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Quote1 You missed my wedding, Diana... but you'rrre still in time for the feast. You said you would come. You lied. Quote2
Cheetah src

Barbara Ann Minerva is the Cheetah, a feline foe of Wonder Woman and a member of the Legion of Doom, the Suicide Squad, and the Checkmate organization. Prior to her transformation, Barbara was a gifted archeologist and close friend of Wonder Woman, until she was captured by the plant god Urzkartaga and imbued with the powers of the Cheetah.


New 52 Origin

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This section of the history takes place during the New 52, between the events of Flashpoint and DC Rebirth. It was later revealed that much of Wonder Woman's history from this time was an elaborate illusion created by the Gods of Olympus to keep her away from Paradise Island. All or part of this section may have been part of that illusion and no longer valid in Rebirth.

Barbara Ann Minerva was raised in a group home in Idaho, run by a woman named "Aunt Lyta". The group home, Amazonia, was run along the lines of a cult, where the occupants were trained to view life as a hunt, and all other people as either competitors or prey. On her last day there, she killed her brother in a fight to the death, proving her worth to their sacred cause: retrieving the God-Killer Knife.[5]

Building a series of false identities, Barbara Minerva got a job in Washington, D.C. as an expert in antiquities, and searched. Her life was immensely enriched by meeting Wonder Woman, a member of the Amazon culture she had been raised to admire, but when Wonder Woman laughed at her beliefs, Barbara decided to bring her down. She convinced Wonder Woman to let her into the Black Room, A.R.G.U.S.' special containment facility for magic artifacts, stole the God-Killer Knife, and stabbed herself in the chest in the name of her goddess.

This act empowered her, turning her into a cheetah woman, with the cheetah's characteristic hunting prowess and speed. She would spend the next six years committing criminal acts, though Wonder Woman was frequently on hand to stop her, always believing that the knife had somehow corrupted her and that she could be saved.[1]

Following the cosmic upheavals of the Rebirth period, this character's history was revised.

Current Origin

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Barbara Minerva before becoming the Cheetah

Barbara Minerva was born in Oakstone Abbey, Nottinghamshire, the only child of Lord and Lady Cavendish. After the death of her mother, she became more and more introverted. Under the guidance of her tutor, Ms. McLeod, she became interested in Greek mythology, especially the Amazons. Her father considered it escapism, and would rather teach her the world was cruel and unfair.

She wasn't deterred, and at 26, she had received two PhDs and was working as an archeologist in Ukraine. Though she was mocked by her colleagues, she found her first solid evidence of Amazons: the tomb of Lysippe, 12th Queen of the Amazons. Unfortunately, heavy rains caused the cave to collapse. Some of her research was stolen by foreman Viktor Yakuvic. She chased him around the Mediterranean, until she came to Tunisia. She had traced a route which she thought was the route the Amazons followed. But when she found Viktor's corpse and received nourishment from an old crone, she realized she had it backwards: the route was not where they migrated to, it was where they came from. However, when she came to the end of her track, an uncharted island in the Black Sea, she found no sign of civilization.[4]

Disheartened by her failure, Barbara went on to teach archeology at a university. She was contacted by Etta Candy to help translate the unique dialect of Diana, who had recently arrived on U.S. soil.[6] Barbara befriended Diana and taught her about the culture of mankind. After helping Diana settle into her role as Wonder Woman, Barbara was contacted by Veronica Cale, who offered to fund an expedition to Africa to investigate the plant god Urzkartaga. Diana was worried for Barbara's safety and gave her a GPS beacon to contact her if she was in trouble, but Doctor Cyber deactivated it on Veronica Cale's orders. To distract Wonder Woman, Cale and Doctor Cyber staged disasters around the world. When Diana finally arrived to check on Barbara, she was stunned to discover that Urzkartaga had made her his wife and transformed her into the Cheetah. Cheetah was furious at Diana for abandoning her, and joined Cale's Godwatch team, which worked against Wonder Woman.[7]

