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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cheetah Key Issue Comics

Alright, just in case the rumor about Cheetah being in the Wonder Woman movie is true, Max Rebo called for a Cheetah key issues list. Why not, right?

So, I'm pretty sure this one will be short and sweet, even though the character was an early Wonder Woman foe in comics and had a few others who took up the mantle. Without over-babbling, let's get to the chase!

1st appearance & origin of Cheetah

Yeah, I know this one is already expensive and up there, but it is the 1st appearance of the original and Golden Age Cheetah. Yep, it's an important key for sure.

The 1st and original Cheetah is Priscilla Rich. With an aristocratic upbringing, Rich went the other way and instead of being a pompous and snot-nosed, rich kid, she developed an inferiority complex.

Along with the complex, she developed a split personality. Yep, you can guess what that personality is. Good gal, bad gal, and that bad gal is Cheetah.

The panels below are the first time this personality reveals herself to Priscilla Rich, and it is the origin of the Cheetah.

The original Cheetah did not possess any super powers. Her villainy and crimes were often fueled by her jealousy towards Wonder Woman.

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2nd appearance of Cheetah

I could be wrong, but I believe this is the 2nd appearance of the original Golden Age Cheetah. I could not find any appearances prior to this one and after Wonder Woman #6.

My best guess is this issue right here since it has the cover date of October, 1943 and that's close to September. A few sources do point to this one as being the 2nd appearance of Priscilla Rich as Cheetah.

However, I'm not entirely sure if there is another appearance before this one. I did read all the early Wonder Woman and Sensation Comics before this one and could not find her in any comics.

So, this could be Cheetah's 2nd appearance ever in comics. As of now, Overstreet and CGC do not note it as such.

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1st appearance of Villainy Inc

The Flash had the Rogues. Well, Wonder Woman had Villainy, Inc. Sort of. I don't think this team of Wonder Woman villains were ever used all that much or as popular as Flash's Rogues.

This super villain group was comprised of Wonder Woman's deadliest foes, and their 1st appearance was in the Golden Age. The Golden Age team comprised of Cheetah, Blue Snowman, Doctor Poison, Eviless, Giganta, Hypnota, Queen Clea, and Zara.

The team would not have that many appearances in the Golden and Silver Age of comics. Actually, the super-villain team doesn't really have that many appearances in Modern Comics either.

There is a Post-Crisis version of Villainy, Inc as well. I don't think Cheetah is a member of the New-Earth version.

Wonder Woman #28 volume 1 has the cover date of Cover date is April, 1948.

1st Earth-1 Cheetah appearance

According to some sources, this issue supposedly has the first appearance of the Earth-1 Cheetah or Priscilla Rich. It's not entirely clear other than the era this comic was published if there are any identifying differences between the Golden Age Cheetah or the Earth-1 Cheetah.

Well, at least, I know about. During the Silver Age, I am not sure if the Earth-1 Priscilla Rich as Cheetah makes that many appearances before she dies. Her next appearance is in the issue of Wonder Woman #166.

Wonder Woman #160 has the cover date of February, 1966.

1st appearance of Deborah Domaine
Death of Earth-1 Priscilla Rich

Deborah Domaine is the niece of Priscilla Rich on Earth-1. She is first introduced in this issue here, and is a rich debutante like aunt.

However, she grew up remorseful of her wealthy and privileged upbringing, so she becomes an ecology activist. In this issue, she goes to her dying aunt's bedside and just before Priscilla is going to tell Domaine about her past as the Cheetah, she dies and Deborah falls into a closet and sees her aunt's Cheetah costume.

It's then that Deborah is kidnapped by Kobra and is brain washed to be an operative for them as the new Cheetah. Deborah does don the costume on the very last page of the story in this issue.

Deborah Domaine would be the Cheetah until Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the continuity. Cover date is December, 1980 for Wonder Woman #274 of the 1st series.

1st brief appearance of Barbara Minerva

The character of Barbara Minerva is introduced as a regular person before she becomes the New-Earth Cheetah. She is shown briefly in this issue and near the end of the story. I believe it's 5 panels on 2 pages.
It's immediately clear in this issue that the character desires Wonder Woman's lasso, and in order to achieve that, she must become the next Cheetah. She is not seen as the villainous creature in this issue whatsoever though.

Wonder Woman #7 volume 2 has the cover date of August, 1987.

1st full appearance of Barbara Minerva
1st cameo of Barbara Minerva as Cheetah

This comic is the 1st full appearance of Barbara Minerva and has a cameo of her as Cheetah on the very last page and panel of the story. She is, however, seen only in shadow as Cheetah.

The panel which has that is shown below at the end of this listing.

The character of Barbara Minerva does show up a lot more here than in issue #7, in which she only shows up in 5 panels on two pages near the end of the story. Overstreet completely disregards the first appearances of Barbara Minerva with the exception of the origin story of Cheetah in issue #9.

