Top 10 Wonder Woman Villains - 2019 Edition!

Rebirth has been very kind to Wonder Woman's rogues gallery. Classic foes like Blue Snowman and Mayfly resurfaced, while characters who haven't been seen in several decades like Zara and Eviless (now called Saturna) have finally reappeared. Even Wonder Woman's mythological foes like Echidna and the brothers Deimos and Phobos have benefited from appearances in the last few years. But here I'm going to discuss the current Top 10 Wonder Woman Villains.

10. Baroness Paula von Gunther

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The Baroness had been demoted off my 2017 list, but here she is back at #10. Not only does Von Gunther have the honor of being Wonder Woman's first true arch-nemesis, she also returned in a huge way in last year's Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 2. Her longevity as a Wonder Woman character, both villainous and as an ally to the Amazons, makes her a compelling addition to the heroine's cast of characters.

9. Silver Swan

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James Robinson's run was not well-received by fans or critics, and unfortunately, his choices in revitalizing Vanessa Kapatelis as the Silver Swan were among the criticisms. This fan much prefers Helen Alexandros (or even Valerie Beaudry), and it seems to be a case that many fans agree. This new Silver Swan arc killed off one of Wonder Woman's most historically prominent supporting characters, Julia Kapatelis. But one cannot ignore the impact that the Silver Swan moniker has had in the overall Wonder Woman lore, which why her place for the beginning of 2019 sits firmly at #9.

8. Doctor Psycho

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Doctor Psycho's rank drops significantly for this 2019 edition. Which is unfortunate, as he's one of Diana's darkest and most demented villains. Fortunately for Dr. Psycho fans, he has a fantastic role as a "modern con-man" in the aforementioned Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 2.

7. Giganta

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Along with Cheetah, Giganta is without a doubt the most instantly recognizable of Wonder Woman's rogues gallery. Unlike Cheetah, though, Giganta doesn't have the overall relevance throughout Wonder Woman's mythos. She has actually very few stories devoted to her. What's exciting, however, is that writer G. Willow Wilson has big plans for Giganta in her upcoming stories, so it's likely Giganta's ranking will increase.

6. Doctor Poison

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Doctor Poison's prominence has risen with her small but memorable role in the critically successful Wonder Woman film. This allowed her to get a boost in the comics, as well, where she's currently Colonel Poison. Many fans aren't too thrilled with the complete revamp of Dr. Poison, but hints of the classic mad scientist are still present with the character.

5. Veronica Cale

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If you had asked me five years ago what I thought of Veronica Cale, I'd have responded with an apathetic shrug. When Greg Rucka first created the character during his original run, she seemed to come off as a "forced archnemesis" and "lady Lex Luthor." Rebirth has done wonders for the character, giving her a compelling motivation and backstory. She has become one of Wonder Woman's best villains, and I look forward to seeing her in future stories.

4. Doctor Cyber

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Doctor Cyber was such a major antagonist throughout the 60's and 70's, and then mysteriously vanished from comics. You could probably count on one hand the amount of times she encountered Wonder Woman during the Post-Crisis era. But Rebirth came along and Doctor Cyber was completely altered. She now considers herself a digital goddess, a fantastic concept for a character steeped in traditional mythology. There are so many possibilities with this character, and I hope DC doesn't wait too long before bringing her back into the spotlight.

3. Ares

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I hesitate to even call Ares a villain anymore. Throughout the New 52 and the beginnings of Rebirth, Ares was portrayed as an ally to Diana rather than an enemy. However, he did have an interesting opening arc in G. Willow Wilson's run, so we will have to see where the comic version goes from here. Unfortunately, he also had a lackluster performance in the Wonder Woman film, where many critics felt he was the weakest aspect of the story. Still, he has a long history with Wonder Woman and retains his spot at #3.

2. Circe

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It's strange (and unfortunate) how little Circe has been used in the past few years. However, her stories as a villain are more plentiful than those with Ares, so she takes the second spot on the list. But I wouldn't be too surprised if Veronica Cale, Doctor Cyber, or Giganta overtakes them on the list with their appearances this year and beyond.

