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  1. #16
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    1. Challenge of the Super Friends. It was a major influence on pop culture, and Cheetah being Wonder Woman's archenemy on the show crossed over to the comics decades later.
    2. Cheetahs are fast. As a character, Cheetah is faster than Diana both physically and mentally. She's almost always one step ahead of her. Are cheetahs (the animal) scary? Not really, they're cute AF. But it fits the theme of Barbara Ann always refusing to be "caught" and redeemed by the superheroine which, for me, is a powerful one.
    3. Lack of competition. DC Comics loves to team up the various archenemies of the Justice League. Ares wouldn't fit at all, and Circe shouldn't be caught dead with those mortals. There are other villains like Giganta, Dr. Cyber, Silver Swan, etc. that could fit the bill, but haven't been established for the common public who casually watch cartoons or movies. It helps that she's also currently a member of the Legion of Doom which consists of everyone else's archenemies.
    4. Number of appearances. Cheetah is the only Wonder Woman villain who has appeared pretty much through every writer's run on the comic. As opposed to other villains in her rogues gallery who go decades without appearing. She's consistent, and that helps the image of archenemy-dom.
    5. She fills a role no other major villain does. Marston created Cheetah to represent female jealousy, and that's explored by later writers in Wonder Woman but never really anywhere else. Female dynamics can't be found in other long-running mainstream superhero comics the way that they are in Wonder Woman and Cheetah's relationship.


    She ultimately just needs more appearances akin to The Lies and Godwatch; ones that makes her a fascinating and formidable foe that draws in both new and old readers. After all, clowns aren't really scary but Joker is the most popular supervillain in pop culture history. Powerless men aren't really scary but Lex Luthor is all over the DC Universe. Cheetahs aren't vicious, scary animals but Barbara Ann is ironically the strongest and deadliest of the "Evil Trinity". DC just needs to continue elevating the character instead of, y'know, New 52ing her where she's defeated by Green Arrow and thrown in the Suicide Squad.



    In Marston's run, Cheetah was probably the most-used villain outside of Baroness von Gunther (who redeemed pretty early on). She also appeared in the comic strips whereas I don't believe any other villains did. Marston even described her as her archenemy in one of the 40's comics. So that most likely helped her chances.
    Nicely put (and not just cuz your statements mirror my previously posted opinions). I also learned a couple of new things (Cheetah's comic strip appearances and Marston describing her as WWs arch enemy) so thanks.

  2. #17
    Chad Jar Jar Pinsir's Avatar
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    In the original Marston run, she reappeared more frequently then any other villain and she appeared very early too.
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  3. #18
    Fantastic Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    Marston even described her as her archenemy in one of the 40's comics.So that most likely helped her chances.
    And then as soon as he left the title DC put her in limbo for two decades, I guess they didn't agree. But yeah, that probably helped.

    Why do you think the creators of the Super Friends were fixated on having another cat-themed villain if they couldn't have Catwoman? They couldn't use Joker or Penguin but I didn't see any other clown or umbrella-using villains in the Legion of Doom. Diana had several other non-public domain female villains they could have used such as Queen Clea, Paula Von Gunther, Gudra, Blue Snowman, The Mask, Dr. Poison, etc. but they chose Cheetah and I don't think it was just because she wore a cat-suit
    Well, I don't think that's the only reason. She was definitely her most well-known female villain along with Paula. I'm just saying that if we're going by WW's pre-crisis comic history Ares and some other villains have much bigger and significant presence than Cheetah overall. She didn't become a major recurring villain until post-crisis, and I'd argue that she didn't become a definitive arch-enemy until New 52/Rebirth. Before that she was sharing the title with Circe and Ares.

  4. #19
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    It's mostly by accident due to her being chosen for Superfriends, but that's generally how these things go sometimes. You can't predict which characters will last and which will fall by the wayside. We've seen new writers come on and try to make an arch nemesis, but subsequent writers don't care as much and don't use them.