I think Barbara appears as herself in 12 or more panels on at least 4 pages in this comic. That should be enough to consider it a 1st full appearance. Once again, she appears in shadow as Cheetah at the end of the comic story.
Wonder Woman #8 of the 2nd series has the cover date of September, 1987.

1st full appearance of Barbara Minerva as Cheetah
1st cover appearance of New-Earth Cheetah
Origin of Cheetah

This issue definitely has the 1st full appearance of Barbara Minerva as Cheetah. It kinda shows the origin or how she turns into this version of the villain.

She does some kind of ancient ritual to become the avatar for Urzkartaga or something like that. This version of Cheetah actually has powers unlike those who took the mantle before her, and she needed flesh in order to sustain herself.

Apparently, those chosen to be the Cheetah needed to be a virgin. Barbara was not so there were side effects.

In regular human form, her body deteriorated and suffered from severe physical disabilities. She was only strong in Cheetah form, but flesh was needed in order to sustain her strength.

Barbara Minerva would not be the only Cheetah in New-Earth continuity and was created by George Perez and Len Wein.  

Wonder Woman #9 of the 2nd series has the cover date of October, 1987.

1st brief Sebastian Ballesteros

This is the 4th version of Cheetah and I think he is the only male to take up the mantle in mainstream continuity. He is the lover and agent of Circe, an enemy of the Amazons.

Like Barbara Minerva, he obtains the powers of the Cheetah through Urzkartaga. I think Urzkartaga is some kind of plant God by an African tribe and why a plant God has anything to do with a Cheetah-like creature is beyond me.

No clue when it comes to that. Anyway, after Sebastian convinces that a male Cheetah would be better and more successful, the power is transferred from Barbara Minerva to Sebastian. This would not sit well with Minerva, and the two would eventually clash for the right to be Cheetah.

Minerva would ultimately win and reclaim her powers. In Post-Flashpoint, Minerva would carry over into the New 52 with some changes of course. Ballesteros was removed from continuity. 

I don't think Sebastian has that many appearances as the Cheetah in New-Earth continuity. Well, he still was Cheetah for a tick. Wonder Woman #170 has the cover date of July, 2001.

1st appearance as Cheetah

Forgot to mention in the above listing that Sebastian Ballesteros appears as himself in issue #170. He shows up on the last page and is named, but he does not become or appear as Cheetah until this issue.

I'd say that this issue should also be considered the 1st full appearance of Sebastian Ballestros as well, but I don't think that's really a big deal. I think what most are concerned with is when a character turns into a super-villain.

So, Ballesteros drinks the potion, performs the ritual in this issue, and becomes the Cheetah in this issue. He also has his 1st run-in with Wonder Woman as well.

Ballesteros was created by Joe Kelly and Phil Jimeniz, and Wonder Woman #171 volume 2 has the cover date of August, 2001.

1st appearance of New 52 Cheetah

There are slight differences with the New-Earth and New 52 Barbara Minerva. The New-Earth version was a former archaeologist who became interested in the African tribe that worshiped the plant God, Urzkartaga. She became Cheetah due to the ritual and potion.

In the New 52, Barbara Minerva used various aliases like Priscilla Rich, Sabrina Ballesteros, and Deborah Domaine. She's supposedly an expert in dangerous relics and came into contact with a dagger that belonged to a lost Amazon tribe while working for A.R.G.U.S.

In this continuity, she cut herself with the dagger and was possessed by the Goddess of the Hunt, turning her into the Cheetah. Barbara Minerva as the Cheetah is reintroduced in this issue, and her New 52 backstory is given as well.
There is a 1:100 variant of this issue if you're into variants. The regular 1st print cover has an estimated print run of around 117,752. 

This 1 for 100 variant sketch cover should have around an 1,177 estimated print run. The New 52 Cheetah does have a cameo as a hologram in Justice League issue #10 as well.

Justice League #13 from the 2nd series has the cover date of December, 2012.

Who knows if rumors are true that Cheetah is a baddie in the Wonder Woman flick. I really have no idea how the character would fit in the film that makes sense.

The 1st Wonder Woman trailer really didn't leave any strong clues to any of the Cheetah incarnations being in the flick. Who knows though?

Still, would be cool to see this villain live action. I think I'd prefer the Barbara Minerva version, and since she had actual powers, it would make more sense to have her as a viable threat to Wonder Woman than the other versions prior.

As usual, if you're speculating, you'll just have to wait and see if the character and which version is confirmed or not. Once again, I leave it up to you to decide which key comics to invest in or speculate on.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!! Great report that went real deep into the history of that character! I also prefer the Minerva version and went for WW 9. It' s still a cheap first appearance, which you can possibly get for 5 to 10 bucks, so no risk in getting a nice copy. I also heard about a "Doc Psycho" who could star in the film, but that character doesn' t sound very interesting to me. Never heard of him.

    Max Rebo