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  1. #1
    Incredible Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Default Wonder Woman's Archnemesis

    DC is well known for it's vast rogues gallery, with many heroes each having dozens of villains unique to their own title comics. A list heroes in particular tent to have one villain that stand above the rest with the title of "archnemesis", a villain who is usually referred to as the polar opposite to the hero.


    For Wonder Woman, that villain is Cheetah...at least in the eyes of pop culture.


    Cheetah was cemented in the archnemesis roll by Super Friends cartoon, but something that I have noticed when reading Wonder Woman comics is that many writers have tried to knock her out of it. Perez himself clearly tried to make Circe Diana's archnemesis, going so far as to have Circe herself proclaim such shortly after meeting Diana. Rucka himself has said in interviews he does not view Cheetah as Wonder Woman's archnemesis but something more akin to her Two-Face, a close friend of the hero who has fallen down a dark path and can never seem to crawl out of it.

    -

    That being said, my questions for this thread are:

    1) Why do you think writers have tried to shake Cheetah out of that roll? I never see anyone try to shake Lex Luthor and Joker out of there archnemesis rolls (but to be far I don't read nearly as much Batman and Superman as I do Wonder Woman.)

    2) Do you think if more people read Wonder Woman comics, Cheetah wouldn't be considered Diana's archnemesis?

    3) Who do you think should be Diana's archnemisis and why? Circe, Cheetah and Ares are obviously the top contenders, but do you think a lesser known Wonder Woman villain fit that roll more closely?

    -

    My personal answers are:

    1) The reason behind Perez making Circe Diana's archnemesis in his run was probably because he was simply too old (his early 20's) to watch The Challenge of the Super Friends when it aired in 1978, so he probably just didn't view Cheetah in that roll. He clearly had nothing against the character, his version of Cheetah arguably popularized her even more. With Rucka, I don't know who he though Diana's arch should be...probably his own character Veronica Kale. Sorry buddy, Kale's a fun villain but she's not climbing that latter anytime soon. I think he tried to jostle Cheetah out of that roll because he wanted to make her Diana's close friend and felt your former close friend can't be your polar opposite.

    2) I do think if more people read Wonder Woman comics, the public opinion would be more mixed, but more so with Perez's run and post-crisis comics. After Rebirth, Cheetah has appeared in comics lot more and is almost always apposed to Wonder Woman. I don't think there's anything in Rebirth's run to make a reader consider Diana's arch to be anyone but Cheetah.

    3) I think on paper, Circe is Diana's archnemesis. Post-crisis Circe was needlessly cruel and clearly existed to opposite of Diana's mission to bring about world peace, and unlike Ares, Circe and Diana are both princesses. Ares also became a neutral character very fast in Perez's run and Cheetah herself would go back and forth between helping Diana long before her Rebirth reboot, while Circe always wanted to destroy Diana up until the Rebirth.

    However, you could argue at Circe is often times too powerful for Diana. Cheetah on the other hand (in Wonder Woman comics mainly) is considered Diana's physical equal, with Diana just barley managing to get the upper hand with the aid of her fighting skills and equipment. I also just can't see Circe working along side other villain's on a team fighting the Justice League, that's just not her style (which I love). The few time's she has been on a team, she's always been the leader.



    But now that I have said what I think, what do you think?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Not the only reason but media adaptations certainly helps of which Superman and Batman largely got the lions share of (at least in the 20th century) which usually meant bringing along Lex and Joker in the subsequent adaptations, which in turn solidified to audiences (usually also future comic writers) of their importance and bleeds back into comics of treating them as a big deal. Super-Friends certainly solidified Cheetah as either Diana's arch or at least top contender and usually as a result means Cheetah is the only WW villain who will be appear in DC media adaptations. The 70s Carter show only adapted two villains from the comics early on and obviously they make much less of an impression than costumed villains of say 60s Batman.

    As to why I think some writers try to shake Cheetah out of that role? I think it's mainly because in their view since Cheetah doesn't have as many iconic or good stories (at least in their view, not mine) as Lex or Joker so it means her claim as the arch is less solidified than theirs so writers have a potential to leave a big stamp on WW's mythos in way they won't with Batman or Superman.

