The third Cheetah is British archaeologist Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, born as the heiress to a vast fortune in her ancient family seat in Nottinghamshire. Ambitious, selfish, and severely neurotic, Barbara develops a passion for archaeology that eventually led her to search out a tribe in Africa which has a female guardian with the powers of a cheetah. A band of marauders kill the guardian and most of what remained of her original expedition party. Barbara, with the aid of the priest, Chuma, the caretaker of the ancient plant god Urzkartaga, takes her place after being told that she would gain immortality. Her powers are conferred to her by ingesting a combination of human blood and the berries or leaves of Urzkartaga. Unfortunately for Minerva, the host of the Cheetah persona is intended to be a virgin. Minerva is not, so her transformations were part curse and part blessing, as she experiences severe pain and physical disability while in her human form and bloodthirsty euphoria while in her cat form.
In Challenge of the Gods, Diana is already accustomed to the “man’s world” she had been unaware of during her time at Paradise Island, and even happens to be a sort a celebrity, which is a factor that the character would deal with again and again as she is introduced to modern society. Wonder Woman has to fight a new villain, Cheetah; manage Zeus, who is assessing if Diana would make a good wife; and even pacify internal conflicts among the Amazonians.
In August 2011, the third volume of Wonder Woman was cancelled along with every other DC title as part of a line-wide relaunch following Flashpoint. The series was relaunched in September with a #1 issue written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Cliff Chiang. Wonder Woman now sports another new costume, once again designed by Jim Lee. Azzarello describes the new Wonder Woman book as being darker than the past series, even going so far as to call it a "horror" book.
(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)
Straczynski's run focused on an alternate timeline created by the Gods where Paradise Island was destroyed leading to many Amazons being raised in the outside world. It revolves around Wonder Woman's attempts to restore the normal timeline despite the fact that she does not remember it properly. Wonder Woman in this alternative timeline has been raised in New York City as an orphan and is coming into her powers. She is aware of the presence of Amazons, but does not remember her childhood on Paradise Island. Wonder Woman wore a new costume designed by DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee. Writer Phil Hester continued the storyline.
Lynda Carter's portrayal of Wonder Woman was one of the best superhero performances ever. She really came across as a super-powerful female, just as Lou Ferrigno came across on The Incredible Hulk as a super-powerful green-skinned goliath. What was even better was when Debra Winger guest-starred in three episodes as WW's sister, Wonder Girl. Talk about a double dose of babeness!!!
Upon William Moulton Marston's death in 1947, Robert Kanigher took up the writing duties on Wonder Woman. Diana was written as a less feminist character, and began to resemble other traditional American heroines. Peter produced the art on the title through issue #97, when the elderly artist was fired (he died soon afterward). During this time, Diana's abilities expanded. Her earrings provided her the air she needed to breathe in outer space, and she piloted an "invisible plane", originally a propeller-driven P-40 Warhawk or P-51 Mustang, later upgraded to a jet aircraft. Her tiara was an unbreakable boomerang, and a two-way wrist radio similar to Dick Tracy's was installed in one of her bracelets, allowing her to communicate with Paradise Island.
Due to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths, numerous things no longer made sense in terms of continuity as it related to the remainder of the DC Universe. As her first overall appearance was now in continuity around the Legends miniseries, it no longer made sense that she was a founding member of the Justice League of America. This founding position was instead given retroactively to Black Canary. Later it was decided that she should be given this position back and thus both she and Black Canary were considered founding members of the Justice League. In reference to the Justice League though, although she has more than 400 combined appearances therein, she has had most of her character development in her own series.
Cheetah appears in several stories in the anthology series Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman. She battles Wonder Woman briefly in "Taketh Away", where it was revealed Doctor Psycho had been telepathically controlling Wonder Woman. In "Generations", she seeks out a mythical phoenix egg which is said to grant immortality. After a lengthy battle with Wonder Woman, Cheetah retreats. In "The Problem with Cats", a little girl plays with her sister's dolls, one of which is dressed up to look like the Priscilla Rich version of Cheetah. In "Island of Lost Souls", Barbara Ann Minerva requests help from Wonder Woman to retrieve the plant to save Cheetah's life.
Issue #600 introduced Wonder Woman to an alternate timeline created by the Gods in which Themyscira had been destroyed and the Amazons scattered around the world. In this timeline, Diana is an orphan raised in New York who is learning to cope with her powers. The entire world has forgotten Wonder Woman's existence and the main story of this run was of Diana trying to restore reality even though she does not properly remember it herself. Diana has no memories of her prior adventures as Wonder Woman, recollecting her memories in bits and pieces and receiving different abilities and resources (such as the power of flight and her lasso) during the progression of her adventure. A trio of Death Goddesses called The Morrigan acted as Wonder Woman's main enemies. Diana ultimately defeats the evil goddesses and returns everything back to normal.
It is incredible to see Wonder Woman as such an important and foundational force in the formation of the Justice League, especially when one remembers her rocky start in the 1940’s as a secretary for the Justice Society. The Brave and the Bold Vol. 1, #28 is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand Wonder Woman’s place in the JLA and the original dynamics of this team as a whole.
Wonder Woman is essential viewing for not only superhero fans, but film buffs and fans of the action epic. The first time I saw the movie, I had very few qualms, and most of those are no longer issues to me. All of them were little things like "I wish we could see this", "a little too much CGI at the end". Any and all issues with the film is not the movies problem and is simply a matter of personal taste because it is a near perfect movie. There are no objectively bad executions with the movie like there were with the previous DCEU films. If you don't like it, then that is without a doubt your problem, because as a lover of films and not superheros, it's near perfect film-making and I will not be surprised if this gets nominated for Oscars, it deserves them.
