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Cheetah's Most Wholesome Moments In Comics | ScreenRant

Brought more into the spotlight by 2020's Wonder Woman: 1984, Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman's earliest enemies. She has long been considered Diana's greatest arch-nemesis and is certainly her most dangerous foe. Fans might remember that the mantle of the Cheetah has been worn by not one, five different people - all of who have had a different impact on fans.

RELATED: 10 Things Only Comic Fans Know About Cheetah

However, despite being portrayed by more than one person, most of the Cheetahs have the same thing in common: an intense love-hate relationship with Wonder Woman. In several of the different DC timelines, Wonder Woman blamed herself for her enemy's fate and made attempts to rehabilitate her. Even though she has a reputation for being a very bad kitty, Cheetah has, in the comics, occasionally had a few redeemable moments.

7 Jumping Into An Interdimensional Gateway

Barbara Ann Minerva, the third and best-known face of Cheetah, was a British archeologist who was cursed by an ancient ritual gone wrong. Despite the mishap, she was still a powerful metahuman. Barbara's strength draws the eye of Pan Balgravia's dictator, who was aiding a demon with bringing his bride from another dimension to Earth One. Just as the bride is attempting to travel through the gateway and possess Cheetah, Barbara, freed just in time by Wonder Woman, makes a surprisingly selfless decision to jump into the portal and block the transfer from happening.

During her time as Cheetah, Barbara regularly finds herself fighting against the blood-thirsty nature of her curse. This time though, her humanity shows through. She stops the interdimensional travel of a powerful being that could lay waste to earth, not knowing if she will survive the outcome of her actions, but knowing that if she did it would be a great adventure.

6 Repays Diana's Assistance

Shortly after being released from the portal, her rescuer Julianna Sazia, hires Cheetah to go after Wonder Woman with Poison Ivy and Cheshire. However, Cheetah has a different plan in mind and she decides to save Diana from them. Barbara wants to pay her back for coming to save her when she was kidnapped by the demon Drax. She sacrifices herself again, protecting Diana from the White Magician, which ultimately sends her into a second dimension.

While Cheetah struggles often with a dual nature, it is her humanity, on the other hand, that reminds her of the friendship she once shared with Diana. She may give into the curse on a regular basis, hurting her friend as a result, however, she does fight it long enough to do the right thing.

5 Advocating For The Environment

The second Cheetah, Debbie Domaine, is actually the niece of the first Cheetah; though she doesn't know it at the time. Right before she is kidnapped by Kobra, to be tortured and brainwashed into becoming Cheetah, she befriends Diana over their mutual love for the environment.

The basic kindness shown to Diana was such a sweet thing to do for a woman she had never met. Debbie started a friendship with her that would affect Wonder Woman through the years. She had wholesome, good intentions; and while they would be later exploited, it was this start that showed Diana the human worth saving inside Cheetah.

4 Returning To Save Wonder Woman

In Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, a dystopian miniseries, Diana wakes from a sleep of several hundred years to find earth nearly destroyed. In a colony of survivors, Barbara and Diana are pitted against each other in a gladiator-like fight. Appealing to the human tucked deep inside Cheetah, Wonder Woman is able to bring Barbara back to herself long enough to stop the fight. Barbara was even talked out of attacking their captors.

RELATED: 10 Things You Need To Know About Cheetah

Once again, Cheetah reciprocates Wonder Woman's help, by returning to save her when she most needs it. She didn't have to come back, but she did. Fans often see Cheetah as a sympathetic villain because occasionally she chooses to fight the nature of her curse.

3 Recognizing She Needed Time To Heal

The first Cheetah, Pricilla Rich, had no special powers but she was just as memorable as her other counterparts. After failing to frame Wonder Woman for robbery, Pricilla infiltrated the athletic games held on Themyscira. She successfully kidnapped Queen Hippolyta and her magical girdle. What follows is a long-drawn-out battle between Cheetah and Wonder Woman that would be far from their last.

RELATED: 5 Ways Cheetah Is A Sympathetic Character (& 5 Ways She's The Worst)

Defeating Pricilla by taking back the girdle, Diana temporarily releases her from the influence of her Cheetah personality. Finding herself free, Cheetah recognizes she needs help and time to heal. In asking to remain on Themyscira, Pricilla sees what she has become is and actually willing to try and do better.

2 Teaming Up With Wonder Woman

In the DC Rebirth Universe, Barbara Ann is not Cheetah by choice, but by trickery. In Wonder Woman Volume 5, fans learn that Veronica Cale tricked Barbara into the hands of the plant god Urzkartaga, who forcibly transformed her into Cheetah. She needed a demigod to find the island, and Barbara Ann, equipped with the new power, would suffice.

Despite having a falling out over Diana failing to save her, Cheetah agrees to help Wonder Woman, who is also looking for the missing island. This becomes another moment of humanity showing through the Cheetah. Teaming up with Diana to rescue teenage girls being taken by the plant god, Barbara uses the Lasso of Truth to bind him, and free herself from her alter ego.

Her desire to be free from the killer nature of Cheetah proves what Diana had always asserted: she could still be redeemed. Wonder Woman comics have always focused less on defeating villains and more on rehabilitating them, and this was a wonderful illustration of that.

1 Sacrificing Herself For Her Friends

Although Barbara Ann has been redeemed and was ready to move on with her life, she does not stay free for very long. Veronica Cale's organization, Godwatch, swoops in, abducting her friends Steve Trevor and Etta Candy. Veronica threatens to kill them if she does not take back the Cheetah alter ego. Barbara hated the power, and the hunger for human flesh, but she loved her friends.

Because of her love, she sacrifices her happiness to save them by turning back into the monster she despised. This is her purest comic book moment, highlighting that there is so much more to her than the petty, power-hungry traits she is often ascribed.

NEXT: 10 Questions About Cheetah, Answered

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