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Characters / Wonder Woman Cheetah
aka: Cheetah

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Barbara Ann Minerva as the Cheetah as seen on the cover of Wonder Woman (vol. 3) #28. Art by Aaron Lopresti

Cheetah is a Legacy Character from DC Comics, and is Wonder Woman's Arch-Enemynote . There have been four people who have taken up the mantle of Cheetah. The first version, Priscilla Rich, a wealthy but troubled socialite with a Split Personality who donned a cheetah costume and fought the Golden Age Wonder Woman (who was Hippolyta in some continuities), was created by Wonder Woman's creator William Moulton Marston, and first appeared in Wonder Woman #6 (Volume 1) in 1943.

Since then, Cheetah, in all her various identities, has been a long time nemesis for Wonder Woman, with the Barbara Ann Minerva version of the character being the most well known to the mainstream, and has appeared across various media relating to Wonder Woman, including the DC Animated Universe and the direct to DVD original movies Wonder Woman (2009) (where she has a brief cameo at the end), and Justice League: Doom (2012), where the Barbara Ann Minerva incarnation has a major role.


She is also a playable character in the third LEGO Batman game and the fighting games Justice League Task Force and Injustice 2

Due to the fact that Cheetah is a Legacy Character, and there have been at least four versions of the character, each version will have their tropes in a separate folder.

The Barbara Minerva version of the character made her film debut in 2020's Wonder Woman 1984 where she's played by Kristen Wiig.

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    Cheetah I 
Cheetah I
AKA: Priscilla Rich

“Out of my way, Amazon! Or Cheetah will send you back where you came from — in a box of Crackerjacks!”

A wealthy, but troubled socialite with a Split Personality, Priscilla Rich donned a form-fitting Cheetah costume to become a frequent foe of the Golden Age Wonder Woman. She eventually retired from supervillainy, and let go of her grudge against Wonder Woman. She was killed by Barbara Minerva in her old age, as the latter sought to make herself the only Cheetah.

For tropes relating to the version of Priscilla in The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) see the associated character page. For tropes relating specifically to her Golden Age iteration see the Wonder Woman Earth-Two character page.

