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Origins

As one of America's top debutantes, Priscilla Rich led many charity efforts on the World War II home front, most notably the Junior League Committee For War Work. All her wealth and fame, however, concealed a fragile psyche that would lash out at the slightest challenge to her ego - a challenge that Wonder Woman in particular seemed to personify.

Instantly hating the heroine's effortless grace and popularity, Priscilla tried to sabotage a complex escape-act her "rival" had arranged, hoping for fatal consequences. When Wonder Woman survived, winning greater accolades from even Priscilla's beau Courtley Darling, Priscilla's mind broke entirely and succumbed to a repressed "secret" personality: the Cheetah.

First Hunts

A vicious career criminal clad in her namesake's hide, the Cheetah quickly stole $100,000 of Committee funds, then framed Darling and Wonder Woman for the theft. When Wonder Woman selflessly took all blame, a further enraged Cheetah trapped them inside a granary, which she set on fire. However, both survived with the intervention of Maj. Steve Trevor and Etta Candy, and the Cheetah herself became the fire's sole victim.

Several weeks later, the Cheetah resurfaced, her suit having saved her from burning. More ruthless than ever, she forced a telepathic girl named Gail Young to start a spy ring, allowing her to blackmail hundreds of other women into slavery and acquire military secrets to sell to Imperial Japan. This scheme, too, was foiled by Wonder Woman and her allies, but the Cheetah remained at large.

The Cheetah finally overplayed her hand when she infiltrated Paradise Island, aiming to rule the entire Amazon nation. Though she successfully stole the Girdle of Gaea and kidnapped Queen Hippolyta as a hostage, she was taunted into personal combat by Wonder Woman, who soundly defeated and unmasked her. Under the Amazing Amazon's Lasso of Truth, the Cheetah reverted into Priscilla, who confessed all her insecurities and was remanded to Transformation Island for reformation.[1]

Later Hunts

Despite the Amazons' best efforts, Priscilla's reformation proved an unstable one. When returned to Man's World to recompense her prior victims, she quickly re-succumbed to the Cheetah personality, and revived her old slavery and espionage operations. This time, Wonder Woman subdued her through words instead of force, praising her exquisite dancing skills. Her psychotic ego assuaged, Priscilla willingly returned to Paradise Island for another round of therapy.[2]

For a time, Priscilla made steady progress under the loving discipline of her Amazon wardens; in the outside world, however, she had become a disgrace to the Rich family, and replaced by her cousin Claudia. When she learned this, Priscilla instantly relapsed, and the Cheetah would escape Paradise Island for yet another crime spree.[3]


Abilities

  • Master Combatant
  • Acrobatics
  • Dancing: The Cheetah was a masterful dancer and once impressed Wonder Woman, Etta Candy and her slave girls with the "Dance of the Cheetah". Wonder Woman, in a successful attempt to appeal to the Cheetah's better nature, applauded her ability as a skill that could attract millions of admirers.
  • Disguise
  • Stealth
  • Telepathy: By unknown means, the Cheetah could communicate via Wonder Woman's Mental Radio.

Weaknesses

Equipment

  • Cheetah Suit: Though seemingly an ordinary pelt, the Cheetah's costume was equipped with sharp claws, allowing for easy wall-scaling. The pelt was also supposedly fire-resistant, allowing the Cheetah to survive otherwise-deadly blazes.
  • Memory Drug: The Cheetah owned a strange drug, of unknown origin, that erased memories once ingested. She often used this drug to foil those who could give away her secrets.

Weapons

  • Knife: The Cheetah sometimes wielded a large hunting knife for close combat.
  • This version of Priscilla Rich (Earth-Two), including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Earth-Forty had it own version of Cheetah[4] who likely had an adventures similar to her Earth-Two counterpart. Because that version of Cheetah belonged to a hypertime reality she was unaffected by Crisis.

Related


Footnotes


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Wonder Woman Villain(s)
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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."