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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Why is Cheetah, Wonderwoman’s Archenemy?

    She’s Diana’s most commonly used protagonist. Their has been more versions of her then Diana herself. But why is that? Only recently has she been made into a physical threat to Diana. And why did they choose a Cheetah, rather then something more fearsome like a hyena or a tiger? Even now, other villains Seem more menacing on a surface level. She works as an enemy don’t get me wrong, but I feel her prominence in Wonderwoman’s rogue gallery often baffles new fans. To me it is kind of like Superman and Lex Luther. On a surface level Lex really shouldn’t stand much of a chance against Superman. He is a regular human, fighting quite possibly the most powerful Superhero out there. But Superman writers have done a good job explaining Lex as a character and as a threat. I feel they haven’t quite done that with Cheetah to the same degree. Cheetah is fast, this makes sense given her name. But She’s also strong (doesn’t quite match her name( Cheetahs aren’t really strong animals).

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    Conversations with Ami Mizuno have persuaded me to take another look at Queen Clea, because I have so many reservations about Cheetah's being the 'arch'.

    Frankly, I think Cheetah needs to be a whole new character, with a whole new reason for becoming a cheetah-person. Could she be a time-travelling, dimension-hopping adventurer - a wandering conqueror, who modified her body to withstand the rigors of space-time travel? Could she be a renegade Amazon, banished for an unspeakable, unforgivable crime - like the First Born, wiped even from the memory of mortals and Amazons...from even her own memory? Was 'Minerva' the first child an Amazon created from enchanted clay, but, who turned evil? There's so much you can do with the Cheetah. The omega, being a were-cheetah, isn't the problem...

    It's the alpha, how/why she gets there and why that makes her the 'arch', that needs work.
    Look alive, Kangaliers!

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Dyer View Post
    Conversations with Ami Mizuno have persuaded me to take another look at Queen Clea, because I have so many reservations about Cheetah's being the 'arch'.

    Frankly, I think Cheetah needs to be a whole new character, with a whole new reason for becoming a cheetah-person. Could she be a time-travelling, dimension-hopping adventurer - a wandering conqueror, who modified her body to withstand the rigors of space-time travel? Could she be a renegade Amazon, banished for an unspeakable, unforgivable crime - like the First Born, wiped even from the memory of mortals and Amazons...from even her own memory? Was 'Minerva' the first child an Amazon created from enchanted clay, but, who turned evil? There's so much you can do with the Cheetah. The omega, being a were-cheetah, isn't the problem...

    It's the alpha, how/why she gets there and why that makes her the 'arch', that needs work.
    I don’t think their is anything wrong with Cheetah, I’m just not not happy with her status by default role.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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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.
    A happy accident, really.
    With every writer who went w. Cheetah based on the cartoon, the character became a little more interesting, visually exciting, powerful, w. different versions coming and going. The end result though, is a consistent presence.

    Personally, I like the character. She has just enough of a mystical origin to fit into WW’s world, while still being a modern day character, not a god or goddess, which makes her a little more relatable.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Dr. Poison's Avatar
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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 don't think that's accurate. Yes, Cheetah did appear on Challenge of the Super Friends but there's a reason they picked her over Ares(Mars at the time), Circe, etc. She has been a constant thorn in Diana's side for decades, even before Challenge of the Super Friends aired it's first episode.
    Currently Reading:Death Metal, Hawkman, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Legion of Super Heroes, Shazam, Wonder Woman, & Young Justice.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Poison View Post
    I don't think that's accurate. Yes, Cheetah did appear on Challenge of the Super Friends but there's a reason they picked her over Ares(Mars at the time), Circe, etc. She has been a constant thorn in Diana's side for decades, even before Challenge of the Super Friends aired it's first episode.
    Goes back to what I said about being relatable, too.
    A woman in a cat suit on Super Friends? Okay. The God of War, a Greek Sorceress from The Odyssey? Not so much.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riv86672 View Post
    A happy accident, really
    It was, but DC did a very bad job capitalizing on it. Super Friends forced Priscilla Rich into the arch-enemy role, but instead of bringing her back in a major way in the comics they killed her off and introduced a legacy character instead. Then they replaced both of them with a completely new character who had better powers and a more interesting origin story, but poorly defined motivations and no good stories to speak of. And then there's the fact that she's still treated as a D-list villain outside of the WW titles (not to mention a horrible track record in outside media). She could be a great villain and even a great arch-enemy, but the effort just isn't there.

