The world of magic has always played a large part in the fabric of the DC Universe, with entire events dealing with the various repercussions that come from messing about with the laws of magic, as we saw in events like Day of Judgement or Day of Vengeance during Final Crisis.
The DC Universe is therefore filled to the brim with powerful magic-using characters which we will be taking a look at today. However, to clarify things a bit, we will be looking at those characters who specifically use magic for their abilities, as opposed to being powered by magic like Shazam or Black Adam. So who is DC's most powerful magic-user? Let's find out!
The Enchantress is actually mild-mannered freelance artist June Moone who becomes possessed by an ancient entity with a very evil side. While June was initially in control of her Enchantress form and powerful magical abilities, her evil side continually fought for dominance.
Enchantress is not only immortal and therefore incredibly experienced with her eldritch abilities, but she is also able to manipulate magical energy and tap into other magic-users energy and abilities. She has even gone toe-to-toe with Superman in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, thanks to Big Blue's vulnerability to magic.
Circe is an immortal sorceress who has had a number of different origins over the years thanks to DC's ongoing cycle of reboots, though she generally always has a vendetta against Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Despite this, Circe has served as both villain and ally to Wonder Woman over the years.
Circe has many powerful magical abilities that largely revolve around transforming matter and reality with magical energy. She has a fondness for turning people into animals, which is a trait shared with the original Greek version of the character, but she can also use those same abilities on herself to make her powerful enough to take on heroes like Wonder Woman and Superman.
While Eclipso was originally envisioned as a "Jekyll-and-Hyde" type of villain that saw solar scientist Bruce Gordon turn into the villainous Eclipso whenever an eclipse occurred, he was later retconned into an immensely powerful magical being, who is better described as the insane personification of God's Wrath.
This ties into his elemental abilities that have allowed him to cause floods and natural disasters, though his powers are usually exhibited through incredible physical strength, eye-blasts from his mystical Heart of Darkness, and through combat with his mystical sword. Eclipso would be higher on the list if he wasn't hindered by his need to possess and corrupt a host body.
The magical con-man John Constantine first appeared in the pages of The Saga of the Swamp Thing, though quickly became one of Vertigo/DC's premiere magical characters with his own Hellraiser series. Constantine may be one of the most naturally-skilled magic users on this list though he usually chooses to manipulate others and talk his way out of situations.
However, Constantine is one of the most powerful human sorcerers in the DC Universe with a vast knowledge of the mystic arts that includes various rituals, charms, spells, and of course, tricks that he uses to survive the incredible events he finds himself in. He is also very lucky, thanks to his innate ability as a "Laughing Magician" to basically alter probability in his favor, which is referred to as "synchronicity wave traveling."
6 TIMOTHY HUNTER
Tim Hunter was a normal British child who discovered he was destined to become the greatest mage in history in 1990's The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman and John Bolton. Tim would come to the attention of other magic users affectionately known as the Trenchcoat Brigade, who would try to guide Tim in the development of his abilities.
Tim Hunter's magic is inconsistent, and his natural abilities to open dimensional doorways and fire electricity have to be channeled through objects like a key and his screwdriver wand due to his inexperience. However, with the right training and given room to grow to his full potential, Tim Hunter will become the most powerful magic user in the DC Universe and beyond... eventually.
Zatanna is a second-generation magician and superhero, taking after her father Zatara, a Golden Age magician who has almost had more afterlife appearances than living ones. Like her father, Zatanna uses "backwards magic" by reverse-speaking her spells. She is even able to cast these spells without speaking, having written the words in reverse to also cast spells when needed.
Zatanna's magical limits have never really been tested, and she continues to prove herself to be one of the most powerful magic users in the DC Universe. While her abilities are somewhat limited by her own understanding of the spells she's casting, which have allowed her to reshape reality and manipulate time and space.
4 PHANTOM STRANGER
One of the more mysterious magic users in the DC Universe is the Phantom Stranger, an eternal man who exists outside of the timestream, and was revealed in the New 52 to be Judas Iscariot,who wears the thirty pieces of silver he earned by betraying Jesus around his neck as he walks the Earth in service to God for all eternity.
While his origin was previously a mystery, his powers are also undefined, though the Stranger is largely regarded by the rest of DC's magical community to be on par with the Spectre in terms of raw magical power. Phantom Stranger's greatest gift is his omniscience, though he is restricted from using his all-encompassing knowledge to influence major events.
3 BLACK ALICE
Lori Zecklin/Black Alice may seem like an odd character to see in the top three considering some of the magical powerhouses we've already discussed. However, after Lori's first appearance in Birds of Prey #76 revealed her unique magical abilities to the world, she would go on to factor heavily into a number of magic-related DC events.
Black Alice has the ability to steal the magical abilities from other users, completely draining their own powers. She is also able to usurp more than one power set at a time, meaning she could take on the power of our top two magic users at the same time, leaving them powerless. It's only because of her youth, inexperience, and desire to stay out of the larger magical community that keeps her off the top of the magical pile.
2 DOCTOR FATE
The Helmet of Fate is one of the most powerful mystical objects in the DC Universe and grants its wearers a connection to ancient Egyptian god Nabu. The first Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson, who worked with the JSA, though the Helmet has been worn by many different users, which are frequently descendants of the Nelson family.
The various abilities granted by the Helmet of Fate (along with a magical amulet and cloak) include the ability to cast spells, which manifests as a glowing Ankh, as well as flight, telepathy, telekinesis, and a number of other offensive abilities. Doctor Fate would be the most powerful magic-user, however, the Helmet frequently brings madness to its wearer, limiting their potential.
1 THE SPECTRE
While the Spectre can be god-like in power as the divine hand of Vengeance powered by the Presence/God, he is bound and restricted to a human host and can be defeated by powerful enough magic. However, that doesn't detract from his many magical feats, just sets boundaries for his power.
The Spectre is able to manipulate matter and reality, bend time and space, and even overpower fundamental beings of magical energy like the wizard Shazam, who he killed during a time he was hostless and driven to destroy magic. However, the power of the Spectre when restrained by a human host is still more than enough to deal with most magic-users in the DC Universe.