- Boy Thunder, Superman’s forgotten sidekick, is destined to end the Joker’s reign of terror, putting an end to the debate of who should kill him – Batman or Superman.
- Boy Thunder’s promise to kill the Joker stems from a traumatic event where he was kidnapped and tortured, leading him to swear revenge.
- In the Kingdom Come timeline, Boy Thunder becomes Magog and fulfills his promise by killing the Joker, setting off a series of events that forces Superman into exile. Superman must save the Joker to prevent Boy Thunder’s dark fate.
The Joker is one of the most vile and despicable villains in DC Comics, with both Batman and Superman struggling with whether they should kill him in the past. But it turns out that it’s not Batman, Superman, or even Red Hood who is destined to end the life of DC’s greatest villain — it’s actually the destiny of Superman’s “long-forgotten” sidekick.
Debuting in the ongoing Batman/Superman: World’s Finest series helmed by Mark Waid and Dan Mora, Boy Thunder was introduced as Superman’s first sidekick, and his shocking connection to the iconic Kingdom Come story by Waid and Alex Ross means that his destiny is to finally end the Joker’s reign of terror. But when it comes to superheroes who are known for their sidekicks, most would think of Batman. Batman’s Robins have each encountered the Joker at one point or another, most infamously when the Joker killed Jason Todd. But the Joker’s fatal mistake was in trying to kill Superman’s sidekick Boy Thunder. When Boy Thunder grows up, he becomes the one vigilante who is destined to finally put the Joker down.
Boy Thunder Promises To Kill Joker
Boy Thunder was a kid displaced from his universe, showing up on Earth and meeting Batman and Superman. Since Boy Thunder had powers on Earth, Batman thought it best if Superman took charge of training him. But fighting crime is a dangerous job, especially when one is untrained and doesn’t have full control over their powers. Eventually, Boy Thunder runs afoul of the Joker; he is kidnapped and tortured in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #10 by Waid, Mora, Tamra Bonvillain, and Steve Wands. One of the worst things Boy Thunder ever experienced, this event will have a long-lasting effect on the boy — but just how long neither Batman nor Superman could possibly predict. In the heat of the moment, Boy Thunder swears that, if he ever sees Joker again, he would kill him.
In one dark timeline, Boy Thunder makes good on his promise. The Kingdom Come universe is a world figured decades into the future of the central DCU where most of the current heroes and vigilantes have retired. Superman, for example, retires after he comes to believe that the world doesn’t want his form of justice anymore — they want something darker. This is seemingly proven when, after the Joker launches a terrorist attack on the Daily Planet, killing almost everyone in the building, he is apprehended and killed by the vigilante known as Magog. But it turns out that Magog isn’t just any vigilante: Magog and Boy Thunder are one and the same, an idea and plot thread that will be explored in upcoming issues of World’s Finest.
Magog Kills the Joker, Fulfilling His Promise
Soon the current Batman and Superman will be traveling to the world of Kingdom Come in search of Boy Thunder, and if Superman wants any hope of saving his previous sidekick, he’s going to have to save the Joker from Boy Thunder’s murderous vengeance. Magog killing the Joker is what sets the events of Kingdom Come in motion and leads to the Superman of that world going into self-imposed exile. But if Superman can save the Joker from being killed, then he’ll be able to save Boy Thunder from his dark fate as Magog, too.
Check out Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #10 and Kingdom Come, both available now from DC Comics!