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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: What is the Spear of Destiny?

by  in CBR Exclusives, TV News Comment
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: What is the Spear of Destiny?

During the winter finale of “Legends of Tomorrow,” the Legion of Doom — Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne — finally acquired the amulet pieces they had been so desperate to find. When Thawne assembled the seemingly disparate artifacts, he revealed that they formed a compass that could find the famed Spear of Destiny, something he claimed has the power to “rewrite reality itself.”

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While the Spear of Destiny may sound like something from “Indiana Jones” or the 2005’s “Constantine” film, it actually has a rich history in DC Comics lore, some of which we expect to see make the transition to television as the second half go “Legends'” second season unfolds.

The Spear of Destiny in DC Comics

The Spear of Destiny first appeared in “Weird War Tales” Vol. 1 #50, in 1977. In this issue, the Spear of Destiny was called the Spear of Death, as it was the blade that cut the side of Jesus Christ during his crucifixion. During the Golden Age of DC Comics, during WWII, Adolf Hitler found the Spear on his quest for spiritual artifacts. Using the Spear, he could control the mind of any metahuman or superpowered person. The Spear was used to create a Sphere of Influence so that anyone who entered the Sphere would be under Hitler’s powers.

The Spear was later used by Superman against the Spectre, a magical being whose powers had grown out of control. During “Final Crisis: Revelations” the Religion of Crime used the Spear to bond Vandal Savage with the Spirit of Cain (Adam and Eve’s son who killed his brother in the biblical Book of Genesis.) Savage used the Spear to wage war on Gotham, but was overtaken by the newly reborn Spectre, who used the Spear to set the world right again.

How Will the Spear Fit Into “Legends of Tomorrow”?

So far, the Spear’s comic book history has two obvious connections we can see to “Legends of Tomorrow” — Vandal Savage, and the Justice Society of America. Since Savage was killed last season, it’s more likely that the Spear will connect to the World War II-era Justice Society, particularly since the Legion of Doom’s members would likely want to avoid resurrecting Savage.

In “Legends.” the Justice Society has been revealed as the initial team of superheroes who protected the world from threats. In the second episode of the season, “The Justice Society of America,” the JSA is fighting Nazis in 1942, which is where Thawne acquires the first amulet. In the fifth episode of the season, “Compromised,” Darhk acquires the second amulet from a KGB operative. Together, the amulet pieces formed a compass that will lead to the Spear.

An amulet that points to a spiritual relic from WWII? Sounds a lot like the plot to the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Interestingly enough, the Spring premiere of “Legends” is titled “Raiders of the Lost Art.” While the episode revolves around Rip Hunter having been transformed into a filmmaker with a young George Lucas as a peer, we’d be surprised if it doesn’t somehow involve the director/writer being inspired by the Legion’s amulet.

Another Indiana Jones film, “The Last Crusade,” also deals with a spiritual relic: the Holy Grail. The Legends are traveling to Camelot in Episode 12, “Camelot/3000,” and considering King Arthur’s connection to spiritual relics like the Grail, one can assume the Spear may also be in Camelot. Arthur’s Knights were given charge over the Grail; perhaps they were also given the order to watch over the Spear as well.

How Could the Legion of Doom Use the Spear?

When Hitler held the Spear during DC’s Golden Age, he was able to use it to control the mind of metahumans and superheroes. We know that, after many seasons on “The Flash” and “Arrow,” Merlyn, Doom and Thawne have been thwarted time and time again by superheroes. Thawn especially, since his nemesis Barry Allen is a metahuman. It’s possible that Thawne, knowing his death and Darhk’s are inevitable, decided to step back in time to acquire the only thing that could stop superheroes, and perhaps rewrite his fate: the Spear of Destiny.

Perhaps the Legion plans to create a timeline divergence where the metahuman Legends find themselves opposed by non-meta heroes. Throughout this season, characters like Ray have wondered if they really are heroes, mainly due to their lack of superpowers. It’s possible that Ray Palmer, Mick Rory and Sara Lance will be unaffected by the Spear, if and when the Legion uses it on the Legends. As such, they may be the only ones who can actually battle the newly-formed allegiance of villains, saving Jax, Amaya, Stein and Nate.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” stars Brandon Routh as the Atom, Victor Garber and Franz Drameh as Firestorm, Caity Lotz as White Canary, Maisie Richardson-Seller as Vixen, Dominic Purcell as Heatwave and Nick Zano as Citizen Steel.

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