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|First appearance||More Fun Comics #55 (1940)|
|Created by||Gardner Fox (writer)|
Howard Sherman (artist)
|Team affiliations||Injustice League|
Brilliant scientist (pre-Flashpoint)
Wotan is a fictional character in stories published by DC Comics, a supervillain who is the archenemy of the mystical superhero Doctor Fate. Wotan first appeared in 1940 and has featured in a number of storylines, and has been adapted for two animated television series.
Fictional character biography
The being now known as Wotan started out life as a Stone Age woman who was raped by someone claiming to be a servant of God. She studied the black arts and became such a powerful sorceress that she was worshiped as a goddess. She later learned how to switch from body to body and then to direct her own reincarnation, eventually becoming the male being now known as Wotan. In the Golden Age, Wotan encountered first Green Lantern and then the sorcerer known as Doctor Fate where he became Fate's nemesis. At one point, he was pulled back in time with other JSA enemies by the time-traveller Per Degaton to assist in capturing the JSA and stop them from interfering in his attempt to change the events of Pearl Harbor. Wotan uses his magic aura to hold the JSA captive in caves beneath an island. The plan is foiled by the actions of the All-Star Squadron. When the Spectre is released from the aura and frees the other members, Per Degaton goes back in time, thus erasing everybody's memories of this event and returning them to their proper places.
During the second volume of The Spectre in the eighties, he tries to take over the body of the sorceress Zatanna, but fails. In the early nineties, Wotan discovers the temple where the last body of the being known as Yahweh - God Himself - lay entombed, still seething with mystical power. Wotan enters the tower with the intention of absorbing the power, confronting God himself, and supplanting Him. Instead, he emerges blinded, his evil having been burned out by God's power. Declaring that Wotan will never menace anybody again, one of Yahweh's servants spirits Wotan away.
Physically, Wotan was a tall man with a slender build and green skin. He had black hair and purple eyes. He dressed in a red costume with a green cape and green boots.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Wotan is reintroduced in issue #9 of Earth 2. Appearing once again as a woman, Wotan is "the mage of an organization that seeks to augment its control of magic in the world."
She is portrayed as an ancient sorcerer who started life as a female Viking and later mastered the arts of sorcery having lived several lifetimes with altered genders. An encounter with Nabu the Wise left her skin forever green and unable to enter the Tower of Fate which held the helmet he/she desperately sought after.
Powers and abilities
Wotan is a master sorcerer and a brilliant scientist who has created technological wonders that are far in advance of 20th century science. Through centuries of study, Wotan has mastered the black art of sorcery, becoming powerful enough to challenge even Doctor Fate. Wotan's magic lets him project powerful bolts of mystical force, fly, travel between dimensions, change shape, and cast a wide range of spells. His magical aura was able to hold the JSA and All-Star Squadron, and even Superman and the Spectre were unable to break loose without outside help. He can absorb the souls and powers of other beings, transfer his soul into other bodies, and even direct the course of his own reincarnation.
In other media
- A version of Wotan appears in Wonder Woman' 70s series played by James Olson.
- Wotan appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Eyes of Despero!" voiced by James Arnold Taylor. He attempted to break into the Library of Infinity only to be stopped by Doctor Fate and Batman. While Wotan managed to knock off Doctor Fate's helmet, he was caught off-guard when he was K.O.'d by Doctor Fate's punch.
- Wotan is featured in Young Justice voiced by Bruce Greenwood. In "Independence Day," Zatara briefly appears on a display in the library of the Hall of Justice to request support after stating that Wotan is using The Amulet of Aten to blot out the sun. In "Revelation," Wotan appears as a member of the Injustice League. In "Misplaced", Wotan, Felix Faust, Blackbriar Thorn and Wizard are summoned by Klarion the Witch Boy to assist in a ceremony on Roanoke Island that apparently splits reality into two dimensions by channeling mystic energy through a gem referred to as Ambre Jour Verdu.
- Who's Who:The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, volume 26
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Update '88, volume 4
- Who's Who in the DC Universe 1990, #1(This last is the first Who's Who issue to reveal Wotan's full origin for the first time.)
|← The original Black Condor was debuted by Will Eisner and Lou Fine. See Black Condor for more info and the previous timeline.|| Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)
May 1940 (See also: Doctor Fate)
|The characters Bulletman and Susan Kent (who later becomes Bulletgirl) were debuted by Bill Parker and John Smalle. See Bulletman and Bulletgirl for more info and next timeline. →|