There is no time of the year like Halloween. Everybody goes crazy over magic, wizardry, sorcery, witchcraft and cosplay. Perhaps nothing combines all those elements as well as comic book witches. Witches are probably the most famous and enduring of all fictional monster templates (definitely the sexiest). Whether you are a comic book fan who is looking forward to cosplaying as an amazing comic book witch or just a casual fan interested in knowing more about some of the most fascinating magical females in fiction, this list is meant for you. Here are 18 famous Comic Book Witches:
Every big superhero team needs their resident magic user, and the Justice League’s is Zatanna Zatara. She is the daughter of famous stage magician Giovanni “John” Zatara and woman called Sindella, who is from the mystical Homo Magi race. Zatanna was primarily raised by her father in New York City. Zatanna never met her mother as the she was told that Sindella had died during childbirth. However, Zatanna eventually learned that her mother had faked her death to go back and re-unite with her Homo Magi brethren.
Leonardo da Vinci is a direct ancestor of Zatanna. She is also related to Nostradamus, Alessandro Cagliostro, the noted alchemists Nicholas Flamel and Evan Fulcanelli, and Lord Arion of Atlantis.
Although she poses as a top hat-wearing stage magician, Zatanna is actually a powerful sorceress in reality. Like her famous father Zatara, her incantations are of a very specific kind. as she has to say the words of what she desires backwards for the spell to work. As a member of a magical branch of humanity called the Homo Magi, her mystical abilities have been a great asset to the League over the years.
The true ‘witch credentials’ Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch have been a hot topic for debate among comic book nerds for many years. Initially, she had the mutant ability to manipulate probability through her “hexes,” which could cause an opponent to trip, a gun to misfire or an object to break. Over the years, though, her powers have grown substantially, becoming truly magical, and extraordinarily dangerous. She has brought people back from the dead, single-handedly defeated the Avengers (killing a few in the process), and with three words committed a mutant genocide. But hey, it wasn’t her fault — during “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade,” it was revealed that Doctor Doom had been manipulating Wanda all along to gain ultimate power for himself.
Recently, Wanda has been trying to get her life back in order, which has been complicated by the revelation that she’s not actually Magneto’s daughter. Her reality bending powers are once more down to reasonable levels (no more accidentally destroying the world with a fleeting thought), but she’s more than made up for it by focusing heavily on actual witchcraft. Outside of comics, Elizabeth Olson has portrayed Wanda in three films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with at least two more to come.
An immortal witch of immense power, Circe is a devotee of the goddess Hecate, and through her, is able to channel godlike abilities, not the least of which are mind control and turning people into animals (as she once did to Odysseus’ crew). Circe has plagued Wonder Woman since the Golden Age, though she only became an A-list villain during George Perez’s post-Crisis run, which culminated in “The War of the Gods,” in which she incited a war between the various pantheons of the DC universe. Circe has a knack for being a behind the scenes manipulator. She was also responsible for the Amazon army’s assault on Washington, DC, in “Amazons Attack!”
Circe has a particular dislike for Wonder Woman, in large part because of a prophecy she believes to mean Diana would inherit Hecate’s powers. More recently, her enmity has also been justified as a response to what she sees as Diana’s naïveté and hypocrisy, especially her failure to save women from the oppression of men.
Magica De Spell
Take Sophia Loren, Morticia Addams, add some magical powers, fuse them together inside a female duck’s form, and you get Magica de Spell. From her lair on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Italy, Magica De Spell plots how to steal what she believes to be one of the most powerful magical artefacts in existence: Uncle Scrooge McDuck’s Number One Dime, the first coin Scrooge ever earned. Magica’s main goal in life is to melt the Dime in the raging inferno of Mount Vesuvius and create an amulet which will grant her the Midas Touch (the wearer can turn anything to gold by a mere touch).
Magica made her first appearance in Carl Barks’ “Uncle Scrooge” in the year 1961. She was a recurring character over the next several years of Barks’ classic run. Many now, however, are more likely to remember Magica from her numerous appearances on “DuckTales” (as well as a cameo in “Darkwing Duck”). Magica was one of the key antagonists of the series. Magica De Spell also featured in the “DuckTales” relaunch in 2017.
