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W-logo.png CHARACTER W-logo.png
Circe Superman-Wonder Woman 15.png
Circe
Real name Circe
Debut Wonder Woman v1 #37
(September 1949)
Created by George Pérez
Affiliations Injustice Gang
Abilities Goddess-level sorceress
Played by see In other media
GALLERY
Circe Rebirth concepts.jpg

History

Birth of the Witch

Circe is an ancient, nearly immortal sorceress of incredible power. Over 1,200 years B.C., Circe was a princess of Colchis, but according to her own words, her subjects objected to her killing her weak husband. Driven out of the kingdom, she found refuge on a small island Aeaea and began to accumulate considerable magical power--but it was limited to the island. She used the Sirens to lure seafarers to the island, but it was not enough for her lust for power. The goddess Hecate would answer her prayers, desiring for Circe to be the instrument of Hecate's own revenge against the Greek gods. She made Circe a proposition: immortality, eternal beauty, and incredible power in exchange for her soul (Hecate's soul would go to Circe). Circe agreed, and after the exchange, Hecate's body was destroyed. But before she died, the goddess gave a prophecy: "Upon the death of witch and the birth of witch, Hecate, by name and choice, shall repossess her soul." Circe did not pay much attention to the prophecy at first, elated by her incredible powers. She razed the kingdom of Colchis in a single day and developed the power to turn people into animals. The terror of her name and power quickly spread throughout the ancient world. Circe, driven by Hecate's hatred, fanned the flames of sexual alienation: men and women had always distrusted one another to an extent, she merely fanned such flames, sewing suspicion and betrayal wherever she went. When the Amazons were born, Circe was wary, but Ares assured her that they were his to destroy. The ancient Amazons were brought down by Heracles, and Antiope led half the Amazons against Athens--but the city was not destroyed, as Theseus and Antiope reached a peace--and then were married. Circe found Ariadne, the former wife of Theseus, and used her powers to let the angered queen slip into Antiope's bedroom and murder her as she slept. This would prove one of the key events in the history of the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall: Pythia and her Amazons blamed the murder on Theseus, while Theseus blamed them for the death. This is precisely what Circe wanted.

Circe remained on Aeaea for three thousand years, venturing out to cause more chaos and destruction, but by the modern time she had all but retreated to the island itself, setting herself up as an eccentric recluse. The island continued to have a bad reputation.

When Wonder Woman made her debut, Circe was distressed to find that some Amazons were still alive. Diana's message of peace reached even the inhabitants of Aeaea, and after some time they began to resent and hate the witch on the island. Even some of her Beastiamorphs turned against her. Circe felt that the time of Hecate's prophecy was close at hand -- Hecate was a moon goddess, as was the goddess Diana. She thus believed that Wonder Woman (Diana) was the second witch of the prophecy, and that if Diana killed her then Hecate's power would manifest in her. But Circe feared killing Diana directly, as that might also fulfill the spell. Thus, Circe decided to capture Diana when she was visiting Greece with some friends and revert her back into the clay and mud from which she was born. Circe's plan would have succeeded if not for the intervention of Hermes, who destroyed her tower and transported the witch away from Wonder Woman and her friends.

War of the Gods

Circe enacted a plan to destroy the spirit of the earth, Gaea, that created the crossover War of the Gods, which required the gathering of all of Earth's superheroes. Prior to the event itself, Circe enacted a scheme to destroy Hippolyta and her Amazons.

Realizing that her enemy, Wonder Woman, might interfere with her plans, Circe arranged for her kidnapping and transport to New Olympus, where she must defend her Greek patrons against the Roman gods' champion, Captain Marvel. While the heroes deal with the warring deities, Black Adam, Captain Marvel's archenemy, recruits the Suicide Squad to help him launch an attack on Circe's fortress. Circe's spells had failed because of Klarion the Witch Boy, who managed to disrupt the witch's plans. She escapes to Themyscira, where she kills Wonder Woman by devolving her back into the clay from which she was formed. While this happens Olympus appears next to Earth in its own dimension, threatening to destroy all of existence. The world's heroes try to convince the gods to lay down their arms and join them in facing the true enemy manipulating them. With Captain Marvel freed from his Roman masters' influence and Wonder Woman brought back to life, Gaea regains her strength, and the War of the Gods is finished but at the price of the life of the Olympian gods Hermes and Eris, and seemingly Circe herself--but the witch was not truly dead, and Hecate was denied Diana's soul.

One Year Later

With the Gods leaving the Earthly plane, Circe became horrified with the thought of spending eternity in limbo with Athena, joined forces with Hercules as his lover and partner. They planned together to rule the world as gods but she had her own sinister motives in mind.

