WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains


Personal information

Name: Unknown but possibly Wotan

 Residence: Mobile
 Occupation: Would-be conqueror
 First Appearance (Golden Age): More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
 First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron #1 (Set in 1941)

Character History


The origins of the Earth-Two Wotan are shrouded in mystery.  He claims to be an ancient being, 100’s if not 1000’s of years old but his history prior to 1940 is largely unknown, limited to Wotan’s own dubious reflections.  In an different incarnation, he claims to have encountered Nabu as another version of Fate in ancient Egypt, developing an animosity to the Lord of Order.  When Nabu’s resting place was discovered in the early 20th Century by archeologist Sven Nelson, Wotan became aware.  He waited until Nabu emerged, this time inhabiting the body of Nelson’s son Kent who, in fusing with Nabu, had become the entity known as Doctor Fate.   Kidnapping a college student named Inza Kramer, Wotan lured the novice hero into battle and nearly defeated to him until Inza, infatuated with her new hero, revived him, unleashing his full magical wrath on Wotan, seemingly destroying him (All-Star Squadron #47).

Wotan was in fact, not destroyed by vanished to New York City where he spent months organizing a cult in anticipation of Fate’s return to America.  Learning of Inza Cramer’s address as a student at Columbia University, he lay in wait and when Cramer and Nelson returned to the U.S., sent an emissary to strangle her to death.  Fate, having already formed a connection to Cramer, immediately appear to her rescue and after interrogating her assailant, followed the lead back to Wotan.  Wotan initially seized the upper hand by unleashing a horde of gorillas on the two intruders by again, encouraged by his connection to Cramer, Fate overwhelmed Wotan, this time flinging to his death from the top of his high-rise hideaway (More Fun #55).

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 Again, Wotan persisted.  Following an instinct that Wotan survived, Fate and Inza entered the realm of the dead, and confronted the master of the afterlife.  There, they learned the Wotan had an again escape and rather than dying, translocated to a distant mountain where he was using forbidden technology to assemble a device to destroy the world he could not rule.  Arriving right before he could activate, Inza and Doctor Fate struggled with Wotan. As Inza occupied him, Fate neutralized the machine so that it’s activation produced no effect.  Fate then defeated Wotan with traditional fisticuffs.  Realizing killing him was probably impossible, Fate imprisoned him in a mystic bubble buried deep in the Earth (More Fun #56).

Wotan’s time in the Earth was brief as roughly a year later, he summoned the energy to project his soul to the surface, seeking a mage of sufficient merit to free his body from its prison.  He came across Ian Karkull, who Doctor Fate had banished into the Shadowlands. The two formed an alliance, freed Wotan’s physical form and set up a base in the Artic, where they were stumbled upon by an expedition including Bob Walker, a friend of Inza Kramer.  When Walker returned the sole survivor, Inza introduced him to Doctor Fate, who monitored Walker on his return to the Arctic.  When Walker’s plane encountered trouble, Fate and Inza rapidly flew to the Arctic and saved Walker from crash, discovering a domed city in the snow.   Investigating, they find Karkull and Wotan, who have used their combined arcane science to develop terrible weapons.  After destroying a battleship, Wotan takes Inza and Fate captive.  They are distracted by the arrival of sailors, permitting Fate to gain the upper hand. In a last defense, Wotan unleashes eldritch flames which appear to consume the city, causing Fate to leave the villains to their supposed deaths More Fun #70).

The two villains were not dead but had concocted a new plan to alter the course of history.  From the Shadowlands, Karkull had watch the history of the US play out, identifying future Presidents for 50 years.  He assembled a team of villains including his ally Wotan and charged each of them with murdering a future President.  Most failed but Wotan managed to kill a young child, not identified, despite Green Lantern’s best effort to prevent it.  Green Lantern then used his ring to send Wotan to Limbo. Karkull was seemingly destroyed by the Justice Society (All-Star Squadron #50).

