(POSSIBLE WONDER WOMAN 1984 SPOILER)
Warner Bros recently started a social media blitz of Wonder Woman 1984. The studio released pictures from the set and confirmation of the title, characters, and setting. A possible spoiler for the film’s villain, the Cheetah, also appeared on Twitter.
THE CHEETAH RUMOR
Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan went on Twitter and posted, “Since today is a good day for WONDER WOMAN scoops, I’ve heard that Kristen Wiig starts the sequel as Diana’s friend, not her foe. She emulates Wonder Woman, then seeks to usurp her.” Kristen Wiig is known for her comedy. A character that starts as Diana’s friend fits with Wiig’s former roles.
THE FIRST CHEETAH: DC COMICS’ ORIGINAL
DC Comics has had many Cheetahs. The first Cheetah was socialite Priscilla Rich. She had a split personality and created the Cheetah in reaction to her insecurities. Priscilla became a villain with no super powers. She used her intelligence to outwit Wonder Woman, though she once gained a mystic relic to fight Wonder Woman directly. Priscilla eventually retires in poor health.
THE SECOND CHEETAH: THE NIECE
The second Cheetah is Priscilla’s niece Deborah Domaine. Debbie was an ecology activist that befriended Wonder Woman. She was forced into villainy through brainwashing when her aunt could not be recruited. Thus, Debbie took on the mantle of the Cheetah and fought Wonder Woman on many occasions.
THE THIRD CHEETAH: MAGICAL IMMORTAL
The third Cheetah is archaeologist Barbara Ann Minerva. The wealthy British doctor went to Africa to find a legendary tribe. They were protected by an immortal female with cheetah powers. Bandits killed her expedition and the cheetah guardian. So Barbara undergoes the transformation to become the immortal Cheetah. Unfortunately something goes wrong and Barbara’s Cheetah becomes a bloodthirsty killer.
Barbara returns home and becomes interested in Wonder Woman as an archaeologist. She attempts to trick Diana into giving her the Lasso of Truth. The lasso’s power reveals Barbara’s real intent and she attempts to take it by force as the Cheetah. During their many fights, Barbara’s intent would shift from theft to a rivalry with Wonder Woman.
THE FOURTH CHEETAH: THE BUSINESSMAN
Wealthy businessman Sebastian Ballesteros became the fourth Cheetah. He is also the first man to have the title. Ballesteros convinces the mystical source of the Cheetah’s powers to let him be the Cheetah. He should have the power since the previous women failed. Minvera is angered by the loss of her powers. Therefore, she uses mystical means to fight and kill Ballesteros, regaining the Cheetah’s powers.
THE DC REBOOT
In 2011, DC retconned the character during The New 52. The earlier Cheetahs became names Barbara Ann Minerva used to commit crime. Sebastian Ballesteros became the alias Sabrina Ballesteros. This Barbara is an expert in dangerous relics. The Goddess of the Hunt possessed her after she cuts herself with a cursed dagger. Thus the goddess transformed her into a half cheetah, half human hybrid.
THE DC FIX
In 2016, DC Rebirth pushed characters into their older, more iconic selves. Barbara Ann Cavendish loved mythology, but her father disapproved. She took on her mother’s maiden name of Minerva, learned several languages, and earned two doctorates in archaeology.
Barbara begins searching for the Amazons and eventually befriends Wonder Woman. The sons of Ares, Deimos and Phobos trick Minerva into becoming the Cheetah. She is turned into a bloodthirsty demigod and blames Wonder Woman for not preventing it. So she swears revenge on Wonder Woman and the Amazons.
THE POSSIBLE MOVIE CHEETAH
If Kristen Wiig is playing a Cheetah that first befriends Diana, Minerva is the most likely because of her similarities to Diana. Both are intelligent, speak multiple languages, and share an interest in ancient artifacts. In the Wonder Woman film and again in Justice League, we see Diana’s modern identity works at the Louvre. The two could bond over their shared interest. Minerva’s passion for the Amazons could also have her searching for Themyscira. As her friend, Diana would try to discourage her.
Warner Bros releases Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters November 1, 2019.