Warning: SPOILERS for Wonder Woman & Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour
It might be against her will, but Wonder Woman has become the biggest threat currently facing the DC Universe with the latest event of The Witching Hour. The revelation comes on the heels of (and is directly related to) Wonder Woman’s new magic powers seen in Justice League Dark. As it turns out, Wonder Woman’s time as a child on Themyscira wasn’t always a paradise.
DC has rewritten rewritten Wonder Woman’s backstory (again) adding even more mysticism to her origins. She is still the biological daughter of Zeus, but another god has a much more personal claim on Princess Diana. When she was just a child, the Greek goddess Hecate "marked" her... turning the Amazon into a magical ticking time bomb.
The origins of Wonder Woman’s new powers were hinted at in Justice League Dark #3, but their purpose finally becomes clear in the first issue of Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour, a crossover issue launching the story of this new godly marking. Evidently, a cult of Amazons back home on Themyscira worshiped the Greek goddess of witchcraft Hecate. And when a young Diana trespassed on one of the coven’s rituals, she was branded by Hecate’s mark on her forehead as punishment.
Although the mark would have been hidden by Wonder Woman’s tiara for years, it remained entirely invisible to the naked eye. After laying dormant for years, Hecate wants control of one of the DC Universe’s mightiest heroines, wishing to possess her to claim as much power as possible, now that magic is dying in DC's Universe. Hecate’s possession, in a practical sense, means that the magical goddess can turn Wonder Woman into a pale, white-haired monster who wants to cause nothing but destruction. Hecate can use one of her vessels, like Diana, and turn them into a living bomb that will annihilate everything and everyone in the immediate vicinity.
For the moment the only heroes that know of Wonder Woman’s “condition” are her fellow members of Justice League Dark. Batman suspects something (because he’s Batman), but so far Wonder Woman is trying, and just barely succeeding at keeping her dark side under control. Wonder Woman is more resistant to Hecate than the average woman because of her nearly goddess like status herself, but even she can't hold out forever. Which means it’s possible that Hecate will assume control sooner rather than later.
When (or if) Hecate starts walking around in Wonder Woman’s body, it likely won’t last too long. “Evil” Wonder Woman could be the Justice League Dark’s first real threat, but DC isn’t about to turn their Amazon warrior into a villain on a permanent basis. But what could stick is this new twist of making Diana a true, magical heroine. Wonder Woman’s relationship with magic has always lurked in the background of the character, ever since she was originally brought to life from clay by the breath of the gods.
But like many other aspects of Wonder Woman's history, magic has largely fallen by the wayside. Wonder Woman simply has too much going on between her combat skills, her faith in feminism, and her status as royalty from a foreign government for DC or anyone else to worry about her connection to magic. It still separates her from some of DC’s other big-time heroes - mainly Batman and Superman - so even if Hecate’s possession is temporary, Wonder Woman’s familiarity and skills with magic should continue for the foreseeable future.
Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour is available now from DC Comics.