The following year, Wotan re-emerged from Limbo, having spent his time learning new magics related to Arthurian lore.  Using his newfound knowledge, he reconstructed Camelot and disguised himself as King Arthur, luring Sir Justin, the Shining Knight into just enough complacency to be knocked unconscious and brought under Wotan’s mental control.  Wotan began a series of plans, ostensibly aiding Adolph Hitler in the conquest of Britian, plans which nearly succeeded but for the arrival of Doctor Fate, the Blackhawks and members of the All-Star Squadron.  Wotan is again subdued with fisticuffs but his deposition is unrevealed (All-Star Squadron #48-49).

The activities of Wotan after this case are largely unknown.  It is known that by the late 1940’s, he was again imprisoned in Limbo from which he was retrieved by Per Degaton as part of an effort to alter history by interfering in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Wotan initially contributed by captured the Spectre and Doctor Fate and was partially responsible for Danette Reilly gaining the powers of Firebrand, but as Degaton was undone, the timeline was corrected and the sorcerous villain was returned to Limbo whence he came (Justice League of America Vol. 1 #193, All-Star Squadron #1-3).

Wotan’s ultimate fate on Earth-Two is unknown.

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Powers and Abilities

Wotan appears to possess a wide array of sorcery-based skills from traditional transformation to a more structure form of magic that resembles arcane science.  He is able to engage in a variety of direct offensive acts using various forms of magic such as flames or energy bolts but also use arcane science to create implements of planetary level destruction.  He is physically resilient, possess of super-strength and at least limited forms of flight and can reincarnate if “killed”.  Whether his powers evolve in new forms is unknown.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Wotan’s limitations generally center on superior magical force.  Agents wielding stronger magic than Wotan – Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, The Spectre – can overwhelm him.  He has also been subdued by simply fisticuffs, suggest that his magical energies can be depleted or that when using one form, he cannot use another to defend himself.  His physical forms wear out eventually and need to be replaced, tho what drives that need is unclear. 

Multiversity Villains


In this timeline, Wotan began his/her existence as a woman in the prehistoric north.  Fallen victim to a gang of men, she was beaten, raped and left for dead but survived long enough to drag herself into the cave of a shaman, who taught her secrets of magic til she passed herself off as a goddess to local tribes.  Obsessed with immortality, Wotan learned to reincarnate herself, adopted different forms over the millennia and coming in conflict with Nabu (Doctor Fate Vol. 2 #14).  How much of this is paralleled on Earth-Two is unknown.

Otherwise, the history of Wotan is thought to be largely similar to Earth-Two. After the Crisis, he continued to be a nemesis of Dr. Fate, the Spectre and Zatanna Zatara (Spectre Vol 2 #7-8).  In a final effort to achieve true immortality and travels to India and managed to confront God, seeing the secrets of the Universe in full form.  The experience blinded him and purged his evil nature, leaving him no threat to anyone (Doctor Fate Vol. 2 #14-15).


The history of the Earth-2 Wotan has many similarities to the Earth-Two and Earth-0 versions.  She is a born in ancient times, mastering sorcery and reincarnation.  She encounters the Wonders of the World when her nemesis Nabu is incarnated as the Doctor Fate of this world, fused with Khalid Ben-Hassin. He battled the Wonders but was eventually flung into an unknown dimension ( Earth 2 #9-12).  A later encounter with Constantine of Earth-0 results in his death by dismemberment but given his reincarnation powers, whether he is truly dead is unclear (Constantine #18). 




Reprinted in

More Fun Comics #55

First appearance, vs. Dr. Fate

Doctor Fate Archives Vol. 1

More Fun Comics #56

vs. Dr. Fate

Doctor Fate Archives Vol. 1, The Immortal Dr. Fate #1

More Fun Comics #70

With Ian Karkull, vs. Dr. Fate

Doctor Fate Archives Vol. 1

All-Star Squadron Annual #3



Justice League of America #193

Set in the 1940’s, vs.  the All-Star Squadron

Showcase Presents All-Star Squadron Vol. 1

All-Star Squadron #1-3  

Set in the 1940's, assembles villains from various times and battles the All-Star Squadron

Showcase Presents All-Star Squadron Vol. 1

All-Star Squadron Annual #47-49

New details of origin, vs. the All-Star Squadron