Wonder Woman continues to draw rave reviews, garnering success on both a critical and financial level, winning over fans due to several factors. Its story and cinematography regarding the origins of Diana of Themyscira charting forth into the world of mankind to become Wonder Woman all hit the right notes. The movie also became the first female-fronted film of the modern comic book movie era, and appears to have repaired the fractured relationship the DCEU had with fans, who found their stance was too violent and bleak. Director Patty Jenkins, along with Gal Gadot as the lead and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, brought the warmth in droves to a period-piece war movie.
That said, it did well as a war movie because there was a sense of chemical terrorism and dread in Doctor Poison, making weapons for the Germans in World War I, as well as with Ares who was manipulating mankind, harnessing their innate desire to kill. These villains pushed Diana to the limit and eventually saw her ascend close to godhood as Zeus’ daughter, with Ares feeling similar to Zod from Man of Steel. With Jenkins seemingly having a handle on her villains, fans are eager to see who’s up next, so CBR decided to analyze 15 highly despicable candidates!
WARNING: The following article may contain spoilers for the Wonder Woman movie!
Giganta is exactly the kind of powerhouse we need for Diana to go up against in a sequel. In the comics, Dr. Doris Zeul had no choice but to transfer her consciousness into the body of Olga, a circus-freak who could increase her size, after a dying Zeul failed to transfer her mind into Diana’s body. This sent her into a fit of shame and eventually rage, leading to a red-hot hatred for Wonder Woman.
The villain was found in comic book cabals such as the Injustice League in “Salvation Run,” as well as in Libra’s Society during “Final Crisis.” Her desire to prove herself as a credible threat (which she is) has led to her often going after Wonder Woman to prove who’s stronger. Giganta’s brute strength and relentless appetite for chaos could echo what Ares brought to the table in Jenkins’ first film.
Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman’s most popular enemies and fans are eager to see Barbara Ann Minvera adopt this mantle to hunt down the Amazon princess. After a mystical transformation into the feral villain, Barbara has often tried to prey on Diana using her superhuman strength and speed, not just for game, but also for things like her magic lasso. More often than not, it comes down to Cheetah’s ego, though.
The New 52 revised her character as a relic hunter who was even able to turn Superman into a Cheetah-like being. However, Jenkins could look at the New 52 for inspiration, which reimagined her as an archaeologist transformed by a cult. She was even given even closer ties to Diana, injecting even more tension due to their emotional connection as friends. We’d love to see this fracture happen and push Gadot’s character to the limit.
Hera was Zeus’ wife in both Greek mythology and in DC Comics, which gives Jenkins the opportunity to paint her as a rejected and dejected lover. She was vengeful in Greek mythology due to Zeus’ promiscuity and knack for making demigod kids everywhere, so Hera could turn an evil eye towards Diana and the Amazons in this sequel.
Imagine if Ares was her son in the movie and it gets revealed that she goaded him into rebelling and slaughtering the pantheon of gods. Finding out Zeus had plans for Amazons to safeguard mankind and also fight off Ares’ lust for war could have been ascertained early on by Hera, triggering her into a long-winded plot to make her husband pay. The fact that he and Hippolyta also had Diana should make Hera even angrier when the time comes for her to strike back. Hell hath no fury like a Hera scorned!
Forget men, gods and monsters. Why not throw Wonder Woman up against a killer android who can adapt to any battle scenario or foe that he’s facing? Enter Amazo! In fact, it would be even cooler if a female Amazo were used — one who could also duplicate powers, which would effectively see Diana facing off against her polar opposite. Seriously, Wonder Woman versus a dark and dirty Diana would make for amazing cinema!
Amazo was created by Professor Ivo, who was obsessed with immortality. This means that we could get another sci-fi experiment gone awry, which the DCEU should have no issue with. We’ve seen him on the animated front a lot, fighting off the Justice League using their combined powers, so it’s about time he was brought to the masses to make the likes of I, Robot, Chappie and RoboCop look like child’s play.
