Circe is an ancient, immortal sorceress of incredible power who is a recurring antagonist of Wonder Woman.
- 1 History
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Related
Birth of the Witch
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 to sate 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 made 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 gender alienation: men and women had always distrusted one another to an extent, she merely fanned such flames, sowing 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 of Antiope. This is precisely what Circe wanted. Circe remained on Aeaea for three thousand years, venturing out to cause more chaos and destruction, but by modern times 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 Diana of Themyscira (New Earth) 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, thus leading to 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 (see Diana of Themyscira (New Earth) under "War of the Gods" for further details about the witch's machinations).
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 owing to the interference 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.
Banishment of the Amazons
Circe recuperated from her ordeal from the War of the Gods event and concocted a plan in trying to destroy the Amazons and ruin Diana. After the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall lost their Egyptian city at the hands of Diana's gods and the Egyptian military and turned to Circe for revenge, Circe remained true to her word and granted the Bana-Mighdallian Amazons immortality and teleported them to Themyscira in order for them to take over the island for themselves and cause a civil war between Amazons. Circe eventually showed her hatred for all Amazons by betraying the alliance she had with the Bana-Mighdall Amazons and cast the island and all its inhabitants into a dimension of demons. Thus both tribes of Amazons spent ten years battling demons for their own survival. When Diana discovered what the witch had done, she forced Circe to return the island back to its original location after losing a bet with the Amazon by manipulating Diana into getting an innocent woman killed.
Donna Milton Persona
Circe later concocted another plan in trying to destroy Diana by disguising as a mortal lawyer named Donna Milton, a persona she planned to use to get close enough to Diana in order to kill her when her defenses were low. Fearful that Diana would see through her disguise with her power of truth, Circe cast a spell on herself that made Circe believe that she actually was Donna Milton and her true persona would only return when Donna attacked Diana, however the spell was too effective and suppressed Circe consciousness without her consent. As Donna Milton, she was hired by the mobster Ares Buchanan, the god Ares in disguise himself, and during their time together they formed a romantic relationship culminating in Circe becoming pregnant. As Donna, Circe actually became a good friend of Diana and ended up saving her life from Ares with no knowledge of her true mission to destroy her. No longer working for Ares, Circe gave birth to her daughter Lyta Milton and became Diana's lawyer at her new detective agency.
When the Amazon Artemis single-handedly battled the White Magician, Diana realized that Donna Milton was actually Circe and begged her to help transport her to Artemis' side. Not believing Diana and hurt that her friend would think her to be notorious villain, Donna screamed at Diana to leave and subconsciously teleported Diana to Artemis, causing Circe's memories to slowly come back to her. Still possessing some of Donna's false memories, she teleported herself to Diana in order to help her in her battle, but was unable to defeat the White Magician. She used the remainder of her power to save Diana by teleporting herself away from the battle, before saying her last words to Diana as her Donna Milton persona before her original Circe personality fully took control.
Circe would later return to make a faustian deal with the demon lord Neron in exchange for increased magical power, but managed to keep her soul by planning with other villains to destroy the soul jar which contained it and was spirited away. She later formed part of the Injustice Gang gathered by Lex Luthor, alongside the Joker, Dr. Light, and the Ocean Master in an effort to destroy the Justice League, most specifically Wonder Woman, by sowing dissent between members. During a fight with the JLA, she became preoccupied with Plastic Man whose shapeshifting powers allowed him to immediately change out of the animal forms she turned him into, much to her displeasure. She was defeated and teleported away, swearing revenge.
Circe later appeared again to torment Wonder Woman by brainwashing her mother, Queen Hippolyta, into thinking she was the dead housewife of a widower and his son as revenge for convincing her to help Diana during her stint as Donna Milton. Using a special herb spell, Circe brainwashed Hippolyta and her new family, and decided to break the spell after confronting Wonder Woman by giving her the cure, mocking the fact Hippolyta would be crushed and traumatized by losing the chance to have a husband and child as she always wanted.
