Top 8 Potential Wonder Woman 2 Villains
Welcome, one and all, to the 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! I’m your host Jeremy Thomas and as always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the top eight selections of that particular category. Keep in mind that this list is meant to be my personal opinion and not a definitive list. You’re free to disagree; you can even say my list is wrong, but stating that an opinion is “wrong” is just silly. With that in mind, let’s get right in to it!
Wonder Woman has saved the DC Extended Universe! Well, okay…maybe not that far. But it’s hard to deny that Patty Jenkins’ film is being viewed as a big turning point for the DCEU right now. With a $103.3 million opening weekend and incredibly positive reaction from both critics and fans, Wonder Woman has gotten DC’s film franchise off the ropes for the moment and given it some forward momentum after the first few profitable but critically divisive entries. As such, it would seem that (unless an incredibly improbable crash in successive weeks happens) a second film will be in the outing, which Jenkins has said she’s very much down for. In honor of that, I thought this week we would look at who might best serve as a villain in the film.
Caveat: No major caveat here, except to say that I was looking at characters who are known primarily as parts of Wonder Woman’s rogues’ gallery. Diana has crossed paths with almost every major villain in the DC comics universe, but I wanted to focus on ones who were recognized most strongly with her. In terms of ranking, I was interested in which characters would work best in the DCEU as already established and could be introduced and presented as a major villain within one film.
Just Missing the Cut
• Silver Swan
• Red Panzer/Baron Blitzkrieg (For a World War II era sequel)
#8: Morgaine Le Fay
First on our list is someone who didn’t start off as a Wonder Woman villain, instead appearing as an enemy of Etrigan in The Demon. But while Morgaine Le Fay began by opposing the demonic antihero and Batman, she moved on to become a major thorn in Diana’s side. Based on the sorceress from Arthurian legend, Morgaine is a skilled practitioner of the Black Arts whose quest for immortality initially led her to try and steal Wonder Woman’s life force in order to preserve her youth and she has been an enemy of the Amazon ever since. Morgaine is a classic villain of magical origin which makes her perfect for Diana, who has helped open up the deific (and thus the mystical) into the DC Extended Universe. She is also an opportunity for DC Films to right the magical ship after Enchantress in Suicide Squad was disappointing to some. Magic is a difficult thing to get correctly in superhero films but so are gods, and with Wonder Woman pulling off the latter I would like to see the franchise tackle the former as well.
Before we get started here, I should be clear: I don’t think Giganta would make a particularly good primary villain for a sequel. While the character is important in Wonder Woman’s rogue’s gallery, she lacks the prestige of some of Diana’s biggest foes. That being said, Giganta is one of the heroine’s longest-running villains and to most fans of Diana it would be sad for her to never appear. Doris Zuel was a brilliant scientist who came down with a rare and fatal disease. In her desperation, she turned to evil and kidnapped Wonder Woman in order to switch bodies with her. It didn’t work of course, but she gained the ability to grow in size (after being in a gorilla’s body for a while). She has, of course, returned to threaten Diana and her allies ever since. Giganta won’t really suffice for a primary villain, but as a foe in an early scene or the like for an action scene she would be great and I’d like to see her get a brief chance to show her strength before getting beaten and sent off to jail (and a possible Suicide Squad cameo or appearance).
Strife (or Eris, if you prefer) may not be the first person to come to people’s minds as a Wonder Woman villain, but I think she would be fantastic as a threat to Diana. The daughter of Hera and the Greek goddess of (obviously) strife and discord, the Strife-specific persona was created by Brian Azzarello for the New 52 and has been an occasional ally for Diana, but most often a problem for her. Diana’s half-sister loves sowing chaos among her family and that has included everything from playing Diana against Apollo for the throne of Zeus to invading Themyscira and getting the Amazons to fight each other, which led to the deaths of several of the islanders. Of course, Ares is said to have destroyed all of the Greek gods in Wonder Woman but I have little doubt that some of them will come back, either escaping from Hades or having gone into hiding, because her mythological roots are a huge part of Diana’s character. Strife affects emotion and with Ares out of the way, she stands as a the most direct oppositional force on a metaphysical level to Diana’s quest for peace.