    Of course I think it's possible to be both a "Two-Face villain" while also being the arch so I'd guess I disagree with Rucka there.

    Like you said, I think Ares works better as more villainous neutral character (not a friend but also not really a traditional foe) like what Perez, Rucka, and Jimenez did and Circe is too powerful to be used on a constant basis or part of villain team ups. Plus while I like them, they're still public domain characters and Cheetah is both original to WW and also a creation of Marston.
    Last edited by Gaius; 03-04-2021 at 08:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I'm definitely of the opinion that Cheetah gets the #1 arch nemesis spot, even if there are valid reasons for why it could also go to Circe or Ares. I think one of the main advantages she has is that she was invented by Wonder Woman's actual creators. With some notable exceptions (Daredevil with Kingpin, Black Manta and Orm were invented in the Silver Age well after Aquaman), I think most of the major IPs had the arch nemesis invented by the same creators as who made the hero character. They at least invented them and got the ball rolling even if subsequent creators developed them further.

    Joker: Finger and Kane
    Lex: Siegel and Shuster
    Green Goblin: Ditko and Lee, further developed by Lee/Romita
    Dr. Doom: Lee and Kirby
    Magneto: Lee and Kirby, even if Claremont deserves most of the credit for shaping the character
    Red Skull: Simon and Kirby
    Sinestro: Broome and Kane for the Hal Jordan revamp
    Loki: Lee and Kirby

    And so forth. So Priscilla was invented by Marston and Peters and seemed to be one of their favorite villains to use. Even among the Villainy Inc members, who were some of the few foes to make reappearances, I think she appeared the most and while her role in that issue is small, it's pretty telling that when Diana leads the Amazons against the Villainy Inc members on the island, Hippolyta takes out Eviless (the leader) while Wonder Woman herself is shown dealing with Cheetah. By the time Cheetah shows up, Diana's other contender for arch nemesis (Paula von Gunther) was reformed and Mars and his cohorts were not appearing as frequently. The frequent usage and status of being created by the original team is something she shares with only a handful of others like Mars, Psycho (a major foe, but far behind the Big 3), and Paula who is difficult to use in a modern context and was reformed anyway. Circe was brought in by Peters and Kanigher at least though.

    So even though the Silver Age was unkind to WW's rogues gallery, Cheetah is one of the very few to make at least one appearance. I think her popularity in the Golden Age is what prompted the use of her in the Superfriends. This renewed interest prompted the invention of Deborah Domaine. And the recent usage of Domaine in the Bronze Age prompted Perez to re-create the Cheetah for his run. Perhaps not coincidentally, she's the first supervillain Diana faces after Ares, who is set up to no longer be a straight villain after his first arc. Even if he seemed to shift focus to Circe being the arch, he also set up a lot of parallels between Diana and Minerva. Maybe he had no clear idea who should be the arch nemesis and wanted to set up a couple options?

    While I view Ares and Circe as major figures in the WW mythos, and I think Cheetah being a foe she meets in our world and not an extension of hers, who also has thematic parallels with her and pose a challenge to her, makes her the most unique of the three. That, plus she isn't public domain like them. She is uniquely Diana's, and it makes the most sense for her to pal around with Lex and the Joker than it does for Circe or especially Ares.
    Last edited by SiegePerilous02; 03-04-2021 at 09:03 PM.

  4. #4

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    1) Why do you think writers have tried to shake Cheetah out of that roll? I never see anyone try to shake Lex Luthor and Joker out of there archnemesis rolls (but to be far I don't read nearly as much Batman and Superman as I do Wonder Woman.)
    Because when one tries to imagine an arch-nemesis for a being of Wonder Woman's power level and stature, one imagines an equally god-like power and presence. Not the crazy cat lady. Yes, on paper, Cheetah is supposed to be Diana's physical equal, but...how many really buy it? Cheetahs aren't even the most intimidating of predators. Their best known for their speed...not ferocity or power. Even as a monstrous, cursed being, she's pretty tame.

