Who's the Enchantress?

Who's This? The Switcheroo Witcheroo!

The facts: First appearing in Strange Adventures #187 (April, 1966) by Bob Haney and Howard Purcell, the Enchantress is a Jackie & Hyde story in which June Moon's alter ego, a witch, was unleashed by a supernatural entity. In her two subsequent appearances, she was, well at least an anti-hero. The strip didn't take off. Cut to 1980 and Superman Family where they try to make her a Supergirl villain, and then to DC Comics Presents where she has joined the Forgotten Villains (even then the team's highest-profile member). In Legends, she is part of the Suicide Squad and remains a member until June Moon has a breakdown in that series' 21st issue. The Enchantress persona is destroyed in Day of Judgment over a decade later and June joins Shadowpact as a heroic Enchantress. In the New52, Justice League Dark fought an Enchantress split off from June Moon, resulting in the two of them being reunited. In Rebirth, the Enchantress is once more a member of the Suicide Squad.
How you could have heard of her: The Enchantress appears in Legends of Tomorrow, but the actual live action appearance people will remember is in the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad movie, as played by Cara Delevigne (she is destroyed and June Moon is freed). In animation, she appears in both DC Super Hero Girls and Harley Quinn (where she is dating Killer Croc).
Example story: Strange Adventures #191 (August 1966), "Beauty vs. the Beast" by Bob haney and Howard Purcell
As Bob Haney tells it in the Enchantress' second appearance, "the Switcheroo-Witcheroo is in for a big Flipperoo". Thanks, Bob. Can't wait. Commercial artist and modern woman June Moon is supposed to go to the airport to go to Cape Kennedy to meet her boyfriend Alan, but he calls to convince her not to. Seems Florida is hit by mysterious earthquakes and some kind of geyser eruption and it's just not safe to come. Oh, and a giant monster came out of the volcano (if you insist on coloring a geyser yellow and orange, I'm gonna call it like I see it). Ok dear, June won't go.
So no intimation at this point that turning into the Enchantress is a "curse". June happily tries out her "new witchcraft powers" and seems in control of her alter. She flies herself to a "town down South" to confront the mysterious kaiju that keeps staring up at the sun. I bet that's a clue to something. Can a little Al-a-ka-maz do the trick?
That would be too easy. The Beast keeps walking towards the sun, destroying property in its path, including a dam that breaks, the flood waters heading down the mountains towards the town (is this still Florida?!). Contrary to what the previous sequence had us think, the Enchantress doesn't have to say anything for her spells to cast:
She diverts the waters... right into Alan's path. "Holy Halloween!", she thinks. Great epithet. She saves him by making a caterpillar in the water grow to immense size. This is what magic-using heroes are all about.
Hey, there's only one page left. What's going to happen to the monster? Well, you won't believe this (because kaiju steps are huge), but the creature is about to pass by NASA's launch of a Venus probe. We were near Cape Kennedy when the volcano burst. It went around right up to the Appalachians or something, and now it's near the launching pad. Well, whatever. Enchantress lures it to the rocket:
It's a good thing that 1) the rocket is completely empty - no fuel! - and that 2) it's not going to eject that stage of the rocket, like ever. NOT HOW IT WORKS! I guess it's... magic? And June deeply intereted in cheating on herself there at the end... Again: NOT HOW RELATIONSHIPS WORK!

Her stories were silly, sure, but so was a lot of DC's output and it didn't stop those series from taking off. In this case, I think maybe Zatanna, introduced 2 years ealier, became THE sorceress hero and sank June Moon's chances at the big time. It's still a leap to go from almost-ran to villainess by her 4th appearance, but it seems to have given her some legs. It would prime her for a redemption arc and a shot at being a hero in the same team as, looky here, Zatanna. Sisterhood!

Who's Next?
Male and female Firestorm villains.


BuffaloDelorean said…
Between this comic and the moon-kicking Supergirl story, absurd space-related resolutions are pretty common for the Enchantress.

Enchantress is one of a few silver and bronze age characters whose early appearances Suicide Squad got me to go back and read. I think that book used her best, The Nightshade Odyssey isn't one of my favourite Squad stories, but I was surprised by how faithful it was to Nightshade and the Enchantress' original backstories even as it was mashing them together. I've never read Shadowpact, but I'm curious about the two of them being on a team together again, do they ever reference their history with each other?

The Forgotten Villains story seems very out of place with her other appearances, she's completely unrecognisable and there's no sign of the "switcheroo" bit. All that was really kept was her name, which seems like a weird choice for a comic all about dusting off old characters.
Siskoid said…
By rights, she should have been with the Forgotten Heroes!