While DC and Marvel Comics are the usual houses of the most famous comic book characters, the most famous comic book witch of all time belongs to Archie Comics. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is known in the mainstream mostly due to her various popular TV series, but she started out by causing all kinds of magical mischief on the printed page. She first appeared in a 1962 issue of Archie, but was so popular she soon gained her own long running series. A half mortal, Sabrina lives in the town of Greendale with her equally witchy aunts, and mostly got into wholesome hijinks. That is, until the modern reboot The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina took things down a darker path. But whether it’s old school Sabrina or her more modern counterpart, she’s long been comics’ most high profile and iconic witch
Madame Xanadu was once the sorceress Nimue Inwudu who cast a spell on Merlin. Merlin managed to extract his revenge and stripped her of her powers. She wandered for some time before deciding that she wanted to atone for her sins. She did so by helping those troubled with the supernatural. Descended from the Gypsies, Madame Xanadu has worked from her fortune telling parlour based of Greenwich Village for some time. She was later able to gain her immortality by besting Death in a game of cards. She however remained without any real magic might of her own, which has led her to manipulate various forces in order to gain power.
As time passed, Madame Xanadu became more of a supernatural advisor to clients who face problems from the world beyond the living realm. Although she can advise them, some force prevents her from directly interfering in solving their troubles. Madame Xanadu can contain supernatural beings inside the jars of her fortune telling parlour.
The earliest appearance of the demonic being known as the Nightmare Nurse saw her working as a housekeeper named Asa for a woman named Alice Winter in the House of Mystery. Alice became ill, and Asa knew that there was no way to cure her. Since Asa was in need of a new ‘host’, as her current body was old and decrepit, she decided it would be best for her to possess the younger woman’s body. Asa took over Alice’s body and became the Nightmare Nurse, the healer from hell.
Born as a result of her mother being seduced by the terribly powerful demon Azarath, Raven is a powerful, half-demon empath who can channel other people’s emotions into herself. To keep her away from the clutches of her demonic father Trigon, Raven was raised in the extra-dimensional Temple of Azarath, where she was taught to keep her demon side in check. When she learned her father, the demon Trigon, was planning to invade Azarath, Raven came to Earth for help, leading to the reformation of the Teen Titans. Since then, Raven has occasionally tried to live a normal life as a teenager, but inevitably her father (or one of his minions) catches up to her, pushing her back to the Teen Titans and the cause of good, at least until her demonic side breaks free again.
Raven’s powers include the ability to sense and control emotions; astrally projecting her soul-self, a manifestation of dark energy often taking the form of a bird; and manipulating darkness and energy.
Tarot is a witch of the Black Rose coven and Swordmaiden of the Goddess who is a creation of artist Jim Balent. Jim Balent rose to fame as the artist during his famous Catwoman run with writer Chuck Dixon in the 90s. Her name (she was originally named Rowan) comes from her deep connection with tarot cards, through which she receives premonitions of events to come and can connect with her family and loved ones. Tarot’s chief task is maintaining the balance between the realm of magick and Earth. The Swordmaiden of the Goddess is also responsible for encouraging humanity to accept magick. She is sometimes helped, sometimes hindered by her older sister Raven, who holds a deep grudge against mankind due to childhood bullying.
Tarot made her appearance for the first time in March 2000. Her eponymous series “Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose” has had over 100 issues. The series draws direct inspiration from modern Wiccan belief and practices. Every single issue features authentic Wiccan back matter, including interviews with practitioners and guides for casting spells submitted by fans of the series.
She is the niece of John Constantine, so it’s obviously not a surprise that she is in the world of magic and witchcraft. The first time we meet Gemma (before we even know she’s related to John), a trio of ghost girls recruited her to become their satanic sister-wife. She was rescued by John Constantine at the last moment. From there, it was all downhill, as Gemma became fascinated by her uncle’s magical lifestyle, which of course seems oh-so-appealing from a distance.
Gemma Masters has renounced magic more than once, only later to be dragged back into the game, Michael Corleone-style. Along the way, she’s fought both against and alongside her uncle, helping to save the world at least once, but also suffering innumerable tragedies, including the deaths of pretty much everyone she ever loved.
Wendy the Good Little Witch
Created by artist Steve Mufatti, Wendy the Good Little Witch is most famous as longtime pal of Casper the Friendly Ghost. During the 60s and early 70s, Wendy featured in two solo Harvey Comics series: “Wendy the Good Little Witch” and “Wendy Witchworld”. After being abandoned as a baby, Wendy was raised by her “aunties” Thelma, Velma and Zelma, three evil green-skinned witches living deep in a haunted forest. Even though the trio tried to teach Wendy a lot of black magic, she’d always summon white magic to help people.
Wendy also appeared regularly on the Saturday morning “Casper” cartoon. She was also played by a young Hilary Duff in the 1998 direct-to-video movie, “Casper and Wendy.” (Christina Ricci’s character in the 1995 “Casper” movie was originally intended to be named Wendy, but her name was changed due to copyright issues).
