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CIRCE

Real Name: Circe

Occupation: Goddess of magic and sorcery

Legal Status: Citizen of Olympus

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Circe’s existence except as a figure of mythological origin.

Other Aliases: None known

Place of Birth: Crete (now part of modern Greece)

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Helios (father), Perseis (mother), Eos, Selene (aunts), Hyperion, Oceanus, (grandfathers), Theia, Tethys (grandmothers), Aeetes, Aloeus (brothers, deceased), Pasiphae (sister, deceased), Minos (brother-in-law, deceased), Eidyia (sister-in-law, possibly deceased), Deucalion, Androgeus, Catreus, Absyrtus, (nephews, deceased), Asterius (nephew, alias the Minotaur, deceased), Ariadne, Medea, Chalciope (nieces, deceased), Telegonus (son, deceased,), Italus (grandson, deceased)

Group Affiliations: ally of the Olympian Gods

Base of Operations: Aeaea (modern Cape Circeo near Rome, Italy)

First Appearance:  The Odyssey (Eighth Century BC)

History: Circe is a member of the Olympian gods, an extra-dimensional race of beings who were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Like the Olympians, she is descended from an earlier race of gods who were known as the Titans. Several of the Titans had been overthrown by Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian gods, but those Titans who had sided with Zeus ended up becoming gods in the Olympian pantheon, like Helios, or became rulers of areas in Greece, like Prometheus, who obtain the Thessalian land of Phthia. Circe is the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, and Perseis, daughter of Oceanus, god of the ocean. Her brother, Aeetes, became founder and king of the land known as Colchis, but Helios promised Circe the island of Aeaea close to the boundaries of ancient Latium. Arriving there in her father’s chariot, she surrounded herself with loyal subjects, mostly women, and practiced mystical powers taught to her by Helios and eventually began to rival him in mystical potential. She also became known for being a seductress for seducing and vamping shipwrecked sailors and would-be conquerors to the region and then transforming them into animals when she tired of them. Most of these transformed animals roamed the island freely trying to warn others who arrived. One of her first such paramours was Picus, a prince from Latium, but he refused her in order to be faithful to his true love and was transformed into a woodpecker.

When the sea-god Glaucus came to Circe for a love potion to get the sea-goddess, Scylla, to marry him, Circe attempted to woo him for herself. Glaucus refused her, but Circe could not use her powers against him because he was under the protection of Poseidon, the god of the sea. She instead gave Glaucus a phony love-potion that transformed Scylla into a hideous beast. Having long refused the advances of mortals and immortals, Circe rendered it possible that Scylla would ever be advanced by anyone else ever again.

Circe was sometimes willingly approached by ambassadors from other countries seeking help for predicaments and misfortunes in their domains. Her sister, Pasiphae, visited her asking for help and advice for her son, Asterius, who was becoming less human as he grew into manhood. Circe informed her that Asterius was not the son of her husband, but the spawn of the Bull of Poseidon as a curse on Minos by Poseidon and she was unable to get involved. Asterius eventually grew up to be the Minotaur. Circe’s niece, Medea, daughter of Aeetes, also approached her with the help of the Argonauts to be purified for the murder of Absyrtus, her brother. Circe treated Jason and the Argonauts very hospitably at first and absolved Medea of her sins, but upon learning of the details of the murder, she quickly sent them on their way.

Among Circe’s favorite paramours was Odysseus, the King of Ithaca as he wandered home after the Trojan War. Odysseus had become shipwrecked on her island while trying to return home and his men behaved badly upon meeting Circe and she transformed them into animals. Protected by Hermes, Odysseus confronted Circe by sword point and impressed her enough that she restored his men to him and managed to keep him and his men as her guests for more than a year. Although she had fallen in love with Odysseus, she realized she could no keep him forever and sent him on his way. To help return him to Ithaca, she told him to seek out the spirit of the seer Teiresias in the underworld to help him along his way.

