William Matthews was a former missionary who went on an exploration to Africa. While there he stumbled on the entrapped and dormant Gog. Though completely inactive, the large being's powers irradiated Matthews which gave Matthews some of its own powers. One of these reactions was a vision of Earth-22 where Williams saw the Superman native to that dimension fail to protect that Earth's Kansas from a nuclear attack. Believing the Earth-22 reality to be the future for his own Earth rather than a completely separate reality happening at the same time, Williams decided to attack the New Earth Superman for what Williams believed was a future failing of his reality's Superman. Despite being powerful, Williams was defeated through the efforts of Superman and Batman.
William Matthews recently re-emerged with his powers even greater than before in preparation for Gog's return. Matthews began systematically murdering those who he believes were false gods as the so-called "Heartbreak Slayer" as Matthews kills his victims by directly destroying their hearts.
As Gog, William Matthews murdered several beings with godlike power or who were named for gods, like the New Olympians and Chroma. For his crimes he was tracked by Mister America and a taskforce from the FBI, before they asked for help from the Justice Society.
Eventually, Matthews ambushed the Justice Society in their own home, where he accused the Earth-22 Superman of being a false idol. However, when the fight did not go well, Matthews used a sort of teleportation device to escape back to the cave where he found Gog. There, he was apparently absorbed by Gog, who used him as a catalyst to make a body from the countryside.
Powers and Abilities
- Divine Empowerment: When coming into contact with Gog and his Power Staff William gained powerful new abilities.
- Superhuman Strength: Gog can hurt the likes of Superman, Hourman and Power Girl.
- Invulnerability: Gog could resist the combined assault of the Justice Society.
- Flight: William already had the ability to fly though it is unknown exactly how he does.
- Time Manipulation: William had the ability to travel through time and even affect time on other people, especially aging.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): William admits that he trained and he planned, to make sure he was ready to kill Superman out of revenge for not saving his family, in time.
- Power Fatigue: A common problem with having Superhuman Strength while lacking Superhuman Stamina; a person, specifically Gog, is left drained and fatigued. While fatigued his powers do not react well, if at all.
- Matthews is comparable to the Kingdom Come Magog, as he is the New Earth Counterpart to the successor/advocate of Gog I in the New Earth reality, but Matthews has decided to actually take the same name of his power source unlike that of the actual Kingdom Come successor.
- The vision of Earth-22 that William Matthews received has been suggested to be a memory of Gog rather than a projection, which suggests that Gog is native to the Earth-22 dimension. The source of the vision that Matthews received has yet to be clarified in detail to be a memory or a projection from Gog.
- William Matthews' adventures as Gog were against the New Earth Superman (as shown in Action Comics #812-819) though he recognized that the New Earth Superman was not the same man in his vision and later identified the Earth-22 Superman specifically as the one who did fail to save all the people that Matthews saw to have been killed.
- Before 52 and Infinite Crisis, William Matthews's powers were given to him by the Quintessence, and were of scientific origin. Afterwards, these powers were given to him by coming in contact with the golden staff, which contained Gog's (Third World) energies.
- 14 Appearances of William Matthews (New Earth)
- 5 Images featuring William Matthews (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about William Matthews (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: William Matthews (New Earth)
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