Final Form for Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Minerva aka Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984
Thanks to a notebook design posted online, we now have our first look at Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah aka Barbara Minerva for DC Comics and Warner Bros Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984 directed by Patty Jenkins.
You can check out the final look for the character below.
And here’s the original post from Twitter too…
— Mikhail Villarreal🦇 (@TaurooAldebaran) February 8, 2020
Here’s a bit of information about Barbara Minerva…
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.
This Cheetah was active before Wonder Woman’s post-Crisis appearance, and confronts Catwoman in Rome during the events of Batman: Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome.
This version of the Cheetah comes into Wonder Woman’s world when Barbara discovers that Diana possesses the Lasso of Truth. As an archaeologist, Barbara covets the lasso, hoping to add it to her collection of historical items. She first attempts to do so through trickery, claiming that there is a matching ancient Golden Girdle of Gaea of the same kind from which the lasso was fashioned. Unfortunately, although the scheme proceeds far enough for Minerva to hold the lasso, its magical power to make people tell the truth forces her to confess her true intentions. Diana, profoundly distraught that she would be so treacherous, takes back the lasso and returns home in tears. With the subtle approach having failed, Minerva resorts to attacking the Amazon as the Cheetah in order to rob her of the lasso. Their initial battle ends with inconclusive results, as Diana’s friend, Julia Kapatelis, shoots the Cheetah and forces her to retreat.
Over the years, Barbara’s interest in the lasso wanes and she becomes more interested in besting Diana in battle due to her bruised ego. The rivalry between the Cheetah and Wonder Woman fluctuates, though. Wonder Woman saves the Cheetah’s life during an adventure in the Balkan country of Pan Balgravia. The country’s dictator Baron Von Nastraed, for unknown reasons, chooses to aid a demon named Drax by capturing a powerful metahuman woman. The captive woman’s body would be used to house Drax’s alternate dimension bride Barremargux. When the Baron captures the Cheetah for this purpose, Wonder Woman travels to the country to save her. At the last moment, when Barremargux is about to enter Earth-One, Barbara closes the gateway before the crossing could be completed by jumping into the gateway instead. Barbara is trapped in this demonic dimension until the Boston mob boss Julianna Sazia has scientists open the dimensional gateway to retrieve Barbara to serve her own ends. Barbara double-crosses Julianna, choosing to aid Wonder Woman when she is caught in the mob war between Paulie Longo and Julianna Sazia in Boston. Seeing her debt to Wonder Woman as paid for attempting to rescue her in Pan Balgravia, the Cheetah continues her quest to defeat Wonder Woman when it is convenient to her.
For a brief period of time, Minerva loses her powers to the businessman Sebastian Ballesteros (see below), who convinces Urzkartaga that he could be a more effective Cheetah than she was. Minerva later kills Ballesteros and regains her powers.
The relationship Minerva has with Urzkartaga is strained at times despite Minerva’s intense devotion and loyalty. At one point, the god punishes her by leaving one of Minerva’s hands human looking and untransformed even while she is in her Cheetah form, though it appears to still be fully empowered as the rest of her body and equally as deadly. With help from Zoom, Minerva attains a level of super-speed even greater than she previously possessed. She accomplishes this by murdering Priscilla Rich, who previously went by the alias Cheetah, thus seemingly establishing herself as the true Cheetah based on Zoom’s own psychological insight. They later join the latest Secret Society of Super Villains and seem to be engaged in a sexual relationship, though Zoom considers himself to still be married to his former wife.
In the “One Year Later” storyline, the witch Circe places a spell on Minerva that allows her to change her appearance from human to Cheetah at will, even though she still remains in her Cheetah form in either guise. She controls three actual cheetahs and still possesses her super-speed, which is demonstrated by her ability to steal the golden lasso away from Donna Troy several times in battle. She is later seen in the Justice League of America Wedding Special, forming a new Injustice League alongside Lex Luthor and the Joker. She also appears in Salvation Run. Later still, in Final Crisis: Resist, she joins forces with Checkmate to rebel against Darkseid, and enjoys a brief relationship with Snapper Carr. In the pages of Wonder Woman, she is revealed as the power behind the Secret Society, responsible for the creation of Genocide. She arranges to have her ally Doctor Psycho take the place of Sarge Steel as director of the Department of Metahuman Affairs which, in the middle of Genocide’s onslaught, she targets for destruction.
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