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Warning: spoilers ahead for Wonder Woman. Read ahead at your own risk!
Looking back, it's almost impossible to imagine how Wonder Woman seemed like a gamble. Patty Jenkins' origin story for Diana Prince has released to immense fanfare, and audiences are already clamoring for more. The DCEU was not in the best place following the releases of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, but now there's a shining beacon of hope pointing to the future.
With that in mind, let's make one thing clear: with Wonder Woman's near-universal acclaim, and its strong box office projections, a sequel is almost certainly going to happen. However, while the Wonder Woman franchise is standing firmly on two feet, it will need to fix one major element going into Wonder Woman 2, and that's its villains. Ludendorff (Danny Huston), Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), and Ares (David Thewlis) were fine, but there's more potential here than you think. To make sense of that idea, we have gone through the DC mythology to pick out nine distinct villains who could make perfect threats in the eventual sequel. On that note, let's get started with Diana's (literally) biggest foe.
Giganta is one of the most bizarre Wonder Woman villains in the entire pantheon of DC Comics (which is seriously saying something), but we think Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot could do some serious work with the character. As her name suggests, Giganta is a metahuman capable of increasing her physical size (and strength) to superhuman proportions. However, the tradeoff is that she loses intelligence as she gains mass. Giganta has also been depicted as a villain of Ray "The ATOM" Palmer over the years, which means she could potentially pave the way for a silver screen version of the brilliant scientist/endlessly cool shrinking hero as well.
Like so many other Wonder Woman villains, Medusa takes her inspiration from the mythological figure of the same name. Harboring a deep-seated hatred for the gods of Mount Olympus, Medusa sets her sights on Wonder Woman to carry out her revenge. The battles between Wonder Woman and Medusa are incredibly iconic (as Medusa can turn her victims into stone with a mere gaze) and Wonder Woman has even blinded herself to beat this iconic foe in past encounters. The benefit of bringing someone like Medusa into the DCEU is clear: she can show how brutal Diana's battles are, and how far she's willing to go to win.
Vandal Savage is not a direct Wonder Woman villain, but using him as the central antagonist of the next Wonder Woman movie could represent a perfect way to further flesh out the DCEU. An immortal caveman granted incredible intelligence by a meteorite; Savage has existed on Earth for millennia -- amassing a considerable fortune and some impressive fighting skills along the way. His typical modus operandi is to pull strings from the shadows, and his age makes him a great option if Wonder Woman 2 doesn't immediately jump to contemporary times; he can be anywhere at any point in history. After Legends of Tomorrow, we need a good version of Savage.
While Edgar Cizko, a.k.a. Doctor Psycho does not necessarily look like a physical threat to someone as imposing and skilled as Diana Prince, this iconic DC villain has become one of Wonder Woman's most iconic foes over the years. A powerful telepath with some deep-seated issues towards women, Cizko lives up to his codename, as he has some major mental health problems that make him endlessly dangerous, yet sympathetic at the same time. Considering the fact the first Wonder Woman relies quite a bit on physically imposing villains, bringing someone as bizarre as Doctor Psycho into the mix would really help set the sequel apart from its predecessor.
The First Born
If Wonder Woman needs an imposing physical threat for Diana Prince to go up against, the sequel would be hard-pressed to find a better choice than The First Born. A relatively recent addition to the DC lore, The First Born is just that: the first born child of Zeus and Hera. As Diana's half-brother, he possesses tremendous physical durability, and strength that can easily match Wonder Woman herself. Incorporating this villain into the sequel would be a smart movie if Patty Jenkins wants to play up the demi-god angle of the Wonder Woman universe even more, which is obviously an intriguing prospect for a sequel.
Veronica Cale is a billionaire industrialist who harbors a deep-seated hatred of Diana Prince. The reason for this hatred? Ms. Cale resents Wonder Woman's power and asserts that the Amazon goddess makes success in the world of men look far too easy. In simple terms, she's a female analog to Lex Luthor and a unique character for exploring gender-specific questions raised in the first film. Beyond that, when we consider just how hard the DCEU has already dropped the ball on its use of Lex in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Veronica Cale could make an easy replacement for the deranged LexCorp CEO in future Justice League adventures as well.
There is absolutely no doubt that Circe is one of Diana Prince's most iconic and formidable opponents in the DC universe. In fact, many had assumed that Elena Anaya was portraying the character, until it was revealed that she was actually playing Doctor Poison. As a villain with abilities rooted firmly in the realm of magic, she is not someone who Diana can merely punch into submission, and she has often been quite successful in rallying Diana's other enemies against her. If Wonder Woman 2 opts for the "villain heavy" route, then Circe would be a perfect baddie to bring them together.
Hades has fought Diana many times over the years, and they have established a strange dynamic. The beauty of incorporating a villain like Hades into the equation is that (despite the sheer amount of evil associated with the character) he is not always considered a bad guy. In fact, Diana has sometimes formed tenuous alliances with the god of the underworld in the face of more overwhelming and imminent threats. This dynamic could lend itself to a more complex understanding of good and evil in the highly anticipated sequel -- which is a necessary quality that was arguably missing from the first Wonder Woman.
Honestly, if for some reason only one more Wonder Woman villain enters the DCEU, it will have to be Cheetah. Real name Barbara Minerva, Cheetah is a former anthropologist turned thief who finds herself transformed into a human-cheetah hybrid through the powers of the plant god Urzkartaga. She is an incredible hand-to-hand combatant and profoundly interesting, dark mirror of Diana Prince. Aside from the fact that her own iconography would make her an easy sell for mainstream audiences, the sheer potential for some of the DCEU's coolest action sequences and compelling character drama make her an obvious choice for Diana's next adventure. She is Wonder Woman's greatest enemy and a perfect fit for the DCEU.
Which of these villains do you want to see in Wonder Woman 2?