Villainess of the Month: Cheetah

Cheetah

The Golden Lasso becomes the focus of her intention.

Most of the casual world has not heard of Cheetah from DC Comics, but that is sure to change within the year. 

For the purposes of this discussion, we are not going to focus on the version from the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 movie. Instead, we will focus on the current version of her, Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva.

Brief History

The original character was created by Priscilla Rich and first appeared in Wonder Woman # 6 in the Fall of 1943. Dr. Minerva was appeared in August 1987 and was created by Len Wein and George Perez.

After an expedition to Africa took a turn for the worse, Dr. Minerva stumbled upon a ceremony intending to restore the health of an ailing woman who represented the tribe’s cheetah god. After it was interrupted, it allowed Dr. Minerva the opportunity to complete it and take on the powers it bestowed. 

When Wonder Woman made her appearance in Boston, the Golden Lasso became her obsession and became her life goal. Eventually her path crossed with Circe, who gave her the ability to be transformed while remaining in complete control. 

One of the more intriguing story arcs was when Dr. Minerva created her own branch of the Secret Society of Super Villains. She took on the lead role with the intent to create the the villain Genocide to destroy Wonder Woman and take her Lasso of Truth. 

Positives

We won’t delve to deep into her origins, but the one twist we do like is the unforeseen side effect of the transformation. The sacrifice required a virgin and since she was not, her human form became weak and frail. The only way she would acquire the power of the Cheetah was transforming when the moon was full. 

Negatives

The original basis of the character felt more stereotypical than unique. There was not much to offer in the way of a backstory as to her decisions. Over time, you see learn more what kind of character she has and it becomes cleared. Shame the character development can not be done prior. 

Best Hero

The one and only Wonder Woman takes this title. The two have faced off numerous times over the years. While Wonder Woman has gotten the better of her, it does not make the encounters any less dramatic. Maybe next time, she will capture the Golden Lasso from her opponent. 

Overall

The current version of the villain has the potential to grow into an interesting one if they let her. Over the years, she has shown a desire to lead her own sect of villains for her nefarious purposes.  If they can expand upon this, they have the chance to increase her threat levels for the DC heroes.

What do you think of Cheetah as a villain?

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