WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Justice League Dark #3 and Wonder Woman and the Witching Hour #1, both in stores now.
Magic has gone berserk in the DC Universe, abandoning several members of the fraternity and backfiring for others like Zatanna. With everyone now lacking powers or showing restraint, Wonder Woman took it upon herself to lead another incarnation of Justice League Dark to find out the truth, taking them to Doctor Fate and his tower.
Sadly, Kent Nelson isn’t donning Fate’s helmet anymore and Nabu has taken over, fed up with humanity and selling them out to the Upside-Down Man and the Otherkind, the true owners of magic. However, just as it seems this dark entity is about to raze the world and bring his kind over to reclaim magic, Diana of Themyscira unleashes a power unlike anything ever seen before, hinting she’s poised to become the new face of DC’s magic.
In Justice League Dark #3, the Upside-Down Man takes down Constantine, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp (the new Nightmaster) with relative ease. Zatanna musters an offense along with Wonder Woman, but as the Upside-Down Man comes for Diana he touches her headpiece only to catalyze a mystical reaction within her. He’s burnt by her touch and Diana begins to unleash a magical energy from within, something Zatanna admits is the most powerful she’s ever experienced and, possibly, something that will change the status quo for good. Diana doesn’t know her potential, or that she possessed such a power to begin with, but she banishes the villain with it — though he promised to return for what’s his. That aside, we quickly find out this is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Come Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark/Witching Hour #1, we discover Diana’s dormant power was due to her being “witchmarked” by Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic and sorcery. We see Hecate and her coven marking Diana as a child, fooling her into thinking it was a dream. Apparently, this was done to several other avatars on the planet, hiding “super-magic” inside them for Hecate to recover some day. Well, the day has come and she’s cashing in, though it seems like the bulk has been stored in Diana. It would make sense, seeing as she’s more equipped to handle such an affliction than the average human.
Still, Zatanna’s shocked at how powerful Wonder Woman has become, and the League’s also growing suspicious. They’re all honestly scared of her, further cementing she’s set for a bigger role in the magical realm. Diana being a walking, talking battery is something Zatanna recognizes as a force for good, but if left unchecked or untrained it could be potentially lethal for mankind. Hecate has already mind-wiped the League and killed the patrons of the all-new Nightmaster’s bar, instilling fear into the magical community members like Jason Blood and Morgaine le Fey. It seems Diana is worthy enough to provide an even match-up, though, which may be due to Hecate’s branding, ironically.
As for the mark itself, we’re left wondering if Hecate is looking for a vessel to possess, if she wants to harness the energy from Diana or if she wants to turn her into a magical bomb. In 2010’s Wonder Woman, Hecate was Zeus’ lover whom he abandoned, so we’re waiting to see how she has been retconned post-DC Rebirth, especially as we find out she has had a cult throughout history.
If she has again crafted as an omnipotent god, then it also remains to be seen if she really belongs to the pantheon of gods that granted Diana her abilities in Rebirth (erasing The New 52 angle of her being Zeus’ blood daughter and a god). We assume Hecate belongs to this inner circle for now, but there’s a slim chance she could be one of the Otherkind, too. Only time will tell, because it’s clear Hecate and Diana’s fates are intertwined in ways that’ll change the concept of magic forever.
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