1. Cheetah

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This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone; Cheetah has benefited the most from Rebirth, more than any other villain. She now has a reason for despising Wonder Woman, something fans were aching for in times past. Her look is savage and predatory, and she has even hit it big with other members of the Legion of Doom in the Justice League series. And if that wasn't enough, the next Wonder Woman film features Cheetah in a leading role. The future is bright for this feline villainess!

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Top 10 Wonder Woman Villains - 2017 Edition!

Wonder Woman's first feature film releases today, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit Wonder Woman's Top 10 Villains! My original list was made in 2011, but plenty has happened in that time and many of Wonder Woman's villains have been revitalized during the current Rebirth era. So let us delve further into my most recent picks for Wonder Woman's Top 10 Villains!

10. Queen Clea

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At first glance, many might think Queen Clea should be an Aquaman foe rather than a Wonder Woman one. But Clea is such a fantastic dark parallel of Diana. Clea despises men and believes they should serve women as slaves. As an Atlantean, she also possesses physical attributes that rival Wonder Woman's amazonian powers, particularly when Clea wields the Trident of Poseidon (which she's rarely seen without). Queen Clea is most notable in the Wonder Woman mythos for forming and leading the second Villainy, Inc., though in the Post-Crisis universe, she actually founded the group back in the 1940's instead of Eviless.

9. Veronica Cale

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Greg Rucka's pet character, Veronica Cale, was a bit lackluster during her first encounters with Wonder Woman back in the early 2000's, but when Rucka returned to the series in 2016 for Rebirth, he breathed new life into this supposed "female Lex Luthor." Veronica has been fully realized as a character during Rebirth, despising Wonder Woman for making it seem "easy" to be a successful woman. Not only that, but she needs the answer to the location of Themyscira so that she can get the soul of her daughter back from the evil gods Deimos and Phobos. She is instrumental in Barbara Ann's transformation into the Cheetah, sabotaging the archaeologist when she needed her best friend Wonder Woman most of all. These moments have cemented Veronica Cale as a major foe for Wonder Woman, and going forward it will be very interesting to see if she plays a long-lasting role with Greg Rucka gone.

8. Medusa

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Wonder Woman's greatest enemies have always been women who have been scorned in some way or another. Medusa is a perfect example of this: cursed by the very gods that Wonder Woman worships and protects, particularly Athena, who is often Wonder Woman's patron deity. While Medusa hasn't been seen as frequently as some of the other villains on this list, when she does appear... it's pretty major. Probably Medusa's biggest encounter with Wonder Woman was during the storyline Eyes of the Gorgon, where Medusa planned to turn millions of people to stone through a television broadcast. The resulting battle with Wonder Woman left the villainess destroyed, but at the cost of Wonder Woman's sight as the amazon had to blind herself to win. Although I would personally love to see a story that showcases a more sympathetic version of Medusa, one that Wonder Woman is possibly able to win over with compassion.

7. Doctor Poison

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Have you ever wanted to see Wonder Woman fight Doctor Mengele? Well, she basically has a female version in her rogues gallery: Doctor Poison. This demented scientist delights in dissecting creatures and finding out what makes them tick. But her specialty, of course, is poison. The villainess first appeared in the 40's as an ally to the Nazis. In fact, she was the first villain Wonder Woman ever fought! She wasn't used after Marston's death until writer Eric Luke brought her back in his run, possibly even more sick than before. The character was also recently revived by Greg Rucka during Rebirth, working as a mercenary for Veronica Cale alongside her agents in Team Poison. But her biggest claim to fame has to be her role in the Wonder Woman film where she plays one of the main villains.