New 52

Secrets of the Cheetah

Years after the creation of the Justice League, Cheetah was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. In the wake of the Graves Incident, Cheetah got a final piece of data necessary to track down a tribe in the Congo who had been the original custodians of the God-Killer Knife. As she had before, Wonder Woman went to stop her - but this time, she brought the Justice League. Thanks to the interference of the larger group of heroes, Cheetah was caught.[1] After being apprehended by the heroes, the Cheetah went to prison, where she contacted Black Manta, indicating that all was as it should be. She was subsequently chosen to join the "Suicide Squad", a black ops team of supervillains who worked for the American government.[8]

Forever Evil

Cheetah was broken out of jail by the Crime Syndicate and recruited to be part of their forces.[5] Lured to Happy Harbor alongside every other supervillain, she was in the audience when the Crime Syndicate revealed that they had killed the Justice League. As proof they offered signature items, including Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, which Cheetah immediately pocketed.[9]

Menagerie 01

Cheetah leading the Menagerie

A loyal soldier serving the Crime Syndicate's brief takeover, she led a gang of animal-themed villains called the Menagerie, who terrorized New York from a hideout in Central Park. She was defeated by Steve Trevor of A.R.G.U.S., who needed the Lasso as part of a plan to save the world.[10] A month later, Cheetah was hired by the billionaire activist John King to kill Green Arrow. Due to the intervention of a small army of masked heroes, she was unsuccessful.[11] Cheetah was subsequently depowered by a strike against the magicians of Earth by a group of Elder Gods.[12]


The Lies

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Wonder Woman seeks the Cheetah's help

After Wonder Woman's realization that she was unable to go to Themyscira or Mount Olympus, she travelled to Africa in search of Cheetah. She was met with aggression from Cheetah's forces, and ultimately Cheetah herself. The battle continued until Wonder Woman revealed to Cheetah that she was unable to locate Themyscira and needed her enemy's help.[13] In exchange for Minerva's help in finding Themyscira, Wonder Woman agreed to help her kill the god Urzkartaga, Cheetah's husband, and end Minerva's curse. The pair battled their way through Urzkartaga's minions, the Bouda, and defeated Andres Cadulo, a worshiper of Urzkartaga that planned to sacrifice Steve Trevor to the plant god.[14] With the help of Steve's forces, Diana and Cheetah were able to kill Urzkartaga, freeing Barbara from the curse of the Cheetah. Once she reverted back to her human form, Minerva agreed to help Wonder Woman find her way back to Paradise Island. She revealed to Wonder Woman that the island of Themyscira was divine in its nature instead of it being a physical place.[15]

Veronica Cale's Godwatch team began their assault on Wonder Woman, and Barbara helped Diana, Steve and Etta Candy defend against Godwatch's forces. Barbara agreed to meet with Veronica and urge her to put a stop to Godwatch, as she had been a member when she was Cheetah. During their conversation, Cale urged Minerva to become the Cheetah once more, this time without Urzkartaga's control. Barbara refused, so Veronica ordered Colonel Poison's team, who had since closed in on Steve and Etta, to proceed with their attack. Barbara was forced to watch the assault by Doctor Cyber. In order to spare the lives of her friends, she agreed to accept the curse of the Cheetah once again and was transformed by Cale.[16] After her transformation, Veronica used Cheetah to open a gateway that led to Tartarus, the realm beneath Themyscira in which Ares and Veronica's daughter Isadore were imprisoned.[17] However, Cheetah was unable to enter the gateway herself, and she realized she had been manipulated by Veronica. Cheetah sought her revenge, breaking in to Cale's home and seriously wounding her. Wonder Woman arrived before she could kill Veronica and attempted to appeal to the humanity within Cheetah, but Barbara retorted that she didn't want her old life back and that Cheetah is who she is. Cheetah continued her attempt to kill Cale, but Wonder Woman continued to restrain her, until Cheetah broke down in tears at who and what she had become.[18]