    It also doesn't help that Cheetah's motivation is rather nebulous. Ares seeks to create and spread war. Circe despises humanity and sows discord and hatred. Hell, even a lesser known villain like Queen Clea is despotic, cruel, and seeks to expand her rule.
    Cheetah, on the other hand, is....what? Jealous? Bitter? She wants...power? Chaos? What are her actual goals? What does she hope to accomplish with the power she accumulates?

    Lex Luthor is portrayed as one of DC's greatest geniuses with endless resources to match Superman's power, and whose utter narcissism contrasts Superman's total selflessness. The Joker is a chaotic madman whose nihilistic outlook pushes Batman's ethos and outlook to its limit.
    Cheetah has never really offered that for Diana.

    I see where Rucka's coming from with the Two-Face comparison, but I think Cheetah has more in common with Spider-Man's Lizard. A friend who turns into the animalistic monster and is a recurring nuisance than genuine threat.
    And there is value in such a character...I don't think creators who've tried to shift focus away from Cheetah actually dislike her...but as Diana's alleged arch-nemesis, Cheetah frankly seems beneath her.

    The sad thing is, the recent She-Ra series showed what Cheetah arguably should be with Catra. But I can't see DC ever injecting that kind of care and pathos into her.

    And again, I don't dislike Cheetah, and I'm not saying she brings nothing to the table. But the fact is she's only considered Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis because of grandfather clause--not because she's a rich, dynamic character with unique chemistry with Diana.


    2) Do you think if more people read Wonder Woman comics, Cheetah wouldn't be considered Diana's archnemesis?
    I doubt it. I mean, I read the comics and I have trouble buying Cheetah as worthy of being Diana's arch-nemesis most of the time.


    3) Who do you think should be Diana's archnemisis and why? Circe, Cheetah and Ares are obviously the top contenders, but do you think a lesser known Wonder Woman villain fit that roll more closely?
    I like Circe as Diana's arch-nemesis. Their backgrounds parallel, and they contrast/conflict with one another in a fundamental way: Diana believes people are, deep down, good and decent, and she wishes to help. Circe is a misanthrope who only cares about herself and believes people are nothing more than savages and brutes. Animals.
    She's also more believable as a physical match for Diana with her sorcery powers.

    If we're looking for a non-public domain character, personally, I would try to build up Queen Clea. She needs fleshing out, but based on what is there, she seems like she'd be a lot of fun as a villain. We need to see more of her.
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  5. #5
    Incredible Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Not the only reason but media adaptations certainly helps of which Superman and Batman largely got the lions share of (at least in the 20th century) which usually meant bringing along Lex and Joker in the subsequent adaptations, which in turn solidified to audiences (usually also future comic writers) of their importance and bleeds back into comics of treating them as a big deal. Super-Friends certainly solidified Cheetah as either Diana's arch or at least top contender and usually as a result means Cheetah is the only WW villain who will be appear in DC media adaptations. The 70s Carter show only adapted two villains from the comics early on and obviously they make much less of an impression than costumed villains of say 60s Batman.

    As to why I think some writers try to shake Cheetah out of that role? I think it's mainly because in their view since Cheetah doesn't have as many iconic or good stories (at least in their view, not mine) as Lex or Joker so it means her claim as the arch is less solidified than theirs so writers have a potential to leave a big stamp on WW's mythos in way they won't with Batman or Superman.
    Ironically, a lot Joker and Luthor's iconic moments come from Elseworld comics (The Killing Joke and All-Star Superman come to mind) and Elseworld comics arn't Diana's strong suit. (DC needs to change that please, Dead Earth in a step in the right direction.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Of course I think it's possible to be both a "Two-Face villain" while also being the arch so I'd guess I disagree with Rucka there.

    Like you said, I think Ares works better as more villainous neutral character (not a friend but also not really a traditional foe) like what Perez, Rucka, and Jimenez did and Circe is too powerful to be used on a constant basis or part of villain team ups. Plus while I like them, they're still public domain characters and Cheetah is both original to WW and also a creation of Marston.
    Yeah, I don't know why your arch can't be your former friend, that kinda thing happens in real life sometimes.

    Yeah it makes sense to have two Marston original character be mortal enemies.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy_McNichts View Post
    I doubt it. I mean, I read the comics and I have trouble buying Cheetah as worthy of being Diana's arch-nemesis most of the time.



