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Barbara Minerva (Prime Earth)

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Barbara Ann Minerva is the Cheetah, a feline foe of Wonder Woman.

Origin

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.[2]

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.[3]

Secrets of the Cheetah

Five years after the creation of the Justice League, Cheetah was a member of the Secret Society. In the wake of the Graves Incident, Cheetah got some 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, and the truth of her original scheme to befriend Wonder Woman was revealed.[3]

After being caught 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.[4]

Forever Evil

Cheetah was broken out of jail by the Crime Syndicate and recruited to be part of their forces. Her first act was to seek out and kill all her blood relatives and friends from Amazonia. That done, she declared herself free of the dictates of the being who empowered her.[2]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

Cheetah was subsequently depowered by a strike against the magicians of Earth by a group of Elder Gods.[8]

Rebirth

Following the death of Darkseid, evidence of tampering with the timeline arose. With these changes, Barbara Minerva's history turned out to be vastly different.

She 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 male 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.[9]

Lies

When Wonder Woman was unable to go to Mt. Olympus or remember how to get to Themyscira she travels Africa in search of Cheetah. She is met with aggression from Cheetah's forces, and ultimately Cheetah herself. The battle continues until Wonder Woman reveals to Cheetah that she is unable to locate Themyscira and needs her enemy's help.[10] In exchange for Minerva's help in finding Themyscira, Wonder Woman agreed to help her kill the god Urzkartaga and end Minerva's curse. The pair battled their way through Urzkartaga's minions, the Bouda, and defeat Adres Cadulo, a worshiper of Urzkartaga that planned to sacrifice Steve Trevor to the plant god.[11] Once she reverted back to her human form, Minerva agreed to help Wonder Woman find her way back to Paradise Island.[12] Minerva reveals to Wonder Woman that the island of Themyscira is tied to one's emotional instead of it being a physical place.

Powers

  • Unique Physiology: Due to cutting herself with the God Killer Knife, Barbara Minerva has managed to acquire a cheetah-like humanoid physiology.

Abilities

Related


Footnotes

  1. Justice League (Volume 2) #14
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wonder Woman (Volume 4) #23.1: The Cheetah
  3. 3.0 3.1 Justice League (Volume 2) #14
  4. Suicide Squad (Volume 4) #21
  5. Forever Evil #1
  6. Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #5
  7. Green Arrow (Volume 5) #39
  8. Secret Six (Volume 4) #7
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #8
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WW51
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WW55
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WW59


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