The Spear of Destiny, also known as the Spear of Longinus and the Heilige Lanze (Holy Lance), is a legendary artifact capable of destroying the Spectre and even razing and reshaping reality to the wielder's whim.
With whomever possessing the Spear being said to be invincible, the Spear is frequently sought after by many would-be-tyrants and conquerors who want to use the Spear's power to aid their campaigns.
While a holy relic, the spear has become infected with the evil of it's previous users and now will slowly influence whoever wields it to become similar evil and megalomanic.
Originally a roman spear that was used by the centurion Gaius Cassius (also known as Longinus) to pierce Jesus Christ’s side to test if he was dead while he hung on the cross. Bathed in the blood of Jesus, the spear acquired a tremendous mystical power, with the first sign of its power manifesting itself in the purported healing of Gaius Cassius's failing eyesight by blood from the wound.
The Spear subsequently passed through a multitude of hands, coming into the possession of many of Europe's most important political and military leaders, including Constantine I, Alaric (the Visigoth king who sacked Rome in the year 410), Frankish general Charles Martel, Charlemagne, Frederick of Barbarossa, and Frederick II. Charlemagne and Frederick of Barbarossa were undefeated in battle until they let the Spear fall from their hands.
As a young man, Adolf Hitler was allegedly fascinated with the Spear of Destiny, which he first saw displayed in the Hofsburg museum in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. Hitler was familiar with the legend of the Holy Lance and his interest in the relic was further amplified by its role in the 1882 opera Parsifal (by Hitler's favorite composer, Richard Wagner) which concerned a group of ninth-century knights and their quest for the Holy Grail. Hitler's fascination with the Spear sparked his interest in the occult, which gave birth to his ideas on the origins and purpose of the Germanic race and contributed to his belief in his own destiny as a world conqueror.
On October 12, 1938, not long after the German annexation of Austria, Hitler ordered the S.S. to seize the Spear and other artifacts from Vienna.
Hitler used the Spear throughout World War II to keep American superheroes from entering Germany and once used the Spear's power to summon a flight of valkyries and, in April 1945, nearly succeeded in unleashing the devastation of Ragnarok onto the Earth and bringing about the end of the world.
The Spear was confiscated by American forces on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, less than two hours before Hitler's suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin. Like the Spear's previous owners, Hitler perished after the relic was taken from him.
Moments after Hitler's death, the Spear was removed from his bunker by a mysterious figure, who was pursued by a pair of American soldiers. One of the soldiers was slain, but his comrade, Sergeant Baxter, tracked the Spear to the home of Baron Kragen, a mad German nobleman who hoped to use its power to revive the Third Reich. Baxter killed Kragen and his daughter, Ilse, but was himself slain by the Baron's Chinese manservant, who claimed the Spear for himself.
The Spear was subsequently taken to China, where its power aided Mao Tse Tung's Communist revolution, and later to Korea, Laos, and Cambodia. It eventually fell into the hands of the Soviets and was transported to Russia, where it remained until it was seized by agents of Kobra. Kobra subsequently attempted to use the Spear to destroy the Spectre. Although the villain was ultimately unsuccessful, he did discover that the Spear had the power to harm the Spectre's ectoplasmic form.
After Kobra's defeat, the Spear was retrieved by American intelligence operative Eve Eden (a.k.a. Nightshade) and delivered to Sarg Steel, then the U.S. secretary of metahuman affairs. The relic was crated and filed in a warehouse for future study.
The Spear was forgotten for about a year until the Spectre destroyed the Balkan state of Vlatava, leveling that nation and wiping out virtually all of its population. In the wake of that incident, the U.S. government hired occult researcher Professor Nicodemas Hazzard to find a weapon capable of destroying the Spectre. Interviewing the surviving members of the Justice Society of America, Hazzard learned of the Spear's existence from Wesley Dodds, the former Sandman. Hazzard discovered its current location and arranged for it to be removed from its warehouse.
The Spear was entrusted to Superman, who agreed to confront the Spectre and, if necessary, use the Spear to destroy the vengeful spirit. Unfortunately, Hazzard's investigation had neglected one crucial detail: The Spear's power was still infected by the madness of Adolf Hitler, making anyone who wielded it suffer megalomaniacal delusions.
Superman confronted the Spectre, but was overcome by the Spear's curse. The Man of Steel was subjected to a grim, vivid hallucination in which he used the Spear's power to conquer and ultimately destroy the world. Superman was able to break free of the Spear's influence before losing control, although he realized that he could not use it against the Spectre. Instead, the Man of Steel and the Spectre came to an agreement that there could be no future atrocities like Vlatava, an arrangement that Superman later conveyed to Sarge Steel and the President of the United States. Recognizing the danger that the Spear represented, Superman enlisted the Spectre's help of disposing of it; flinging it into Earth's orbit.
Months later, a conspiratorial organization called the National Interest retrieved the Spear of Destiny from space and once again attempted to use the Spear against the Spectre, who only narrowly escaped destruction. Afterwards, the Spectre hurled the Spear towards the sun, hoping to put it further out of reach.
Later, the Spectre, no longer bound to the soul of Jim Corrigan, was possessed by the fallen angel Asmodel, who used the Spectre entity's power to lay waste to creation. As Earth's heroes organized against the Spectre, Captain Marvel, accompanied by Starfire, located the Spear of Destiny and returned the relic to Earth.
Asmodel was subsequently defeated by the spirit of Hal Jordan, who was now bound to the power of the Spectre, and Hal entrusted the Spear to the Sentinels of Magic.
- With Eclipso's aid, Per Degaton enters Doctor Fate's stronghold to steal the Spear of Destiny during the War Crimes operation.
- Baron Von Savage wields the Spear of Destiny as a weapon in his Justice For All raid boss battle.
- Baron Von Savage also wield the Spear as one of the two possible bosses in the Time Capsule event duo World War II Basic Training and Battle Preparation.
- The Spear of Destiny first appeared in Weird War Tales #50 (February, 1977).
- Individuals with no mystical inclination have nearly succeeded in destroying the Spectre by simply using the Spear as a melee weapon.
- The Spear of Destiny is associated alongside the Holy Grail, the Crown of Thorns, and the Shroud of Turin as artefacts from the final moments of Jesus Christ.
- On another occasion, Felix Faust and Circe both attempted to gain control of the spear in two simultaneous separate plots, taking advantage of circumstances to seize it with their magics, only to be thwarted by the Justice League of America and Justice League Elite respectively.