As the great-grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt and part of a family with a tradition of military service, David Reid felt he had a lot to live up to. He suffered from severe childhood asthma and grew up on a farm in Iowa, but he would eventually join the U.S. Marine Corps after seeing what happened on September 11th. He was among the first into Iraq and Baghdad, and this would change the rest of his life. While pursuing looters of a Baghdad museum in a network of underground tunnels, he was ambushed and stabbed in the arm with a shard from a strange rock. As hard as he tried, he could not pullt he shard out and it sank deeper into his arm. He felt like he was going to explode with energy and did, falling into a coma for three weeks.
David Reid woke up to find he had the brand of an eye on his arm instead of a wound and that he coughed up plasma energy every half hour or so. Military scientists determined he would need some kind of conduit to control the energy he was producing and designed a lance-like weapon to fit his hand. He chose to re-up and rejoin his old unit rather than accept Captain Atom's offer of becoming part of a special metahuman military unit. He wanted to be with his fellow soldiers. It turned out his old unit had been reassigned to black ops and would only be known as Epsilon. He served with them for the remainder of his time in the military. Because of his rank and his metahuman ability, fellow soldiers began calling him Lance.
Magog was created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross for their Kingdom Come Elseworlds story, telling of a disastrous future for the DC Universe. Magog was meant to be the symbol of the new, cynical kind of hero that had become popular lately in the form of characters like Marvel's Cable. He was the rival to Superman's band of heroism, and his popularity to the people in the DC Universe was the catalyst that drove Superman away in this bleak future.
Years later, Magog was introduced into mainstream DC continuity by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham and Alex Ross in their run on Justice Society of America. Readers were shown Magog's origins for the first time as the character of Lance Corporal David Reid.
The Next Age
Lance Corporal David Reid's power and more was discovered by the elder members of the Justice Society of America, and so he was contacted by them as part of their new recruitment drive to take in and support new emerging heroes. He questioned why they came for him out of all the many metahumans in general and even simply in the United States military, and they explained to him it was because of his great-grandfather. Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for bringing the Justice Society together, so in a way, that made Lance their greatest legacy. He knew of his heritage but never realized what that meant as far as the Justice Society of America.
Lance could not argue with logic like that and accepted their offer of membership.
Thy Kingdom Come
Lance joined the Justice Society just as the team was investigating a serial killer called Gog, who was targeting metahumans who used the names of gods. Lance refused to allow himself be sidelined and joined the battle against Gog, getting transported to the Congo. There, he and the others witnessed the rise of the true Gog, a god of the Third World. This Gog appeared to be no threat to them and seemed intent on creating miracles. This was enough to Lance to want to give him a chance and not hold automatically expected the god of wrongdoing. Even when Gog did questionable things to the barbaric soldiers of the Congo, Lance was inclined to let it slide because those soldiers deserved what they got in his eyes. He even leapt into battle with them, using lethal force to stop their savagery. He was struck by a rocket propelled grenade and badly injured. Dr. Mid-nite attempted to save him, but the doctor's blindness had been cured by Gog. This meant Dr. Mid-nite was unable to perceive Lance's injuries as well as he normally would. Lance Corporal David Reid died.
Gog did not let this stand and used his mighty power to resurrect David Reid on the spot. David's injuries were healed and his body transformed somewhat into Gog's image. When he arose alive again, Gog declared him as Magog, much to the concern of the visiting Superman from Earth-22. Superman would later try to talk to him about this, but he could not be convinced to be suspicious of Gog. He was dead and brought back. The things that Gog had been doing were good, and his faith was strengthen as much as his body had been. He chose to be among those members of the Justice Society to walk with Gog and accept the use of lethal force against those who deserved it for their evil deeds.
When Gog was revealed to be more parasite than god, Magog was the hardest to convince to act against the being. His faith was too strong, and he questioned if the positive results of Gog's presence did not outweigh the negative consequences. Superman forced him to face the reality of what was happening, and Magog chose his side. He betrayed Gog, getting struck down but rising against to sheer off the god's head with a shot from his staff.