6. Silver Swan

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Three women have taken the Silver Swan codename. The first (and arguably best) was Helen Alexandros, a homely young ballet dancer who was filled with rage for the way society had treated her. She prayed to the god Ares, which granted her great powers in exchange for her loyalty, as well as a mission to kill Wonder Woman. The second was Valerie Beaudry, a disfigured woman who was surgically made beautiful by her husband, only for him to use her as a weapon in his exploits. The third was Vanessa Kapatelis, one of Wonder Woman's closest friends who had felt abandoned by the amazon after she had moved away for several years. Each of the Silver Swans possessed flight, superhuman strength and durability that rivaled Wonder Woman's own, as well as a piercing sonic shriek. The character is one of the few villains not created by the original Wonder Woman writer, William Moulton Marston, that continues to be used today. Her most recent appearance was in the series Wonder Woman '77, based on the 70's television series.

5. Doctor Psycho

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One of the scariest villains Wonder Woman has faced, Doctor Psycho is arguably more frightening than Doctor Poison. He utterly despises women for the way they have rejected him for his height, so naturally he wants nothing more than to humiliate, degrade, and kill Wonder Woman. His ability to create illusions hasn't always worked against Wonder Woman, but he often uses these horrifying nightmares to torment her friends and allies. In some incarnations of the character, it is explained that his obsession with Wonder Woman is because of a deep love he feels for the amazon, which makes it all the more creepy.

4. Giganta

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After Cheetah, Giganta is the most iconic of all of Wonder Woman's rogues. The animated series Challenge of the Superfriends is largely responsible for this. But sadly, Giganta doesn't have as fleshed out motivations as many of the other villains on the list. But despite this, it's always a good time to see Wonder Woman duking it out with Giganta when the giantess is the size of a skyscraper. This bruiser has been around since the 40's, and was considered by creator Marston to be one of her core rogues, including her in the group Villainy, Inc. Like the majority of Wonder Woman's foes, Giganta disappeared for several years until she was brought back by John Byrne, and later fleshed out by Phil Jimenez. Unfortunately, we still have yet to see a defining Giganta story, but I feel like it's coming. She's too iconic of a villain for it not to be.

3. Ares

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Wonder Woman's top three villains are often debated upon; here, I have placed Ares, the god of war. Many fans believe Ares to be her arch-foe, but the source material just doesn't back that claim. Ares is rarely a straight-up villain, and I think he's a better villain for that reason. Greg Rucka's first depiction of Ares was sly and manipulative, pulling the strings of those around him. That depiction works best for me, but there are other writers who make him a hulking bruiser, or even not an enemy whatsoever (such as in the New 52). Regardless, Ares has been around since the 40's (then called Mars), and his ideology is the polar opposite of Wonder Woman's peace-driven ways. As with all of Wonder Woman's rogues, Ares needs a lot of work, and I'm sure with his prevalence in the Wonder Woman film, there will be a push to elevate his villain stature in the comics. I consider Ares to be Wonder Woman's Darkseid, Thanos, or Apocalypse.

2. Circe

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Unlike the other villains on this list, Circe has accomplished some extraordinary feats over the years. She is responsible for both the War of the Gods and Amazons Attack (both critical bombs in terms of fan reception, but major storylines nonetheless). None of Wonder Woman's other rogues have reached that level of mass villainy, not even Ares. While Circe's motivations haven't always been as clear or as interesting as they could be, she controls the powers of Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, and is notable for being one of DC's most powerful female villains. Let's just hope that DC never undermines her powers as they did in the 90's, where she joined Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang. That was just bad. But in many ways, Circe is Wonder Woman's Brainiac, Ra's al Ghul, or Loki.

1. Cheetah

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The number one spot once again belongs to Cheetah. As if having the most outside media appearances wasn't enough, Rebirth has given Barbara Ann Minerva a huge push as a character, reintroducing the character as Diana's best friend when she travels to "man's world." This brings a brand new level of personal interaction between the two characters. Ann blames Diana for what had happened to her (unbeknownst to her, it was Veronica Cale who sabotaged her mission). The recent years have also been kind to Cheetah with her role in the fighting game Injustice 2 as a playable character. I could rattle off all of her media accomplishments, but you might as well just check out her Wikipedia page. Cheetah is the personal connection villain akin to Joker (or Two-Face), Lex Luthor, or Magneto.