The Witch And The Warrior
Circe later appeared again at the Presidential White House during Lex Luthor's new tenure as a the US President and proposed both a business and romantic relationship with Luthor as his new wife with her daughter Lyta as a family, which he immediately shot down, much to her embarrassment, causing her to swear vengeance.
Shortly before Imperiex assaulted the Earth, Circe struck at Diana through her friends. She allied herself with Sebastian Ballesteros, the new Cheetah incarnation and Circe's new lover, and turned Diana's friend Vanessa Kapatelis into the new Silver Swan to destroy Wonder Girl's school. After Hippolyta dies saving Diana from an Imperiex probe, Circe launches an attack on New York City, transforming all male superheroes into her bestiamorphs save for J'onn Jonzz, Beast Boy and Plastic Man, who she took special means to keep imprisoned due to their shape-shifting abilities. She also imprisoned and transformed her former allies in the Injustice Gang, taking particular delight in tormenting Luthor and the Joker. As the only persons who were not affected by the spell were women, many female superheroes entered the city in an attempt to save their friends and stop the witch's plan, but were stopped by the female members of various supervillain communities under Circe's orders. Leading the pack against Circe was Wonder Woman, who Circe also expected, sending a Doomsday-altered Superman. She hoped to demoralize the world by making Superman and Wonder Woman kill one another, while she transmitted the fight in a global broadcast. Ultimately Circe was unsuccessful in her plan as a majority of the female heroes were able to change back their male super-powered friends with the use of the herb Moly, which has a tendency to disrupt Circe's magic.
After a grueling fight, Diana broke Circe's spell on Superman with her lasso, while Luthor and the Joker managed to free themselves and threaten Circe's daughter for their freedom, but Circe overpowered both and escaped with all of her allies. Circe continued to harass Diana and Donna Troy, appearing in their dreams as a dying Hippolyta causing Diana to track down Circe to the Greek Parthenon, where they fought in single combat, again on a global broadcast as per Circe's request. Circe had cast spells on herself to make her Diana's physical equal, but ultimately she was defeated. During the fight, she claimed her hatred of Diana was fueled by the hypocrisy she perceived in Diana's beliefs in a better world. She attempted to goad Diana into killing her but Diana spared her and Circe relented after being convinced to stop by her daughter who feared for her life. Circe was taken into Amazon custody and kept in a prison full of Moly, rendering her powerless and keeping Lyta out of Circe's reach except for custody times.
Escape from the Amazons
Circe was freed from her imprisonment and rescued from possible death after Hera destroyed Themyscira by the two living Gorgon sisters Stheno and Euryale once the island of Themyscira toppled into the sea. As repayment Circe revived their long-dead sister Medusa who eventually became a fellow enemy of Wonder Woman while Circe planned to get her daughter back using Veronica Cale as her minion. Shortly after Medusa's defeat, Circe's daughter Lyta was kidnapped by her father Ares while under the protection of the Amazons on Themyscira. Confronting Ares, she soon discovered that the time of the gods was at a crossroads and joined Ares as his consort as the new ruler of Tartarus. Thus, Lyta continued to be cared for by both of her parents.
One Year Later
With the Gods leaving the Earthly plane, Circe, 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 Wonder Girl. 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-like 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 Donna's, Cassie's and Hercules' powers 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 join together and mount an assault on Circe's island and base of Aeaea. Sneaking past her defenses with a high-tech jet, Diana and Hercules managed to infiltrate her island. Though it would not be long before Circe discovered and 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. Wonder Woman managed to fight off her rogues gallery before her allies arrived to offer their support while Wonder Woman dealt with Circe. Circe decided to banish Heracles to the Underworld in chains stronger than those that held the Titan Prometheus as revenge for betraying her. She then explained she lost the one thing that gave her purpose to live on the mortal plane, her daughter Lyta, and vanished before granting Wonder Woman a gift by allowing her to shift between being Wonder Woman and a regular human at will.
Circe developed her own malicious plan once again. Employing Everyman to pose as Diana Prince's boss, Sarge Steel, she enabled the Department of Metahuman Affairs 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 a different point of view on right and wrong and the changes in society that may make what they thought was wrong, right all along before disappearing.