For the villains, we have Selene, once the black queen of the Hellfire Club, both Like Apocalypse, she is very old, and uses her mutant powers to sustain her existence. She is a psychic vampire, and drains people in order to stay young over centuries. She has also mastered various magical skills, which she uses in her machinations while in the Hellfire Club and as a foe of the X-Men.
Her dominatrix outfit is ideal for anyone willing to cosplay as a super sexy witch this Halloween.
Compared to her Marvel counterpart, DC’s June Moon was a more stereotypical looking witch at the time of her creation, punctuated with a pointed hat and broom. And like her Marvel counterpart, she loved the colour green. Her classic ’60s origin story was very of its time. June Moon went to a costume party in an old castle dressed as a witch, when a mystical being inside said castle granted her real magical abilities, because reasons. We’ve seen more medieval, almost demonic versions of the Enchantress in later years—specifically in Suicide Squad—but June Moon’s original incarnation is her most “witchy.” And probably the best one.
Chalk this one up to another “old lady and her cat” witch stereotype. Introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four as the nanny of Reed and Sue Richard’s son Franklin, she later revealed herself to be a powerful witch who originally came from Salem (because of course). Her docile black cat companion could turn into a ferocious black panther during the time of trouble. It was Agatha who tutored the Scarlet Witch and instructed her on how to become a true sorceress. But she was also killed by her during the Avengers Disassembled storyline. Luckily, she got better, and continues to spread her witchy wisdom across the Marvel universe.
The Sea Hag
Nowadays, witches in pop culture are usually portrayed in a stereotypically sexy way. But once upon a time, they were almost always shown as the withered old hags of folk tales. In the Popeye comic strip, one of his most frequent foils was one such witch—an old decrepit woman who called herself the Sea Hag. She referred to herself as “the last witch on Earth,” and sailed around on a pirate ship causing trouble. She fell head over heels for Popeye, but the spinach loving sailor man only had eyes for his Olive Oyl. Enraged, the Sea Hag spent years using every magical trick in the book on old Popeye. But his moral code never allowed him to hit a lady, so the Sea Hag kept coming back to cause trouble again and again.
The sole female member of the Evil Warriors, Evil-Lyn (as the name suggests) is an evil witch who is the second-in-command to Skeletor. Compared to Skeletor’s other minions, she is far more intelligent. Though she is weaker than Skeletor, she aspires to take her place one day. She wields a magic wand with a crystal ball but can summon magic without any tools as well.
Evil Lyn originates from the City of Tundaria, a wild underground city located in Eternia. When dangerous warrior sorcerers became renegades in the time of King Miro (father of King Randor), by ignoring support and defense to the sorcerers who used spells for evil, evil sorcerers settled in this underground city, where they separated from the realm of the surface of Miro, Evil Lyn was born in Tundaria by powerful parents of sorcery magic, She is the daughter of a mysterious sorcerer known only as “the Faceless One”, who lives in isolation among the ruins of Zalesia and is the guardian of a precious object called the Ram Stone.
Sorceress of Castle Greyskull
The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull is the keeper of the secret powers of Castle Grayskull. The beautiful Teela Na, the mother of Teela, succeeded Kuduk Ungol as the keeper of Grayskull long ago. Within the walls of Grayskull, the Sorceress is a supremely powerful force. However, outside Grayskull’s walls, she can only transform to the form of Zoar the falcon, and communicate telepathically with her confidants.
The Sorceress bestowed the Sword of Power to Prince Adam so that he could become He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. She also bestowed the Sword of Protection to Princess Adora and she became She-Ra, the princess of power. She remains a trusted advisor and mentor to both heroes, particularly He-Man.
Horror comics are usually gruesome, provocative and gratuitous. However, they rarely transcend into the truly terrifying realm. Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches does exactly that. This masterpiece of horror isn’t recommended for those who are spooked easily.
The book centers on the Rook family, Charlie, Lucy, and daughter Sailor, which has recently moved to rural New Hampshire for a fresh start after an incident involving Sailor and a school bully who went missing. Things in the small town are not as they seem, however, and the book soon has you questioning whether you can ever really trust anyone.
Snyder and Jock’s witches are not like the sexy vamps which are prevalent in the comic book world. In fact, they couldn’t be further away from that. The Wytches are horrific, disfigured monsters who reside in the deep dark woods. They offer favours to the humans who serve them. The book’s premise is based on the question “What if the people we think are witches were just their human servants?” Truly terrifying indeed.