#ComicBytes: Let's trace the Cheetah's journey in DC comics
If you have seen Wonder Woman 1984 or at least the trailer of the movie, you must have already spotted Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. For those of you who know DC from just the movies, here is a little comics trivia for you: The Cheetah is Wonder Woman's leading arch-nemesis. Now to know who she is and what can she do, read ahead.
Know the first two versions of the Cheetah in DC
Barbara Ann Minerva is known as the only Cheetah in recent continuities. Originally, she was the third Cheetah. The original Cheetah, Priscilla Rich, was a government employee during World War II whose jealousy for Wonder Woman's fame drove her to injuries, followed by a "split personality" called "The Cheetah." In the 1980s, she was followed by her niece and radical environmental activist, Deborah Domaine.
Barbara, once Diana's friend, becomes the Cheetah after a ritual
Now let's go back to the main Cheetah, archaeologist Barbara Ann Minerva. Although the constant reboots keep changing Barbara's origin story from time-to-time, the main takeaway is always similar. On an expedition, she participates in an ancient, arcane ritual that curses and transforms her into a human-cheetah hybrid with blood lust. She actually started as Diana's friend, but Barbara ends up despising her immensely.
Cheetah-like powers include enhanced speed, senses, and so much more
Barbara has 'cheetah-like' powers, which include enchanted claws and fangs that can cut almost anything. Apart from superhuman strength, agility, and durability, Cheetah has phenomenal speed, which is further enhanced by training with Zoom. She also has great body coordination, vision, and enhanced senses. Barbara's predecessors, Priscilla and Deborah, had no powers or superhuman abilities, though they had peak human strength and reflexes.
Cheetah was a part of many villainous groups
Cheetah's main identity is being Wonder Woman's greatest enemy. However, her rogue activities don't stop there, at least not in the comics. The first Cheetah was part of the Villainy Inc. This join-a-rogue-gallery legacy was continued by Deborah and Barbara, who joined Injustice League, Secret Society of Super-Villains, and Super Foes. Barbara further joined the Legion of Doom and the Suicide Squad.