The Cheetah is British archaeologist Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva. Talented, ambitious and selfish, Barbara developed a passion for archeology that eventually led her to search out a tribe in Africa who utilized a female guardian with the powers of a cheetah.
Obtaining the powers for her own, Minerva became focused on Wonder Woman initially for her magical artifacts, however, after several defeats, Minerva now fights the Amazonian champion simply to calm her bruised ego over being constantly beaten.
Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva was a British archaeologist and heiress of a vast forune in Nottinghamshire who had garnered a reputation to go to any lengths to secure an artifact. Following an expedition in the African jungle to find the lost city of Urtzkartaga, who was said to be guarded by a female guardian with the powers of a cheetah, her team was betrayed by their guides and ambushed by natives. Only she and one other, Dr. Tom Leavens, escaped by diving in a river. The two of them found the lost city while it was in the midst of a ritual but before the ritual could be completed, outsiders attacked the village, slaughtering the natives and the female guardian, however the head priest, Chuma, was saved by Minerva.
Buried inside a temple due to an explosion, Minerva demands that the ritual of turning a woman into a guardian be done to her after she is told that the ritual would give her immortality. Minerva murdered Dr. Leavens as a sacrifice and received the powers and form of the Cheetah. However, due to Minerva not being a virgin, the gift was part curse and part blessing, as she experiences severe pain and physical disability while in her human form and blood-thirsty euphoria while in her cat form
After Princess Dianna of Themysicra made her debut in the Patriarch's world as Wonder Woman, Minerva learned of the Golden Lasso and became obsessed with obtaining the artifact for her collection.
Attempting to acquire the lasso through trickery, Barbara claimed that she knew of a matching Golden Girdle of Gaea of the same kind Diana's lasso was fashioned. Unfortunately, although the scheme proceeds far enough for Minerva to hold the lasso, its power to make people tell the truth forces her to confess her true intentions. Diana, profoundly distraught that a woman would be so treacherous, takes back the lasso and returns home in tears.
With the subtle approach having failed, Minerva resorts to attacking the Amazon as the Cheetah in order to rob her of the lasso. While Cheetah manages to gain the upper hand due to Diana's lack of experience with fighting powerful adversaries, their initial battle ends inconclusively as Diana's friend, Julia Kapatelis, shoots Cheetah and forces her to retreat.
Briefly returning to other pursuits, Minerva stole an ancient vase from Egypt and pursued Mayan artifacts in Mexico, where she misjudged her own strength as the Cheetah and angered the jaguar god Balum by killing a man, but was saved from death by Wonder Woman.
However, following the "Invasion" incident, Minerva used two alien invaders to steal the lasso from Diana.
Once it was in her possession, Minerva became obsessed with the history of it. Knowing that Diana would soon figure out that she and the Cheetah were one and the same person, she left Chuma to poison the princess as she herself followed an urging from the lasso to leave for Africa. Discovering the hidden city of Bana-Mighdall, Minerva follows the lasso to an altar where she finds and steals a Pyx.
When Diana pursues her, Minerva reverts to her human form but is unable to transform again due to one of the key plant ingredients dying off. Chuma informs her that the god Urtzkartaga perceived her pursuit of the lasso; a treasure of the Olympian Gods, as a betrayal in her loyalty to him and proclaims that the only way she will be healed is to kill both Diana and the Queen of Bana-Mighdall. Becoming Cheetah once more, Minerva kills the Queen and gets into a fierce battle with Diana in the midst of an assault by the Bana-Mighdall. As Chuma is killed by the Amazons, Minerva is defeated and imprisoned in Bana-Mighdall. Transforming her back into human form, Diana asks the Olympian god Hermes to help Minerva get rid of the addiction to Urzkartaga, but was unable to do so. When the Amazon city disappeared, Minerva was sent to England to recover and then locked up in Arkham Asylum.
In Arkham, Minerva was eventually visited by a servant of Circe’s who fed her a potion that let her become the Cheetah without need for the blood ritual, however, the potion's addictive drugs made her a slave to Circe. Wanting to be free of her enslavement, Minerva helped Diana free her mother from Circe's mind-wiping when the sorceress had captured the Amazon Queen and made her lead the Bana-Mighdall as their new Shim'tar.
As repayment for her aid, Diana saves Minerva's life during an adventure in the Balkan country of Pan Balgravia when the country's dictator, Baron Von Nastraed, chooses to aid a demon named Drax by capturing a powerful metahuman woman and using her body to carry the demon's bride, Barremargux. When the Baron captures Minerva for this purpose, Diana travels to the country to save her.
At the last moment, when Barremargux was about to enter the Earthly dimension, Minerva was freed before the crossing could be completed and, seeing no alternative for escape, she jumped through the dimensional gateway and closes it behind her.