Notable Appearances
Comic Books

Web Animation

Western Animation

  • Adaptational Dye-Job: The Post-Crisis Rich has brown hair, making her one of the few recurring women in Wonder Woman's rogues gallery to have brown hair, or would if she had remained a recurring rogue. The 2016 Legend Of Wonder Woman gives her red hair.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Justice Rich only goes out of her way to kill Wonder Woman when she hears a prophecy about Wonder Woman being an Apocalypse Maiden whose continued life on Earth will bring about its end. While Earth-Two Rich will only accept a death for Wonder Woman that satisfies her sadistic desires, she is the one who tried to get Wonder Woman killed by sabotaging a charity event before she snapped and became Cheetah.
  • Adaptational Villainy: 1942-1986 Rich might flirt with treason, but only in the name of getting "good" attention on herself, tarnishing someone else's reputation or maybe saving her own neck. The 2016 Legend Of Wonder Woman Rich was an enthusiastic Nazi.
  • All Part of the Show: Earth One Cheetah and her gorilla gang decided to rob a charity costume ball celebrating Diana Prince's promotion to captain figuring no one would suspect anything until it was too late.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: This is how she expressed her multiple identities in the Silver Age, with the Cheetah and Priscilla being unaware of each others' actions unless they saw physical or documentary evidence of it, and consequently try to foil their other persona's plots.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: She wore a masked hood with cat ears as part of her costume.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Cheetah doesn't necessarily have to defeat Wonder Woman, she just has to make Wonder Woman suffer. If that means jumping Steve Trevor because he's in the general area, then so be it.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Cheetah tended to dress her captives up like zebras, a cheetah's favorite prey (taste-wise, cheetah have a hard time successfully taking one down). Problem was that at first these "zebra" outfits were orange or even yellow, meaning they were really tiger suits, made worse that Tiger Tropica, who commanded orange tigers, was also a "Golden Age" Wonder Woman villain. One gets the impression Cheetah mixed her outfits in the wash and her schedule didn't allow her to fix the issue. By her fourth or so run-in with Wonder Woman Cheetah got the colors right.
  • Attention Whore: She has a pathological need to be the center of attention and turns to murder when she feels like others are getting more attention than she.
  • Badass Normal: She has no superpowers and fights only with her athletic skills. The Post-Crisis version downplays this. Here was no such ambiguity regarding the human limitations of Silver Age Earth-One Cheetah, who had to deal with a Wonder Woman who had more powers overall. Through planning, she manages to give Wonder Woman some trouble once, but only once. She also clashed with Hippolyta, who ranges from no real superpowers at all, to there but far less than Diana.
  • Break Out Character: Wonder Woman's creator, William Marston, didn't use Cheetah any more comic books than Duke of Deception, Queen Clea, Zara of the Crimson Flame, Hypnota, Giganta, Blue Snowman, Ares/Mars or Duke Mephisto Saturno. He in fact used Cheetah less than Eviless and Dr. Poison. However, even before Marston's death other writers started using Cheetah in their stories, which resulted in her having at least an equal amount of appearances to any other Wonder Woman villain, and Cheetah really came into prominence after she was featured as Wonder Woman's nemesis in the Super Friends cartoon. Cheetah was also one of the few supervillains besides the mole people to appear in the newspaper comic strip, which otherwise just had Wonder Woman trounce unremarkable criminals(though Wonder Woman's most popular comic strip villain was Lady Steel from a World's Greatest Superheroes Crossover). Ares/Mars and Duke Of Deception were bigger break-out characters in the comic books, but it wasn't until the 2017 movie that Ares truly became associated with Wonder Woman outside of the comic books in public osmosis. Still, Cheetah was hurt a bit by not being used in the 1977 television show, which was the most popular Wonder Woman work until the 2017 movie, so she and Ares could also be rivaled by any given antagonist featured there.
  • Cats Are Mean: A Rich Bitch villainess with a cheetah motif.
  • The Chessmaster: Since she can't best Wonder Woman in a straight fight, she usually relies on her cunning to do so. And after trying to snipe her with bullets and take her down while wearing Hippolyte's unconquerable girdle and still losing, she realizes it. Even more after training on reformation island, taking on Wonder Woman as part of a group and still losing.
  • Compressed Hair: Her long blonde hair stays well hidden and out of the way in the tight-fitting Animal-Eared Headband she wears as Cheetah.
  • Dance Battler: Priscilla was a skilled dancer, and this translated into remarkable agility in combat.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Priscilla Rich commits too many crimes to maintain her social standing and enjoy the party life as she once had, making her more susceptible to the Cheetah's drives, but then realizes she can still lead a fulfilling life without crime as a dancer, causing an internal struggle between the two personalities. On Earth-Two Cheetah wins, but on Earth-One and on "Prime Earth" after "Crisis On Infinite Earths" Cheetah loses and Priscilla Rich reforms.
  • Dark Action Girl: As Cheetah, she becomes a skilled action villainess.
  • Driven by Envy: Her entire grudge against Wonder Woman is fueled by her resenting her fame.
  • Expy
    • The Post Crisis Veronica Kale is more like the Earth-Two Cheetah than the Bronze Age, Post Crisis, New Fifty Two or rebirth Cheetah are. While Kale achieved wealth through smart business deals, hard work and a lot less luck than Priscilla Rich, they are both wealthy women of high social standing who could be content with that but hate that Wonder Woman gets more attention to them, and see themselves as the Lex Luthor to Wonder Woman's Superman...Kale more openly than Rich, and would probably hate the insinuation she's more like Rich than Luthor.
    • Formicida from the 1970s television show is similarly the grief created Animal Themed Super Being alter ego of Irene Janus as Cheetah is to Priscilla Rich. The first difference is that Formicida had an unfounded grudge against Diana Prince, not Wonder Woman. The second is that Irene Janus was an Anti-Villain who was trying to undo a potential crisis that she was partly to blame for, "Formicida" was simply doing more harm than good, leading Janus to voluntary reform, where Cheetah rejected rehabilitation...on Earth-Two. On Earth-One Cheetah does give up crime, putting her more in line with her expy.
  • Femme Fatalons: Sometimes pictured with these (as in the page image), sometimes not. Mostly has them in else worlds or throwback Earth two stories, rather than the original Marston era tales. Originally the claws were the easiest way to tell the Earth-Two and Earth-One Cheetahs apart.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Her Cheetah costume is very form-fitting.
  • Fur and Loathing: She spontaneously made her costume out of a stuffed cheetah rug, and it's one of the few things Rich is seen wearing twice.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Often had a glass of on her hand while relaxing as a civilian, to show off her vanity.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: She suffers from a "Split Personality" that made her act out bizarre revenge schemes and dress as a Cheetah, whom she had full arguments with, usually involving a mirror who talked back at her.
  • Handwave: She claims to have survived her first defeat because her costume repels fire. How a simple stuffed Cheetah rug does so is not explained.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Earth-1 Priscilla turned her life around and wanted to make sure her niece didn't follow in her footsteps. Post-Crisis Priscilla did the same, and also emerged from retirement to condemn the actions of Barbara Ann Minerva's Cheetah. Averted by Earth-2 Priscilla Pre-Crisis, who remained an active and unrepentant supervillain.
  • It's All About Me
    • Even before she became a supervillain Priscilla Rich made digging for private information, even classified information, a hobby, just so she could sell it to the highest bidder. Not because she needed the money, but because it was another way to make herself important in other people's eyes.
    • When you become a major supervillain because another woman got more attention than you did at a party, you are definitely a little on the self-centered side.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Priscilla needed to feel superior to everyone else because deep down she hated herself. Wonder Woman upstaging her at a party was what prompted her to develop her alternate personality and become the supervillain Cheetah.
  • Killed Off for Real: Post-Crisis Priscilla was murdered in her old age by Barbara Minerva, who wanted to be the only Cheetah.
  • Legion of Doom:
    • Served Eviless in one of the first for comic books; Villain Incorporated. It was slightly surprising, given her dislike of being upstaged, that Cheetah was one of the more loyal Villainy Inc. members, sticking with Eviless to the end instead of running off to do her own thing away from Paradise Island at the first opportunity as Giganta, Clea, Hypnota and Zara did. But not so surprising considering Eviless wanted to kill Wonder Woman in the slowest, most agonizing way possible, something that would interest Rich more than anyone aside from Eviless herself. It also meant Rich was one of the least featured in the arc, since Wonder Woman still had four stragglers to track down.
    • One of the founding thirteen members of the trope naming group, which really made Cheetah one of the top three contenders for the title of Wonder Woman's arch enemy next to Ares and Duke of Deception, since Giganta, another founding member and Wonder Woman villain, was instead paired against a made for the show superhero in Apache Chief.
    • The Post-Crisis comic books and especially the DCAU Justice League shows would reestablish Giganta as a Wonder Woman villain with the Injustice Gang and Secret Society Of Super-Villains, but Giganta was usually playing second fiddle to Cheetah in those groups.
  • The Lightfooted: She is very fast and agile. Jumping and climbing on a telephone pole then sprinting on the less-than-taut cables is not something that gives her pause.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: During the Silver Age Priscilla would find herself being mocked and belittled by her reflection, which would usually take the appearance of Cheetah rather than how she was currently dressed. This was not actually happening, but a visual indicator of her fractured mind. When Pris first saw Cheetah, the reflection encouraged her and told her "Don't you know me? I am the real you — The Cheetah — a treacherous, relentless huntress!" The caption read, "Psychologists use mirrors in this way, to discover people's real selves."
  • Meaningful Name: Priscilla Rich
  • The Mentally Disturbed: In addition to being a pretty obvious narcissist, Priscilla suffered from dissociative episodes, psychotic breakdowns, and a split personality. Not a mentally well woman.
  • Mirror Monologue: Almost every version of Priscilla Rich, at least until she starts being outright replaced by Barbara, at some point talks to herself in front of a mirror. The details of the conversation can vary wildly though, from the mundane, to the questionably mundane, to the outright supernatural.
  • Mooks: Earth-One Cheetah commanded men dressed as gorillas. She also had a private army with replicas of several countries' uniforms with which to cause chaos...if she paid them enough. The original Earth-Two cheetah had few, as most of her Zebra Slaves were non-combatants and any service she got out of any was against their will to some degree or another.
  • Motive Decay: Earth One Rich was primarily a performer, even after she snapped and assembled an armed gang as the ferocious Cheetah. It was Baron Von Hohenzo that made her realize that she could use her performances to aid in heists. Then dedicated most of her time to criminal thrills. Still impressing people and taking their things remained her drives until Wonder Woman exposed her as a criminal to the general public. Then Cheetah became lost in petty revenge plots against Wonder Woman, such as hypnotizing or torturing Steve Trevor.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In issue #6 of Wonder Woman (1942), her first appearance, she ties up and impersonates an Olympic athlete named Kay Carlton so that she can attend an athletic tournament being held on Paradise Island.
  • Narcissist: A fairly obvious one at that. Priscilla's need to dominate the room would brook no rivals, which is why Hippolyta's being the centre of attention was enough to trigger the psychotic break that transformed her into the Cheetah.
  • No One Could Survive That!: During her first outing as the Cheetah, she jumps from the roof of a four-story building into a raging fire. When Diana later sees Priscilla she's rather shocked as she'd suspected she was Cheetah, but then dismisses her earlier suspicions as Priscilla being alive and fine must mean she wasn't Cheetah since the villain has to be dead.
  • Retgone: Tricky example. Pre-Crisis there were two versions of Priscilla—one, the active villain on Earth-2 who remained a foe of that world's Wonder Woman, and two, the retired villainess on Earth-1, whose niece became a foe of the Bronze Age Wonder Woman. The Crisis combined these two versions of Priscilla into a single retired supervillainess and former foe of the Golden Age Wonder Woman, who was killed by Barbara Minerva. Post-Infinite Crisis, she may have clashed with the modern Wonder Woman during her early years as well. Then Flashpoint erased her completely, reducing her to nothing more than an alias of New 52 Barbara's (who also got Retgone by Rebirth!).
  • Retired Outlaw: Comes off like this in her old age. She doesn't necessarily have any regrets, but she's not putting on the costume again either. She's served her time, tried to prevent her niece from becoming the second Cheetah, and condemned Barbara Ann Minerva's actions as the third Cheetah. Barbara ended up hunting her down and murdering her in her quest to become the only Cheetah despite Priscilla's advanced age and retirement.
  • Rich Bitch: Definitely. She was so used to being the centre of attention because of her wealth, that being upstaged drove her over the edge.
  • Socialite: Her inherited wealth and investments removed any need for employment, considering her lifestyle consisted of going to parties and charity events for the purpose of getting the most attention.
  • Shooting Superman: Earth-One Cheetah had her men run over Wonder Woman with a double-decker bus only to see it crumple against her without moving her back an inch. Despite this Cheetah still demanded they shoot her with low caliber semiautomatic guns that just resulted in her entire gang surrendering after the bullets bounced back at them.
  • Split Personality: At some point, Priscilla suffered a psychotic break, and a dual personality developed. Unlike her more reserved self, this second personality was strong and violent. It poisoned Priscilla's mind, eventually turning her into a twisted, malevolent being. On Earth-Two, this personality is the same as Priscilla Rich, basically just convincing her to do things she already wanted to and inspiring her to wear a costume she initially used to "hide" the fact she was a supervillain but eventually came to enjoy wearing. On "Earth One" the Cheetah is more of a separate identity to Rich, one who sometimes tries to convince her to things she doesn't want to, one she eventually rejects. There was still a conflict with Earth-Two Rich, because sometimes she wanted to do more than one thing, with the Cheetah invariably convincing her to do whichever was worse and or would inconvenience Wonder Woman the most.
  • Super Villain Lair: She has secret entrances to "Cheetah Din" subbasements in buildings where she keeps kidnapped "zebra slaves" to do her bidding.
  • Thrill Seeker: She is constantly trying for new and exciting ways to steal money The thrills and attention involved in acquiring it seems more important than the money itself, since she's already rich.
  • Villain Team-Up: Was a member of the original Villainy Incorporated, both Pre-and-Post-Crisis.

    Cheetah II (Pre-Crisis) 
Cheetah II (Pre-Crisis)
AKA: Deborah "Debbie" Domaine

“Now that you’ve invaded the territory of the Cheetah… you won’t be permitted to leave alive!”

