|First appearance||JLA #37 (Jan. 2000)|
|Created by||Grant Morrison (writer)
Howard Porter (artist)
|Team affiliations||The Old Gods|
|Notable aliases||The Anti-Sun; Old Dragon; The Primordial Anihillator; The Ultimate Warbringer; Tezcatlipoca|
|Abilities||Mind control; spores; living bomb|
Although previously hinted at in several issues of JLA and referenced as being the entity Tezcatlipoca in Aztek: The Ultimate Man #1 (Aug. 1996), Mageddon actually first appeared in the World War III storyline in JLA #37–41 (January–May 2000). Mageddon has yet to reappear.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2012)|
The existence of Mageddon is first revealed to the hero Aztek, who learns that at some point he must face and defeat Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of evil. The next mention occurs when leader of the New Gods Lightray asks superhero team the JLA to accept fellow New Gods Orion and Big Barda into their membership, referring to a grave, future threat. Together with New Gods Metron and Mister Miracle, Lightray views Mageddon's name on the Source Wall; and the entity's presence is felt when a Mageddon spore infects villain Hector Hammond and causes a prison riot. 
Mister Miracle also arrives to warn the JLA that Mageddon has entered Earth's solar system. The New God reveals that Mageddon was one of many war machines used during the Ragnarök of the "Old Gods" that led to the destruction of their world (and the subsequent creation of New Genesis and Apokolips, the home planets of the New Gods and their foe Darkseid respectively). Apparently Mageddon is unable to be destroyed, and is "chained" at the edge of the universe's space time continuum inside what was described as an "immense gravity sinkhole" until it broke free under undisclosed circumstances.
When several members of the JLA investigate a prison break in Belle Reve prison, the team discover that even the warden and guards are on a killing spree. The cause is revealed to be a spore that has formed in the shape of an eye around the telepathic villain Hector Hammond. The villain the Red Dart steals Green Lantern's ring and delivers it to JLA foe Prometheus for study (actually the subtle guidance of Mageddon) before returning it. The riot stops once the spore is destroyed and Hammond is freed.
Metron, Big Barda and Wonder Woman travel to "Wonderworld", a huge planet at the edge of the universe once occupied by highly advanced superbeings that Aquaman, the Flash and Green Lantern had previously encountered. On that occasion, Adam-One, the leader of the heroes on Wonderworld, had hinted at the fact that they stood guard at the edge of the universe to ward off a future threat. Wonder Woman finds the dying being the Mote (who specialized in self-miniaturization), who reveals that Mageddon turned the heroes of Wonderworld against one another, and that with the exception of speedster Glimmer (who escaped by running "perpendicular to time"), none survived.
As Mageddon enters Earth's solar system, a second spore forms around Lex Luthor, who has formed another version of the Injustice Gang (Prometheus, the General and an alien Queen Bee called Zazzala) and attacks the Watchtower, not knowing he is actually being controlled by the weapon. Green Lantern discovers his power ring has been neutralized by Prometheus's previous analysis of it as the General storms the Watchtower. After battling Superman, the Martian Manhunter and Orion, the General is driven into Prometheus' realm the "Ghost Zone" when attacked by Orion's war dog, Sturmer. Prometheus tracks down Oracle and destroys her equipment, but is subsequently defeated when he is forced to use his original helmet from the JLA archives after Oracle destroyed his new one, allowing Batman to hack and reprogram the helmet to shut down Prometheus's artificial combat skills. Zazzala takes control of the human populace in New York City and begins to build a hive, but she is defeated when Steel feigns infection by her hypno-pollen long enough to determine what to destroy to do the most damage to her. Although seriously wounding Big Barda, Zazzala is defeated by Steel and Plastic Man, who take advantage of the fact that like all bees Zazzala is blind to the colour red.
Mageddon arrives in Earth's orbit, and conflicts on Earth escalate, with JLA member Zauriel deliberately remaining on the sabotaged Watchtower so that he can die and return to Heaven, thus enlisting the angelic host to aid in pacifying the leaders of the world. Superman and Orion attack Mageddon but Superman is captured and assimilated into the weapon, while Orion is badly injured. Animal Man deduces that Mageddon is capable of inciting rage in humanoids by stimulating the reptilian component of their brain stem. Animal Man, Wonder Woman and Black Lightning use a device to tap into the morphogenetic field that is the source of Animal Man's powers, hoping to force a temporary jump forward in human evolution, thereby granting temporary superhuman abilities to all humans. Although Black Lightning is unable to generate the necessary power, the Flash summons the Glimmer- having travelled to the end of the universe, the Glimmer than went to Earth as the one location in history where anyone made a stand against Mageddon-, who powers the machine and creates a huge army of superhumans that travel into the atmosphere to battle Mageddon. Green Lantern successfully overcomes the dampening effect placed on his power ring by Mageddon.
Mageddon kills thousands of the newly empowered superhumans, but their attack provides a diversion that allows Aztek to heal Orion and then sacrifice himself to damage Mageddon. Via a telepathic link with the Martian Manhunter, Batman is able to convince Superman to free himself from Mageddon's control, forcing his friend to fight past the despair and grief that Mageddon was bombarding him with by reminding him of how they had constantly refused to give up. Superman then travels to Mageddon's core, and absorbs the anti-sunlight it radiates, deactivating Mageddon.
Powers and abilities
Mageddon is an ancient weapon created by a race of now extinct Old Gods. The weapon is a huge (larger than the planet Earth) semi-sentient orb with a squid-like face that incites hatred and violence in life forms as it approaches the heart of a galaxy. Some lifeforms can be totally controlled by the weapon, with a spore (in the shape of a large eye) forming around them and magnifying the negative emotions. Once Mageddon reaches its target, courtesy of an "anti-sun" brain it is capable of detonating and destroying the entire galaxy. Its precise size is never specified, but it was shown to be large enough to dwarf both Earth and the moon.
- Aztek: The Ultimate Man #1 (Aug. 1996)
- JLA #17 (April 1998)
- JLA #24 (Dec. 1998)
- "JLA" #34 (1999)
- JLA #34 (Oct. 1999)
- JLA #12 (Nov. 1997)
- JLA #36 (Dec. 1999)
- JLA #37-41 (Jan. - May 2000)