  9. #9
    Fantastic Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Poison View Post
    I don't think that's accurate. Yes, Cheetah did appear on Challenge of the Super Friends but there's a reason they picked her over Ares(Mars at the time), Circe, etc. She has been a constant thorn in Diana's side for decades, even before Challenge of the Super Friends aired it's first episode.
    Cheetah was a relatively minor villain before Super Friends. After Marston's departure she was used maybe once or twice. Ares, Duke of Deception, Paula von Guther (before her redemption) and even Angle Man had a much bigger presence in her comic. The reason why they didn't go with Ares is probably because a god would seem out of place in the Legion of Doom and they probably wanted a female villain as well. Why Cheetah in particular? Probably because of the no rights for Catwoman thing, they just went with the second most well known cat-themed villain who just happened to be Diana's enemy.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    It was, but DC did a very bad job capitalizing on it. Super Friends forced Priscilla Rich into the arch-enemy role, but instead of bringing her back in a major way in the comics they killed her off and introduced a legacy character instead. Then they replaced both of them with a completely new character who had better powers and a more interesting origin story, but poorly defined motivations and no good stories to speak of. And then there's the fact that she's still treated as a D-list villain outside of the WW titles (not to mention a horrible track record in outside media). She could be a great villain and even a great arch-enemy, but the effort just isn't there.
    Well, like I said, the character wound up having a constant presence, (different versions, coming and going).
    As for being a D list villain, agree to disagree.

  11. #11
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    Actually, Cheetah became a physical threat to Diana when Perez took over post-crisis over 30 years ago. While Barbara Minerva never outright beat Diana, she was always portrayed as a powerful physical threat and they had several brutal showdowns. I would agree, though, that it's taken that long for Cheetah to be seen as a physical threat DC-wide in general.

    I think the needle moving on who Diana's arch-enemy is - from Circe to Cheetah to...uhm... - has more to do with Diana not having a historically established arch-enemy. Even though Lex Luthor and Joker were rarely used in the 50s, they both firmly returned in the 60s & 70s. This type of imprinting didn't happen with WW, and the Cheetah revamp in the form of Debbie Domaine in the 80s, while I remember it fondly, was definitely a character who was a threat only because of her madness and not her physical abilities.
    Last edited by Frank; 06-25-2020 at 07:29 AM.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Gaius's Avatar
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    I never really bought Cheetah's prominent place in WW's rogues until around Rebirth, whereas before it felt like something only there because of Super Friends. As for not really being treated like threat in the rest of the DCU, well sadly that's a common thing you can probably say about most of WW's rogues.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    Actually, Cheetah became a physical threat to Diana when Perez took over post-crisis over 30 years ago. While Barbara Minerva never outright beat Diana, she was always portrayed as a powerful physical threat and they had several brutal showdowns. I would agree, though, that it's taken that long for Cheetah to be seen as a physical threat DC-wide in general.

    I think the needle moving on who Diana's arch-enemy is - from Circe to Cheetah to...uhm... - has more to do with Diana not having a historically established arch-enemy. Even though Lex Luthor and Joker were rarely used in the 50s, they both firmly returned in the 60s & 70s. This type of imprinting didn't happen with WW, and the Cheetah revamp in the form of Debbie Domaine in the 80s, while I remember it fondly, was definitely a character who was a threat only because of her madness and not her physical abilities.
    I remember Cheetah’s Post Crisis debut under Pérez and ppl at the comic shops buzzing. PPL remembered Domaine, and the Super Friends, and were excited.
    Since then Cheetah’s come back after every DC shake up (and was powerful, fast, and sneaky enough at one point to take shots at several JLAers before getting put down), she’s made it to the DCAU...I’d say she’s well established as WWs Yin.
    Why fight it?

  14. #14
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    Cheetah was a relatively minor villain before Super Friends. After Marston's departure she was used maybe once or twice. Ares, Duke of Deception, Paula von Guther (before her redemption) and even Angle Man had a much bigger presence in her comic. The reason why they didn't go with Ares is probably because a god would seem out of place in the Legion of Doom and they probably wanted a female villain as well. Why Cheetah in particular? Probably because of the no rights for Catwoman thing, they just went with the second most well known cat-themed villain who just happened to be Diana's enemy.
    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.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Dr. Poison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psy-lock View Post
    Cheetah was a relatively minor villain before Super Friends. After Marston's departure she was used maybe once or twice. Ares, Duke of Deception, Paula von Guther (before her redemption) and even Angle Man had a much bigger presence in her comic. The reason why they didn't go with Ares is probably because a god would seem out of place in the Legion of Doom and they probably wanted a female villain as well. Why Cheetah in particular? Probably because of the no rights for Catwoman thing, they just went with the second most well known cat-themed villain who just happened to be Diana's enemy.

    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.
    Currently Reading:Death Metal, Hawkman, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Legion of Super Heroes, Shazam, Wonder Woman, & Young Justice.

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