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 Island's coordinates. As Wonder Woman and Circe battled each other in Washington D.C., she revealed her plans. Though the very ears she hoped would not hear them did. Hippolyta and a group of Amazonian warriors overheard Circe's plan and with a spear, Hippolyta stabbed Circe. Circe told Diana to finally usurp the throne as she vanished away. She reappeared again after the conflict was interrupted by the appearance of Athena (secretly Granny Goodness) and explained that she brought about the events that transpired to punish the Olympian Gods for allowing Ares to steal her daughter Lyta from her before vanishing from the mortal realm for good. Circe was then eternally banished to Hades by a disguised Granny Goodness and remained there to suffer ever since.
- Magic: Circe is a goddess-level sorceress, known as one of the most powerful sorcerers on Earth and has been for centuries. Circe has nearly limitless magical power. Circe's primary powers are her abilities to tap and manipulate the mystical forces of the universe. She has demonstrated 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, with the resultant form usually appropriate to the attitude, appearance or personality of the victim.
- Projective Animal Metamorphosis: Her most well-known and principle magical feat is, with a gesture, to turn objects and people alike into various sorts of animals, called Beastiamorphs. She has an especial preference for subjecting men to this transformation. In these forms, they are subject to Circe's will and often in a tranquilized state, unable to resist her. More creatively, Circe can also use these particular magics to augment herself enabling the take down small armies or temporarily matching Diana blow for blow.
- Matter Transmogrification: She can transform objects and beings into whatever form she desires.
- Reality Alteration: Her sorcery allows her to manipulate reality to a degree.
- Immortality: As the child of a Titan, she is granted ageless immortality, though she can apparently be physically harmed by a sufficiently strong attack.
- Alter Minds: She can alter minds and control them utterly.
- Magic Blasts: Can fire destructive magical energy blasts.
- Magical Shields: Able to erect physical barriers of magical energy of great durability and strength.
- Clairvoyance: Circe also seems to have limited clairvoyant potential, mostly demonstrating a mystical awareness of guests on 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
- Teleportation: Capable of tapping even cosmic energies, she can teleport between dimensions such as from Earth to Olympus.
- Necromancy: (Formerly) During her time in Hell, she gained the limited ability to manipulate the dead to do her bidding, but has not often demonstrated these abilities since her return to Earth. She is a sufficiently skilled necromancer that she was able to return Hippolyta from the realm of the dead.
- Charisma: She has the ability to seduce others with her natural charm.
- Alchemy: She can create potions to transform individuals or to grant power comparable to that of the Greek gods.
- Vulnerability to Moly: An herb called Moly disrupts Circe's magic.
- Immortality Immunity: She is unable to use some of her more basic magics on immortals. Instead, she must plot and plan different strategies to affect immortals such as Wonder Woman and other gods in creative and indirect ways.
- Grimoire: The source of Circe's spells.
- This character is an adaptation of Circe, a character in traditional stories. These include, but may not be limited to religious texts, myth, and/or folk lore. More information on the original can be found at Wikipedia.org.
- Circe was first adapted for DC Comics by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter and debuted in Pre-Crisis Earth-Two continuity in Wonder Woman #37. She first appeared in Post-Crisis New Earth continuity in Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #17 by George Pérez.
- In Greek myths, Circe was the daughter of Helios and Perseis/Perse. In the DC Universe, her father has been identified as either Helios or Helios' father Hyperion.
- 101 Appearances of Circe (New Earth)
- 27 Images featuring Circe (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Circe (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Circe (New Earth)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #19
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #17-19
- War of the Gods (Volume 1)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #88-90
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #79-100
- Underworld Unleashed #2
- JLA #9-15
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #137-138
- President Luthor Secret Files and Origins #1
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #174-176
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #204-211
- Wonder Woman Annual (Volume 3) #1
- Wonder Woman Secret Files and Origins #1
- Showcase '96 #2
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #176
- Wonder Woman (Volume 3) #4
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #138
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #174
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