    I like Circe as Diana's arch-nemesis. Their backgrounds parallel, and they contrast/conflict with one another in a fundamental way: Diana believes people are, deep down, good and decent, and she wishes to help. Circe is a misanthrope who only cares about herself and believes people are nothing more than savages and brutes. Animals.
    She's also more believable as a physical match for Diana with her sorcery powers.

    If we're looking for a non-public domain character, personally, I would try to build up Queen Clea. She needs fleshing out, but based on what is there, she seems like she'd be a lot of fun as a villain. We need to see more of her.
    I wouldn't disagree with some of this. It wasn't really until Rucka's second run that I came to view Diana would have a unique relationship with Cheetah/Barbara compared to other villains that wasn't really present in previous iterations (even ones I liked like Perez Barbara or GA Priscilla).
    Quote Originally Posted by I'm a Fish View Post
    Ironically, a lot Joker and Luthor's iconic moments come from Elseworld comics (The Killing Joke and All-Star Superman come to mind) and Elseworld comics arn't Diana's strong suit. (DC needs to change that please, Dead Earth in a step in the right direction.)
    .
    Oh, I don't disagree. Joker is a character I find far less insufferable in animation and live-action than I do his modern comics counterpart (for the most part at least) and the best Lex since Post-Crisis was the DCAU one.

    And yeah, don't even get me started on Diana in DC Elseworlds stories, lol.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I'm definitely of the opinion that Cheetah gets the #1 arch nemesis spot, even if there are valid reasons for why it could also go to Circe or Ares. I think one of the main advantages she has is that she was invented by Wonder Woman's actual creators. With some notable exceptions (Daredevil with Kingpin, Black Manta and Orm were invented in the Silver Age well after Aquaman), I think most of the major IPs had the arch nemesis invented by the same creators as who made the hero character. They at least invented them and got the ball rolling even if subsequent creators developed them further.

    Joker: Finger and Kane
    Lex: Siegel and Shuster
    Green Goblin: Ditko and Lee, further developed by Lee/Romita
    Dr. Doom: Lee and Kirby
    Magneto: Lee and Kirby, even if Claremont deserves most of the credit for shaping the character
    Red Skull: Simon and Kirby
    Sinestro: Broome and Kane for the Hal Jordan revamp
    Loki: Lee and Kirby

    And so forth. So Priscilla was invented by Marston and Peters and seemed to be one of their favorite villains to use. Even among the Villainy Inc members, who were some of the few foes to make reappearances, I think she appeared the most and while her role in that issue is small, it's pretty telling that when Diana leads the Amazons against the Villainy Inc members on the island, Hippolyta takes out Eviless (the leader) while Wonder Woman herself is shown dealing with Cheetah. By the time Cheetah shows up, Diana's other contender for arch nemesis (Paula von Gunther) was reformed and Mars and his cohorts were not appearing as frequently. The frequent usage and status of being created by the original team is something she shares with only a handful of others like Mars, Psycho (a major foe, but far behind the Big 3), and Paula who is difficult to use in a modern context and was reformed anyway. Circe was brought in by Peters and Kanigher at least though.
    Marston did seem to have a soft spot for Pricilla. I wish he went into more detail about what his thought process was went making her. I mean, I get that she's supposed to represent jealously, but I just want to know, why a Cheetah? I wish he wrote that somewhere, it's just such an interesting choice of animal.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    So even though the Silver Age was unkind to WW's rogues gallery, Cheetah is one of the very few to make at least one appearance. I think her popularity in the Golden Age is what prompted the use of her in the Superfriends. This renewed interest prompted the invention of Deborah Domaine. And the recent usage of Domaine in the Bronze Age prompted Perez to re-create the Cheetah for his run. Perhaps not coincidentally, she's the first supervillain Diana faces after Ares, who is set up to no longer be a straight villain after his first arc. Even if he seemed to shift focus to Circe being the arch, he also set up a lot of parallels between Diana and Minerva. Maybe he had no clear idea who should be the arch nemesis and wanted to set up a couple options?
    I was rereading some issues of The Justice League of America back when Perez was cowriting it and oddly enough, his version of Debbie felt like a prototype for Barbara. She fought a lot like Barbara (even though the comic insisted she had no super powers, she jumped of the Washington Monument for crying out loud and ran circles around Wonder Woman, she's clearly got powers). He made her more animalistic than she was depicted in Wonder Woman's comic. She even talked like Barbara, after Barbara gained the ability to talk as Cheetah. I thought it was quite interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    While I view Ares and Circe as major figures in the WW mythos, and I think Cheetah being a foe she meets in our world and not an extension of hers, who also has thematic parallels with her and pose a challenge to her, makes her the most unique of the three. That, plus she isn't public domain like them. She is uniquely Diana's, and it makes the most sense for her to pal around with Lex and the Joker than it does for Circe or especially Ares.
    Yes, Cheetah has her own Gods and mythos that won't get affected outside of DC continuity. So that makes sence.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm a Fish View Post