    I think Marston and his close cohorts favoring her and using her more than most of her other Golden age villains helps her. Only Mars, his underlings and pre-reformed Paula can really compete with her. Every instance feeds into the next, her visibility in the Golden Age prompted the use in Superfriends, which in turn prompted a (half assed) return in the Bronze Age that transitioned to Domaine, and both of those things doubtlessly played a role in Perez making her the first supervillain he revamped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    And then as soon as he left the title DC put her in limbo for two decades, I guess they didn't agree. But yeah, that probably helped.
    DC did a lot of bad things for Wonder Woman in the Silver Age. They didn't develop almost anything that came before, and that is why she is at a severe disadvantage compared to a lot of other IPs. With the notable exceptions of the X-Men and Teen Titans, the major IPs reached their definitive iterations in that period (or in the case of most Marvel properties, it's where they were invented). Alan Moore said she lacked a nemesis in the Silver Age when she really needed one. Ares and some villains popped up, but most of what people remember from the Silver Age is the love triangle with Steve and Mer-Man and the weird "impossible tales" with Wonder Tot and Wonder Girl, the villains didn't leave a huge mark. But Superfriends reached a much bigger audience, so I think Cheetah's appearance there trumps Ares in the comics.

  5. #20
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    Ares and some other villains have much bigger and significant presence than Cheetah overall
    Maybe, but the character herself proved to be the easier to adapt, which just increased her popularity till she took the top spot.

    -shrug-

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    Mostly because she was her arch-enemy in the Super Friends cartoon. Not sure why they picked her, I heard somewhere that she took Catwoman's place (for whom they didn't have the rights). So she sort of became her arch-enemy by accident.
    I believe this. Her and Giganta often get top billing when Wonder Woman villains get used in other media.

  7. #22
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I also think it's because she thinks everything should be her's. Where has Diana comes from elitie background she has always been humble. Where has CHeetah generally is always just jealous.

  8. #23
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    There is another factor here, in that in group standoffs, the lone woman in each group has to have another woman to face off.

    That pretty much leaves only Paula von Gunther, Cheetah, and Circe as well-known adversaries. Silver Swan might have cut it, but is on a lower level.

    Of these, Paula von Gunther would be too similar to Lex Luthor, and is no match for Diana on a physical level. And Circe is quite modern. That pretty much leaves Cheetah as the sole remaining choice.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  9. #24
    Incredible Member Amazon Swordsman's Avatar
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    She’s been tied to WW for decades, even in the most random, obscure references in media.

  10. #25
    Extraordinary Member Dr. Poison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    1. Challenge of the Super Friends. It was a major influence on pop culture, and Cheetah being Wonder Woman's archenemy on the show crossed over to the comics decades later.
    2. Cheetahs are fast. As a character, Cheetah is faster than Diana both physically and mentally. She's almost always one step ahead of her. Are cheetahs (the animal) scary? Not really, they're cute AF. But it fits the theme of Barbara Ann always refusing to be "caught" and redeemed by the superheroine which, for me, is a powerful one.
    3. Lack of competition. DC Comics loves to team up the various archenemies of the Justice League. Ares wouldn't fit at all, and Circe shouldn't be caught dead with those mortals. There are other villains like Giganta, Dr. Cyber, Silver Swan, etc. that could fit the bill, but haven't been established for the common public who casually watch cartoons or movies. It helps that she's also currently a member of the Legion of Doom which consists of everyone else's archenemies.
    4. Number of appearances. Cheetah is the only Wonder Woman villain who has appeared pretty much through every writer's run on the comic. As opposed to other villains in her rogues gallery who go decades without appearing. She's consistent, and that helps the image of archenemy-dom.
    5. She fills a role no other major villain does. Marston created Cheetah to represent female jealousy, and that's explored by later writers in Wonder Woman but never really anywhere else. Female dynamics can't be found in other long-running mainstream superhero comics the way that they are in Wonder Woman and Cheetah's relationship.


    She ultimately just needs more appearances akin to The Lies and Godwatch; ones that makes her a fascinating and formidable foe that draws in both new and old readers. After all, clowns aren't really scary but Joker is the most popular supervillain in pop culture history. Powerless men aren't really scary but Lex Luthor is all over the DC Universe. Cheetahs aren't vicious, scary animals but Barbara Ann is ironically the strongest and deadliest of the "Evil Trinity". DC just needs to continue elevating the character instead of, y'know, New 52ing her where she's defeated by Green Arrow and thrown in the Suicide Squad.



    In Marston's run, Cheetah was probably the most-used villain outside of Baroness von Gunther (who redeemed pretty early on). She also appeared in the comic strips whereas I don't believe any other villains did. Marston even described her as her archenemy in one of the 40's comics. So that most likely helped her chances.

    Thanks for sharing all of this. You really cemented the various reasons for Cheetah as Diana's arch-nemesis.
    Currently Reading:Death Metal, Hawkman, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Legion of Super Heroes, Shazam, Wonder Woman, & Young Justice.

