ten thousand years. Gog stayed unmoving for millennia as if he was waiting for something. When David Sikela arrived on Earth 22, Gog finally stirred. He implored Metron for the use of the Mobius Chair but was denied. So, Gog took it. Gog planned to use David’s unique ability to traverse the Multiverse with the power of the Mobius Chair to lead an army of warriors beyond the Speed Force Wall, beyond The Bleed, and into an all-out war with Apokolips.
Cast Away On Earth 22
The new arc in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest is exploring the world of Kingdom Come, allowing that continuity’s villains to finally be fleshed out.
No sooner had David disappeared from Earth 0 than Batman and Superman enlisted help to find him. Racing through the Multiverse, The Flash witnessed David’s meeting with Gog firsthand and quickly returned to warn Bruce and Clark. Batman and Superman then traveled to Earth 22 with the help of Flash’s cosmic treadmill.
Upon arrival, Batman and Superman discovered that David had aged several years since they last saw him. Now, calling himself Thunderman, David continued to let his anger get the best of him. While fighting a supervillain named Atom-Master, Superman restrained David from nearly taking her life. David seemed overjoyed to see Batman and Superman again, but he quickly revealed this enthusiasm to be a ruse when he grabbed Superman by the throat and electrocuted him.
Recognizing he was outmatched in a battle against Batman and Superman, David called on Earth 22’s version of those heroes to back him up. As Earth 22 never had any experience with multiversal travel, neither of these heroes believed their Prime counterparts when they attempted to explain who they were. Gog then sent an army of superheroes after Batman and Superman Prime. Unable to defeat everyone, they were brought before Gog and imprisoned beside Metron. As Gog transformed David into the powerful Magog, Metron told Batman and Superman of Gog’s desire to bring war to Apokolips, even if it was a suicide run for all involved.
Earth 22’s Batman and Superman finally assembled the puzzle and realized that David and Gog lied to them, teaming up with their Prime Earth counterparts to battle with Gog and Magog. Batman Prime finally reached David’s better nature and convinced him how much Superman Prime cared for him. The combined might of the heroes from both worlds finally brought Gog to his knees.
Will Magog’s Fate Be Different?
DC’s Kingdom Come Universe came into existence because of Superman’s biggest failure as a hero.
Now that Superman and Batman have seemingly saved David from walking the same dark path as before, has Magog’s fate in the DC Universe changed? It’s a theory that makes sense, but based on comments from writer Mark Waid, fans shouldn’t hold their breath expecting David’s story to turn out any different.
During a conversation with Newsarama, Mark told them, “It is heartbreaking, and it’s also very complicated. It’s a very complex path I’m laying out for the character because we know, at the end of the day, that he’s going to murder the Joker somewhere down the road, which Superman would never approve of and didn’t approve of in Kingdom Come.”
Mark Waid intrinsically understands that he can’t put a character like Superman in a position where he will try to keep David from his fate and fail because (as Mark himself puts it) Superman never fails. Instead, Waid has discovered how to cement Magog’s origin story once and for all while leaving the door open for what must inevitably happen next.
The Legend of Magog in Kingdom Come
For those fans unfamiliar with the events of Kingdom Come, this classic miniseries transpires years after the events of the current DCU time period. At the story’s offset, the Joker attacks the Daily Planet, killing most of the staff, including Superman’s wife, Lois Lane. Despite his very personal loss, Superman is adamant that the Joker must stand trial for his crimes in court. Instead, Magog publicly executes the Joker, delivering on his promise as Thunder Boy to take the Clown Prince of Crime’s life.
The overwhelming public support for this rash decision leads to Magog being acquitted of murder and Superman’s eventual retirement from the public eye. From there, a growing wave of vigilantes takes over with Magog at the helm, resulting in a confrontation with Parasite in Kansas that leaves much of the American Midwest an irradiated mess. Magog survives this incident and is brought into custody by Superman, who ends his retirement to form a new, more proactive Justice League.
Overcome with remorse for his actions, Magog finally sides with the older generation of heroes and retires to a more peaceful way of life in Themyscira, where he cares for wounded people and helps teach a new generation of heroes to avoid his mistakes. Whether or not any of the details involving Magog’s eventual fate will play out differently from here on out remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: Mark Waid has found a novel way to cement Magog’s place in the DC Universe as one of its greatest existential threats.
Superman and the Justice League fight against new heroes in Kingdom Come.
“}]] Magog first appeared during the iconic Kingdom Come storyline, though David Sikela’s origins have been further expanded to become a huge DC threat. Read More