    1) Why do you think writers have tried to shake Cheetah out of that roll?
    They haven't. They've focused on other villains at times but that applies to every other superhero.

    2) Do you think if more people read Wonder Woman comics, Cheetah wouldn't be considered Diana's archnemesis?
    I doubt it.

    3) Who do you think should be Diana's archnemisis and why? Circe, Cheetah and Ares are obviously the top contenders, but do you think a lesser known Wonder Woman villain fit that roll more closely?
    Either Cheetah or Zeus.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    They haven't. They've focused on other villains at times but that applies to every other superhero.
    I listed two writers who, either through their work or in interviews, have stated they view a character other than Cheetah as Diana's archnemesis.

    Obviously they didn't do it to bash the character, quite to opposite both version of their Cheetah are well received. And I'm sure their are writers out their who have tried to switch out Bane or Riddle for Batman's arch, but perhaps I just haven't noticed it, or I didn't read the right stories, or they just kept that belief out of their work because they knew they could never push Joker off his throne.
    But we are focusing on Wonder Woman.

    There's focusing on another villain and then there is having Circe say to Diana "As long as I live, your mission of peace shall be impeded. And as long as you live, my world of sin is threatened. We were both born by whim of God. I am your reflection in a warped mirror. This world is not big enough for the two of us." (Vol.2 #19)

    While in contrast, Perez actually had Diana compare herself to Cheetah. When Diana asked Hermes to heal Barbara, he asked her why. Her response was, "Lord Hermes, it is because she is a beast that I ask you to save her. As I fought the Cheetah, I felt the beast that is within me too -- a pernicious demon fighting for control of my soul. I wanted to kill the Cheetah so badly then -- part of me wants to kill her now. But, if I do -- if I just stand about now and let this woman die, then I am no better than the Cheetah. And the beast has won." (Vol. 2 #34)

    And if we are doing the classic version of an archnemesis, that the villain is the opposite of the hero, then is sounds like Perez wanted Circe to be Diana's arch.

    Rucka's is a different story because even though he has said in interviews he doesn't think Cheetah is Diana's arch, he also doesn't do anything in his work to push Cheetah out of that spot (at least in my opinion).


    But of coarse I am curious as to what you think about it. (Lol, do you think I'm looking to much into it, because that's possible. ) I just find it strange that Perez had Circe proclaim she is Diana's arch but no other character. Sometimes writers do that for dramatic effect, but it felt pretty clear to me that Perez wanted his version of Circe to be Diana's arch.
    Last edited by I'm a Fish; 03-04-2021 at 10:32 PM.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Going off his run and comments elsewhere, I think Jimenez is also another writer who considers Circe Diana's arch and that he doesn't think Cheetah is Diana's most important foe.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    1) Why do you think writers have tried to shake Cheetah out of that roll? I never see anyone try to shake Lex Luthor and Joker out of there archnemesis rolls (but to be far I don't read nearly as much Batman and Superman as I do Wonder Woman.)
    Because a lot of writers don’t see her as a serious threat, and they don’t see her as possessing enough depth as a character to be the arch-nemesis in a way an arch should be. If you only know Cheetah through outside media, she’s a bad joke. She’s a jobber who gets killed or fails to accomplish anything in Injustice, the DCAU, the DCAMU, hell even the DCEU with WW1984 arguably. So in terms of physical threat her outside media portrayals have not helped. In the comics it isn’t that different. When has Cheetah seriously f***** up Diana the way Joker has Batman or Lex has Superman? Alex Ross Justice is the only stand out for me. She hasn’t managed to stand up to Diana consistently and seriously enough the way Lex & Joker have. Rucks sold me on her as a great villain who deserves her spot as a top threat, but after he left she’s slid backwards.

