One of the best parts of Wonder Woman 1984 was the inclusion of Kristen Wiig’s Dr. Barbara Minerva. Throughout the film, she slowly evolved into the villainous Cheetah. We didn’t get much of her Cheetah-form in the movie. Yet, they left the door open to her returning in the future, so the character has the potential to appear further down the line. It would be befitting to her status as one of Wonder Woman’s most iconic villains.
The origin of the Cheetah we saw in the film was quite a bit different than any we’ve seen before. The first two iterations of the character were Priscilla Rich and Deborah Domain. They were simply socialites who donned outfits with a cheetah print and went about as your run-of-the-mill cat burglars. It wasn’t until we met Barabra Ann Minerva that we met our first version of the iconic character that possessed superhuman abilities.
The simplest way to bring Cheetah back into the fold would be via Circe. The witch is known for her Projective Animal Metamorphosis, which would transform Minerva back into her animal form. However, if they were looking to make things a bit more complicated, we might see the introduction of a fan-favorite villain: Veronica Cale. In Greg Rucka‘s recent Rebirth run on Wonder Woman, Cale financed Minervas expedition to Africa to investigate the plant god, Urzkartaga. Of course, she found him and ended up marrying the deity. As a wedding gift, he bestowed her with the curse of the Cheetah.
Barbara isn’t the only route they could take, as there are plenty of other options in the Cheetah selection. Sebastian Ballesteros was the only man to take on the Cheetah title that we’ve seen so far in comics. He obtained the curse after convincing Urzkartaga that a male Cheetah would be much more effective. Sebastian was also instrumental in creating Vanessa Kapatelis or better known as Silver Swan, another popular villain of our favorite Amazonian. It would be simple to replace Barbara with any of the previously-mentioned Cheetah’s if they plan on going down the Rebirth route. Yet, it feels as if we haven’t seen the last of Barbra Ann Minerva.
No matter which comic you open in Wonder Woman history, there is always a Cheetah to be found. The character is, by far, one of Diana’s most iconic foes and makes an appearance in every solo title she had. All good superheroes have their mirror opposite. Ever since her debut, Barbara Ann Minerva has been the most consistent Cheetah and has become an essential part of the character’s history. It just wouldn’t feel right to replace her right after she got introduced. It’s unclear if Barbara will return in Wonder Woman 3. The film was only recently fast-tracked by WB, but Jenkins has been teasing that we haven’t seen the last of Wiig‘s incarnation of the iconic character.