Circe is a fictional character, a villainous sorceress and a major adversary of Wonder Woman appearing in DC Comics publications and related media. Based upon the Greek mythological character of the same name who imprisoned Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey, the comic book incarnation of Circe first appeared to bedevil Wonder Woman in the 1940s in Wonder Woman, vol. 1, issue #37. As the narrative continuity of the Wonder Woman comic has been adjusted by different writers throughout the years, various versions of Circe, with various physical appearances, have emerged to challenge the Amazing Amazon. All of these have retained a set of key features: immortality, stunning physical beauty, a powerful command over wicked sorcery, a penchant for turning human beings into animals (like her mythological antecedent), and a delight in humiliation.
In the original DC Comics continuity (prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths), Circe is a centuries-old enchantress who is kept young by an elixir called vitae. It is made from a special combination of plants and herbs. While living on the island Aeaea, Circe gains magical powers. Circe is very skilled at turning men into any animal resembling their personality, and, for her crimes against mortalkind, the Amazon Queen Hippolyta banished her to Sorca, "an island planet in space, where she could do no harm".
Upon her return to Earth, Circe tries to destroy Wonder Woman, having heard from an oracle in ancient times that the daughter of Hippolyta will be her undoing. Unlike many of Wonder Woman's other Golden Age foes, Circe does not repent, when her plot fails, and a legendary enmity is born. (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #37)
A woman claiming to be a descendant of the original Circe later appears and gives Superman an evolution serum, which temporarily transforms him into a partial lion. Realizing the serum contains Kryptonite, Superman theorizes the original Circe may have been from Krypton. (Action Comics #243)
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