  11. #26
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    The problem continues to be too much writer focus on the savagery, ugliness and athletic menace of Cheetah, with not enough on Barbara Minerva, who, lest we forget (and we too often do) ..is the real monster, here. She's born into nobility, with a father, who is a British lord; she is no stranger to power. Aside from her Cheetah body, Barbara should be shown to be every bit, as power-hungry, as Vandal Savage or Mongul. The Cheetah should not be treated as her identity, because she's already got one more grotesque, than that: Barbara Minerva.

    I'm sick of writers writing her as this tragic, conflicted victim, wholly possessed by the Cheetah, because the woman underneath has no such conflicts. She is a liar, a murderer, and probably worse, ..but, she is in total control. She's the deliberate pilot of her evil. The 'Cheetah part' is Barbara's weapon, gives her the power to physically battle Wonder Woman, Superman and whoever, on their respective levels.

    If you make Barbara's narrative about Barbara's pursuit of power ..and the threat of it, instead of were-cheetah rampage and being out of control, ..you have a fit arch-nemesis for Diana. Conceptually, this is a woman, who will cross time and space to rule, but rarely written that way...maybe, never.
    Last edited by Mel Dyer; 06-25-2020 at 04:56 PM.
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  12. #27
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Dyer View Post
    The problem continues to be too much writer focus on the savagery, ugliness and athletic menace of Cheetah, with not enough on Barbara Minerva, who, lest we forget (and we too often do) ..is the real monster, here. She's born into nobility, with a father, who is a British lord; she is no stranger to power. Aside from her Cheetah body, Barbara should be shown to be every bit, as power-hungry, as Vandal Savage or Mongul. The Cheetah should not be treated as her identity, because she's already got one more grotesque, than that: Barbara Minerva.

    I'm sick of writers writing her as this tragic, conflicted victim, wholly possessed by the Cheetah, because the woman underneath has no such conflicts. She is a liar, a murderer, and probably worse. The 'Cheetah part' is Barbara's weapon, gives her the power to physically battle Wonder Woman, Superman and whoever, on their respective levels.
    They went with the straight up evil incarnation of Barbara Minerva in the New 52, and it didn't really work or go over that well. Even Johns himself lost interest in her. The more tragic version in Rebirth went over much better.

    Conflicted identity crisis is part and parcel of the character, going back to Marston. It doesn't make sense to turn her into something she's not. She's arguably more scary/unsettling by being so tragic and becoming more and more of a monster over time. If she's always evil and power hungry, she's just generic.

  13. #28
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    They went with the straight up evil incarnation of Barbara Minerva in the New 52, and it didn't really work or go over that well. Even Johns himself lost interest in her. The more tragic version in Rebirth went over much better.

    Conflicted identity crisis is part and parcel of the character, going back to Marston. It doesn't make sense to turn her into something she's not. She's arguably more scary/unsettling by being so tragic and becoming more and more of a monster over time. If she's always evil and power hungry, she's just generic.
    I find the cursed sympathetic character rather generic, too - was new (or newly cycled back into fashion) and fresh once, but that was long ago. Can't deny the popularity of the trope, but I'm not into it and really tired of villains having personal connections to heroes before they were villains/heroes. Especially retconned ones (though not an issue in full reboots), since they contradict/twist previously established events. Even if you were going to make her the sympathetic type, I'd have preferred Diana learning, and being stunned by, the truth of her backstory several years down the road. Though I understand the difficulties of that from a writing perspective.

    Gotta say, I still prefer the early post-COIE version over sympathetic Etta-girlfriend one. I mean, there were notable problems there, too, but all in all.

  14. #29
    Spectacular Member Primal Slayer's Avatar
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    I was always surprised they never really did anything with The Valkyrie and turn them into WWs arch nemesis.

    But I think Cheetah has always done a decent job of being the anti Diana, connecting her to a God was a smart choice and something I wish would stick. Along with her being able to revert between the two forms eventually.

  15. #30
    Fantastic Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    The thing I dislike about Barbara being Diana's first/best friend is that this role is supposed to belong to Etta Candy. Without it she doesn't have a strong connection to Diana aside from being Barbara's girlfriend. And Julia also becomes utterly superfluous, and as a result WW's supporting cast is smaller and less interesting. I also didn't like that the other villains were responsible for her transformation into Cheetah. It makes her a victim of manipulation, instead of a victim of her own bad choices. Perez' version is still my favorite, she had just the right amount of tragedy and evilness to be a compelling villain, but the subsequent writers kind of wasted her.

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