- I call myself Wotan. It is not my given; I took it. The older ones among you-- especially the Justice Society-- will remember me. Come for me if you wish. I am immortal so you can't kill me. I have been entombed for decades so your prisons will not faze me. Come for me if you dare. I would see how you would die.
- — Wotan src
Wotan is an evil sorcerer and an enemy of Doctor Fate.
Ages ago, the sorcerer now known as Wotan was a prehistorical woman who lived in a cold, dark wasteland. After being raped and beaten to the brink of death, the woman was determined to discover the reasons, if any, for human existence and the suffering it entails. Escaping her tormentors, she found refuge with an aged shaman who taught her the mystical arts. The future Wotan grew to become a powerful sorceress that was worshiped as a goddess. Seeking to escape death, she learned how to extend her life by transferring her soul into another body, and finally to direct her own reincarnation into other bodies (or controlled re-birth, as Wotan named it). After thousands of incarnations, becoming both male and female, the sorceress eventually becoming the male sorcerer Wotan, named after the ruler of the gods in Norse and Germanic mythology.
Wotan sought ultimate power, continuing to amass knowledge, both science and mysticism, and built his occult powers to great levels, often by absorbing the souls of other great mystics into himself. Wotan's ruthless pursuit for power brought him into conflict with the Lord of Order Nabu.
In the 1940's, Wotan clashed with Nabu's successor Kent Nelson, the sorcerer known as Doctor Fate. Their first fight took place in Wotan's doorless and windowless tower near Alexandria, Egypt. In their second fight, at Inza Cramer's apartment on North Street in New York City, Fate seemingly killed Wotan by throwing him to the street from a high window, but Doctor Fate's follow-up investigation, in Hades, revealed that Wotan had survived. The two soon clashed again, and at the end of their third encounter, Fate sealed Wotan in a tomb in the center of the Earth.
Wotan eventually escaped from his prison, when he encountered Ian Karkull and telepathically instructed him into freeing him, leading to another conflict with Doctor Fate, at the end of which Wotan seemingly perished in a fire. In late 1941, Wotan played a supporting role in Per Degaton's second attempt at world conquest, and in mid-1942 he played the most successful part in Ian Karkull's failed scheme for preemptively assassinating 50 years' worth of future U.S. Presidents, that is, he was the only hench-villain (out of nine) who actually succeeded in killing his target.
Wotan was eventually stranded in Limbo by The Spectre, where he remained for years. Wotan devised a plan to escape Limbo by using the body of a Homo Magi in order to return to Earth. Wotan intercepted the soul of the magician Zatara, but when he learned that Zatara was not a Homo Magi, he used his soul to create a psychic connection with his daughter Zatanna. After months of strengthening the link, Wotan started stealing Zatanna's limbs with help from the demons Ghast and Rath, in order to create a body that he would possess to escape Limbo. His plans were discovered by The Spectre, who recovered Zatanna's body and bargained Wotan's freedom in exchange of Zatara's soul. Wotan managed to return to Earth thanks to his deal with The Spectre, but when the Spirit of Vengeance turned on him, Wotan vanished before The Spectre could kill him. Once again, Wotan was free to roam Earth at will.
Wotan discovered a temple in India where he contended is the resting place of the last physical body of the being he sought for years, whom he called the Avatar, the spiritual essence of God. Believing that the body is still infused with divine power, Wotan planned to absorb that power, confront God and supplant Him. The new Doctor Fate and the Justice League vainly attempted to stop Wotan, but he defeated them all and entered the temple. However, Wotan underestimated the sheer power of The Creator in which he was rendered blind and the evil in his soul purged. Spiritually transformed and deemed no longer a menace by Nabu, Wotan chose to begin his life anew and stay at the temple, in the Avatar's presence.
Powers and Abilities
- During the Golden Age, Wotan used some hi-tech weapons of his own design.
- Wotan was one of the minor characters the Great Carlini believed to be expendable that was sent to try and save the Lobo series from becoming too violent. He was killed by Lobo, along with several other characters pulled from Comic Limbo, in a barroom brawl. Due to the highly meta nature of the storyline and the fact almost all of the deceased characters appeared again in mainstream continuity, these deaths do not appear to be canon. Wotan appeared alive several times afterwards.
- 30 Appearances of Wotan (New Earth)
- 6 Images featuring Wotan (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Wotan (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Wotan (New Earth)
- Doctor Fate (Volume 2) #14
- Secret Origins (Volume 2) #24
- More Fun Comics #55
- More Fun Comics #56
- More Fun Comics #70
- Justice League of America #193
- All-Star Squadron #1
- All-Star Squadron #2
- All-Star Squadron #3
- All-Star Squadron Annual #3
- JLA: Year One #12
- Spectre (Volume 2) #7
- Spectre (Volume 2) #8
- Doctor Fate (Volume 2) #15
- Lobo (Volume 2) #62
- Justice Society of America (Volume 3) #50
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