Circe eventually conceived Odysseus a son named Telegonus, and when he reached adulthood, she gave him permission to seek out his father. Unfortunately, upon the arrival of Telegonus in Ithaca, Odysseus mistook Telegonus as an invader and attacked him, dying in combat as a result. Telegonus carried Odysseus's body back to Aeaea for burial. Odysseus’s wife and son, Penelope and Telemachus were attendance. Remorseful over the turn of events, Circe restored Penelope’s youth. According to most accounts, she became a lover of Telegonus, and Telemachus eventually became Circe’s lover as well.

After worship of the Olympian gods came to an end, Circe mystically moved her villa several times around the Earth to secure her privacy. Over several centuries, several heroes continued to come to her seeking advice and secrets in the course of their adventures. One of these heroes was reportedly the Geat warrior Beowulf seeking for a way to slay the monstrous Grendel. Charlemagne sent knights for her advice during the Holy Roman Empire. In recent years, Circe encountered the young demigod Percy Jackson in the area of sea known as the Bermuda Triangle and helped him return home to Camp Half-Blood.

It should be noted that over the years at least two known individuals have usurped Circe's identity and taken credit for her activities. Sersi, a member of the Eternal race has taken the most credit, but this seems to be based on the fact that several of the Eternals have posed as representatives of the Olympian gods over the years. It has since been revealed that Sersi was actually the sorceress whom Odysseus visited on his wanderings. The other is a mortal sorceress calling herself Circe, but her motivations seem to be based on the fact that she takes inexplicably much of her power from the underworld goddess, Hecate, and her intense enmity with the Olympian gods and their protégé, the costumed Amazon known as Wonder Woman

In recent years, Circe has located her villa in a remote canyon near Los Angeles, California where she is joined by satyrs, centaurs and several demigods. She joined her powers with Odin, the Chieftain of the Asgardian Gods, and Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec culture-god against Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of evil, trying to destroy the universe, succeeding in helping Thor and Hercules drive the mad god into another dimension.

Height: 5’ 7”
Weight: 340 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Strength Level: Circe possesses superhuman strength equal to a Olympian goddess and can lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions, although she rarely exhibits great feats of strength.

Known Superhuman Powers: Circe possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, she is immortal: she has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. She is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If she were somehow wounded, her godly life force would enable her to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of her bodily molecules to cause Circe a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of equal power, such as Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods working together to revive her. Circe also possesses superhuman strength and her Olympian metabolism provides her with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Olympian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.)

Circe’s primary powers were her abilities to tap and manipulate mystical forces of the universe. Capable of tapping even cosmic energies, she could teleport between dimensions such as from Earth to Olympus, erect physical shields and project her image, voice, and energy bolts over long distances. She can create potions to transform individuals or for granting power comparable to the gods. Her most popular ability is her power to alter the forms of mortal but not immortal beings. With a gesture, she can transform men into animals, usually one comparable to the attitude, appearance or personality of her victims. Some of her victims have become pigs, monkeys, large cats, boars and even birds and have retained their ability to think and sometimes even speak. In these forms, they are subjective to Circe and often in a tranquilized state unable to retaliate. With another gesture, Circe can restore her victims to normal.  Circe also seems to have limited clairvoyant potential, mostly to be able to detect guests to her island and the presence of other immortals in her company. She was able to detect Hermes in an invisible state when he visited her.

Limitations: Circe is unable to affect people enchanted by the herb moly. Individuals who ingest it are rendered immune to her spells. Hermes informed Odysseus of its powers as a deterrent against her power, but it is unknown if the effects of moly are temporary or long-lasting. 

Base of Operations: Circe’s home for several years was the island known as Aeaea where she maintained a villa on high ground. Over several years, though, the tectonic plates have changed and Aeaea is no longer an island but a cape off the shore near Rome. In modern years, it has been revealed through conversations between the Olympian gods that she has relocated her villa to another unknown remote location.

Comments: Circe has yet to be seen in the Marvel or DC Universe. In Marvel Comics, she is represented by the Eternal Sersi; in DC Comics, she is impersonated/replaced by Circe/Medea. She has only been seen so far in "Percy Jackson And The Sea Of Monsters" by Richard Riordan.

Clarifications: Circe is probably not to be confused with:

Last updated: 08/31/12

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