24 January 2012

Onscreen History of Cheetah

Superman has Lex Luthor and Batman has the Joker. Perhaps Wonder Woman's most recognizable villain is Cheetah. Cheetah first appeared in 1943 within the pages of Wonder Woman #6. And although a cheetah cannot change her spots, there have been a number of changes to the design of the ferocious feline felon over the years. Cheetah is slated to next appear as a member of the notorious Legion of Doom in the upcoming animated film, Justice League: Doom. Over the next few weeks we will examine the rest of that films villainous line-up.

Cheetah actually made her very first onscreen appearance as a member of the Legion of Doom in the epic 1978 series Challenge of the Super Friends. Banded together from remote galaxies, Cheetah and her teammates had the sole goal of defeating the Super Friends, though she had her sites particularly focused on Wonder Woman.

In the episode Secret Origins of the Super Friends, Cheetah traveled back in time to thwart the origin of Wonder Woman, herself instead becoming the champion of the Amazons. The episode revealed that this blonde haired Cheetah simply wore a cheetah print suit that could be removed at will.

Demo footage put together for the Justice League animated series pitch contained a quick look at Cheetah, this time resembling a human cat hybrid.

Losing the long black hair, Cheetah did make her way into the Justice League series as a member of the Injustice Gang in 2002. Once again, it appeared that Cheetah was not simply wearing a removable costume, but was actually part cheetah. That didn't stop Batman from seducing her...

Perhaps cashing in on her 9 lives, this cat escaped the wrath of the Injustice Gang and returned as a supporting villain in Justice League Unlimited.

In 2009, Wonder Woman faced off against Ares and an army of the undead in her self titled animated movie; however, the film would not have been complete without a last minute cameo by Cheetah potentially setting up the unlikely sequel. More catlike than ever, this Cheetah once again didn't look to be wearing clothes. and also looked to have rank breath.

Later in 2009, Cheetah was again briefly seen among the mob of villains hoping to cash in on a bounty if they were able to bag Superman in the animated movie Superman / Batman: Public Enemies

In 2011, Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Triumvirate of Terror pitted Supes, Bats, and Wondy against their nemeses. Paying homage to the classic take on the character, Cheetah looked once again to be a human female in a stylish suit. And even though she was able to single handedly take down the Man of Steel, she would once again be outsmarted by the Dark Knight.

In the upcoming Justice League: Doom, Cheetah looks to have evolved back into human hybrid form, although for the first time onscreen, she also looks like she will be wearing clothes to cover up her feline parts. Will she finally prove too much for Wonder Woman? Doubtful, but it will be fun to watch her try.

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