The first time I saw Wotan was in Doctor Fate's origin in Secret Origins #24. There was something unsettling about his skin tone that frightened me. I think perhaps I was flashing back to the Wicked Witch of the West. When I saw the Wizard of Oz as a kid, she scared the crap out of me. In the More Fun Comics Doctor Fate stories, Wotan seemed to be a charismatic cult leader as well as master sorcerer.
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I don't remember the exact inspiration for this strange horned goblin. Considering its fluid physiology, perhaps the creature is in mid transformation into some other form. I do remember that its gleeful malice was intentional.