11. THE FIRST BORN
The First Born is the first child of Zeus and Hera, cast out from Mount Olympus at birth because it was foretold he would raze Zeus’ empire. Surviving this exile, in the wilderness he fell in with hyenas and honed his power via this animal instinct. He set out to catch his father’s eye, eventually growing aggressive and deciding to march on Olympus.
Another fallen son besides Ares could be repetitive, but in the books, he was so powerful, Diana needed help from Orion, one of the New Gods, to defeat this enemy who once held a Boom Tube open. Imagine him taking over as the new God of War in Jenkins’ movies! His rabid nature, ferocity and vindictiveness make him an even bigger threat than Ares, which could force Diana towards a more violent route, a la how Superman and Zod went at it in Man of Steel.
In Greek mythology, Eris catalyzed the Trojan War, cementing her role as the goddess of strife and discord. In the comics, she’s usually busy hatching violent schemes, driven mostly by her hatred for Hippolyta and Diana. This created a hunger to exact vengeance on the duo by hurting mankind. Earlier incarnations of the character even depicted her as Ares’ daughter, fueling up on hate to usurp her father. Following his death in Wonder Woman, Eris as a secret daughter seeking revenge would be perfect for Jenkins.
The director could also dissect the New 52 where Eris was retconned as Wonder Woman’s half-sister via Zeus, and written as a petulant drunk. She manipulated mankind to cause confusion, paranoia, chaos, and of course, warfare — which offers a familiar angle to explore. Eris also has the ability to alter her size, which Jenkins could fashion like Bryan Singer did with his take on Apocalypse.
Circe is a dark sorceress and one of Diana’s most potent foes in in terms of magic use. She’s jealous of Diana’s looks, power and the respect she commands. While that sounds sexist and petty, in action, a better and more appropriate way to describe her would be to say that she’s the female equivalent of the MCU’s Loki, often disguising herself via her magical mirror to trick Wonder Woman, as Circe’s rarely able to best her physically.
Such a cerebral and sneaky villain could be seen as copying Ares, but what makes Circe nastier is how she loves powering up Diana’s rogues, including Cheetah. In the New 52, she was a bit more reckless, redesigned as a pale red-head who had a deadly vendetta against Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons, so Jenkins could use Circe to poison Diana’s own people against her. This could lure our hero back home to Themyscira, unaware of what awaits her. Mutiny on Paradise Island is mouth-watering indeed!
8. MORGAINE LE FEY
Morgaine le Fey is another mystical threat that could expand the DCEU’s scope. She feuded with Merlin, as well as with Jason Blood and the demon bound to his soul, Etrigan. However, later on, she would tangle with Wonder Woman, craving and trying to steal Diana’s eternal youth. This desperation has often led to failure, but she was persistent in going after the hero, and even DC’s Trinity in the books.
We saw her black magic on tap in the Justice League cartoons, so she has a fan base if Jenkins wants to opt for a foil with a bit more background and mainstream presence. Hunting Diana’s immortal life force and overall essence as a goddess would make an intriguing, self-contained story, carving out a fresh road from that emotionally heavy topic of world war.
7. DOCTOR PSYCHO
Doctor Psycho is a maniacal adversary and an avid hater of women. Using his psychic abilities, Psycho’s been a major thorn in Diana’s side, often tormenting her and the League in the comics. He even targeted Steve in order to further play with her emotions, because he loves digging knives into people’s hearts and not their backs.
He was also powered up by Circe and worked with Giganta before, so Jenkins could look at him as a psionic threat if she wants to pit Wonder Woman against metahumans and a bunch of rogues akin to Batman’s gallery of villains. Psycho usually operates in group schemes, but there’s an opportunity here to convert him into the equivalent of Diana’s Joker, ready to push her to the extreme based on his misogyny and penchant for claiming innocent lives for fun.
Medusa is another gem from Greek mythology that needs to appear in this sequel because she would up the monster factor a lot! With a gaze that turns folks into stone, she’s also seen as one of Wonder Woman’s biggest rivals, which could play out a la Clash of the Titans. Cursed by Athena for catching the eye of Poseidon, Medusa waged war on Diana as part of an everlasting revenge scheme, even aligning with Ares every now and then.