The niece of Priscilla Rich, the Golden Age Cheetah, Deborah Domaine was kidnapped by the supervillain Kobra, and brainwashed into becoming the second Cheetah. Driven insane, and equipped with a more lethal version of her aunt's costume, Deborah proved to be a formidable foe of the Silver Age and Bronze Age Wonder Woman, Diana Prince. She was retconned out of existence following the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Absolute Cleavage: Deborah's cheetah costume leaves little to the imagination, with a v-neck that terminates on her navel.
  • Alliterative Name: Deborah "Debbie" Domaine.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Her costume involves her wearing a cat-eared headband instead of the hood her aunt had.
  • Anti-Villain: Debbie had no desire to be evil, but was forced into against her will, and later driven mad.
  • Badass Normal: Like her aunt, Deborah had no superpowers, beyond her athletic ability and her rampant insanity.
  • The Berserker: Could descend into an almost mindless rage, during which her strength would increase to near-superhuman levels, making her one of the rare female berserkers.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Courtesy of Kobra, who decided to craft his personal Cheetah. He placed Debbi inside of a monitor station, suspended from the ceiling by electric cables. Using a brainwashing technique involving holographic projections, Kobra exposed her to a barrage of violent images of ecological disasters. With every flickering image she was forced to witness, an electric charge was sent coursing through her body. Within a short period of time, the process drove Debbi Domaine irrevocably insane.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's too far gone mentally to simply be reasoned with, without restraining her first, and she's more than willing to rip a man's throat out.
  • Driven to Madness: She was forced into the role of the second Cheetah by Kobra, and eventually went mad due to their control and manipulations of her life.
  • Eco-Terrorist: What Kobra deliberately turned her into, despite not being one himself, bombarding her senses with news of ecological destruction.
  • Evil Redhead: She has long red hair, and will readily get a bystander's blood on her hands if commanded to by Kobra.
  • Femme Fatalons: Her costume came equipped with chrome talons that could rend through steel.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She a stern, cynical but caring environmentalist when not affected by Kobra's influence.
  • Legacy Character: Forced into taking up her aunt's identity as the Cheetah.
  • Lured into a Trap: Subverted: The previous issues had conditioned the reader into believing someone was out to get Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman is initially suspicious of Deborah's group and when Wonder Woman relaxes it looks as though Debbie has lured her into a perfect trap, but it turns out Deborah is only interested in venting about her frustrations in private. One of Kobra's minions is the villain of the issue.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Deborah was declared unfit to stand trial, and remanded to Arkham Asylum upon her defeat. Given her fragile mental state, emotional instability, and bouts of berserk rage, this is not surprising.
  • Ret-Gone: She still existed Post-Crisis/Pre-Flashpoint, but as far as continuity is concerned she was never the Cheetah.
  • Tragic Villain: Debbie should never have been a supervillain in the first place, and wouldn't have been if it weren't for Kobra's meddling in her life. The entire affair is just sad.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Deborah berserks, few can stand in her way.

    Cheetah II (Post Crisis) 
The Cheetah II (Post-Crisis)
AKA: Barbara Minerva
Minerva's Cheetah form in her later years
Click here to see Minerva's human form in her later years 
Click here to see Minerva's Cheetah form in her earlier years 
Click here to see Minerva's human form in her earlier years 
Click here to see Minerva's Fury form 

"This sort of thing doesn't happen to Barbara Minerva. I don't let it."

Barbara Minerva was an archeologist who ran across an ancient ritual that gave her power, speed and immortality as the Cheetah, an avatar of Urzkartaga's will. This had a price—because she was not a virgin as the god Urzkartaga required, her body was frail and painful when not in Cheetah form. Her interest in rare artifacts caused her to clash with Diana when she tried to steal the magic lasso... the rest is history.