#5: Dr. Psycho
While Strife is a metaphysical opposite to what Diana represents, Dr. Psycho takes that to a new extreme in every other way. One of Wonder Woman’s earliest heroes, Edgar Cizko is a misogynistic psychopath who has powers of mind control, making him the perfect foil for a physically and morally strong champion. Putting Diana against a physically powerful foe certainly has its benefits, but a character like Psycho allows for someone who doesn’t have to attack Diana where she’s strongest. While he’s often been portrayed as a goofier sort of bad guy — he’s a dwarf hypnotist who hates women for stereotypical reasons — he is also a person who could absolutely shine if given the proper spin. Mind control is something that Diana isn’t quite as prepared for as if someone comes at her with weapons or godly power, and it would make for a potentially interesting struggle. Most of the character’s basics can be kept and just a few minor changes made to make him the kind of major villain that would be worthy of a Wonder Woman sequel, especially considering what he represents on a metatextual level.
#4: Maxwell Lord
DC loves pitting its superheroes against corporate types, and some of those immoral businessmen prove to be their rivals’ most iconic heroes. Maxwell Lord is a good example of that, essentially serving as Wonder Woman’s own personal Lex Luthor, and with Jessie Eisenberg’s Lex not being one of the most well-received parts of Batman V Superman the door is open for Lord to step through and carve a place of his own in the DCEU. Lord began depicted as a good man within the DC Universe, a successful businessman who decided to help bankroll a new Justice League. After falling under the influence of Kilg%re, Lord’s sociopathic streak came out and he attempted to take over the world. He eventually gained the ability to control minds and gained a strong hatred of superbeings after his mother was destroyed as collateral damage from a superpowered battle. Lord was stopped only when Wonder Woman was forced to snap his neck as he used his mental powers to threaten the world. While Lord may ultimately serve better as an overall Justice League villain, that franchise will be tied up with Darkseid for a while and he could certainly find a place to at least get his start in Diana’s franchise.
Obviously, the same caveat applies here as with Strife; while the gods were said to have been destroyed by Ares in Wonder Woman, there’s little doubt in my mind that they’ll be brought back in some capacity. With the first film using Diana’s New 52-style origin of believing she was made of clay but learning that she’s Zeus’ daughter, it would seem a natural fit to bring Hera in as her next big enemy. In Azzarello’s run of Wonder Woman, Hera’s mythological enmity toward the Zeus’ other lovers comes into play and she sets her sights on Diana and Hippolyta both. Hera makes an intriguing villain, a woman who was wronged by her husband and who, despite her villainous actions, has several shades of grey to her character. Mythology is a key to what makes Wonder Woman who she is and Hera is one her greatest deific enemies; it would tie Diana into the ideas of legacy and create some interesting moral conflicts as she tries to stand against whatever machinations Hera may set out upon.
Few of Wonder Woman’s villains are more interesting as Cheetah to me. Born Barbara Ann Minerva, Cheetah was an archaeologist who came across a cult who worshipped a deity known as Urzkartaga. Seduced by the promise of power, she sacrifices a comrade to Urzkartaga in order to gain the power of the cheetah, only to find that such power is a curse. She came into conflict with Diana soon enough and tried to steal the Lasso of Truth, which turned them into longtime enemies. Cheetah is a formidable villain on every level for Diana; she is smart, powerful and deadly, and in some incarnations has a rather tragic bent to her backstory. In some versions, she was friends with Diana before she gained her curse and, when she is not under the curse’s sway, serves as an ally to Diana. As one of the character’s most well-known adversaries, she has to be considered a top choice for a villain in the next film.
While Wonder Woman has a host of great possible villains, none are as clearly obvious a choice as Circe. The sorceress has all of the right components to be a threat to Diana and fulfills many of the qualities that the previous entries hold. She has Morgaine La Fey’s magical prowess and a touch of Strife and Hera’s mythological reference, being the daughter of two Titans (and thus not necessarily a contradiction to Ares’ story). Her first conflict with Diana comes when she believes her to be part of a prophecy in order to gain power and tried to kill her to bring it to pass. Circe has been a big threat throughout the entire DC universe, known for transforming men into animals (a reference to her Odyssian mythological counterpart) and has teamed up with other supervillains, though she has never been anything approaching a “sidekick” for any of them. She is Wonder Woman’s most dangerous opponent without question and with the first film a rousing success, giving her a go in the sequel seems to be almost a no-brainer.
And that will do it for us this week! Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Until then, have a good week and don’t forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! JT out.
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