With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice about six months away from release, and Suicide Squad entering post-production, attention is slowly turning towards Wonder Woman, the next movie up on DC’s film slate. So far, the only characters confirmed for that film are the eponymous heroine (played by Gal Gadot) and her love interest Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine), and while we’re eager to see who will comprise the rest of the supporting cast, the big question is who will be chosen as the 2017 blockbuster’s central antagonist.
Wonder Woman may not have as many notable villains as Batman and Superman, but there are a select few who have caused her a lot of grief over the decades. We’ve selected the five villains that are the likeliest to be chosen for Diana of Themyscira’s first solo movie, from fellow demigods and deities to humans with their own unique powers. Read ahead to meet the special candidates!
Doctor PsychoIt would be an understatement to say that Edgar Cizko, a.k.a. Doctor Psycho, has issues with women. His hatred for females developed after he was picked on by several at a young age for his small size. Despite this deep-rooted misogyny, Cizko did fall in love with a woman named Marva Jane Gray while at medical school, but unfortunately, Ben Bradley, the man she truly loved, framed Cizko for a theft at the university’s laboratory. Once he escaped prison, the now-named Psycho killed Ben and mentally forced Marva to marry him, thus kicking off his supervillain career.
While he was originally a skilled hypnotist that ectoplasm, he was changed in the post-Crisis era of the comics to be a skilled telepath who uses his psionic abilities to torment those who stand in his way. If Wonder Woman is looking to pit Diana against a foe who doesn’t rely on brute force, Doctor Psycho is the perfect choice. His presence would especially work if Wonder Woman is a World War II period piece, given that in his earlier comic book appearances Psycho tried to prevent women from helping out in the war effort.
First BornIntroduced recently in the New 52 comics, First Born was the child that Zeus had with Hera before he sired Diana with Hippolyta - but unlike Diana, First Born was cut a bad break. Zeus learned of a prophecy that said his newborn son would kill him to take over Olympus. As a result, Zeus tried to murder the infant, but Hera took pity and exiled First Born to Earth. Despite his banishment, First Born remembered his heritage, and after failing to get Zeus’ attention while growing up, he decided to take over Earth. When that didn’t work, he tried to invade Olympus with his army, but Zeus stopped him and imprisoned him within the Earth. Thousands of years later, First Born finally broke free of the Earth and built a new army to take the mountain of the Gods.
It’s already been confirmed that Wonder Woman’s DCEU origins will be based off the New 52, so using First Born as the main antagonist gives Wonder Woman not just a fellow demigod to battle, but also provides a special antagonistic familial relationship, just like Thor and Loki in the MCU. Plus, like in the comics, Wonder Woman would be surprised to learn of First Born given that only a select few were able to remember he existed.
CirceDC Comics’ Circe has the same basic magical abilities as the Greek goddess of legend with whom she shares a name. Specifically, she can cast illusions, teleport and, and turn others into animals (famously seen in Homer’s "The Odyssey"). Although she made her comics debut in 1949, Circe has become more prominent as an antagonist for Princess Diana since the 1980s, frequently targeting both Wonder Woman and other other mythological DC characters. One of her more notable schemes was initiating the War of the Gods, which pitted deities from all across the DC universe against each other. She has also helped empower other members of Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery so that she can have an indirect hand in defeating the Amazon heroine.
Like Doctor Psycho, this is another foe who would require more than simple brute force to defeat - although in Circe’s case, her magic is just as capable of causing Wonder Woman mental harm as much as it is physical harm. It may take her Lasso of Truth or other mythical weaponry from Themyscira and beyond in order for Wonder Woman to take down the seductive sorceress.
AresLike Circe and other Wonder Woman villains, Ares was one of many characters to be reimagined when writer George Perez started writing comics about the superheroine in the 1980s. Born as the God of War, he embodies all the negative aspects of conflict. As expected, he is one of the DC universe’s greatest warriors, but he has proven just as dangerous through his shadowy manipulations and intricate plans - so audiences shouldn’t just expect Ares to just be a one-dimensional villain who’s rushing into the battlefield with sword swinging.
Although Wonder Woman and Ares now have a close, familial-like relationship with each other in the New 52, it’s better that he stay a villain for the Wonder Woman movie, both fighting her in person (which would be just as destructive, if not more so, than the fight between Superman and Zod in Man of Steel) and tormenting her from behind the scenes using his pawns. Besides, the armor that you see in the image above is too good to be passed up for adapting in a movie. Even if he doesn’t appear immediately in the story, the DC Cinematic Universe should find a place for him at some point.
CheetahBatman has The Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman has Cheetah. While Priscilla Rich, a debutante with a split personality, was the first Cheetah in the comics, the movie would be better off using Barbara Ann Minerva, the third Cheetah. Minerva was a selfish archaeologist that drank a potion (changed in the New 52 to cutting herself with a magical knife) that transformed her into The Cheetah. Her early obsession was trying to steal Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, but eventually this changed to her simply wanting to defeat the Amazon in combat.
Cheetah is Wonder Woman’s greatest enemy in the comics, so it’s practically certain they will eventually adapt her in live-action. Beyond that, she is the perfect twisted foil for Wonder Woman. While Diana was blessed with powers from birth and uses them to protect the innocent, Cheetah is a human who sought power for her own malevolent purposes and is now only satisfied causing destruction. As an homage, the movie could even take a cue from recent stories and have the other Cheetahs be aliases that Barbara has used while on the run as a criminal.