(Yes, I'm starting the Cheetah posts before I finish the Wondy posts. Variety is the spice of life, you know.)
It's said that every good hero needs a good villain. I don't know that I completely agree with that, but certainly the most iconic four-color heroes have a diverse array of equally iconic foes - Joker and Two-Face and Poison Ivy, Sinestro and Hector Hammond and Star Sapphire, Braniac and Lex and Zod, the Keystone Rogues.
Wondy pretty much gets the Cheetah. Sure, there's Dr. Psycho, and Giganta, and the Silver Swan (any given iteration), and you could even make a case for poor Veronica Cale, but basically, all of Wondy's rogues are either a) super-lame and not a credible threat to far weaker heroes, b) long since beaten, or c) spend far more time fighting other heroes in other books than they ever have on Diana, post-Crisis. [Or d) some or all of the above, ::coughGiganta
cough::]. Circe actually puts in a decent showing, and Psycho's a good villain when he's around, but the one and only Wondy rogue who's been present since the relaunch, kept up with her through every subsequent changing of hands, and focused on her to the exclusion of any other hero in the DCU like a proper arch-nemesis should, is the Cheetah.
Gaia forbid, of course, that that actually amount to any consistency
in Diana's history, though. Because it is not, perhaps, completely accurate to say that the
Cheetah has been with Wondy since the Perez days; certainly there's been a
Cheetah with her in every run, but her portrayal has been so schizophrenic as to put Supertorso to shame. Hence, this project - a look at the many different iterations of the Cheetah - starting, as one should, at the beginning,* with the original Wondy maestro, George Perez.( Introducing Dr Barbara Minerva. )
Next up: Good ideas if you can get past the art - Cheetah through the eyes and pen of William Messner-Loebs.