Circe empowered Wonder Woman's rogues gallery, specifically Cheetah, Giganta, and Doctor Psycho in an effort to lure Diana out of hiding. The trio captured the new Wonder Woman, Donna Troy and subsequently captured Cassandra Sandsmark. With Diana, under the guise of Agent Diana Prince, following Hercules with the help of Agent Tom Tresser, to her hideout where she betrayed Hercules by turning him into Minotaur-esque beast. She revealed herself to Diana. Circe then stole Diana's powers explaining her rationale for doing so was to avenge wronged women whom she believed Diana had no real interest in helping. Along with Diana's powers, she stole Donnas, Cassies and Hercules' as well, claiming the mantle of Wonder Woman.

After completing the spell, Circe proceeds to slaughter slave traders in various cities, freeing thousands of women. Diana and Hercules joined together and mounted an assault on Circe's island and base of Aeaea. Sneaking past her defences with a high-tech jet, Diana and Hercules managed to infiltrate her island. Though it would not be long before Circe attacked them. Despite this, Diana managed to escape from Circe as she stole back her lasso. Diana took control of one of Circe's beasts and infiltrated her temple. Circe on the other-hand captured Diana with Wonder Girl's lasso from Ares. Before Circe managed to kill Diana, she was attacked herself by Hercules. Hercules revealed his and Circe's plan and revealed that he wanted the power of the gods himself. Holding a sickle to her throat, Hercules forced Circe to transfer the power of the gods to him. However, Circe would be forced to remove the first spell and grant the power back to Diana before she would be able to cast a new one. The power of the gods was removed from Circe and Diana reclaimed her title as Wonder Woman...just in time for her entire rogues gallery to attack her.

Circe developed her own malicious plan once again. Employing Everyman to pose as Diana Prince's boss, Sarge Steel, she enabled the Department of Meta-humans to begin pursuing Wonder Woman for Maxwell Lords murder. By kidnapping Tom Tresser, Circe managed to lead Wonder Woman into a trap that led to her imprisonment. Circe's plan continued when she was allowed entrance to Paradise Island. With her powers, she seemingly resurrected the first Wonder Woman, Hippolyta and informed her of Diana's imprisonment by the United States which led to a declaration of war by the Amazons. Circe confronted Wonder Woman in her cell and presented to her an different point of view on right and wrong and the changes of society which may make what they thought was wrong, right all along.

With Circe manipulating both sides of the conflict between the United States and the Amazons, she managed to gain control of nuclear warheads pointed directly at Paradise Islands coordinates. As Wonder Woman battled each other in Washington D.C., she revealed her plans. Though the very ears that she did not hope would hear them did. Hippolyta and a group of Amazonian warriors overheard this and with a spear, Hippolyta stabbed Circe. Circe told Diana to finally usurp the throne as she vanished away.


Rebirth

Origins and meeting Wonder Woman

Once the young princess of Colchis over three thousand years ago, Circe had to flee her kingdom when she murder her own husband. After days lost at sea she washed up on the island of Aeaea where she met the Goddess of Magic, Hecate, who offered Circe one of her five Witchmark which would give her a fraction of Hecate's power. Circe accepted the offer, gaining supreme magical powers which granted her fame, or perhaps infamy, as well as her extraordinary beauty. Sometime later Circe would sell her own soul for further power, but by the 2nd century BC she came to regret the decision and spent years searching for a portal to Hell so that she might reclaim her soul.

Circe's search for her soul was interrupted by the arrival of Wonder Woman into the world which motivated the twin sons of Ares, Deimos and Phobos, to kidnap the child of the influential multi-millionaire Veronica Cale so that they could coercer her into their service. In response Cale and her ally Doctor Cyber summoned Circe and made a deal with the sorceress to trap Deimos and Phobos in an attempt to rescue Cale's daughter. To enact the plan, Circe met Wonder Woman for the first time, greeting her in the Amazon tongue but also murdering several nearby soldiers before her. Baffled and offended by Circe's knowledge and disregard for the Amazons' ways, Wonder Woman ensnared Circe with her Lasso in response to the witch's goading. Circe was not compelled by the Lasso to tell the truth however, and instead used its powers to cast a spell on Deimos and Phobos who were meeting Cale at the time, binding the twin gods to the bodies of two dogs prepared nearby. While her plan had so far been successful Circe discovered that Cale's daughter was not in the twin's Soulstone as she had believed and instead deduced that she was held prisoner with Ares on Themyscira. Refusing to risk freeing the God of War, Circe apologised to Cale and ended their partnership to find her daughter.

Sometime later Circe finally discovered a gateway to where her soul lay in Hell, in the form of the Pandora Pits. Realising that to regain her soul she would have to give a larger sacrifice to the demons within the pit, Circe allied herself with the immortal assassin Ra's al Ghul on the pretence that sacrificing their rivals Batman and Wonder Woman would give them both an army of demons to conquer the world with. Circe and Ra's managed to ensnare several heroes in the pits including Superman, Wonder Woman, Zatanna and John Constantine but were stopped by Batman and Artemis. Realising Circe was merely manipulating him, Ra's al Ghul turned on the sorceress by stabbing her and pushing Circe into a Pandora Pit. While Circe feared that she would drown in the pits, Wonder Woman dived in after her and pulled both of them out with her Lasso of Truth.