Honorable Mentions

Those who just barely missed the list: Doctor Cyber, the Duke of Deception, Baroness von Gunther, Deimos, Phobos, Eris, Angle Man, and Devastation.

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Top 10 Wonder Woman Villains

A lot of superheroes are known for their vastly interesting rogues' galleries.  However, Wonder Woman often gets the short end of the stick, despite having great villains of her own.  Here's a look at my own personal top 10 Wonder Woman villains and enemies:

10.) Baroness von Gunther

The Baroness
The Baroness

Wonder Woman's first recurring enemy was none other than female Nazi spy, Baroness Paula von Gunther.  A crafty individual with an array of gadgets and gizmos that enabled her to escape Wonder Woman's clutches on numerous occasions, the Baroness is a perfect example of what Wonder Woman sets out to do: redeem her enemies.  The Baroness was a seemingly heartless Nazi agent, but everybody has reasons for their actions, and Wonder Woman discovered the Baroness': her daughter, Gerta, was held captive by the Nazis and she was ordered to do their bidding.  Wonder Woman, the noble heroine that she is, immediately went to the aid of Gerta von Gunther, rescuing her from the Nazis and convincing The Baroness to turn over a new leaf.  She joined the Amazons on Paradise Island, becoming their chief scientist and being known simply as "Paula."  Baroness von Gunther proves that Wonder Woman has the ability to inspire even the vilest and most evil criminals to become better people.


9.) The Duke of Deception

 The Duke of Deception
 The Duke of Deception
One of Wonder Woman's earliest and most persistent enemies, the Duke of Deception was one of Ares's chief lieutenants on the planet Mars.  The embodiment of deceit and trickery, Deception was a key figure in World War II, spreading his lies throughout the countries and inciting war between nations.  Once Wonder Woman interfered, the Duke found himself defeated, and not even his phantasms could stop her.  Ares (then called Mars), disappointed in Deception, imprisoned him with a bunch of female slaves.  Deception, clever as he was, manipulated the women into siding with him, overthrowing Mars and his allies and taking over the planet.  The Duke of Deception later deceived his own daughter, Lya, when she tried to overthrow him, proving Deception to be one of Wonder Woman's cleverest villains.  Deception appeared throughout the Silver Age in various incarnations, such as an alien and a handsome God (though he was usually depicted as a shriveled old man, he used his powers to make himself look much more attractive than he truly was), and was recently modernized as a member of Circe's army of supervillains.





8.) Medousa

Medousa
Medousa
A figure straight out of Greek Mythology, Medousa (or Medusa) proved that Wonder Woman's villains can be truly epic.  First appearing to battle Wonder Woman briefly in the 90's, Medousa skyrocketed to the top ten during Greg Rucka's run of Wonder Woman, where Medousa's sisters, Euryale and Stheno, joined forces with Poseidon and Circe to resurrect Medousa after she had been slain by Perseus.  The Gorgon, once revived, sought out to kill Wonder Woman for revenge against Athena, who had turned Medousa and her sisters into the monsters they had become.  Medousa stormed through the Themysciran Embassy, turning one of Wonder Woman's friends' sons to stone in the process.  An enraged Wonder Woman later fought Medousa in a baseball stadium on live television.  Her motivation was grand: turn everyone who watches the television broadcast to stone.  Wonder Woman blinded herself with one of Medousa's snakes, but even blind, continued on to decapitate the Gorgon in a similar manner to Perseus.  Medousa later came back to haunt Wonder Woman and her allies as they traveled through the Underworld.





7.) Doctor Cyber

Doctor Cyber
Doctor Cyber

Prominently featured in the Silver Age, Doctor Cyber is essentially Wonder Woman's token insanely intelligent (or intelligently insane?) super-villain.  Her Lex Luthor, if you will.  During an encounter with a depowered Diana Prince, Doctor Cyber suffered injuries that scarred and deformed her face.  She vowed to get revenge on Wonder Woman for taking her beauty away with a scheme: to switch bodies with Wonder Woman.  Then, she'd have the perfect body to go with her perfect mind.  Her claim to fame and the reason for her placing number seven on the top ten is simple: she murdered Steve Trevor.








