There are a large number of powerful, mystical artifacts in the DC Universe, but none may be more powerful than the God-killing Spear of Destiny. This immensely powerful weapon is capable of destroying even the Spectre; it can also corrupt its host. The Spear has a long history in the DC Universe, and some of the vilest people in history have wielded its powers, but where did it come from? What exactly are its powers?
Some of the DC Universe’s magical items were created just for the comics, but in the case of the Spear of Destiny, there is a real-world connection. According to legend, the Spear belonged to a Roman centurion who used it to pierce the side of Christ during his crucifixion. This allegedly gave the spear fantastic powers, and many who were alleged to have used the spear were great leaders and politicians, including Charlemagne and Alaric the Visigoth. Hitler, who was already obsessed with all things occult, sought the Spear out for its magical powers. Hitler’s quest for the Spear was the basis for its first DC Universe appearance in Weird War Tales #50 from 1977.
Hitler used the Spear’s power to summon an army of Valkyries to kill Franklin Roosevelt; this incident was the catalyst for the creation of the Justice Society. Later, Hitler was able to use the Spear to create a magical sphere of influence around Axis territory that would keep superpowered people out; any that managed to break through fell under Hitler’s sway. This was used as an in-universe reason for why heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern never traveled to Europe and fought the war single-handedly. Finally, Hitler used his own magic to add another wrinkle to the Spear; anyone who used it later would be corrupted and become evil.
After World War II and Hitler’s suicide, the Spear would change hands, ultimately falling into American hands, where it was shoved into a government warehouse. It was later pulled out of storage to be used against the Spectre, who the United States government believed was going to destroy the world. Superman was given the Spear and told to destroy the Spectre if he had to; unfortunately, Superman fell under its corrupting influence and only the Spectre was able to save him.
In later years, the Spear has played important roles in DCeased: Dead Planet, where Constantine used it to fight the demon Trigon; it also recently appeared in Future State: Shazam #2, where Shazam used it against the Spectre.
The Spear of Destiny is a weapon of unbelievable power, capable of killing the most powerful magic users of the DC Universe, including the Spectre. It is a favorite of the powerful who use it as a tool of conquest and will most certainly be seen again.