    Then there’s the problems thematically. A good archnemsis doesn’t just challenge a heroes physical strength, but their mental and moral codes as well. As groanworthy a cliche as it is to repeat, Joker being an agent of chaos and Lex believing himself to be a hero does that to Batman and Superman. Batman believes that people can use their pain to improve themselves, and acts as a symbol of inspiration. Joker believes that anyone can break given enough pain and is a symbol of horror. Superman believes that we all have a collective responsibility to one another, and that caring about each other is how humanity achieves greatness. Lex believes that we must all ultimately stand alone, and coddling the weak only hurts humanity in the long run. I’m simplifying with both, but that’s what I see as the core.

    What’s Diana’s core belief/role and how does Cheetah challenge that like an arch should? There’s some great personal drama between the two, but there’s no real deeper moral underplay yet. You could do something interesting with religion given Diana is blessed by gods while Cheetah is cursed by them. But as of right now there’s nothing.
    2) Do you think if more people read Wonder Woman comics, Cheetah wouldn't be considered Diana's archnemesis?
    No because even on this forum, not all WW fans think Cheetah is or should be her arch. There also isn’t really a single definitive story for Cheetah that really examines her and explains what her deal is. Joker has Killing Joke. Lex has Luthor. Both are stories that explore the world views of the characters and get at the bigger argument at play beyond just simple fisticuffs. That isn’t really present between Cheetah and WW. I keep hoping it happens but so far it hasn’t.

    3) Who do you think should be Diana's archnemisis and why? Circe, Cheetah and Ares are obviously the top contenders, but do you think a lesser known Wonder Woman villain fit that roll more closely?
    Circe for me because of three reasons:
    1. There’s some great contrast between the two. Diana is princess of Themyscaria, a bright feminist utopia island. Circe rules Aeaea, a dark misandrist prison island. Diana has her Amazon sisters. Circe has her Beastimorph slaves. Both of their islands are magical and reverse the traditional gender dichotomy but in different ways. Diana and Circe are both tied to the gods but in different ways. Both are immortal. Both are outsiders in Man’s World. There’s some more work that needs to be done but you’ve already got some solid stuff to build off of.
    2. Diana is basically a paladin and Circe is an evil sorceress. If you’re at all familiar with D&D it’s obvious why those two would go at it. But both can tap into the magical and mythical sides of the DCU in ways to keep stories interesting. Cheetah’s powers are set, Ares’ motives are usually pretty straightforward, but Circe can come at Diana in a 100 different ways for a 100 different reasons. Circe has resources in the same way that Lex and Joker do, which allows her to hold the upper hand against Diana.
    3. She’s fun. She’s got a cool design, she has a bright flamboyant personality that makes her engaging to read, sometimes she has bold ambitious plans and sometimes she’s just out to screw with Diana for her own amusement, she’s not evil because daddy didn’t love her enough or something so banal, she is what she is because she enjoys who she is.
    I think there’s definitely something there that could be built upon into arch material, I’ve got my own take on what I’d do with her and why it’s Diana specifically she torments, but I like her and think she’s cool. Plus she’s taken seriously and hasn’t been turned into a joke yet. She makes Batman sing for her own amusement in the DCAU! She got a great showcase in JLD’s Witching Hour and Witching War which put her intelligence and power level on full display. If there’s ever another WW movie, animated or live, I’m hoping for her as the main villain.
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    Incredible Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    For me Circe is Diana's true arch. She has the best stories, she's the one who headlined all of Wonder Woman-centric events (their quality is questionable, but still) and she doesn't have any terrible appearances outside of comics. Number two is Ares. It's true that he's not much of a villain these days, but Pre-Crisis he was used more than anyone else and had other major villains working for him.