Wonder Woman would later meet with Circe in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and strike a deal with witch to free her ally Barbara Ann from the curse of the Cheetah. In exchange Circe would receive Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth. While Circe successfully managed to bind Barbara Ann she was unable to lift her curse as Barbara Ann refused to consent. As the ritual was a failure Circe decided to return the Lasso of Truth to Wonder Woman and did her best to comfort her old enemy, much to Wonder Woman's surprise. Circe simply stated that it was no fun 'kicking someone when they're down'.

The Witching Hour

When the ancient interdimensional being known as the Upside-down Man started to 'devour' all magic in the world and distract the magical community, Circe manipulated Hecate into reconquering the magical world through the use of her Witchmarks. Unbeknownst to Hecate, Circe believed the attack would kill her patron as well as the other four bearers of the Witchmarks, one of which was her enemy Wonder Woman, leaving Circe as the sole inheritor of all Hecate's power.

During Heacte's conquest of Nanda Parbat and the Parliament of Trees, Wonder Woman discovered her own Witchmark and went to Aeaea with her allies in the Justice League Dark to plead Circe to help her with Hecate's Witchmark. Circe feigned compassion for Diana's predicament but concealed the fact she herself had a Witchmark and taught Diana how to 'use' the power of the marks so that she could fight Hecate. While initially helpful this eventually led to Wonder Woman being possessed by Hecate and she launched an attack on Mount Olympus. By this time the other three bearers of the Witchmarks had all either died or been exorcised, ridding them of the marks, meaning that all of Hecate's power save for the fifth within Circe had amassed in the Hecate controlled Wonder Woman. With this knowledge Circe summoned the Justice League Dark and the former Witchmark bearers to Aeaea where she persuaded them that the only way to stop Hecate was to kill Wonder Woman and sent them to Olympus to battle the goddess. Circe's plan was only partially successful however, as Diana managed to regain control of her body and used the power of the Witchmarks to kill Hecate by feeding her to the Upside-down Man.

While Wonder Woman survived the affair her connection to the Witchmarks was broken and with Hecate dead, Circe secretly inherited all the goddesses power declaring herself the new Goddess of Magic. She was later visited by Wonder Woman and Zatanna on Aeaea and helped them to find the Chaos Sorcerer Mordru in their search to defeat the rouge Lord of Order, Dr Fate. After Dr Fate was defeated Circe went about building her own League at the suggestion of Lex Luthor to challenge Wonder Woman's Justice League Dark. She starting by recruiting the plant based villain the Floronic Man and then went on to enlist the zombie known as Solomon Grundy, the voodoo witchdoctor Papa Midnite and the necromancer Klarion the Witch Boy. Circe swiftly used her new League to take control of the Parliament of Flowers and the Necropolis, two magical authorities made by Hecate to replace the Parliament of Trees and Nanda Parbat.

Injustice League Dark

Despite already inheriting the power of Hecate, Circe wanted to finish her conquest of all magic by acquiring the ancient spirit Eclipso that was created by the gods to counter Hecate's power, as a sort of replacement Upside-down Man. Eclipso, however, was trapped within a black diamond that was in the custody of the Justice League Dark and so Circe co-ordinated their destruction with her followers from the Injustice League Dark, swiftly neutralizing Swamp Thing and Man-bat before the Justice League Dark even realised they were under attack. In response Wonder Woman risked using Eclipso's diamond to enter the spirit plane of the Moon, which had previously housed Heacte's subconscious, in an attempt to stem the source of Circe's newfound powers. Wonder Woman was unsuccessful however as Circe managed to ambush her and take control of her body, trapping her once more on the moon plane.

In possession of Wonder Woman's body Circe led an attack on the Justice League Dark's headquarters, depowering Detective Chimp and resurrecting the great dragon Drakul Karfang who had been killed by Wonder Woman many years prior. Before Circe could free Eclipso Wonder Woman regained control of her body by making a deal with the Upside-Down Man which also returned to her some of Hecate's which she used to re-slay Drakul Karfang and battle Circe. The turn of events caused half of Circe's Injustice League Dark to flee and the other half to surrender although Circe herself still fought on against Wonder Woman, stabbing her with Eclipso's diamond which allowed the spirit to invade Wonder Woman. Before Eclipso could fully possess Wonder Woman her ally Khalid Nassour reluctantly took up the mantel of Dr Fate and helped Wonder Woman use Eclipso's power in tandem with Hecate's to restore Detective Chimp and Man-bat as well as defeat Circe.