The Invisible Plane appeared in the very first comic stories, including All-Star Comics #8, where it is shown as being able to fly at over 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) and to send out rainbow rays that penetrate the mist around Paradise Island, as well as landing stealthily and having a built-in radio. Wonder Woman is seen storing the plane at an abandoned farm near Washington, D.C., in the barn; she goes there as Lt. Prince and changes clothes in some of the earliest tales. Though never explicitly stated, the Plane is presumably stored there when not in use for the rest of the Pre-Crisis era. In a story published shortly after, it flies at 40 miles (64 km) a second.
The demon Neron engaged Diana in battle and managed to kill her. The Olympian Gods granted Diana divinity and the role of the Goddess of Truth who started to reside in Olympus; her mother Hippolyta then assumed the role of Wonder Woman and wore her own different incarnation of the costume. In Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #136, Diana was banished from Olympus due to interfering in earthly matters (as Diana was unable to simply watch over people's misery on Earth). She immediately returned to her duties as Wonder Woman, but ran into conflicts with her mother over her true place and role as Hippolyta seemed accustomed to her life in America. Their fight remained unsolved, as Hippolyta died during an intergalactic war. Themyscira was destroyed during the war, but was restored and reformed as a collection of floating islands. Circe later resurrected Hippolyta in Wonder Woman Vol 3 #8.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Pérez rebooted the character in 1987. She wore an outfit similar to her 1970s one, but now with a larger glowing golden belt. This outfit continued until William Messner-Loebs' run, which had Diana pass on the role of Wonder Woman to Artemis. No longer Wonder Woman, Diana sported a new black biker-girl outfit designed by artist Mike Deodato Jr. After John Byrne took over writing and art duties, he redesigned the Wonder Woman outfit (Diana was reinstated as Wonder Woman at the end of Loebs' run) and joined the emblem and belt together.
Writer Eric Luke next joined the comic and depicted Diana as often questioning her mission in Man's World, and most primarily her reason for existing. His most memorable contributions to the title was having Diana separate herself from humanity by residing in a floating palace called the Wonder Dome, and for a godly battle between the Titan Cronus and the various religious pantheons of the world. Phil Jimenez, worked on the title beginning with issue #164 (January 2001), and produced a run which has been likened to Pérez's, particularly since his art bears a resemblance to Pérez's. Jimenez's run showed Wonder Woman as a diplomat, scientist, and activist who worked to help women across the globe become more self-sufficient. Jimenez also added many visual elements found in the Wonder Woman television series. One of Jimenez's story arcs is "The Witch and the Warrior", in which Circe turns New York City's men into beasts, women against men, and lovers against lovers.
After Jimenez, Walt Simonson wrote a six-issue homage to the I Ching era, in which Diana temporarily loses her powers and adopts an all-white costume (Wonder Woman vol. 2, #189–194). Greg Rucka became writer with issue #195. His initial story arc centered upon Diana's authorship of a controversial book and included a political subtext. Rucka introduced a new recurring villain, ruthless businesswoman Veronica Cale, who uses media manipulation to try to discredit Diana. Rucka modernized the Greek and Egyptian gods, updating the toga-wearing deities to provide them with briefcases, laptop computers, designer clothing, and modern hairstyles. Rucka dethroned Zeus and Hades, who were unable to move with the times as the other gods had, replacing them with Athena and Ares as new rulers of the gods and the underworld. Athena selected Diana to be her personal champion.
The Barbara Ann Minerva version of Cheetah appears in Justice League: Doom, voiced by Claudia Black in an Australian accent. She is selected as part of Vandal Savage's Legion of Doom and is selected to kill Wonder Woman. She fights Wonder Woman on a boat and manages to cut Diana's arm, infecting the Amazon with a poison. The poison's power is revealed when Cheetah jumps onto the docks and attempts to escape, but when Diana follows her, everyone seen is Cheetah, including civilians, cops, and Cyborg. Wonder Woman began fighting every Cheetah seen, knocking out police, civilians, and ripping off Cyborg's arm (although Cyborg was able to reattach it soon after). Cyborg deduced that Wonder Woman, due to an upbringing as a warrior, would keep fighting to the end, overstraining herself, and causing heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing go off the scale, thus Cheetah's intent was either make Wonder Woman's heart give out, suffer an aneurysm or have Diana get shot by police, and managed to cure Diana before either of those eventualities came to pass. Cheetah joins Savage's plan for genocide, seeing no other options, and slits Savage's throat and kills him, but the immortal quickly gets up and hits her in the head. When the Justice League storms the Hall of Doom, she takes on Wonder Woman herself, but she is eventually defeated by Diana. Of special note, she is the only character from the original group that appears in the film.
A stand-alone #0 Issue was released in September which explored Diana's childhood and her tutelage under Ares, the God of War. The issue was narrated in the style of a typical Golden Age comic book and saw Diana in her childhood years. The main plot of the issue was Diana training under Ares as he thought of her being an extraordinary girl with immense potential. The issue ultimately concluded with Diana learning and experiencing the importance of mercy, as she hesitates and refuses to kill the Minotaur- a task given to her by Ares; however, this show of mercy makes her a failure in Ares' eyes.
When Diana returns she takes on the persona of Diana Prince, now a secret agent and member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. She is partnered with Nemesis and the two report to Sarge Steel. Her first assignment is to retrieve her sister Donna Troy, who has been kidnapped by several of her most persistent enemies; their powers have been augmented by Circe. After this is accomplished, Diana takes back the title of Wonder Woman.
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