Notable Appearances
Comic Books

Video Games

Web Animation

Western Animation

  • Adaptational Badass: This version is powered-up from a Badass Normal in a cheetah costume to a were-cheetah who can go toe-to-toe with a superheroine who can match Superman in a fight.
  • Addiction-Powered: She was originally addicted to the power high that came with her transformation into Cheetah, in great part because it also alleviate the pain she felt in her human form.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Only an amoral one. Dr. Minerva was a famous rich archaeologist who would personally track down artifacts for her collections, traveling to all kinds of dangerous locations to do so, undaunted by the danger. But while she finds the knowledge of foreign cultures personally compelling, she has very little actual respect or love for them and is only tracking down artifacts for her desire to increase her collection and for the thrill of it. Being an archaeologist is what led her to an expedition in Africa where she would have a fateful encounter with the Urzkartaga tribe, and acquire her Cheetah powers.
  • The Ageless: As the host to the Cheetah, she is blessed with eternal youth as long as she keeps fueling herself via Blood Magic, but she may still be killed by normal means.
  • Age Without Youth: Played With. Usually, the host of the Cheetah would become The Ageless with no caveats, but due to her patron god Urzkartaga's jealous anger at her for not being a virgin, he cursed her human form to experience severe pain and frailty, which deteriorates her body, making her human form look older than she actually is if she doesn't keep transforming into the Cheetah. She eventually managed to get that fixed.
  • Animal Eyes: She gets the feral Supernatural Gold Eyes of a cheetah when she transforms.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: When she goes unclothed in her cheetah form, she usually doesn't appear to have any genitals or sexual organs, despite the fact she has had sex in her cheetah form. Sometimes, it's simply hidden by her fur.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Becoming Urzkartaga's champion and bribe allows her to turn into a human-cheetah hybrid and gain several powers.
  • Arch-Enemy: Competes with Ares and Circe for this title, having been one of Diana's most persistent foes since her introduction.
  • Artifact of Power: As an Adventurer Archaeologist, she collected these, though she rarely made use of them. When she lost her Cheetah powers to Sebastian Ballesteros, she did use one artifact to become empowered by the Fury Tisiphone, turning into s hulking obsidian form.
  • Attempted Rape: When she teamed up with Hunter Zolomon to defeat Flash and Wonder Woman, Cheetah tried to rape Flash. Luckily she failed.
  • Attack Animal: Had some attack cheetahs of her own at some point. It helps she also had the power to command and speak to them.
  • Ax-Crazy: Depending on the Writer, she can act as an extremely wild and bestial villain who's completely blinded by her bloodlust. She usually has this personality when she's being a minor background villain and is working as pure muscle.
  • Badass in Distress: During the "Operation: Cheetah", she's captured by a demon who wanted her to be a host for his bride and endures some Cold-Blooded Torture by him and his minions for days until she's rescued by Diana. She pays Diana back on she licks a bit of blood that allows her to turn into the Cheetah and teams up with Diana to take him down.
  • Bad Boss: She often mistreated her Beleaguered Assistant Chuma, the high priest of Urzkartaga who prepared the Ritual Magic that transformed her into the Cheetah.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: In her Tisiphone Fury form, she's naked just like the Cheetah, but without fur so instead her skin is merely drawn without nipples or genitalia.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Some of the outfits she wears as the Cheetah leave her navel exposed. She also wore a one-piece bodysuit, with a leopard-print sash that created the illusion of a visible midriff.
  • Beastess: Normally something of a Cute Monster Girl, the Cheetah can easily become this at her most bestial.
  • The Beast Master: At one point she was capable of controlling cheetahs while in her human form.
  • Becoming the Costume: The original method to transform into the Cheetah required to paint her nude body point to resemble that of a cheetah and then perform the Ritual Magic to have her skin fuse with the paint.
  • The Berserker: After she sold her soul to Neron to escape the underworld and bring Chuma Back from the Dead, her animal instincts took over without her human soul to keep her in check, rendering a wild berserk beast. She was cured when Diana and Chuman teamed up and Diana helped Barbara to remember who she was and restored her mind.
  • Blessed with Suck: While usually the host of the Cheetah only gets benefits, due to the fact Urzkartaga values virginity and Barbara isn't one, he also cursed her human form to become frail and sickened. Later, Circe used her magic to deal away with this, making the Cheetah powers have no drawbacks.
  • Blood Knight: She's often characterized as enjoying a good challenge and fighting strong opponents, though she's a Sore Loser if she doesn't actually win.
  • Blood Magic: The Ritual Magic that turned her into the Cheetah involved a lot of blood, as Minerva had to drink the blood from a fresh Human Sacrifice mixed with the leaves of the plant-god Urzkartaga. Originally, her transformation into Cheetah was only possible via the blood rituals to Urzkartaga, but it later got changed that she only needed human blood to fuel her transformation.
  • Blue Blood: She was born to a blue-blood British family with a vast fortune, and grew up relatively sheltered at her ancestral home in Nottinghamshire.
  • Body Paint: The original means of transforming into Cheetah required her to strip naked and have her body pointed to reflect that of a cheetah, with orange skin and the black spots, and the Ritual Magic would eventually have the paint fuse to her body as she transformed. Due to it being a fairly lengthy and complicated process, her transformations were later made much easier and near-instantaneous.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After being captured by the White Magician in Wonder Woman (1987), she was forcibly turned into a demonic version of her and acted as his brainwashed enforcer until he was defeated by Diana and Artemis.
  • Break Out Character: Generally speaking, if any version of Cheetah shows up in a modern-day work, it's going to be Barbara.
  • Cat Girl: When in cheetah form, she gets an orange-and-black-spotted cat-form with enhanced speed, power, and immortality in return for becoming an avatar of the god Urzkartaga's will. How much she actually looks like a cheetah can vary, sometimes her design still maintains several humanoid features, most commonly her long red hair.
  • Cat Folk: As the Cheetah, Minerva is the host of a powerful cat folk spirit.
  • Cats Are Mean: A villainess with Animal-Themed Superbeing that are cat-like in nature. Her cheetah impulses usually bring out her worst and most violent urges.
  • The Champion: She serves as one to the Fertility God Urzkartaga, whose power she wields as the Cheetah. How much this actually affects her actions varies, sometimes with her acting on his behalf, sometimes it is ignored entirely.
  • Classic Villain: Of the Envy and Greed variety. She is a villainous take on the Adventure Archaeologist trope; rather than being depicted as a somewhat roguish but charming and heroic adventurer, Barbara is a manipulative, greedy, murderous thief. She cares for no one but herself and has no respect for foreign cultures, only interested in plundering their treasures for her own collection. Whereas Diana is a beautiful lauded figure granted powers by the gods which acted as gifts to her already present grace, Barbara's gifts from her god put her in excruciating pain and suffering. She sees Wonder Woman as a flawless figure whose popularity and monumental support from friends and gods alike is an insult to Barbara's constant suffering and misery, hence her hatred.
  • Classy Cane: Originally she needed a walking stick to balance herself in her human form, due to Urzkartaga cursing her with frailty and severe pain while she is a human. But her walking stick was a fairly classy cane, to show she was a Woman Of Wealth And Taste.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Rather than Retool Priscilla Rich for the retooled Post-Crisis Wonder Woman, she was replaced with two characters who represented her two different personalities. Veronica Cale is Priscilla Rich...if Rich was in full control of her mental capacities and actively built up herself rather than largely getting where she was through circumstance. Minerva is the Cheetah, obviously, but as an actual supernatural creature rather than a voice in Rich's head that pushes her to all her vices and petty grudges. Where Rich is of course rich, after thrills and recognition more than anything else, Barbara Ann Minerva actually has monetary goals in addition to enjoying her job. Minerva also has motives for antagonizing Wonder Woman than for just the sake of it.
  • Cult: Her origins story as the Cheetah as her stumble across the Cult of Urzkartaga, and being made the bride and The Champion to their god, thus inherent the cult.
  • Cunning Linguist: Part of her career as an archeologist involved her becoming an Omniglot, to the point she was even fluent in the obscure African tongue of Urzkartaga's tribe and understood the language of the Bana-Mighdall amazons.
  • Dark Action Girl: Cheetah is very adept at hand-to-hand combat obviously able to go one on one with Wonder Woman repeatedly. Even before she gained her powers, Barbara was a fairly competent Adventurer Archaeologist.
  • Darkest Africa: Minerva's backstory plays this entirely straight, with the source of her Cheetah powers stemming from a cannibalistic cult deep in Africa's jungles.
  • Dating Catwoman: During Final Crisis, she became romantically involved with Justice League of America sidekick Snapper Carr rescued him from a Mind Controled Firehawk and they teamed up to fight Darkseid's forces. She actually seemed seriously fond of him, finding his heroics "endearing", though she also half-heartedly tried to convince him to become a villain like her.
  • Deal with the Devil: She sold her soul to Neron in order to escape the underworld and bring Chuma Back from the Dead, which left her as The Berserker for a while, as she no longer had her human soul to leash the Cheetah's bestial instincts. But Chuma and Diana teamed up, and managed to restore's Barbara's mind via an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Adventure Archaeologist. Instead of being portrayed as a heroic adventurer, Barbara is a manipulative, greedy, murderous thief. She cares for no one but herself and has no respect for foreign cultures, being only interested in plundering their treasures for her own collection. It is these flaws that result in her being cursed. Notably, Diana is from a foreign, mythical nation and would normally be a villain to a heroic archaeologist character.
  • Depending on the Artist: How animalistic her Cheetah design is can vary often between appearances.
  • Depending on the Writer: How evil she is, her exact power set, if she wears clothes, whether or not she's a Friendly Enemy, and whether she's The Vamp.
  • De-Power: She lost her Cheetah powers briefly when Sebastian Ballesteros stole them with Urzkartaga's blessing. But Minerva empowered herself with an artifact that turned her into a Fury-empowered obsidian form, tracked down Sebastian and killed him, so she could get her Cheetah powers back.
  • Determinator: She's a very stubborn and goal-oriented woman. If she wants something, it's hard to make her give up on it.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: She orchestrated Genocide's arrival, and effectively destroyed the Department of Metahuman Affairs internally.