6.) Giganta

Giganta
Giganta
Despite not being used for the majority of DC Comics' history, Giganta made a splash when she first appeared in the animated series, Superfriends.  Sure, she had been used before then as a recurring Golden Age foe of Wonder Woman, but Superfriends marked the most prominent appearances of Giganta until the 2000's.  In the 40's, Giganta was an evolved ape who had joined the Holliday Girls and later caused a ruckus for Wonder Woman.  In the Silver Age, Giganta was brought back and rebooted as an evolved ape in love with Steve Trevor.  The modern Giganta is Doris Zuel, a mad scientist who, like Doctor Cyber, wanted to switch her handicapped body with someone more useful.  Although Diana wasn't available, Doris used a circus strongwoman named Olga, who for some reason had the magical ability to grow in size up to fifty feet.  In Olga's body, Doris took on the name Giganta, and was first seen among an army of female criminals banded together by Circe.  She later joined Villainy, Inc. (like the Golden Age version did before her), and battled Wonder Woman for control of Skartaris.  After a while, Giganta fell in love with superhero Ryan Choi, the new Atom.  She thought Choi could be the one to turn her over to a new leaf, but he was killed by one of his enemies.  Giganta later joined the Secret Six, working with Ryan Choi's murderer and later getting revenge.  Giganta places number six on this list because, besides Cheetah, she's the most visually recognizable villain that Wonder Woman has to offer.





5.) Silver Swan

Silver Swan
Silver Swan
A legacy villainess who has had three incarnations: the bitter ballet dancer Helen Alexandros, the disfigured mutant Valerie Beaudry, and the scorned best friend Vanessa Kapatelis.  Helen Alexandros was the Silver Age Silver Swan, a homely young dancer who had wanted the lead in her troupe's Swan Lake.  However, she was passed over because of her acne-ridden face in favor for a woman more conventionally beautiful.  Helen, named after Helen of Troy, begged to the Gods for help.  Only one God answered her: Ares.  Ares offered Helen the ability to become a beautiful maiden called the Silver Swan, named after the form Zeus had taken to impregnate Leda with Helen of Troy.  Helen Alexandros used her dual identity to find out Wonder Woman's very own dual identity as Diana Prince.  She became Diana and Etta's roommate, all the while plotting to kill Wonder Woman so that she could stay the Silver Swan forever.  Unfortunately, the Silver Swan lost her battle against Wonder Woman, and was forced to return to her mousy appearance.  The second Silver Swan, Valerie Beaudry, was mutated from radiation.  She had somehow found herself married to an abusive man who used his wealth and technology to turn her into a living weapon.  Wonder Woman eventually convinced Valerie to break free from her husband and the Silver Swan persona.  The third SIlver Swan, Vanessa Kapatelis, was Wonder Woman's trusted friend who was manipulated by Doctor Psycho and Circe into becoming the Swan.  Resenting Wonder Woman for choosing Cassandra Sandsmark as Wonder Girl and not Vanessa, she messed with Diana's head until her inevitable recovery.  Each of the Silver Swans possessed formidable abilities: a massive sonic scream able to level cities, superhuman strength, and a degree of durability.





4.) Doctor Psycho

 Doctor Psycho
 Doctor Psycho
A misogynistic little man who is against everything Wonder Woman stands for.  Doctor Psycho is the only villain who can truly get inside Wonder Woman's head and discover her vulnerabilities.  He has consistently fought against Wonder Woman since the 1940's, using his illusions and manipulations to make life for Wonder Woman a living Hell.  Wonder Woman eventually overcame Doctor Psycho's illusions, using her lasso of truth, but that didn't stop Psycho from seeking out Wonder Woman's loved ones and causing them harm.  He also often allies himself with other major Wonder Woman villains, such as Circe, Cheetah, and Giganta.  In the current Wonder Woman comics, it's revealed that the reason Psycho does these horrendous things to Wonder Woman is out of love for her.  He feels it is the only way to be in her life.  He definitely takes the cake for being the most depraved, deranged villain in Wonder Woman's rogues gallery, making him the number four best villain.