In the aftermath of the battle, David did not understand why he was still allowed to be Magog. Gog surely could have stripped him of the power and left him for dead again, but that did not happen. He returned to his family farm for a short time to recover in mind and body, but he soon returned to serve as part of the Justice Society. During an attack on the JSA headquarters by a large group of supervillains, Magog ends up in a brawl with WIldcat for showing disapproval for the JSA's reactive methods, suggesting that they should be more proactive and not go easy on villains, causing the team to divide into two separate teams.
In the meantime, Magog decided to set up his own solo operation in West Virginia and tackle a weapons dealing group known as Flashpoint. In the course of this, he ran into a man calling himself Miasma, who operated a city underground, and was briefly under his control. However they are both soon captured. They attempted to escape together and during this time Magog met a woman, called Alba, who was the ruler of a place called Albion, claiming to be his mother. Magog chose to leave this place and left Miasma behind. He also fought alongside the Shield against an attack led by Gorilla Grodd and Brain Emperor.
During an attack by him on a Flashpoint HQ, the Justice Society were contacted and told that Magog was orchestrating a prison break. Believing him to be responsible, the JSA members beganattacking him before they are attacked by a group ncluding Dr.Sivana and Mind Czar. In the aftermath of the skirmish, Magog once again got into an argument with the remaining JSA members and was kicked out of the team. He refused a chance to rejoin.
For further details: Brightest Day
Unknown to Magog, Max Lord had been resurrected by the Entity with the objective of killing him to avert the possibility of the Kingdom Come future ever coming to pass. Lord contacted him, posing as Checkmate, and assigned him a mission to go after Captain Atom, authorizing lethal force against the hero allegedly gone rogue.
Deceived by Lord, Magog engaged Captain Atom in Chicago. Their battle escalated as it went on, becoming fiercer and more dangerous for all around until Captain Atom forced Magog to realize what was happening. He suddenly remembered Max Lord and realized he had been fooled into this battle. Then, Lord appeared and intervened with his power of mental domination. Magog was forced to put his own staff to his head and kill himself. Captain Atom was then framed for Magog's murder.
The New 52
Magog makes his first appearance in Post-Flashpoint continuity in Superman/Wonder Woman #14, by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke. When Superman and Wonder Woman are engaged in a losing battle with Atomic Skull and Major Disaster, a superhero calling himself Wonderstar swoops in to save them. He appears to have good intentions, but Superman and Wonder Woman are wary of him. He helps them stop a robbery at the Federal Reserve, and they slowly start to trust him. However, it is later revealed that Wonderstar is actually Magog in disguise, part of a plot by Circe.
Powers and Abilities
Along with super strength and increased durability , Magog has a metallic left arm. His blind eye possesses increased vision capabilities when he is powered up. He also produces plasma energy attacks, which was initially done though a device that he carried. After being powered up by Gog, he is given a lance which lets him focus his attack. When powered, down, Magog can take the appearance of an ordinary human being. However, he is blind in one eye in this form. Apart from this David Reid is also a military tactical expert and has received extensive military training
.Even though he has superhuman strength and durability he still has the the normal weakness of a human (will die upon lack of air, food, sleep, fatigue etc)
In this possible future of the DC Universe, Magog was at the forefront as a new brand of harsher superhero. He made global news by executing the Joker, who was already in custody, for the murders of the staff at the Daily Planet. He willingly surrendered himself to Superman and the authorities, allowing himself to be put on trial for the act he had committed. He was acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing in a sign that the public approved of what he had done. This was the final straw for Superman, who left the world to their new hero.
Magog became the inspiration for a new generation of more violent superheroes. He even led his own team called the Justice Battalion, which eventually led to an unnecessary brutal battle against Parasite in Kansas. The result of this was the detonation of Captain Atom and America's heartland being reduced to a wasteland. Magog survived but disappeared, having become the world's greatest hero to its most wanted criminal in a flash.
Superman and the reformed Justice League later found Magog, who was not the man he had previously been. He was obviously traumatized by what he had allowed to happen and repentant for it. He was brought to Themyscira. where he spent his days caring for the injured.
Reid was part of a telepathically simulated training exercise of the Team. He fought under General Eiling in Washington, D.C.