  • Disability Superpower: After becoming The Champion and bride to Urzkartaga, she was granted the powers of the Cheetah along with eternal youth. But due to Urzkartaga anger at her for not being a virgin, he cursed her human form to become frail and in constant pain, thus slowly robbing her of her youth and often rendering her sicked or crippled, to the point she's often bedridden or needs a walking cane to move while in her human form, while her Cheetah form is completely unaffected by said curse.
  • Disney Death: Her first battle with Diana ends when she gets shot by Dr. Kapatelis, causing her to fall into the water. Diana dives and searches for her, but doesn't find her and presumes the Cheetah to be death, but Minerva obviously makes her return a few issues later.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Even when she wears clothes in her Cheetah form, she rarely wears any footwear. Justified since Cheetah's toenails are long, sharp claws, meaning she would require very special footwear to accommodate them, and she would be depriving herself of a weapon if she did find something to cover them.
  • Driven by Envy: Like her predecessors, her hatred of Wonder Woman is born out of envy, specifically because she is a dark mirror of what Diana is. Whereas Diana was a beautiful lauded figure granted powers by the gods which acted as gifts to her already present grace, Barbara's gifts from her god put her in excruciating pain and suffering. She sees Wonder Woman as a flawless figure whose popularity and monumental support from friends and gods alike is an insult to Barbara's constant suffering and misery, hence her hatred.
  • Dub Species Change: In the Brazilian translation of Wonder Woman stories, Cheetah is translated as "Mulher Leopardo" (Leopard Woman).
  • Enemy Mine: Teamed with Checkmate during Final Crisis to oppose Darkseid's forces, since he was a threat to the entire Earth.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She absolutely despises rapists. Doctor Light found this out the hard way.
  • Evil Brit: Barbara Minerva is one, although she only speaks with a British accent a few times such as her portrayal in Justice League: Doom where she was voiced by Claudia Black.
  • Evil Redhead: A villainess with long red hair, with her hair often being her most striking human feature while in her Cheetah form.
  • Femme Fatalons: Her nails become more claw-like as Cheetah and they are her go-to weapons.
  • Fighting a Shadow: She is the avatar of the plant/fertility god Urzkartaga.
  • Foil: To her Arch-Enemy Wonder Woman:
    • They're both demi-goddess, granted Lightning Bruiser superpowers by divine favor. But while Diana was gifted hers, Minerva wrestled the Cheetah's power by force.
    • Diana is an amazon born in the divine world of Themyscira and came to Man's World with selfless goals. Minerva is a normal woman born in Man's World and got involved with divine beings through her own pursuit of power.
    • Minerva is amoral, selfish, and petty while Diana is moral, selfless, and forgiving.
    • Diana is a beloved figure who gets the admiration of many, including most of her patron gods. Minerva is despised due to her feral Cheetah appearance and despised by her patron god, who cursed her with frailty and pain.
    • Diana is a Chaste Heroine more interested in romance than sex, while Minerva is The Vamp who has had a lot of casual dalliances.
  • Fragile Speedster: Depending on the Writer she has no Super Toughness and can be seriously injured by even common firearms, thus having to rely on her speed and agility to dodge attacks.
  • Friendly Enemy: In Wonder Woman (1987) after Diana rescued Barbara a couple of times, Barbara came to warm up to Diana. While Barbara still acted evil and selfishly, she often avoided hurting Diana specifically and even teamed up with her a couple of times. This aspect of their relationship would vary or be ignored completely in other books, Depending on the Writer.
  • Friends with Benefits: Had this relationship with Hunter Zolomon during the time they teamed up. They had a sexual relationship but no actual romantic affection for each other, only Villainous Friendship.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: She often fights completely naked in her Cheetah form. Helps that Animals Lack Attributes is in effect.
  • Genius Bruiser: Part of what makes Minerva so dangerous is that she's intelligent, decisive and quick-thinking. She knows how to fight smart and how to take full advantage of her Cheetah's powers.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jealousy and envy and central themes of her character, to the point she has very prominent green eyes.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: She's extremely attractive and mentions that men used to swoon and turn heads whenever she entered a room. But Urzkartaga's curse made her human form deteriorate until she became frail and weak, much to her displeasure, although her Cheetah form still got plenty of attention. When she lifted the curse, and became a Voluntary Shapeshifting she regained her youth and beauty.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Most of her prey she hunts are other humans, since she needs to feast on their blood to fuel her Cheetah powers.
  • Hypocrite: As stated above she hates Doctor Light for being a rapist but she herself attempted it on Flash when she teamed up with Hunter Zolomon to defeat Wonder Woman and Flash. She stabbed Flash in the spine and tried to mount him while he laid on his back in pain.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: As part of the ritual to become the Cheetah, Minerva needed to feast on the blood of a fresh kill, since the Cheetah's patron god Urzkartaga needed fresh blood to fuel himself. Since Minerva was also an amoral woman with little empathy, she agreed to do with, using one of her archeologist colleagues as the Human Sacrifice. Even after the ceremony, Minerva would still need to feast on people's blood and sacrifice it to Urzkartaga in order to fuel her powers, at least until Circe empowered her and gave her Voluntary Shapeshifting powers that ignored the frailty curse. Still, at her very worst, Minerva has been portrayed as actually enjoying devouring people, even children.
  • Immortality Hurts: As the host of the Cheetah she is The Ageless, but due to Urzkartaga cursing her for not being a virgin, she's in a constant state of agony while in her human form.
  • Immortality Seeker: Her reason for wanting the Cheetah powers is that they would grant her immortality.
  • Iron Lady: She was famous for being a ruthlessly competent and driven Adventurer Archaeologist even before she gained powers of the Cheetah, traveling to all kinds of dangerous and inhospitable places with little complaint despite her spoiled background, all while her colleagues and escorts could barely keep up with her.
  • It Must Be Mine!: A great deal of the friction and fighting between her and Wonder Woman is caused by Barbara's insistence on trying to steal Diana's lasso for her collection of mystical and occult artifacts.
  • It's All About Me: To contrast to Diana's selfless nature, Barbara is a very self-centered, arrogant, and selfish person, always putting her own needs and wants above everything else and only values people who she can benefit from or have assisted her in some way.
  • Lack of Empathy: To contrast to Diana's compassionate nature, Barbara has very little compassion or empathy for others, even before she became the Cheetah, she simply shrugged off the deaths of her colleagues during her dangerous expeditions and she didn't hesitate to use one of her colleagues as a Human Sacrifice for the ritual to become the Cheetah.
  • Legacy Character: Was the second person to bear the title of Cheetah in Post-Crisis continuity, and the third character to use the identity overall. Post-Flashpoint she is the only villain to have ever been called Cheetah.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Cheetah's speed is much greater than that of the animal she's named after, and the source of her power also gives her Super Strength and toughness.
  • Life Drinker: Her powers as the Cheetah, and thus her immortality, is fueled by feasting on the blood of others.
  • Marriage to a God: To gain the powers of the Cheetah, Minerva had become both The Champion and bride to evil Fertility God Urzkartaga. It's mentioned that the marriage was actually consummated, although we get little details of it and Minerva wasn't actually bothered by it... but unfortunately for her, Urzkartaga is was very much bothered by the fact his bride was not a virgin, so he put a curse on her along with granting her the Cheetah powers, causing Minerva's to become frail and in constant pain while she was in her human form. He was actually so unhappy with her, that he later betrayed her and chose a man to be his next champion and Cheetah host (Minerva eventually took back the Cheetah mantle by force). But after the Sebastian incident, Urzkartaga never manifested himself again, even as Minerva begun to act more as The Vamp.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Barbara" is a Greek-derived name, which comes from the same root as "barbarian" and has the same meaning: outsider, alien, foreigner, stranger, not civilized. Barbara is infamous for being an Adventurer Archaeologist that has no respect for foreign cultures, having usurped the Cheetah from her African roots and seeking to do the same with the Greek Lasso of Truth.
    • "Minerva" is the name of the Roman version of Athena, goddess of wisdom who is greatly admired in Greek culture but not very respected in Roman culture. Minerva is envious of Diana due to being beloved by her peers while Minerva herself gets no respect.
  • Motive Decay: Minerva's original villainous motivations were of wanting to collect mystical artifacts and to find a cure for the frailty curse that her patron god Urzkartaga placed on her human form. Depending on the Writer, these are often forgotten and ignored, with Minerva simply acting as a scheming criminal or as having a personal vendetta against Diana.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The most sexed-up version of Cheetah. She's often designed as a Cute Monster Girl or Sexy Cat Person who acts flirtatiously or sexually dominant and is canonically amazing at sex. Her human form is also often portrayed as being just as attractive (when not under Urzkartaga curse that makes her look frail) and she often shows a lot of cleavage in her civilian outfits. She's also often fully nude, not only in her Cheetah form but also when she turns back human or gets Brought Down to Normal, albeit censor tropes like Scenery Censor, Shoulders-Up Nudity, Speech-Bubble Censoring and Toplessness from the Back keep her covered.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite her Super Strength, her Cheetah form is often very slender and she doesn't look like she hits as hard as she does. Subverted when she briefly became empowered by the Fury Tisiphone, she gained a hulking body that was very muscular.
  • Murderous Thighs: Has used her legs to choke her foes on several occasions.
  • The Nose Knows: As Cheetah she has a supernatural sense of smell, as it can not only be used to easily track people, but she can also smell all kinds of magic with it, and can even tell if someone is mind-controlled just by their smell.
  • No-Sell: Due to her powers actually being divine in nature, science-based ways to De-Power her fail completely, such as during Final Crisis, when she was completely immune to the anti-metagen virus.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: An unusual case. Minerva has taken to wearing pants with cheetah-print over the crotch in her later appearances, but since she's already covered with cheetah spots when transformed, this makes her look like she's wearing crotchless leather chaps.
  • Odd Couple: Had a romance with The Everyman Snapper Carr of all people, famous for being a mascot/sidekick to the Justice League. They were actually still romantically involved when the New 52 came and rebooted the universe.