Rather than destroy Circe, Diana create a mirror-like prison for her and gave her the magic powers of Hecate and Eclipso that Circe sought so. Diana explained she had done so to prove to Circe that the magical power would not fulfil the emptiness she felt within herself and that while Circe could keep the magic she could not wield it against anyone. Circe's mirror prison was then stored in the Justice League Dark headquarters with Diana beliving she could one day trust Circe to be relied upon and use her power to defeat the Upside-down Man.

Whilst imprisoned in the mirror, Circe used her power to great a garden like sanctuary and found some peace in caring for the wildlife she had created there. Eventually Circe would be called upon by Diana to use Hecate's power to trap the spirit of the Upside-Down Man, while Circe feared it may have meant the destruction of her garden and its residents that she created, she ultimately helped to imprison the Upside-Down Man. Whether her sanctuary survived or not is unknown.

Powers and Abilities

Circe overwhelming Wonder Woman

Circe is a goddess-level sorceress and as such is immortal. She is able to transform reality and matter through spells. Among other things, she can alter minds, fire destructive magical energy blasts, create illusions, revive the dead (as she did with Medusa), teleport, and transform objects and beings. Her "signature move" is transforming men into various animals.

Circe has been seen to be an excellent manipulator, even in circumstance where she could not depend on her magic to enhance her talent of deception, managing to trick immortals and even gods on multiple occasions, often with successful results.

When Ares was the official ruler of Tartarus, as Circe was consort at the time it is also possible she had some limited control over the dead.

Circe also possesses a magical mirror, often referred to as The Mirror of Circe, that allows anyone holding it to alter their features into that of another. It is considered a forbidden object by the Olympian gods but has been stolen several times and used by Hercules.

Sorcery: Circe is a goddess-level sorceress. Circe has nearly limitless magical power. Circe’s primary powers were her abilities to tap and manipulate mystical forces of the universe. She's shown the ability to project her image, voice, and energy bolts over long distances. Her most popular ability is her power to alter the forms of mortal but not immortal beings. With a gesture, she can transform men into animals, usually one comparable to the attitude, appearance or personality of her victims.

  • Projective Animal Metamorphosis: Her most known and main feat was to turn objects and people alike into various sorts of animals. She prefers to transform men into various animals. Some of her victims have become pigs, monkeys, large cats, boars and even birds and have retained their ability to think and sometimes even speak. In these forms, they are subjective to Circe and often in a tranquilized state unable to retaliate. With another gesture, Circe can restore her victims to normal.
  • Matter Transmogrification: She can transform objects and beings into whatever form she desires.
  • Reality Alteration: Her sorcery allows her to manipulate reality through incantations and spells.
  • Immortality: As a goddess level sorceress she is granted with ageless immortality.
  • Alter Minds: She can alter minds and control them utterly.
  • Geokinesis: Circe was able to use rock to imprison and gag Wonder Woman.
  • Magic Blasts: Can fire destructive magical energy blasts.
  • Magical Shields: Able to erect physical shields through her magic prowess.
  • Sound Manipulation: She's shown the ability to project her voice over long distances with extreme pressure.
  • Clairvoyance: Circe also seems to have limited clairvoyant potential, mostly to be able to detect guests to her island and the presence of other immortals in her company. She was able to detect Hermes in an invisible state when he visited her.
  • Illusion Casting: Capable of creating illusions.
  • Teleportation: Capable of tapping even cosmic energies, she could teleport herself and others between dimensions such as from Earth to Olympus.
  • Necromancy: During her time in Hell, she gained the limited ability to manipulate the dead to do her bidding, but has not be known to summon the dead again until she took the powers of Hecate and resurrect a dragon using only its skeleton and a gold coin, although she had no control over the beast.

Superhuman Strength: Her strength was greatly increased due to the power boost she obtained, though this was only temporary as Wonder Woman received them back.

Superhuman Durability: Her durability was greatly increased due to the power boost she obtained, though this was only temporary as Wonder Woman received them back.

In other media

  • Circe 002.jpg
    Circe appears in the animated series Justice League Unlimited, appearing in the episode "This Little Piggy." In the show, she liberally displays her powers of transforming humans and other objects into animals, most notably turning Wonder Woman into a pig, and transforming Batman's batarangs into doves. The storyline here is that she was an old enemy of Wonder Woman's mother. Upon being released from imprisonment in Hades, Circe decided to get her revenge against Hippolyta by turning Diana into a pig (one of the terms of her release was that she could not attack Hippolyta directly). She agrees to turn Wonder Woman back after Batman sings "Am I Blue?" in front of an audience. Circe was voiced by Broadway actress Rachel York, who also sings the 1935 hit "Lulu's Back in Town" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin) in the episode.
  • Circe appears in the video game DC Universe Online. She is one of the three main villain mentors.

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