We Have Our First Look at Kristen Wiig as Wonder Woman 1984‘s Cheetah. Who Is Barbara Minerva?

This article is over 6 years old and may contain outdated information
Recommended Videos

Earlier today Patty Jenkins graced us with our first look at Kristen Wiig as Wonder Woman 1984‘s villain, Cheetah. While still not sporting any spots yet, we did get something confirmed in that tweet: it answered the question of which version of Cheetah the movie character will be.

The answer is Barbara Ann Minerva, who is the third iteration of Cheetah. Barbara Minerva was an archaeologist in the comics, so it’s fitting that this sneak peak places the character in what looks like a natural history museum, surrounded by a bunch of animals that cheetahs eat, plus a lion.

In the comics, Barbara Minerva has had three different backstories.

One paints her as an ambitious, selfish, and neurotic British archaeologist who goes to Africa and is part of a ceremony that allows her to have the powers of the African female guardian spirit called the black panther … I mean the cheetah. However, the host of the spirit is supposed to be a virgin, and Minerva was not, and if you’ve seen Jennifer’s Body you know that never ends well for the woman. Hence, she experiences great pain in her human form and extreme bloodlust in her cat form. Well, that sounds like a hot mess. What does backstory #2 look like?

In the New 52, Cheetah was written to being a “corrupted” version of Wonder Woman. She was raised in an all-woman commune called “Amazonia” and was an expert in dangerous relics. Yet somehow she still accidentally cut herself on one and ended up getting possessed by the Goddess of the Hunt (a.k.a. Artemis a.k.a. Diana), which transformed her into a human/cheetah mashup. Hmmm, okay. What about backstory #3?

DC Rebirth rewrites Minerva to be a super genius archaeologist with two PhDs at age 26, and a deep love for mythology (relatable). She goes on a dig and discovers proof of the existence of the Amazons, but the dig site collapses. Minerva becomes obsessed with the divine and is manipulated by Ares to go to the fictional African nation of Bwunda. There she manipulated by the Cult of Urzkartaga and transformed into the cannibalistic Cheetah.

Hmm, of all of these, backstory 2 is the least darkest Africa, but I like the motive of backstory 3 the most.

Looking at the still of Barbara Minerva is giving me Selina Kylie in the first part of Batman Returns feels. What do you think the chances of her being pushed out a window and being brought back to life by a bunch of cheetahs are?

Either way, we are so grateful for all of Jenkins’ teasing. Between this, the Steve Trevor pictures and the upcoming SDCC rumors of new information, Wonder Woman 1984 can’t come fast enough.

What do you guys think of Kristen Wiig as Cheetah?

(image: DC Comics)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Princess Weekes
Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.