Wotan as depicted in Earth 2 #12 (July 2013). Art by Brett Booth (penciler), Norm Rapmund (inker), and Andrew Dalhouse (colorist).
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceMore Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
Created byGardner Fox (writer)
Howard Sherman (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoUnknown (originally)
Karel Wotan (Earth 2)
Team affiliationsInjustice League
Notable aliasesWotan
  • Mastery in black magic
  • Reincarnation
  • Skilled scientist and inventor

Wotan is a fictional supervillain featured in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character, created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, made their first appearance in More Fun Comics #55 in 1940. Wotan is frequently portrayed as the primary antagonist of Doctor Fate. Originally a female who obtained her powers through sorcery, Wotan later underwent reincarnation in a male form. Adopting the name "Wotan" from Germanic and Norse legends, the character developed a strong desire for power, leading to conflicts with Doctor Fate.[1] Following the New 52 reboot, a new version of the character named Karel Wotan was introduced in the Earth 2 universe. Karel shares a similar background and possesses green skin as a result of a scar inflicted by Nabu. Seeking vengeance for this injury, Karel assumes the identity of Wotan. The original incarnation of Wotan briefly reappeared in the DC Rebirth storyline.

Wotan has made appearances in various forms of media, including adaptations in animated series such as Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice.

Publication history

Wotan first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940) and was created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman.[2]

Fictional character biography

Pre/Post Crisis

Wotan as depicted in Who's Who in the DC Universe #1(August 1990). Art by Jay Geldhof (penciller/inker) and Anthony Tollin (colorist).

The being now known as Wotan was originally 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.[1] In the Golden Age, Wotan encountered first Green Lantern and then the sorcerer known as Doctor Fate, becoming the latter's nemesis.[3]

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 history. 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.[4]

During the second volume of The Spectre, Wotan unsuccessfully attempts to take over Zatanna's body.[5] Later on, Wotan discovers the temple where the last body of the being known as Yahweh - God Himself - lay entombed, still seething with mystical power.[1] While fighting the current Doctor Fate and the Justice League, 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 him away.[6]

Earth 2

In The New 52 (a reboot of DC's continuity), Wotan is reintroduced in issue #9 of Earth 2 as Karel Wotan. Her original incarnation once again as a woman, Wotan claimed to be "the mage of an organization that seeks to augment its control of magic in the world" although this was later revealed to be a lie.[7] 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, both male and female. An encounter with Nabu the Wise left her with green skin and prevented her from claiming the Helmet of Fate.[8]

Powers and abilities

Wotan is a known for their expertise in sorcery, particularly in the realm of black magic. They have acquired extensive knowledge and skill in sorcerous studies over many centuries. Wotan possesses various magical abilities, including the ability to traverse between dimensions, perform intricate spell-casting, and even transfer their own soul into another body, effectively undergoing a form of self-directed reincarnation. At their apex of power, Wotan exhibits formidable abilities that enable them to directly challenge Doctor Fate. Wotan's mastery of black magic grants them significant potency in magical confrontations. Furthermore, Wotan also displays proficiency as a scientist, having created advanced technology surpassing anything developed during the 20th century.[9]

However, it is worth noting that Wotan's skills in hand-to-hand combat are limited, and they rely primarily on their magic rather than physical combat techniques.[10]

Other versions

In other media


Video games


  1. ^ a b c Doctor Fate (vol. 2) #14. DC Comics.
  2. ^ Golden, Christopher; Bissette, Stephen R.; Sniegoski, Thomas E. (2000). The Monster Book. Simon & Schuster. p. 196. ISBN 9780671042592.
  3. ^ Secret Origins (vol. 2) #24. DC Comics.
  4. ^ All-Star Squadron #1-3. DC Comics.
  5. ^ The Spectre (vol. 2) #7-8. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Doctor Fate (vol. 2) #15. DC Comics.
  7. ^ James Robinson (w), Nicola Scott (p), Trevor Scott (i). "The Tower of Fate: Prologue; The Man Who Was Scared" Earth 2, no. 9 (April 2013).
  8. ^ Earth 2 #11. DC Comics.
  9. ^ Who's Who in the DC Universe #1. DC Comics. 1990.
  10. ^ Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Vol. XXVI. DC Comics. 1987.
  11. ^ Adventures of the Super Sons #7. DC Comics.
  12. ^ a b "Wotan Voices (DC Universe)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved May 6, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  13. ^ Weisman, Greg (September 2, 2022). "Search Ask Greg: Gargoyles: Station Eight". s8.org. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  14. ^ Eisen, Andrew (October 4, 2013). "DC Characters and Objects - Scribblenauts Unmasked Guide". IGN. Retrieved May 6, 2024.