    I think the main reason so many writers don't take Cheetah seriously is because she's a hard sell as a threat to Wonder Woman. Circe and Ares are gods and that's all you need to know why they're dangerous. But a cheetah woman? You'd actually have to explain her backstory, powers and motivation (which isn't easy considering how inconsistent they are) to sell a non-WW fan on the character. One could argue that it's the same for Lex and Joker but these two are such iconic villains they don't require an explanation.

    That brings us to the second problem - terrible adaptations. Lex and especially Joker have many great appearances outside of comics which further cemented their status. Cheetah? She has a couple of decent ones and the rest is either awful or unremarkable.

    And then the problem number three is the lack of good stories in the comics. Besides Perez and Rucka very few writers did anything noteworthy with her. She's technically an arch but rarely treated as such.

  13. #13
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    I think when it comes to Superman and Batman, none of them came close to being archnemesis besides Lex and Joker.
    Brainiac is the powerhouse but he's not as personal as Lex.
    Catwoman is personal but she's not an enemy. Neither is Two-Face. Oh he wants to be Batman's enemy, but Batman only view him as a lost close friend.
    Ra's is like Brainiac, powerful but too global, even when he's now family.
    The closest one to Joker is Bane, but he's beaten by never killing Batman's family until Alfred recently.

    I think The Flash's situation is similar to Wonder Woman. You have Captain Cold, Reverse Flash, and Gorilla Grodd. These days I think Zoom is the archnemesis because he just keeps messing with his life, while Cold's mainly just want a job, but before they made Eobard the one who killed Barry's mother, Cold appeared more often, right?

    Wonder Woman, I'm going to immediately discount Ares because his threat is too global, like Ra's or Brainiac. Circe depends...

    But I still think it should be Cheetah though, because their power level is similar and she's an expert on mythology, so she can be both physical and intellectual equal. They're also former friends, so it's personal too.

    Others already answer that probably writers don't take her seriously because she's a cat girl

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    To me, Cheetah is her arch nemesis and along with Ares and Circe form the triumvirate of supervillains.

    As much as I enjoy Rucka's WW, both his runs de-emphasized Cheetah. The first time he turned her into a simple seductress which he followed up later on in one of the FC tie ins by having her sleep with Snapper Carr (of all people). His second go around with the character in Rebirth was better but once again she was playing second fiddle to Veronica Cale and while I like the latter as a villain, I don't like her being the villain of the story.

    To me Cheetah works because Wonder Woman represents truth, compassion, equality and sisterhood, Cheetah is all about rage, jealousy, ruthlessness and lies. The original Cheetah was motivated purely by jealousy and IIRC refused to be reformed. Though I think Barbara Minerva perfects the formula. Perez's Barbara felt like someone who would be dangerous even without her Cheetah powers (I mean it's in her name, Minerva is another name for Athena). Added to that, you have the evil Lara Croft angle wherein she basically waltzed into a village that's not hers and hijacked their sacred ritual for her own needs. It's an opportunity to explore the dark side of archaeology especially since the Perez version also wanted to steal Diana's lasso of truth from her.

    I also think that if any Amazon besides Diana won the contest they would have fought Ares and Circe anyway but their interactions with Cheetah would have been very different.

    Rather than Cheetah, it's actually Circe's calim to her archnemesis spot (besides her obvious power levels) that I never fully got.

  15. #15
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    I've always been mixed between Cheetah and Circe being Diana's big bad. Both are just fun characters to use.

    But I do agree that the animated series and films haven't done as good a job at delving into alot of Wonder Woman's enemies (the DCAU made Felix Faust more of a Wonder Woman villain than any of her other villains). For example, Cheetah suffers the worst IMO as no-one in the films and animated shows seems to want to delve into her origins or motivations (one of my most nit-picky scenes from "Justice League: Doom" was when Diana asks Cheetah what she wants, and the reply is "To hurt you Diana, what else?" Don't know why, but that line rubs me the wrong way; and I loved her design and voice in that film). I have yet to watch WW84, but from what I've heard, she doesn't do any better there.

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