While the Baron's plan was thwarted, Minerva was trapped within the demonic dimension until the Boston mob boss, Julianna Sazia, has scientists open the dimensional gateway to retrieve Minerva to serve her own ends. Predictably, Minerva double-crosses Julianna and chooses to aid Diana when the hero is caught in the mob war between Julianna and the mob boss Paulie Longo. When the White Magician arrived and attempted to send Diana into another dimension, Minerva jumped him and caused him to accidentally send himself and Minerva into the dimension instead. After coming back from the realm where he was trapped, the White Magician imprisoned Minerva and soon sacrificed her along with his lover, Cassandra Arnold, to keep his demonic form and battle Artemis; who was operating as the new Wonder Woman.
When Diana and Artemis faced him, the White Magician also summoned demonized versions of Minerva and Cassandra to his aid, however, Minerva and Cassandra were later teleported away from the fight by a temporarily amnesiac Circe; who had come to believe herself to be a friend of Diana's.
By the time the demon Neron began enticing various villains to empower them at the cost of their souls, Minerva had managed to lose her demonic appearance. When Neron approached her, Minerva asked that her only friend, Chuma, be revived. Hoping that Chuma could help her control her bloodlust as the Cheetah, the lose of her human soul caused her instead to succumb to the Cheetah's animalistic nature. Seeking help from Diana, Chuma lead Minerva to Gateway City where the Amazon managed to subdue her long enough for Chuma to restore her soul. A short time later, Sebastian Ballesteros, an Argentine business tycoon, usurped the title of Cheetah from Barbara after convincing Urzkartaga that a male Cheetah would be superior to a female.
Allying himself with Circe, Sebastian turned Wonder Woman's friend, Vanessa Kapatelis, into the Silver Swan and aided Circe in her attack on New York City. Angered at the loss of her powers, Barbara attempted to kill Sebastian by becoming temporary host of Tisiphone (one of the Furies), briefly stealing it from Helena Kosmatos, but failed in her initial attack. Some time later she managed to track and infiltrate Ballesteros' lair in Buenos Aires and, after killing Ballesteros and giving his blood to Urzkartaga as a sacrifice, regained her Cheetah powers.
With help from Zoom, Minerva attains a connection to the Speed Force after attacking Flash (Wally West) and murdering Priscilla Rich, who had previously went by the name Cheetah during World War II. Zoom and Minerva later joined the Secret Society of Super Villains formed by Alexander Luthor Jnr in the lead up to the Infinite Crisis incident, during which she aided the group capturing Catman and his gang and kill most of Uncle Sam’s Freedom Fighters team.
One year later, Circe enhances Minerva's powers by placing a spell on her that allows her to change her appearance from human to Cheetah without ill effects in addition to now able to control actual cheetahs. In exchange, Minerva confronted Donna Troy, who was posing as the new Wonder Woman, in an attempt to draw out Diana for Circe's scheme to steal her power.
Still an active member of the Society, Cheetah continues pursuing her own interests in archaeology while engaging Diana in combat when her whim takes her.
- Cheetah (Vendor)
- Cheetah (Hall of Doom)
- Cheetah (Tunnel of Lust)
- Cheetah (Gotham Under Siege)
- Cheetah (Legends PvP)
- Avaricious Cheetah
- Cheetah can be found with other magic users socializing in the Oblivion Bar.
- Cheetah is a playable character for Legends PvP.
- As a Meta Hero, the player will have to fight Cheetah to find Superman in the level 30 Hall of Doom mission.
- Cheetah can be encountered as one of the randomly given bosses in the Shady Nightclub duo.
- Cheetah appears in the Tunnel of Lust to confront Jacob but instead is seduced by his power and defends him from the New Heroes attempting to stop his Lust ritual.
- Cheetah is one of four random iconic villains who must be defeated by heroes in Gotham Under Siege.
- Cheetah appears as a vendor in the Magic Wing of the Hall of Doom.
- Cheetah must be talked to in the Gotham Wastelands for the Lust daily missions.
- Cheetah first appeared in Wonder Woman #6 (1943)
- Cheetah is voiced by Adriene Mishler.
- Although Minerva is British, she does not have a British accent in DC Universe Online.
- The first Cheetah was an actress named Priscilla Rich who suffered from an overwhelming inferiority complex and a split personality. While lacking any metahuman powers, she fought Wonder Woman (Hippolyta) in the 1940's before retiring from supervillainy. When Barbara arrived as the new Cheetah, Priscilla spoke out against her; holding interviews and publishing a book that condemned the new villainess.
- It is implied that Cheetah is in charge of overseeing the magical weapons in the Arcanum section of the Hall of Doom Armory. Calculator comments that the Society should recruit Klarion Bleak as well following the Halloween incident but also notes that Cheetah would not like "sharing her litter box" with anyone else.
- Cheetah is the first Speedster character to be featured as an avatar for Legends PvP.
- Cheetah competes with Ares and Circe in being regarded as Wonder Woman's arch nemesis, having been one of Diana's most persistent foes since her introduction.