Monday, June 25, 2018


Plot & Layouts: George Pérez | Script: Len Wein | Finishes: Bruce D. Patterson
Letterer: John Costanza | Colorist: Tatjana Wood | Editor: Karen Barger
Thanks to: Bob Smith

The Plot: Chuma performs a ceremony on Barbara Minerva. The next day, Diana and Myndi Mayer visit Doctor Minerva at her hotel, where the doctor unwittingly touches Diana’s lasso and reveals that she lied about possessing a second Girdle of Gaia. Diana leaves, horrified that a fellow woman would deceive her.

Later, Minerva transforms into the Cheetah. As Diana sleeps beneath a tree on Julia Kapatelis’s property, the Cheetah attacks. Cheetah seem to have the upper hand until Julia arrives with a hunting rifle and shoots her, knocking into the lake. Diana searches for her beneath the water, but there is no body to be found.

Diana decides the time has come to leave Man’s World and return to Paradise Island. She bids Julia and Vanessa farewell, and departs.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: We’re reminded again about the “Wonder Woman Tour” which has seen Diana traveling the world as a goodwill ambassador… which of course begs the question, if she’s making such highly publicized travels, why has Clark Kent had such a difficult time tracking her down? If Superman wants a date with Wonder Woman, all he has to do is turn on the TV to find out where she is, then fly there!

The Cheetah apparently gets her power from the tree she brought to the United States, which narration seems to imply is actually some ancient god in Earthly form. Also, Chuma refers to Cheetah as the last of her kind, but what that kind is goes unrevealed.

A brief scene sees Etta Candy on the phone with Steve Trevor, who tells her his return to Boston has been delayed as he must go home to see his father on his deathbed. Etta offers to take some leave and come along.

My Thoughts: So up until the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon series, Cheetah was pretty much the only member of Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery I knew of, mainly thanks to SUPER FRIENDS. JUSTICE LEAGUE introduced me to Ares and Circe, and maybe one or two others, and actually relegated Cheetah to a pretty minor role as more of a supporting villain (with a much less cool visual than her comic book counterpart, by the way — she looks best with the big mane of hair that Bruce Timm inexplicably discarded).

So it’s nice to see the character make her Post-CRISIS debut here. Again, since I mainly know her from SUPER FRIENDS, I don’t know precisely what comic book Cheetah’s deal was originally, but I seem to recall that her animated incarnation took some sort of special serum and was transformed permanently into a Cheetah. This version, meanwhile, makes blood sacrifices to become the Cheetah temporarily. She also seems to have no intelligence in Cheetah form operating purely animalistically, which is counter to both the SUPER FRIENDS and JUSTICE LEAGUE versions.

But regardless of how the Cheetah is presented, I like the way she makes her debut here. I talked about it somewhat vis a vis the Hobgoblin when I reviewed Roger Stern’s Spider-Man comics a few years back, but I’m always a sucker for this sort of story where a villain appears out of nowhere, fights the hero, then vanishes and leaves our protagonist totally confused and disoriented as to what just happened. I mean, think about this from Wonder Woman’s point of view: she had a crummy morning with Doctor Minvera, but has no reason to believe that woman is the Cheetah. From her perspective, she was just taking a nap when this were-woman randomly attacked her, then vanished before her motivation could be revealed! I don’t know why, but I eat stuff like that up.

(And heck, while we readers know more than Diana at this point, even we still aren’t aware of just why Minerva wants the lasso…)

I must make one comment on the artwork here, too. Bruce Patterson has been inking this series since the beginning, but usually, at least per the credits, over Pérez’s full pencils. Here, however, he finishes from Pérez’s breakdowns. I’ve never been a fan of Patterson in general as an inker; his lines seem too light and scratchy for my liking — but as a finisher, he’s even worse. In an ideal world, Pérez would be doing full pencils and inks on this series, or at the least he’d have someone like Romeo Tanghal inking him… but at the very least, he shouldn’t be allowing Bruce Patterson to finish his breakdowns! Hopefully next issue will see a return to the usual division of labor.

Next Week: The Gang War continues in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #433, and Superman meets Mister Mxyzptlk in SUPERMAN #11.


  1. Just a nitpick, but where you wrote "were-woman", it should be "were-cheetah". Werewoman would translate as "Man Woman", which is something totally different. heh
    I'm pretty sure I saw you use "were-cheetah" earlier in your review, so maybe it was a misprint when you wrote "were-woman".

    1. Huh. You're totally right. If a werewolf is a man who turns into a wolf, then a "were-woman" would be a woman who turns into... a woman?

      Anyway, I'm keeping it as-is above since your comment down here serves as the correction. Thanks!

  2. The original Cheetah was Priscilla Rich, a debutante who suffered inferiority complex that made her jealous of Wonder Woman. This caused a split personality- the other half a ruthless Id that called herself the Cheetah and compelled Priscilla to dress up and kill WW (this version is portrayed in CHALLENGE OF THE SUPERFRIENDS). The second version was Deborah, Priscilla's niece, an heiress turned activist. When Priscilla died, Deborah Domaine was kidnapped by Kobra, a ruthless terrorist organization bent on ruling the world (not to be confused with ANOTHER ruthless terrorist organization bent on ruling the world). Kobra put poor Deborah into a massive CLOCKWORK ORANGE brainwashing torturing her mind with images of man's inhumanity against nature and animalkind, until her mind snapped and she took on the garb of the Cheetah (minus the headpiece- cat ears over her loose hair head -and no gloves- with steek nail claws) became an eco-terrorist that attacked mankind for the environment. WW commented this one was more dangerous because she thinks the whole world was her enemy.
    The Post-Crisis reboot Minerva can actually transform into a humanoid form of a cheetah via a sacred ritual. The reason for her physical problems are due to the fact of...well, it's something that wouldn't have flown in the Silver Age. Archeologist Minerva searched and found the cult that can give a person Cheetah powers and persuaded priest Chuma to make her the host. The problem was, well, the host had to be a virgin, and Minerva was...well...not (Chuma comments his surprise about this one). This screwed things up for her.

    1. Wow! I thought Barbara Minerva had always been the Cheetah. I had no idea so many women had used the identity! My fuzzy childhood memories must be really screwy on this subject.