  • One-Man Army: If her duking it out with the Justice League is anything to go by.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Will jump at any chance she gets to benefit herself. Most notably her becoming the Cheetah was never something she planned when she traveled to Africa, but she quickly seized the chance to gain power and immortality once the chance presented itself to her.
  • Our Were Beasts Are Different: She can transform into a WereCheetah-like monster due to the powers she gained from Urzkartaga, but she's much stronger than many of the Animal-Themed Superbeing from the DC Universe, due to her powers being magical in nature.
  • Power at a Price: Her powers come from the Fertility God Urzkartaga, but since she's not a virgin and he is a jealous god, he cursed her to suffer from severe pain while in human form. Later she had to feast on fresh blood to maintain her immortal powers and stave off the agonies of being in human form and stay alive.
  • Prehensile Tail: She can use her tail for combat, grabbing and choking her enemies with it.
  • Pretender Diss: She notably hunted and killed Priscilla Rich purely because she saw her as a pretender to the title of Cheetah.
  • Proud Beauty: Barbara is an arrogant woman who is extremely proud of being a Head-Turning Beauty. It was a blow to her pride when her Urzkartaga made her human appearance frail, and she took great joy when she lifted that curse.
  • Psycho for Hire: Has often taken jobs as hired muscle by all kinds of villains and organizations.
  • Posthuman Nudism: She didn't bother wearing clothes in her Cheetah form in her earlier eyes, and didn't seem to have any attributes in that form anyway. But around the time she became a Voluntary Shapeshifter, she started wearing black/dark blue latex clothes even while in her Cheetah form.
  • Put on a Bus:
  • Really Gets Around: She mentions her lovers were legion before her human form was cursed into being weak and frail by Urzkartaga. But she still had a sexually active life even when she got stranded in her Cheetah form.
  • Red Right Hand: Urzkartaga once punished her for failing him by leaving one of her hands untransformed while she is in her Cheetah form.
  • Religion of Evil: She and Chuma are the last worshipers of Urzkartaga, though Barbara herself is only in it for the power being the god's avatar provides.
  • Rescue Romance: Her romance with Snapper Carr in Final Crisis involved this on both sides, first she saved him from a Mind Controled Firehawk, then he saved her from a Mind Controled Gorilla Grodd.
  • Ritual Magic: Originally, Barbara had to undergo a dark ritual involving Human Sacrifice and Blood Magic to become the Cheetah, and the process required a lot of preparation. The ritual was no longer necessary after Circe made the transformation permanent, but Minerva still required blood to keep the transformation active.
  • The Rival: Has crossed paths (no pun intended) with Catwoman enough times to be this. It seems to be mostly because writers liked to see a Designated Girl Fight between two cat-themed villains, since a Badass Normal like Selina shouldn't give much trouble to the semi-divine Cheetah.
  • Sex Goddess: When she ends up sleeping with Snapper Carr in Final Crisis Resist, he's completely overwhelmed by her sexual prowess, while she smugly the exhausted Carr "Yes, I'm very good, I know.". It's suggested it's one of the perks of being connected to a Fertility God.
  • Sex Is Violence: As a Thrill Seeker, she seems to have acquired a taste for mixing sex and violence. Snapper Carr is confused when he discovers she considers their battle against Darkseid's forces in Final Crisis as their first date.
    Snapper Carr: You consider Darkseid almost destroying humanity our first date?
    Cheetah: There was terror, fighting, and sex. So yeah, I'd consider that a date.
  • Sexy Cat Person: Her Cheetah appearance is often played up for sex appeal and it's suggested by her that her powers actually made her into a Sex Goddess.
  • Sensual Spandex: During her lather years, she started wearing a black/dark blue skintight latex outfit with cheetah-prints.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: She started with being able to transform into Cheetah after a fairly lengthy magical ceremony, but during Minerva's stay at Arkham Asylum, she got fed a Magic Potion by Circe that left her stuck in the Cheetah form, with the caveat she also became enslaved by Circe. She eventually freed herself from Circe, but was able to remain in Cheetah form as long as she kept consuming blood, which worked just fine for Minerva as it allowed her to evade Urzkartaga curse that made her human form frail and weak. In the "One Year Later" storyline, Circe once again meddled with her transformation, but actually helping her this time. Thus Minerva gained the ability to swap between forms at will, while also being free of the frailty curse.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: In her human form, her long red hair and green eyes are her most striking physical features. Ironically, she originally had brown eyes, but later got it retconed to being green to fit with her Driven by Envy theme.
  • Smug Super: She was already a very confident and arrogant woman, and these traits only increase after she gained her Cheetah powers.
  • The Sociopath: Written this way by some authors who entirely forget her redeeming features.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: After she gained her Cheetah powers, she has shown to be able to communicate with real cheetahs, even in her human form.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's 5'9"/175cm tall and quite attractive in either form.
  • Stealth Expert: She's fairly competent at moving unseen and setting up ambushes.
  • Strong and Skilled: She's not only gifted with the Cheetah superpowers, but is actually skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: As Wonder Woman's Arch-Enemy, she's often as strong and fast as Diana and a big hitter than can take down foes like Superman or Flash. But sometimes she's relegated to a minor background villain who gets defeated by much weaker heroes. In particular, her rivalry with Catwoman, who Barbara struggles with despite Selina just being a Badass Normal.
  • Super Senses: Her senses as the Cheetah are a lot stronger than that of a normal human, granting her Innate Night Vision, Super Hearing, Super Reflexes, and a supernatural sense of smell.
  • Super Speed: She's called The Cheetah after all. She got even faster after Flash adversary Hunter Zolomon/Zoom taught her how to siphon off the power of the Speed Force.
  • Super Strength: The fact that she can even injure Wonder Woman is proof of this.
  • Super Toughness: In her Cheetah form, she's tough enough to take blows from foes like Superman and Wonder Woman. But this varies often Depending on the Writer and she's sometimes depicted as being a Fragile Speedster who can be fatally injured by normal bullets.
  • There Can Be Only One: She hunted down and killed Priscilla Rich, first holders of the title of Cheetah, to ensure she was the only one, even though Priscilla Rich in particular posed no threat given her advanced age at the time. This was actually on the advice of Hunter Zolomon, who told her the survival of another Cheetah was giving Minerva a psychic block and hampering her abilities.
  • Thrill Seeker: She became an Adventurer Archaeologist due to the thrill of adventure, and it is also why she accepted the deal to become the Cheetah relatively easily.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: The original method for her to transform into Cheetah required a lot of preparation and Ritual Magic, but it later changed to her just needing blood and the magical transformation would be near-instantaneous.
  • Trophy Room: She has a large collection of artifacts reflecting her nature as an Adventurer Archaeologist, with most of those artifacts being mystical and powerful in nature reflecting her sinister hunger for power.
  • Underestimating Badassery: She's much stronger and clever than the usual Animal-Themed Superbeing in the usual superhero comics, given she's an Arch-Enemy to a big hitter like Wonder Woman. But sometimes heroes or villains treat her as if she were just an above-average fighter, and end up getting their asses kicked. In Secret Six, she sent Bane flying with an Offhand Backhand when he tried to sneak up on her and almost took down the entire team on her own, with Catman realizing they bit more than they could chew with her.
    Deadshot: Think we have a chance here?
    Catman: She can take a punch from Wonder Woman. No, I don't think we have a chance.
  • The Vamp: Under some writers, who have her come onto every male character she encounters, even getting into relationships with fellow villains and heroes out of lustful impulse (i.e. Rip Hunter, Hunter Zolomon, and even Snapper Carr). She has mentioned that before getting her powers, her lovers were legion.
  • Villainous Rescue: This is often the basis of Barbara acting as a Friendly Enemy to Wonder Woman. Diana has saved her life a couple of times in Wonder Woman (1987), which caused Cheetah feel indebted to Diana and she repays the favor when she ends up rescuing Diana from Poison Ivy and Cheshire's poisons while the three of them are all working for Julianna Sazia. By not poisoning Diana and only superficially scratching her, Diana was strong enough to destroy her bonds and escape and soon as they were distracted and later Diana and Cheetah teamed up against Sazia.
  • Villain Decay: Usually happens to her whenever she's not in a Wonder Woman title, she's relegated to a pure melee bruiser of above-average strength can be easily beaten by Badass Normals like Catwoman and Batman.
  • Virgin Power: Subverted. The Cheetah is The Champion and bride of Urzkartaga who is a jealous and petty god who demands that the host of the Cheetah be a virgin. Due to Minerva not being a virgin, Urzkartaga cursed her human form to feel weakened and frail and to slowly deteriorate, while her Cheetah form remained unaffected.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Originally she was only able to shift into Cheetah after a long ceremony and only with Chuma's assistance. Later, Circe fed her a Magic Potion that freed her of the ritual's trappings and gave her some semblance of control of her transformation: As long as Minerva fed on blood, she would be in her Cheetah form and if she stopped she would reverse back to her still-cursed human body. It wasn't until the "One Year Later" story arc that she finally managed to gain full control of her Cheetah transformation via Circe's magical assistance, being able to switch back and forth between human form and Cheetah form at will, without requiring any blood and with her human form being free of the frailty-curse.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: The Cheetah's Supernatural Gold Eyes also highlight her mischievous and dangerous nature.
  • Wall Run: Can use her Super Speed to run along walls.
  • Was Once a Man: She often lamented her state during the period she was cursed and forced to hunt down and eat people just so she could maintain her feral Cheetah form and avoid the agony and frailty of her human form. As Barbara Minerva, she used to be a proud, beautiful, talented, bold, clever, driven and successful Woman Of Wealth And Taste.
  • White Man's Burden: An evil example. When Minerva happens upon Chuma at the Urzkartaga temple after an attack by an outsider tribe, Chuma sees her as the "white savior" to the Urzkartaga cult since she can inherit the Cheetah after the previous champion was killed in the surprise attack, and thus defend Urzkartaga plant form, which is exactly what Minerva does, although she only actually cares for the powers that this will grant her.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Claims to have eaten them in Birds of Prey, with it being ambiguous if she was joking or not.

