Cheetah was a genetically-modified human and criminal.
Cheetah was a research scientist, exploring the possibilities of enhancing human capabilities with animal characteristics. Excited by the potential of her research, but without sufficient funding to continue, she was forced to use herself as a test subject, and transformed herself into a human-cheetah hybrid. She hoped to prove the value of her work, but instead made herself an outcast, and turned to crime as a source of continued funding.
Batman described her as a person so devoted to her work that she was willing to give up her humanity for it; despite this, she is still insecure over her transformation and resents her outcast status.
Lex Luthor recruited Cheetah as a member of his Injustice Gang to destroy the Justice League. In their first attempt, Cheetah masqueraded as a hostage being held by Ultra-Humanite and then attacked when Batman was lured too close to her. The Gang scored a success when Batman followed them to their hideout and was knocked out by Joker.
Luthor assigned the Gang members to guard Batman in shifts. When Cheetah's turn came, she unexpectedly found herself sharing the story of her life with Batman, who was a sympathetic listener. Succumbing to a rush of attraction, she leaned in and planted a deep kiss on him. Later, when someone from the Gang called the League to warn them about a bomb Luthor had planted in the Watchtower, Luthor reviewed the hideout's surveillance cameras, saw the kiss, and ordered her taken away (though the traitor was later revealed to be the Humanite). Grundy dragged her away, presumably to be killed, but she was later seen in police custody with the rest of the gang, meaning she somehow escaped.
A few years later, Cheetah was seen along with Copperhead, Blockbuster and KGBeast robbing a gold vault when the Justice League apprehended them. She battled Wonder Woman and was knocked out. Before the League could deliver them to the police, they were banished to another dimension by Mordred. Morgaine Le Faye showed up and after Mordred was stopped, it was assumed that the villains were likewise returned to the normal world.
She later joined Grodd's Legion of Doom. Cheetah participated in the attack on Gorilla City but was defeated by Wonder Woman. There, she sided with Luthor against Grodd during the mutiny and she also helped the Justice League in the final battle against Darkseid. She was last seen fleeing the Metro Tower along with the other surviving members of the Legion.
Powers and abilities
Due to genetic alteration of her DNA, Cheetah possessed several cat-like abilities. Of these are enhanced strength, speed, and agility. She also possessed highly advanced senses. She also utilized a prehensile tail and razor sharp claws. The Cheetah was also a gifted biogeneticist as she was responsible for the mutation in her biological makeup.
There have been four incarnations of Cheetah in DC Comics, all of whom usually appear as an adversary of Wonder Woman. The first two, Priscilla Rich and Deborah Domaine, were human women who merely donned cheetah costumes.
The animated Cheetah is loosely based on the third, Barbara Ann Minerva, though her life history is significantly altered. In the comics, Minerva is a British anthropologist partially disabled by a car crash, who acquires her powers through mysticism. Using her family's substantial fortune, she tracks down a lost tribe in Africa that uses the cheetah as its guardian totem, and gets them to perform a ritual that transforms her, believing it would grant her immortality. Her new state is something of a Jekyll-and-Hyde state, as she experiences severe pain while in human form, and bloodthirst when transformed into cheetah form.
Here, the animated Cheetah has acquired her powers through splicing, and her cat-like state is constant.
Cheetah was originally supposed to be killed near the end of "Injustice For All", but due to an error she was shown alive at the end after the Injustice Gang had been defeated. She therefore appeared in subsequent episodes of Justice League Unlimited.
- "Initiation" (Cameo on file photo)
- "Kid Stuff"
- "I Am Legion" (Cameo)
- "Dead Reckoning" (Cameo)
- "The Great Brain Robbery" (Cameo)
- "Alive!" (Cameo)
- "Destroyer" (Cameo)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Justice League, "Injustice For All, Part II"
- ↑ Justice League, "Injustice For All, Part I"
- ↑ Justice League Unlimited, "Kid Stuff".
- ↑ Idem, "I Am Legion"
- ↑ Idem, "Alive!"
- ↑ Idem, "Destroyer"
“ It was a mistake — she was supposed to be dead — the implication being that Grundy '[pulled] a Lenny' on her.
Well, my co-producer James Tucker kept saying we should bring her back, [and] I kept saying, 'No, she's dead, she has ceased to be, she is an ex-Cheetah,' and, lo and behold, someone pointed out that she was in the paddy wagon — all in one piece, apparently still breathing — at the end of "Injustice for All". D'oh!
So, James got his wish: she'll be back in Justice League Unlimited. Don't know how she got away from Grundy, though.
— Bruce Timm