Legion of Doom

Cheetah was one of the members handpicked by Lex Luthor to form the new Legion of Doom. She was tasked, together with Black Manta, with the mission of killing Poseidon, thanks to one of the seven forces freed by the Source Wall's rupture, the Tear of Extinction, that Cheetah used on her claws.[19] After killing the Olympian, Cheetah took part in the retaking of the Totality inside the Hall of Justice, during the drowning of the Earth. She also destroyed the Graveyard of Gods, which was a key part to continue the unlocking of the Totality itself.[20]

Later, Cheetah was given the God Killer sword by Luthor, which she used to kill the goddess Aphrodite, weakening Diana as well as defeating her.[21][22][23]

Eventually, Wonder Woman managed to destroy the sword and defeat Cheetah, imprisoning her in the Doom's Doorway on Themyscira as punishment, but she was released by the Dark Fates and went on a rampage on the island. Holding the Lasso of Truth and the God Killer once again; remade stronger by the Fates, Cheetah seeks to complete her task, telling about a debt she has with Diana, as the heroine helped her in killing Urzkartaga and freeing her from his curse. But with the help of the goddess Hera, Diana defeated Cheetah using Peng Deilan's Magic Lasso.[24][25][26]

Infinite Frontier

Barbara Minerva Prime Earth 001

Cheetah's new suit.

At some point, Cheetah hired Tsaritsa to create the Che-Terra realm using the Book of Fables. This realm was a perfect world where she would be known as the Queen Cheetah, but Deathstroke destroyed the magical page, erasing the fantasy world. In exchange for her release, Cheetah provided information about the T.R.U.S.T. organization.[2]

Later, Cheetah was possessed by the Great Darkness along with the Legion of Doom during the Dark Crisis. She and the Legion fought the Justice League heroes until they got out of the Great Darkness' control and fled.[27][28][29]

Cheetah was eventually captured by the Cale Industries Security and taken to Brazil, where she was brainwashed, but she was saved and partially cured of her animality by Wonder Woman and joined the Checkmate organization, with a new suit.[30][31]

Not long after the U.S.A.'s formation of the Amazon Extradition Entity (A.X.E.), Cheetah was captured by The Sovereign in hopes of using her to defeat Wonder Woman. However, when Cheetah proved to be immune to Sovereign's Lasso of Lies, he imprisoned her on an island devoid of any food where she remained trapped for months. Sovereign later stranded Wonder Woman on the same island as Cheetah as a last-ditch effort to break Diana when his other methods proved futile.[32]

Diana and Cheetah came to blows, with their fight lasting for days. Eventually the fight ended with Cheetah as the victor. However, Cheetah spared Diana when she realized Diana undertook the Sovereign's torture to rescue her. The two agreed to join forces to defeat the Sovereign, and were rescued from the island by the Wonder Girls: Yara, Cassie and Donna in Wonder Woman's Invisible Plane.[32]


  • Cheetah Physiology: Through channeling the power of the plant god Urzkartaga, Barbara Minerva has acquired a cheetah-like humanoid physiology.[citation needed] New 52's Barbara Minerva took the power of the hunting goddess Cheetah of the San tribe in Congo, whose previous host was killed by a hunter with the Godslayer knife, which the goddess possessed and cursed and ended up in the hands of Minerva, who used it to become the new Cheetah.[1]
    • Accelerated Healing
    • Claws: Cheetah possesses razor-sharp sharp claws for cutting through the flesh of her prey. Her claws are sharp enough to easily dismember people.[33]
    • Enhanced Senses[34]
    • Fangs: Cheetah has fangs meant for cutting through flesh and bone. With her fangs, she can even pierce Superman's super-tough skin.[35]
    • Indomitable Will: Cheetah was the only one, besides Diana, to have resisted the domineering power of the The Sovereign's Lasso of Lies.[32]
    • Superhuman Agility
    • Superhuman Durability: Cheetah possesses great resistance to injury and is able to survive damage capable of easily killing a human with little injury. She can be struck by powerful opponents like Wonder Woman with enough power to create furrows on the battlefield and keep fighting.[33] She can survive a shotgun blast to the face, although it did put her out of commission for a while.[36]
    • Superhuman Speed: Cheetah's lack of hesitation and no mercy mindset make her one of the fastest being on the planet, considered even faster than Wonder Woman[37]. She can run on walls[33] and is fast enough to cut the Flash.[1]
    • Superhuman Stamina: Despite having gone months without food, Cheetah was able to battle Wonder Woman on and off for hours for days on end.[32]
    • Superhuman Strength: Cheetah can easily lift a woman from the throat with a single hand. Also, she has the strength of numerous gods as she killed many. In addition, she has unlimited strength as an avatar of all cheetahs.[33]