    Cheetah III 
The Cheetah III
AKA: Sebastian Ballesteros
Click here to see his human form 

Sebastian Ballesteros was a corporate raider who learned early on that true power inevitably trumps riches. Making a deal with Urzkartaga, he had the powers of the Cheetah transferred from Barbara Minerva to himself. He later cut a deal with Circe, and had one of Diana's closest friends transformed into the third Silver Swan. Easily overpowering Minerva when she tried to regain the Cheetah powers from him, he was eventually killed by her while in human form.

  • Ambition Is Evil: He pursued money not so much to buy things he needed or even wanted, but as a status symbol. In a world of super-powered beings he decided becoming one of those would be better than a large bank account, and also decided he wanted others of the sort under his control, finding that better than a "corporate" empire.
  • Animal Eyes: He gets the feral Supernatural Gold Eyes of a cheetah when transformed.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: He doesn't appear to have genitals when he outs to go without clothes in Cheetah form, which is often but he noticeably does have nipples, unlike his female counterparts.
  • Beast Man: Consistently became a hideous mix of human and animal.
  • The Brute: Worked as muscle for Circe and is an absolutely brutal fighter, he faced down the likes of Wonder Woman and a Furies-empowered Barbara Minerva with relative ease.
  • Cat Boy: An anthropomorphic cheetah-man.
  • Cats Are Mean: Like the previous Cheetah's, he's a supervillain with cat-like powers.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Head of the Ballesteros Corporation, and a true robber baron in the 1800s mold.
  • Distaff Counterpart: A male version of the female villainess Cheetah.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed off-panel by Minerva, while in human form. After having had a run as a pretty intimidating villain, this feels rather anticlimactic.
  • Evil Eyebrows: He has thick dark high arched brows with little tufts at the peaks and is one of the least empathetic versions of the Cheetah.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: He fights while naked in his Cheetah form, with Animals Lack Attributes in full effect. When Minerva ambushes him just before the Ritual Magic to become the Cheetah took place, he has to fight her off naked while in human form for a while, with a convenient shadow placed on his crotch the entire time.
  • Handwave: The only explanation we get of how he stole the Cheetah powers from Minerva is that he "talked Urzkartaga into it". How he even came to know of Urzkartaga's existence or even be able to communicate with him is left in the air.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He faked this in order to win over Urzkartaga.
  • Legacy Character: The second Cheetah to be powered by Urzkartaga, the third to bear the name Post-Crisis, and the fourth overall, Ballesteros arrived to the party very late indeed.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Six and a half feet tall, super-fast, and very, very strong. He's been able to catch Superman by surprise and hit him with enough force that his strength has been compared to Wonder Woman's and Captain Marvel's by the Man of Steel himself.
  • The One Guy: The only male Cheetah (and one of the few male villains in Wonder Woman's Rogues Gallery period).
  • Posthuman Nudism: He goes without clothes while in his Cheetah form.
  • Prehensile Tail: Like the previous Cheetah, he uses his tail for combat, such as using it to strangle Superman. He's working for Circe at the time so it's unclear which of their magic allowed the attack to be so effective
  • Rags to Riches: Grew up in poverty at the mercy of dictators and the son of labor union workers, but worked his way up through business acumen and making deals with the dictators who oppressed those like his family because he despised the lower classes and desired to separate themselves from them. He kept this contempt for the poor long after he became rich.
  • Retgone: As of Flashpoint "Sabrina Ballesteros" is just another one of Barbara's aliases.
  • Super Senses: Like the previous Cheetah, his senses are a lot more powerful than that of a normal human, granting him Innate Night Vision, Super Hearing, Super Reflexes, and a supernatural sense of smell.
  • Super Speed: He gained the Cheetah's speed powers along with the transformation, despite his bulky size.
  • Super Strength: He gained the Cheetah's enhanced strength along with the transformation, which is the most emphasized of his powers, due to him being The Brute.
  • Super Toughness: Can take hits from big hitters like Superman.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Forged a personal and sexual alliance with Circe.

    The Cheetah (New 52)
Click here to see her human form 
AKA: Barbara-Ann Minerva

In 2011, DC rebooted their entire fictional universe, and Cheetah was no exception. Once a friend of Wonder Woman's on her introduction to man's world, Barbara-Ann Minerva was stabbed by a cursed blade used for killing gods, which endowed her with the power of a cheetah god. Since then, she and Wonder Woman have fought, the demi-goddess reluctant to kill her former friend, no matter how much Minerva insists she's a monster.

With the start of DC's Rebirth initiative, this version of Minerva was effectively erased and replaced by a new version of herself.

Notable Appearances
Comic Books
  • Justice League Vol. 2 (2011)

  • Adaptational Nationality: In Forever Evil (2013), Barbara's backstory is that she grew up in an orphanage in Idaho, instead of her previous British origins.
  • Animal Eyes: This version of Cheetah has animalistic Supernatural Gold Eyes when transformed.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: As the Cheetah, while her breasts are uncovered, she's got no apparent nipples.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: She's endowed with the power of a cheetah god, which transformed her into a super-powered WereCheetah.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The cheetah goddess whose power she supposedly stole lived in the Amazon. Pretty impressive, given cheetahs are found in Africa, which is an entire continent away.
  • Beastess: Aside from her long red hair, she's a monstrous WereCheetah and openly embraces her violent nature.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In Secret Six vol 4 #8, she gets her Cheetah powers absorbed by Black Alice leaving her in her human form. She's not brought in the story again and gets an Unexplained Recovery in her next appearance, suggesting the effects were temporary.
  • Cat Girl: Her Cheetah form is that of an anthropomorphic cat woman, but she still maintains her long red hair.
  • Cats Are Mean: A criminal that become a cheetah powered superbeing.
  • Composite Character: New 52 has Retconed Barbara as the only person to ever bear the title of Cheetah, with Priscilla Rich, Deborah Domaine, and "Sabrina" (rather than Sebastian) Ballesteros all being aliases she has employed. Her backstory was also changed from being a rich heiress to someone who grew up in a Cult, with her deliberately seeking out the powers of Cheetah.
  • Continuity Nod: Justice League issue 14 claims she's got multiple aliases, all being names of previous Cheetahs: Priscilla Rich, Debbie Domaine, and Sabrina Bellestros, with Barbara just being the latest.
  • The Corrupter: While studying a mystic dagger, Barbara got cut by it and transformed into the Cheetah. She and Diana fought numerous times, with Diana trying to help her friend and considering her a victim. However, meeting the cult who created the dagger, Wonder Woman learns that the Cheetah is meant to be a protecting spirit but the inner darkness within Barbara turned it into a beast. Batman then reveals that Barbara Minerva was actually a long-time thief, Con Artist, and attempted murderer. Diana is rocked to realize that Barbara was never an innocent or her friend.
    Batman: The Cheetah never corrupted Barbara. Barbara corrupted the Cheetah.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is one of the most evil incarnations of Barbara, but she's still shown to be disgusted at herself when she's forced to abandon her teammate Razer to die as she begs for help in Suicide Squad.
  • Evil All Along: Barbara Minerva was a scholar who helped Diana out in cases and Diana considered the woman her first true friend in man's world. When a mystical dagger turned Barbara into the deadly Cheetah, Diana tried to help her friend be restored and break this curse, but Diana is rocked to discover that Barbara had a long record as a thief and Con Artist who'd been using Diana to get her hands on various rare items. The Cheetah spirit had been meant to protect a tribe but the inner darkness of Barbara turned it into a beast. Diana is stunned to realize Barbara was never her friend, never an innocent and (as Batman puts it), the Cheetah didn't corrupt her, Barbara corrupted the Cheetah.
  • Evil Redhead: She has long red hair in her Cheetah form, although she's actually a brunette with shorter hair in her human form.
  • Evil Former Friend: For Wonder Woman, though she claims she faked being Diana's friend and was Evil All Along, but Diana still values their time and attempts to redeem Minerva constantly.
  • False Friend: Diana considered Minerva her first true friend in man's world, having worked together in various quests for mystical artifacts, but it turns out Minerva was merely using Diana so she could steal the artifacts for herself.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: She fights completely naked while in her Cheetah form, save for some tribal jewelry. Helps that Animals Lack Attributes is in full effect.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: Whatever the case, she's very happy being a cheetah-person.
  • Gatling Good: Often wielded a giant minigun during her brief time in Suicide Squad.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Unlike the previous version of Minerva, she can't control her transformation, but since she's a Fully-Embraced Fiend, she has no actual desire to shift back to her human form.
  • The Leader: During Forever Evil (2013), she became the leader of The Menagerie, a villain team of Animal Themed Superbeings.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Strong enough to beat up Wonder Woman, Superman and the Flash. Tough enough to survive being kicked off a cliff.
  • Man of Kryptonite: As a Physical God whose power comes from a curse, she can injure Superman.
  • The Mole: Helps the Legion of Doom get into Belle Reeve, and organize a mass breakout during the events of Forever Evil.
  • Posthuman Nudism: She stops wearing clothes other than some tribal jewelry once she turns into The Cheetah. But she still maintains her modesty when she's Brought Down to Normal, wrapping herself in a Modesty Bedsheet and later wearing a robe.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: She's a brunette but turns into a redhead when she shifts into her Cheetah form.
  • Redemption Rejection: Diana constantly tries to appeal to Barbara to give up and attempt to redeem herself, but Barbara doesn't listen and comes to hate Diana more for even attempting to help her.
  • Religion of Evil: This version of Barbara was raised in an all-woman evil Cult Colony, where every member was trained to view life as a hunt and all other people as either competitors or prey.
  • Retgone: Quietly phased out with Greg Rucka's run on Wonder Woman: Rebirth.
  • Super Senses: Like the previous Minerva, her senses as the Cheetah are a lot stronger than that of a normal human, granting her Innate Night Vision, Super Hearing, Super Reflexes, and a supernatural sense of smell.
  • Super Speed: Like the previous Minerva, one of the powers she gains as the Cheetah is becoming incredibly fast. During her stint in Suicide Squad, she disabled a minefield by just running around it, as she ran faster than mines exploded.
  • Super Strength: Like the previous Minerva, her Cheetah powers let her go toe on toe with big hitters like Diana and Superman.
  • Super Supremacist: Due to her completely embracing her Cheetah form, she came to see herself as superior to humans and even looks down on them.
  • Super Toughness: She's much more durable than she appears. Deadshot once shot her in the face with an elephant-gun and that only slowed her down. She also jumps Out of the Inferno unscathed through one of El Diablo's firewalls.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Neither Minerva nor the Cheetah have any connection with the African plant/fertility god Urzkartaga, who is Ret-Gone in this version of Cheetah.
  • Viral Transformation: In her first appearance in Justice League, she used her claws to infect Superman with her powers, turning him into a WereCheetah like her. She never used this again.
  • That Woman Is Dead: After killing her aunt Lyta, she completely embraced her identity as Cheetah and proclaimed that Barbara Minerva is dead.
  • Was Once a Man: She quickly embraced her persona as the Cheetah completely, but she used to be a normal, if still evil woman before it. Diana is the only person that sees humanity left in her.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Subverted, Barbara only pretended to be Diana's friend to take advantage of her. Still, Diana still values their time together and despite being big on generally killing enemies as a go-to solution, Diana consistently tries to appeal to the human in Barbara, to no avail.

