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Captain Atom: I surrender.
Magog: I know, man! I heard you the first thirty times you said you wanted to throw in the towel! I just don’t give a @#$%!!
Synopsis "Old Soldiers"
When he was a boy David Reid’s grandfather told him that “in combat, the chain of command is everything. You do as you’re told. [...] But sometimes, [...] you just gotta do what’s right.” Twenty years later and Lance Corporal David Reid went through a nightmarish-transformation as the herald of a dying god, but he rebelled against his wound-be master – broke the chain of command – and defeated him. Now as the superhero Magog he has been drafted back into military service by Maxwell Lord (whom he believes is Checkmate’s Black King) who has given him orders to kill Captain Atom.
Magog ambushed Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and Booster Gold in a robotics laboratory hidden beneath the streets of Chicago. The Captain recognised that there was something different about Magog’s Lance (which had been “upgraded” by Max). It was emitting a form of unstable energy that was disrupting Atom’s powers and the technologies in Booster and Beetle’s suits. The radiation levels are so high that Beetle, acting under the Captain’s order, drags Booster away to safety. Captain Atom and Magog are then left to settle the matter between themselves, but Atom has difficulties absorbing the Lance’s deadly radiation.
The battle carries Atom and Magog onto the streets of Chicago, but Magog’s abandon threatens the surrounding civilians. Atom tries to protect the innocent civilians by surrendering, but Magog refuses to stand down. Atom finally stands his ground and grapples with Magog draining the energy from his Lance. He forces Magog to remember who gave him his orders by shouting “You are a soldier! Not an assassin!” The energies pouring out of the Lance even bring Magog to his knees, but he finally remembers everything – who Maxwell Lord is and how he has been tricked into attacking another hero.
Max suddenly appears in person. He complements Captain Atom on breaking Magog, but finishes the job himself. Max uses his mind control to make Magog point his Lance at his own head. Magog pleads, but Max refuses to listen and forces him to blow his own head off. Max then hears the voice of the White Lantern telling him “Maxwell Lord of Earth. You have stopped the war before it starts. Mission accomplished. Life returned.” Max then vanishes, but not before with telepathically convincing the onlookers that it was actually Captain Atom who murdered Magog. Suddenly Magog’s Lance flares-up again unleashing all its stored energy like a bomb. Atom desperately absorbs its energy, saving the city, but it overwhelms him and he is thrown into the time stream.
Judd Winick tries his absolute hardest to make us hate Magog before he’s killed and I suppose that many people won’t mind. However, having read all Magog’s appearances I have to say that I’ve grown to like the character. His own comic was interesting under Keith Giffen (Magog #1-10) and Scott Kolins (Magog #11-12, JSA Special #1). They had injected a genuinely interesting mystery into Magog’s origins, his mythology. Its tone was refreshingly different from the usual self-righteous superhero fare. I don’t for a minute agree with the character’s morals, but he was an interesting protagonist.
PhantomPhrenemy on iFanboy sums up the case for the prosecution:
To me Magog was a DC version of the antihero Wolverine. Not terribly deep as a character, shoved down your throat in four series at a time, but unlike Wolverine, he was never amusing and there was really nothing to like. Since he broke up the JSA into two mediocre groups, showed up in Shield, and his own title (which probably meant canceling a book I was reading), I’ve held a bit of a grudge, I guess. I just hope this is the last we see of him to tell the truth.
For me Magog’s failing as a character was DC’s inability to get over the “destiny” aspect that would one day lead to Kingdom Come. And this is where his Generation Lost appearances do his a disservice – the character was on the verge of stepping away from that, but his appearances here have always seemed two-dimensional and a retrograde step in the evolution of his characterization. There is, however, something that should not be over looked: Magog is not uniquely David Reid. Magog is Gog’s son/herald, an entity that exists separate from whatever host Gog choses to “graft” it on to. Therefore there is ample time for Gog to reappear and recreate a new Magog.
The reviewers on Comics Vine were impressed with this issue and labelled it “a few hairs short of perfect” and “Winick has his best issue to date on this series”. While on iFanboy they got into a debate about Kingdom Come’s position as a potential DC future. KC was a future for the 1994 DC Universe, but developments – various resurrections and retcons – then have pulled it way from that. Magog’s death here must be seen as a clear and deliberate statement that KC is not DC’s future.
And for that matter what the hell is going on with that White Lantern – in Blackest Night the Entity was portrayed as some form of force for life and looked angelic. However, it has just made a super villain murder an innocent man. Magog has done nothing wrong yet so this killing is murder. I’m beginning to think that the Entity is actually a far bigger threat to the DC Universe than Nekron ever was.
|Community Reviews||Comics Vine User Reviews||Av. of 3 reviews||4.67/5|
|Community Reviews||iFanboy||460 Pulls||4.4/5|
|Reviews Blog||Comics Per Day Reviews||Timbotron||Fair|
|Reviews Blog||Inside Pulse||Grey Scherl||7/10|
|Character Site||Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||2.5/5|
Page 1 - That David Reid grew-up hearing about his grandfather’s war exploits was first revealed in Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1. However, at that time the grandfather is given the name Staff Sgt Peter Reid (his name is shown on a box of military effects). However, the same man’s name is given as Sgt Michael Reid in this instant.
The Battle for Inchon happened on the 15-17th of September 1950 and was a turning point in the Korean War. The forces led by US General Douglas McArthur (including a large number of US Marines) reversed a series of victories by the North Korean forces and retook the South Korea capital Seoul.
Page 9 - The Yemen Bomb was way back in issue #1, even before Max had erased knowledge of his existence from the world. We didn’t get to see the outcome of that until issue #6 when Captain Atom confessed that he’d been bumped into a post-apocalyptic future that had been created by some sort of war that had been started by Max Lord.
Page 13 - The images behind Magog are a reprise of a panel from Justice League International showing the collected JLI team, Blue Beetle II’s death from Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and Wonder Woman killing Maxwell Lord in “Sacrifice”.
Page 15 - Max was returned to life by the White Lantern in Blackest Night #8 and was given his commands – what he had to do to earn his resurrection – in Brightest Day #7/Generation Lost #7. The war that the voice speaks about is the future war caused by Magog killing Captain Atom in Kingdom Come #1 – obviously Magog cannot do that if he’s dead.
Page 18 - It’s repeatedly shown that people have been videoing this entire encounter. Max’s power only effect’s people’s minds not technology. If Max’s mind control was erased the video that these people have taken would exonerate Captain Atom providing they’ve uploaded it to the internet before they were blown-up.