DC Database

Quote1 This sort of thing doesn't happen to Barbara Minerva. I don't let it. Quote2
Barbara Minerva src

Dr. Barbara Minerva, also known as the Cheetah, is a British archaeologist who was empowered by the plant god Urzkartaga, giving her the ability to turn into a ravenous, cannibalistic cheetah woman. She is a frequent villain of Wonder Woman.


Born as the heiress of a vast fortune in Nottinghamshire, Barbara Minerva's life would change dramatically following an expedition she led into a dense African jungle. She was searching for the legendary lost city of the Urzkartagan tribe, but, on her adventure, her team was betrayed by their guides. The native Urzkartagans ambushed them, with only Minerva and one other, Dr. Tom Leavens, escaping alive into a nearby river.

Minerva and Leavens washed ashore to find themselves at the foot of the lost city, its people in the midst of a ritual. One of the other members of their research team was captured and offered as a human sacrifice to their god Urzkartaga by the high priest Chuma. The ritual had been intended to restore the health of an ailing woman, who was regarded as an avatar for their cheetah god. Before the ritual could be completed, an outside tribe attacked the village, slaughtering everyone but Chuma, who was saved by Minerva. Due to a grenade blast, Minerva and Chuma became trapped within the temple with no hope of surviving.

Cheetah 004

Dr. Minerva becomes the Cheetah

While they were trapped together, Chuma explained that the ritual, which could only be performed on the full moon and required a blood sacrifice, would have turned the old woman into a cheetah god and restored her youth, having lived for centuries before her murder by the invading tribe. Dr. Minerva demanded the ritual be done to her so she could have her chance at power and immortality, but Chuma refused, further explaining that a human sacrifice was necessary for it to proceed. When Minerva's research partner successfully found them and dug the two out of the cave they were in, aggressively, Dr. Minerva immediately murdered him and drank his blood to initiate the ritual to begin.

Chuma obliged and performed the ceremony, but the native invaders returned, putting the survivors into danger once again. By the time the invaders reached Chuma and Minerva, the ritual was complete, and Dr. Minerva had been transformed into a feral cheetah-woman. Mercilessly, the Minerva attacked the native tribe, slaughtering and devouring them all before she reverted back to human form. Grateful for her new powers, Minerva brought Chuma with her back to England.

Unfortunately, there was an unforseen side effect to her transformation. The ritual had called for a virgin woman to become the Cheetah, and Minerva did not qualify. Hence, rather than grant her youth and vitality, after the transformation she became weak and frail. Only on the night of the full moon, when she became her feral alter ego, was she strong again.[1]

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman 0234

The Cheetah faces Wonder Woman

After Wonder Woman made her debut in Boston, Minerva learned of the Golden Lasso that Diana wielded. She coveted the lariat and tried to trick Diana into losing it but to no avail. Since she failed to gain it as Barbara Minerva, she tried to seize it by force as Cheetah. Still inexperienced at fighting such a powerful adversary, Diana might have lost if not for the intervention of her friend, Dr. Kapatelis. Minerva was not deterred, however. Following the Invasion! crisis, Minerva used two Khunds to steal the Lasso from Diana.[2]

Once the Lasso was in her possession, Minerva became obsessed with the history of it. Knowing that Diana would soon figure out that she and Cheetah were one and the same, she left Chuma to poison the princess while she left for Africa. Leaving a trail of bodies in her wake, Cheetah found the city of Bana-Mighdall, home of the rogue Amazons. Wonder Woman pursued her there. When Minerva reverted to human form, she was worse off than ever. The plant from which an ingredient was gathered for the ritual transformation began to die. Chuma arrived and found his mistress at death's door. He guessed that the god was jealous of divided loyalties he perceived in Minerva and proclaimed that the only way she would be healed was to kill both Diana and the queen of Bana-Mighdall. Becoming Cheetah once more, she killed the queen and got into a fierce battle with Wonder Woman in the midst of an all out assault by the rogue Amazons. Diana defeated her, and Chuma was killed by the Amazons. Minerva survived the destruction of the city and was taken into custody.[3]

