|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; 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).
The existence of Mageddon is first revealed to the hero Aztek, who learns that he must eventually face and defeat Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of evil. When the JLA thwart the plans of the mysterious "Know-Man", who attempted to give all of Earth's population superpowers, he justifies his action as an attempt to prepare Earth for the coming of the "ultimate warbringer". Mageddon's name is first mentioned when JLA members Aquaman, the Flash and Green Lantern visit a planet named Wonderworld, whose super-powered inhabitants, led by Adam One, warn the heroes of the rise of an entity named Mageddon, also referred to as the "anti-sun", which exists beyond the boundaries of the known universe. At the conclusion of the "Rock of Ages" arc, Metron of the New Gods visits Wonderworld and discusses an unnamed threat with Adam One, implying that ultimately it will not be Wonderworld that has to face said threat.
The leader of the New Gods Takion asks 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, Takion 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 riot in Belle Reve prison. When several members of the JLA investigate 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.
Mister Miracle 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.
Metron, Big Barda and Wonder Woman travel to Wonderworld, and they find the dying being the Mote (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 created 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 manipulated by the weapon.
After heavy fighting the JLA defeat the Injustice Gang as Mageddon arrives in Earth's orbit. 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, who powers the machine and creates a huge army of superhumans that travel into the atmosphere to battle Mageddon. Green Lantern also 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. 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.
- Aztek: The Ultimate Man #1 (Aug. 1996)
- Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare #3 (Nov. 1996)
- JLA #12 (Nov. 1997)
- JLA #15 (Feb. 1998)
- JLA #17 (April 1998)
- JLA #24 (Dec. 1998)
- JLA #34 (Oct. 1999)
- JLA #36 (Dec. 1999)
- JLA #37-41 (Jan. - May 2000)