    The Cheetah (Rebirth)
Click here to see her human form 
AKA: Barbara-Ann Minerva (Née Cavendish)

"Stupid, stupid... when I killed Aphrodite, I didn't just kill a goddess... I killed the power you didn't even know you had."

Barbara Minerva was an archaeologist from Britain, determined to prove the Amazons did exist (and show up her sexist colleagues while she was at it). It was her expertise with languages that got her called up to help Etta Candy and Steve Trevor communicate with Diana on her first arrival to Man's World. The two quickly began a friendship, after getting over the language barrier. Sadly, this didn't last, and somewhere along the way Barbara became consumed by jealousy of Diana's powers, and sought out a god of her own to worship. This saw her cursed into become the Cheetah, stricken with a hunger for human flesh and unable to turn back to who she was...

Notable Appearances
Comic Books
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 5 (2016 - present)
  • Justice League Vol. 4 (2018 - present) intermitent appearances
  • DC's Year of the Villain Special (2019)

  • Accuser of the Brethren: In Wonder Woman (Rebirth), when Barbara repents and reveals how horrific being Cheetah has been for her and that she was essentially tricked into it, both Diana and Etta forgive her and accept her back. Steve does not, especially since the trick only worked because Barbara didn't believe in Diana.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: This version of Barbara-Ann Minerva is blonde, as opposed to the original Minerva being a redhead and the New 52 version being a brunette. Her Cheetah form also doesn't have any hair, in contrast to the previous Cheetah who all had long red hair.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: She goes from an amoral collector of historical artifacts who gladly gained horrific powers to a much kinder archeologist who was friends with Diana before being horrifically transformed into a Tragic Villain.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: As noted above, her previous incarnation would come on to every male character she met. The Rebirth version has shown no attraction to men, but did flirt with Etta Candy prior to being cursed.
  • Adventure Archaeologist: A heroic one, at least initially. Barbara was very persistent in her efforts to find out about the Amazons. Not even being crippled slowed her down that much.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Just like previous versions of Barbara's Cheetah, she has no apparent nipples or sexual organs while nude.
  • Beastess: Her appearance has changed dramatically from prior depictions of "human with fur and a tail" to looking like an actual humanoid cheetah, complete with more feline facial features. She's also slowly losing her humanity the longer she's stuck in that form.
  • Body Horror: Her appearance as the Cheetah is a lot more like an actual humanoid cheetah, with less human features than prior versions.
  • Brought Down to Normal: With Urzkartaga destroyed, his curse is removed and Barbara goes back to being a normal human. She's not sorry to see the powers go. Then defied as later on she was convinced to become Cheetah again by Veronica Cale without using the curse, using Urzkartaga's remains to empower her once more.
  • Cat Girl: This version is the most cat-like of all Cheetah, with her human traits being almost entirely gone.
  • Cats Are Mean: She's a Tragic Villain with Cheetah themed powers, and her Cheetah instincts make her a worse person than she used to be.
  • Classy Cane: She uses a classy cane as a walking stick, much like the original Minerva did, although this version does it because her knee got crushed by a boulder during an expedition, while the original Minerva was crippled due to Urzkartaga's curse.
  • Cunning Linguist: Part of her career as an archeologist involved her becoming fluent in several languages, to the point she was called in by Etta to translate Diana's speech when she first arrived in Man's World.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Urzkartaga constantly plays cruel jokes on her during her time as his champion and bride, so it doesn't take much for Diana to convince her to turn against him and he ended up being destroyed as a result.
    • She eventually realized she had been manipulated by Veronica, and sought revenge, with Veronica only evading death due to Diana arriving and preventing Cheetah from killing her.
  • Evil Former Friend: Played straight, as Barbara and Diana were genuinely good friends before Barbara was turned into a Tragic Villain, causing both great angst.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: He scolded Barbara for taking an interest in Greek mythology, believing it wasn't suitable for life in the real world, even burning her toy sword and shield just to be sure. Years later, Etta Candy bluntly told Barbara the man was an ass.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Diana at times, since they used to friends and still care about each other deep down, but circumstances turned Minerva into a Tragic Villain that's often put at odds with Diana.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: She fights completely naked while in her Cheetah form. Helps that Animals Lack Attributes is in effect.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Aphrodite with the God Killer sword given by Lex Luthor during the Year of the Villain.
  • Horror Hunger: Barbara becomes Urzkartaga's bride in order to gain the powers of Cheetah, but due to the fact that she isn't a virgin, the jealous god curses her with a supernatural and insatiable hunger for human flesh which horrifies her. Even after he's destroyed and her transformation is empowered by a serum made out of his remains, the hunger still persisted.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Barbara-Ann went and became the Cheetah because she wanted to be like Diana. It didn't go at all how she wanted.
  • I Just Want to Be You!: She greatly admired (and was secretly envious of) Diana and wanted to be just like her, which is what eventually led her to become the Cheetah. During Deathstroke Inc, when Slade finds Barbara in her Dream Land, she's actually dressed in a Wonder Woman costume.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: She was cursed to crave "man-flesh" by Urzkartaga as punishment for not being a virgin.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: She has no control over her transformation as the Cheetah, being stuck in her Cat Girl form with all the benefits and disadvantages it brings.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As the Cheetah, she's strong enough and fast enough to beat up Diana (though Diana wasn't fighting back at the time).
  • Longing for Fictionland: During Deathstroke Inc, she got the Queen of Fables to make a Dream Land for herself where she ruled a kingdom of other Cheetah-like people as their beloved queen. Slade put an end to her fantasy.
  • Missed Him by That Much: She actually came within a hair's breath of Themyscira, setting foot on the island itself. The only reason she didn't go further was because of the gods' protection over it preventing her from seeing it.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother dies when she was young, causing her to become increasingly introverted as she did not get along with her father.
  • Nom de Mom: Minerva was her mother's name, her father was Lord Cavendish. It's not spelled out directly, but the fact he was an utter ass is likely the reason Barbara dumped his name.
  • Parental Neglect: Her father was barely present in her childhood, leaving Barbara's education to private tutors. Not that he was any better when he was physically present.
  • Posthuman Nudism: She stops wearing any form of clothing once she turns into the Cheetah, although Animals Lack Attributes is in full effect. She does occasionally wear various types of armor.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Her motivation, once freed from Urzkartaga's curse, is to kill all the gods, because she believes they're all as bad as he is.
  • Retcon: In Forever Evil (2013) her backstory is that she grew up in an orphanage in Idaho. This has been disregarded in favour of a background closer to the pre-Flashpoint version.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: After becoming the Cheetah, she can't change back to being human.
  • Super Senses: Like the previous Minerva, her senses as the Cheetah are a lot stronger than that of a normal human, granting her Innate Night Vision, Super Hearing, Super Reflexes, and a supernatural sense of smell.
  • Super Speed: One of the powers that came with becoming the Cheetah is much greater speed than that of the big cat she's named for. In 2018 she was ranked officially as the 6th fastest individual in the current DCU, and the fastest woman.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Compared to her prior versions, and her immediately preceding New 52 version, she's much more heroic.
  • Tragic Villain: Her origin story turns out to have been masterminded by Diana's enemies, who not only arrange for her transformation but ensure she thinks Diana abandoned her. In reality, Veronica Cale rendered the communicator Diana gave her useless.
  • Was Once a Man: She used to be a normal British archeologist who wanted to be special before she became stuck in her monstrous animalistic form as The Cheetah.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wants to kill the gods to free humans from their whims, and in particular thinks that killing the Greek pantheon will free Diana of her obligation to capricious monsters. Diana notes that she's not exactly wrong.
  • We Used to Be Friends: She became one of Diana's first friends in Man's World, as she was hired by Etta Candy to help translate the unique dialect spoken by Diana, who had recently arrived in America. But she was tricked by Veronica Cale into thinking Diana had betrayed her and led into the painful unwanted transformation which turned her into the Cheetah.

Alternative Title(s): Cheetah