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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Wonder of Wonders - Oct 15, 2009

    It's time for another installment of AMAZONS ATTACK, but this time we're looking at a non-Amazonian character. Mars Getsoian explains why Circe may just be the most formidable, and complex, Wonder WOman villain of them all.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member scandalsavage's Avatar
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    Another great column -- very funny. I will never know why WML had Circe use Donna as a name. Did they not think that might be a tad confusing? Whatever happened to Circe's daughter Lyta?

  3. #3
    Stiff upper lip, chaps. Mars Getsoian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scandalsavage View Post
    Another great column -- very funny. I will never know why WML had Circe use Donna as a name. Did they not think that might be a tad confusing? Whatever happened to Circe's daughter Lyta?
    Lyta stayed with Circe for a while, sort of an adjunct to Circe's crazy (she had a brief thing about building herself a family during Phil's run). When Diana beat Circe down and took her back to be held and rehabilitated on Themyscira, the amazons took Lyta into their care, which pissed Circe off royally, though it's hard to tell whether that was true maternal concern or merely possessiveness. When Circe escaped the island and hooked up with the gorgons during Rucka's run, Lyta remained behind, still being raised as an amazon (mostly by Io, it seemed), until Ares showed up on the beach one day and stole her off to the underworld.

    Diana was going to charge off and get her back, but Athena wouldn't let her - she promised Ares would be dealt with, but wasn't about to let Diana do a suicide run just then, what with Infinite Crisis right on the horizon - and Lyta has not, to my knowledge, been seen since.

  4. #4
    Handsome Hound of Steel Mart's Avatar
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    Wonderful stuff, Mars. I've never seen that 1949 Circe - so that's the first time Wondy got doe-eyed! I do remember the Silver Age Superman Family Circe, the goodie with a ponytail/Saturn Girl in a mask.

    What I don't get about the post-Loebs Circe is why, if she hates that Diana helped make her a better person but accidentally made her bad Circe again, she doesn't just choose to be good. Sure, she may stumble, but Diana will help her up again. Choose nice!

    But if saucy Circe stays bad, which she should really, we need those powers defined and limited.
    Comic bletherings by me at: http://dangermart.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Experienced Member Leto's Avatar
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    I like Circe, but much like Mr. Myxlsptlk (YOU KNOW WHO) her vague powers give writers a lot of creative freedom, but there' technically no cap as to what she can accomplish.

    I really like the animal transformation powers, owing to mythology, but combined with her other magical abilities she's too big of a wild card.

    I think she'd work best if there was a specific limit to what she could do. Circe definitely has potential to be Diana's number-two villain easily.

  6. #6
    A Lovely Astronaut ScottyQuick's Avatar
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    Or at least feels really guilty about being a bad one.
    I LOLed.

    You held back! No where near as long as Temi's.

  7. #7
    One thousand years ago... gargoylekitty's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever much cared for Circe, not even sure why. Though I very much enjoyed reading that, so much so that I reached the end and wanted more.

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    Elder Member Gail Simone's Avatar
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    Great article, Mars. Circe isn't my favorite, but there is a lot of potential there.
    Black Canary owns your world.

  9. #9
    Stiff upper lip, chaps. Mars Getsoian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mart View Post
    Wonderful stuff, Mars. I've never seen that 1949 Circe - so that's the first time Wondy got doe-eyed! I do remember the Silver Age Superman Family Circe, the goodie with a ponytail/Saturn Girl in a mask.
    Haha, yeah, I decided to leave out the whole "responsible for Comet" business, it's a bit of a needless complication from the Wonderfan perspective, deliciously cracky though it is.

    What I don't get about the post-Loebs Circe is why, if she hates that Diana helped make her a better person but accidentally made her bad Circe again, she doesn't just choose to be good. Sure, she may stumble, but Diana will help her up again. Choose nice!
    Well, she's given it a couple tries, but she doesn't seem very good at it. Her pride, impatience, and thousands of years of Circe-ness keep getting in the way. Actually, while I simply don't have the adjectives to deride the Heinboot as it deserves to be derided, that was one thing that the relaunch actually did do pretty well: the way Circe behaves when she tries to be Wonder Woman (and is actually more effective at it than Diana, because the Heinboot was just that failtastic) is a really good, in-character examination of why she can't reform. Even when she can get her head around a good cause, like the protection and rescue of abused women, she can't get past her default method of violence, vengeance and hatred, so of course she always gets opposition instead of support, and doesn't, herself, really recapture that inner peace, and inevitably backslides.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyQuick View Post
    You held back! No where near as long as Temi's.
    I had a whole thing about the pronunciation of her name, and another whole thing about ways to deal with the Mxyzptlk problem and how it's basically a backwards reflection of writing Diana herself, but I thought I'd actually try to be coherent and concise for once in my life instead. Sorry to disappoint.

  10. #10

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    This was a great article, Mars. I've never heard it articulated the way that you did how Diana reformed, and then reverted Circe. It was easier for Circe to be happy when she couldn't remember all her thousands of years of bitterness and nastiness. I couldn't imagine a few months as basically an amnesiac would change that once her memory came back - but with the negative personality she obviously is, of course she would focus on the negative aspects instead of the positive aspects she gained.

  11. #11
    Stiff upper lip, chaps. Mars Getsoian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gail Simone View Post
    Great article, Mars. Circe isn't my favorite, but there is a lot of potential there.
    Well, she's no Barbara Minerva, but then who is.

  12. #12
    Senior Member shanejayell's Avatar
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    *claps*

    Great summation. And yeah, it made me LOL that in some ways Circe DID make a better WW than Diana.

  13. #13
    Junior Mint parsimony's Avatar
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    If you'll forgive me for using Bat-villain comparisons, Circe initially seems a little like Wondy's Joker, in that she and WW are opposites. Diana is loving and wants peace and harmony, whereas Circe is hateful and likes messing with people's lives. (And really, someone who gets her jollies from turning people into farm animals must have an odd sense of humour. It's especially amusing if she still does it post-power upgrade, when she could potentially do many other things.)

    But when you factor in her time as Donna Milton, it means that she has spent time as a good person, and was friends with Diana at one point. That aspect gives her a kind of Harvey Dent/Two-Face thing going on.

    And that combination of moral opposites and potential for sympathy (with the welcome bonus of the occasional bout of absurdity), IMO, is often what makes for a compelling villain. There are big contrasts between the two, which leads to conflict. But there's still the teeniest, tiniest sliver of a possibility that there might be some good in there, deep down. That not only makes the villain more interesting, it opens stories up to more possibilities for what could happen in showdowns between the hero and villain.

    In conclusion: yay Circe!

  14. #14
    Junior Mint parsimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Getsoian View Post
    I had a whole thing about the pronunciation of her name
    That one episode of JLU has influenced me to believe it is pronounced "SIR-see"...

  15. #15
    Stiff upper lip, chaps. Mars Getsoian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsimony View Post
    That one episode of JLU has influenced me to believe it is pronounced "SIR-see"...
    Kir-kee. No soft Cs in ancient Greek. (Cicero is Kick-er-o, Charon is pretty close to Karen). Standard English-speaking pronunciation uses the S sound, true; you'll never see a Wondy adaptation that pronounces it anything other than Sir-see. But Diana (and probably Circe herself, depending on how much she paid attention to what happened off the island) would have no idea who you were talking about if you called her that.

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