Other Characteristics

  • Limping (Formerly): In human form, Barbara had a limp leg, needing to use a walking stick to balance.


  • Lasso of Truth: A couple of times in the past, Barbara had succeeded in claiming Diana's lasso; the Golden Prefect. As her own and utilized it to the same level of expertise as her greatest rival in the past.[9] Having accomplished such feats twice in her life as a deifically empowered rogue during the Forever Evil event as an enforcer of the Crime Syndicate. As well as when whom embracing her darkest impulses in Year of the Villain as Doom reigned supreme.[25](Formerly)
  • Eighth Metal Tiara: Barbara had been given a similar headdress comparable to that owned by Wonder Woman when she invaded Themyscira for a time. She lost it while in battle against Diana, Hera and The Silencer sometime after which.[40](Formerly)


  • Cheetah's Motorcycle[31]


  • Godslayer knife[1]
  • God Killer (sword): Gifted to her by Luthor and modified with nanotech slaving it to her specific genetic pattern.[21] The Cheetah now boasts an Eighth Metal forged weapon capable of slaying even the almighty, once broken by Diana after a new goddess of love had been chosen. It was last seen reforged by old magics at the hand of three mysterious entities after Barbara's imprisonment.[24] She eventually rescinded the Godkiller and it is now in the care of the Amazons.[40](Formerly)
  • Chaingun: While a member of the Suicide Squad. Barbara, the Cheetah, made adept usage of a fully automatic, heavy infantry munitions gatling gun.[8] Having used it to take down a monstrous effigy that was tearing apart Las Vegas.[41](Formerly)

  • According to an Official Top 10 Speedster Rankings[42] released after The Flash (Volume 5) #50, Cheetah is the 6th fastest person in the DC Universe. This makes her the fastest woman in DC. According to the ranking: "She has zero hesitation in her movements and a no mercy mindset, which helps her stay focused on her goal-a swift kill. Her unrelenting drive makes her one of the fastest threats in the DCU."
  • In the Rebirth era, Barbara Ann and Etta Candy were in a relationship.[43]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Justice League (Volume 2) #14
  2. 2.0 2.1 Deathstroke Inc. #3
  3. Batman/Superman: World's Finest #20
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #8
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 4) #23.1: The Cheetah
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #10
  7. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #18
  8. 8.0 8.1 Suicide Squad (Volume 4) #21
  9. 9.0 9.1 Forever Evil #1
  10. Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #5
  11. Green Arrow (Volume 5) #39
  12. Secret Six (Volume 4) #7
  13. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #1
  14. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #5
  15. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #9
  16. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #17
  17. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #21
  18. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #24
  19. Justice League (Volume 4) #8
  20. Justice League (Volume 4) #12
  21. 21.0 21.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #75
  22. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #77
  23. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #78
  24. 24.0 24.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #81
  25. 25.0 25.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #82
  26. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #83
  27. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
  28. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6
  29. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
  30. Wonder Woman #792
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Wonder Woman #794
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Wonder Woman (Volume 6) #10
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #46
  34. Justice League (Volume 4) #2
  35. Justice League (Volume 2) #13
  36. Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #3
  37. DC Nation (Volume 2) #2
  38. Justice League (Volume 4) #29
  39. Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #80
  40. 40.0 40.1 Wonder Woman #750
  41. Suicide Squad (Volume 4) #22
  42. The Great Race
  43. Etta Candy at dccomics.com

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