Public Domain Super Heroes

Wicked Witch of the West

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The Wicked Witch of the West

Real Name


First Appearance

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum & W.W. Denslow


Long ago, the Wicked Witch conquered the Winkie Country with the help of the Winged Monkeys. She was a tyrannical ruler and made the Winkies her slaves. Once the Great Oz tried to recapture the Winkie Country, but with the help of the Winged Monkeys, she was able to fight him off. The Wicked Witch of the West was not related to the Wicked Witch of the East, but leagued together with her, the Wicked Witch of the South and Mombi to conquer the Land of Oz and divide it among themselves.

After she had ruled the Winkies for many years, the Wizard of Oz sent Dorothy Gale and her companions to destroy the Witch. In self defense, she sent every creature she commanded:

  • First, she used the whistle around her neck to summon 40 Wolves to kill Dorothy and her friends. Scarecrow and Tin Woodman saw them coming and the Tin Woodman slew them with his axe.
  • Then, the Wicked Witch of the West blew her whistle twice and summoned 40 Crows to peck out the eyes of Dorothy and her friends. The Scarecrow defeated them by grabbing them and breaking their necks.
  • Angered, the Wicked Witch blew her whistle three times and summoned a swarm of Black Bees to sting them to death. While Dorothy, Toto, and the Cowardly Lion were covered in Scarecrow's straw, the Black Bees died when their stingers broke on the Tin Woodman.
  • Then, she sent a troop of Winkie slaves wielding spears to kill the group. They were scared away by the Cowardly Lion.
  • Finally, she used the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys a final time. They captured Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, and destroyed the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman.

With Dorothy as her slave, the Witch tried to steal the powerful Silver Shoes from the girl. When she succeeds in acquiring one silver shoe by making Dorothy trip over an invisible bar, Dorothy became so angry that she threw a bucket of water on the Witch, which melted her into a brown, shapeless mass putting an end to her wickedness.


The Wicked Witch had only one eye, but it was as powerful as a telescope, and could see everywhere. She always carried an umbrella with her, and made a point to avoid contact with water. It was said that she was so wicked, the blood in her had dried up many years ago.


  • Severely aquaphobic.
  • Afraid of the dark (which explains why she never tried to take the silver shoes while Dorothy was sleeping).

Public Domain Appearances

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


  • Baum later replaced the character with Momba the Witch for the 1910 film (and introduced her flying broom stick and pointy hat for the first time). It is not known why he chose not to use the Wicked Witch of the West nor why he chose a name so similar to the Wicked Witch of the North.
  • Although only appearing once in the original Oz novels, the Wicked Witch of the West is the most famous antagonist in the series.
  • While the original character is in public domain, the versions of the character used by MGM, Disney or by Marvel comics are NOT in the public domain. Additionally, the ruby slippers of the MGM musical are NOT public domain - the original novel presents silver shoes, which are public domain. In the stories, the witch also never had green skin (but, skin color can't be copyrighted so could still be used by others).

See Also

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