3.) Circe

 Circe
 Circe
Another of many mythological enemies that Wonder Woman has faced, Circe is perhaps the most powerful, though also the most confusing.  Circe originally started out as a villain who despised Wonder Woman because she thought she'd steal Hecate's powers for herself.  Being a greedy Goddess that she was, Circe of course did not want that to happen.  Her hatred led to the War of the Gods, one of the biggest crossovers that focused on Wonder Woman.  She later died on numerous occasions and came back on numerous occasions.  Why is she number three on the list, you might ask?  Well, certainly due to prominence.  Although her history is riddled with confusion, she has been a major adversary of Wonder Woman's since her first appearance.  She was given a huge push in the 90's to make her Wonder Woman's Joker or Lex Luthor, but it didn't stick.  She still plays a major role in Wonder Woman, but not enough to make her the top Wonder Woman villain of all time.





2.) Ares

Ares
Ares
Wonder Woman's primary foe in the Golden Age and the reason for Wonder Woman even existing, Ares is the second best Wonder Woman villain of all time.  In the Golden and Silver Ages, Ares was known as Mars, the God of War who resided on, yep, you guessed it, the planet Mars.  The modern Ares (vastly more interesting) hasn't been used as frequently as Circe, leaving some mystery to the powerful villain.  He is best represented as a behind-the-scenes villain, one who uses his minions like the Duke of Deception, Silver Swan, Deimos, Phobos, the Crimson Centipede, etc. for his bidding.  His power level, possibly higher or possibly lower than Circe's, is vague, but one thing is certain: Wonder Woman usually has to talk her way out of a confrontation with Ares.  Power isn't everything, though, and Ares doesn't have the best track record, such as his last encounter with Wonder Woman which left him with an axe in his head.






1.) Cheetah

Cheetah
Cheetah
Three women and one man have taken the name of Cheetah, and each one has been vicious, relentless, and dangerous to Wonder Woman.  The first Cheetah was schizophrenic socialite Priscilla Rich, who had suffered from an inferiority complex that left her conjuring up "The Cheetah," a huntress who had her sights on her prey: Wonder Woman.  She couldn't stand the attention that Wonder Woman received while her own accomplishments during World War II went unnoticed, and it drove her insane.  She had several opportunities to kill the Amazon Princess, but didn't, obviously, as that would've ended the series.  Instead, Cheetah opted to toy with her, framing her for theft.  Priscilla, crafty and quick, even managed to steal Hippolyte's magic girdle, enabling her to combat Wonder Woman physically.  Wonder Woman attempted to redeem Cheetah after several defeats, but Priscilla Rich escaped each time.  Her niece, activist Deborah Domaine, became the second Cheetah, after she was mind-wiped by Kobra.  The modern version of Cheetah is Barbara Minerva, a famous archaeologist who despises Wonder Woman.  She became the Cheetah after a cannibalistic ritual in which she devoured her close friend Tom Leavens.  It gave her the power of the cat God, Urzkartaga, and made her Wonder Woman's most formidable enemy.  Recently, Cheetah has been given a power increase after killing the original, Priscilla Rich.  Her speed is almost on par with the Flash, making her a huge threat.  Briefly, a fourth Cheetah surfaced, a man named Sebastian Ballesteros.  He was later killed by Barbara Minerva.  Some may argue that Cheetah is not Wonder Woman's number one villain, but four dangerous incarnations, an appearance in the pop-culture series Superfriends, and several appearances outside of the Wonder Woman book makes her the top Wonder Woman villain of all time.


Honorable mentions should go to: Angle Man, Doctor Poison, Queen Clea, Blue Snowman, Hercules, White Magician, Veronica Cale, Hades, Maxwell Lord, Genocide, and The Morrigan.
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