Decay (DC Comics)


Decay II on the cover of Wonder Woman #4
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Wonder Woman #3 (Vol. 2) (April 1987)
Created by George Pérez
In-story information
Abilities Flight, invulnerability, touch causes aging and death, breath causes a target to turn to dust

Decay is the name of two fictional characters owned by DC Comics. The first was an enemy of the pre-Crisis Supergirl, while the second appeared as a villain in the Wonder Woman comic book series.

Decay (Daniel Pendergast)

A delusional researcher at the Institute for Higher Psychokinetic Study, Daniel Pendergast observed modern society as "decay" and manipulated psionic Gayle Marsh into becoming the super-villainess Psi to help him destroy civilization under the ambiguous definition of wiping out "decay." Psi would trade blows with Supergirl and be defeated, returning to Pendergast. He attempted to kill her for her failure and she instinctively lashed out, turning him into a hulking monster of decay. He set himself upon Chicago and began to melt and consume matter, battling Supergirl, before Psi would appear and revert him to his human form. Introduced in Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (November 1982).

Decay (Wonder Woman villainess)

To win the approval of his father Ares, the minor god Phobos (god of fear) journeyed to the Cavern of the Gorgons where he molded a statuette from malevolent matter scoured from Medusa's heart. He then arranged for the item to be delivered to the Kapatelis residence, a friend of Wonder Woman. It was here that Wonder Woman, also known as Diana, was rooming as she oriented herself to life off of her island home Themyscira.[1]

As Phobos arranged, once the statuette (named Decay) was delivered, it came to life in the hands of Vanessa Kapatelis. Decay then forcibly aged Vanessa after she had touched her. Decay then destroyed the Kapatelis home in her first attempt to kill Diana. Failing that, Decay gleefully went on the destructive rampage in the city of Boston with Diana in pursuit. After a dangerous battle which resulted in Wonder Woman being aged as well, Diana realized the proper way to defeat the monster. She snared Decay in her Lasso of Truth, which is also tied to the renewing power of Gaia, Goddess of the Earth. Bombarded with this power, Decay was reduced to dust while Diana's youth was restored.[2] A short time later, Diana obtained a magic ointment to restore Vanessa's youth as well.[3]

Decay was resurrected by Dr. Julian Lazarus's Virtual Reanimator, which brought the demon of destruction back to life with its experimental proto-matrix material, Wonder Woman missing the resurrection because she was occupied fighting a duplicate of Doomsday that Lazarus's machine had unintentionally created earlier. While Decay's body was merely an artificial effigy, the demon's spirit possessed the copy of her former self as her own. But before Decay could secure the power source needed to maintain her imitation of life, Diana shattered the virtual clone into a million pieces.[4]

Powers and abilities

In his monstrous form as the first Decay, Daniel Pendergast possessed the ability to melt and consume matter.

The second Decay was a skilled fighter possessing the powers of flight and invulnerability. Her touch can cause any living thing she comes in contact with to rapidly age, eventually resulting in death. Decay's breath is equally deadly, and can crumble a target to dust.


  1. Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #3
  2. Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #4
  3. Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #7
  4. Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #112-113
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