Maybe he brokered a secret deal with her in case he perished? She too hates Diana because of her heritage, as well as for how much she values humanity. After being scorned and cursed in life, Medusa has no qualms about who feels her wrath, so she would be an ideal choice to serve as a stone-cold killer ready to destroy Diana on every possible level.
In the comics, Artemis was seen as a rogue Amazon who was once viewed as a more ruthless version of Wonder Woman. She was much more cold than the likes of Diana, often running into conflict and even acting as antagonist to her. She was also corrupted and became Requiem, a full-fledged enemy of Wonder Woman, so Jenkins can riff off this rivalry a bit.
Boxer Ann Wolfe played Artemis in the first movie, so it could be interesting if she’s one of the warriors who doesn’t accept Diana back after she left the island, and views her as a traitor. What could be even more juicy is if she too leaves the island to kill Diana or bring her back, similar to Davos and Danny Rand in Iron Fist. Having one of her own turn on her would be heartbreaking for Wonder Woman.
Hades, the ruler of the underworld and Zeus’ brother, would make for a great villain here because of the potential to have his dead family in his service (after Ares killed them), or even Ares himself. Hades might have been the one nudging Ares to lash out against Zeus, again a la Clash of the Titans, but against Diana, he could switch things up by using a dead Steve Trevor against her.
This would be traumatic to her psyche and put her through the wringer. Jenkins can also look at the New 52 version where he was de-aged and made more of an emo villain. With an army of the undead at his command, Wonder Woman could face a new dimension of family she never knew existed via her uncle, who also has that demonic three-headed hound, Cerberus, awaiting all of his enemies.
Grail is the daughter of Myrina Black, an Amazon, and Darkseid. She was secretly born on Themyscira on the same night as Diana in the books, and her history with Wonder Woman runs quite deep as Myrina saw Diana and her twin brother, Jason, born to Hippolyta on that fateful night as well. Grail despised both her father and the Amazons, starting the Darkseid War while manipulating the Justice League as well as Steve Trevor against Darkseid and Wonder Woman.
Bearing powers similar to her father, including his Omega beams, Grail is a devious combatant, who pushed Wonder Woman to her limits. Jenkins could look at bringing Grail in off the heels of Justice League, because if Darkseid falls, who better to succeed him than family? It’s clear his forces will already have beef with the Amazons and Atlanteans, so why not?
2. THE ANTI-MONITOR
Apart from being used by Grail as a weapon of mass destruction, the Anti-Monitor has been a big player in DC Comics. He’s seen as the negative essence or anti-matter of the multiverse, bent on devouring all known existence (as seen in the classic Crisis On Infinite Earths storyline). This led to him running afoul of both the League and Green Lantern Corps, while also being used to power the Black Lanterns following the “Sinestro Corps War.”
Given that Grail messed with him as she waged war on Darkseid and the Amazons, he could be a neat fit if Jenkins wants a big villain for her protagonist. As Diana collects and curates artifacts, maybe he could be seeking Metron’s chair, in hopes of returning to his previous form: Mobius. He’s embedded with the Anti-Life Equation too, so Mobius could be smartly used in a sequel that builds to the showdown with Darkseid if the DCEU plots accordingly.
1. MAX LORD
Max Lord has been prominent in DC Comics for backing the Justice League International team, pitting Wonder Woman and the League against the Suicide Squad, and of course, fighting for global power via the evil syndicate, Checkmate. However, he’s most renowned for putting a bullet through former friend, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord).
Lord also manipulated Superman into fighting Wonder Woman and, in order to stop his mental control over the Kryptonian, she snapped Lord’s neck on a live worldwide broadcast, fracturing DC’s Trinity. Apart from his mind-control powers, he also loves to psychologically mess with superheroes and while Batman and his Brother Eye satellite system may not factor into a sequel, we’d still love to see a modern-day Diana going up against such a two-faced philanthropist. He has the potential to be a serious threat and would be a great foil, hampering her new mission of peace and diplomacy.
Let us know in the comments who you’d like to see Wonder Woman battle in the hit movie’s sequel!