While in prison, still wracked with pain, Minerva was approached by a messenger of Circe. He gave her a potion that transformed her permanently into the Cheetah. Whereas before she had worn a suit and was not totally in control while in Cheetah form, now she was totally transformed and remained in complete control. The spell also allowed her to take on a human appearance while still being in full possession of her Cheetah powers. Unfortunately for Minerva, the potion had made her a slave to Circe and her schemes. Hoping to betray Circe, Cheetah went to the Gotham City Grand Hotel trying to steal the goblet that Circe was going to use against the Amazons of Themyscira. All hell broke loose that night and after killing Hellene and wounding Philippus, two Amazons, Cheetah fled. She turned up to tell Inspector Indelicato the whole truth and where Diana could find her missing mother, hoping Wonder Woman would defeat Circe.[4]

Injustice League Unlimited

She was part of a new Injustice League alongside Lex Luthor and The Joker, which would launch an assault on Green Arrow and Black Canary's wedding.[5] She was one of the villains deported to the Hell Planet during the events of Salvation Run, and has since rejoined the Secret Society of Super-Villains under the command of Libra during the Final Crisis.

Minvera formed her own branch of the Secret Society of Super-Villains with herself at the head for the sole purpose of creating the villainous Genocide.

During the events of Final Crisis itself, Minerva remained free of the Anti-Life Equation, and formed a relationship with Snapper Carr after she saved his life and he aided her in evading the Justifiers and joining with Checkmate.

Later on, Barbara was directly responsible for the creation of Genocide along with T.O. Morrow and also helps Doctor Psycho switch bodies with Sarge Steel, the director of Department of Metahuman Affairs.


  • Cheetah Form: Barbara is able to transform into the Cheetah, an ancient enemy of man. While she once needed the potion of her plant god Urzkartaga to maintain it, with help from the witch Circe she can now take on a human appearance while retaining Cheetah form indefinitely.
    • Transformation: Her pact with the jealous Urzkartaga gave her the ability to transform into the Cheetah whenever she drank or sipped of another's blood.[6] After her tryst with the witch Circe, Barbara could willingly change to and back from human form and animal form at will.[7]
      • Superhuman Strength: As an avatar of a god, Cheetah possesses great strength.
      • Superhuman Durability: Cheetah's physical durability is enough to withstand blows from the likes of Wonder Woman and Superman. Cheetah's durability doesn't protect her from bullets, lasers, or other piercing attacks.
      • Superhuman Speed: Cheetah possesses greater speed than Wonder Woman, enhanced even further by training with Zoom.[8] When Cheetah over came her psychological blocks, she managed to acquire her true speed.[8][9]
      • Superhuman Agility: Cheetah's agility is enhanced far beyond normal human levels.
      • Enhanced Senses: Cheetah's senses are a lot more powerful than a normal human.
      • Claws and Fangs: Cheetah's claws and fangs are enchanted and allow her to cut almost anything. Even the flesh of super-humanly durable metahumans offers little resistance.
      • Animal Control: With Circe's upgrade to her powers, Minerva can communicate with and command actual cheetahs into battle for her.[10]



  • Feral Mind (Formerly): Cheetah often suffered from a ravenous, primeval nature that accommodated her transformation. Minerva would lose herself and her intellect while in the heat of battle. This aspect of her powers caused Minerva to act out on impulse, tearing into and eating her victims like a mindless predator.
  • Urzkartaga's Curse (Formerly): Her powers were as much of a spite by their patron deity as much as they were a blessing. Minerva was hexed with a hunger for human flesh to reflect her insatiable greed in life. This hunger caused her unbearable pain every time she transformed into the Cheetah before having the curse lifted.

  • Using her superspeed, Cheetah once tried to sexually assault the Flash.[9]



Villainy Incorporated 001
Wonder Woman Villain(s)
DC Rebirth Logo

This character is or was primarily an enemy of Wonder Woman and the Amazons in any of her various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Wonder Woman Villains category."

Forever Evil Vol 1 3 Textless
DC Rebirth Logo

Injustice League member
This character is or was a member of the Injustice League, a villainous counterpart to the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Injustice League members" category.

Villains United Vol 1 1 Textless
DC Rebirth Logo

Secret Society of Super-Villains member
This character is or was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cadre of super-villains who band together to accomplish feats no one super-villain can do alone, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Secret Society of Super-Villains members" category.

Bruce Wayne 020
This project page needs to be cleaned up.
This article needs maintenance and organization, as it may have become cluttered or confusing. Its heart is in a good place, it's just a little special. Won't you please help out an article in need? This template will categorize articles that include it into the Clean Up task category.