Princess Diana of Themyscira, Wonder Woman, is an emissary of love and peace -- she loves everyone she meets. Ironically, those who wish her destruction and beset her at all sides don’t want her love and affection. From the moment she walked into Man’s World, Diana struggled to find her place. An outsider to many, she remained undeterred, constantly fighting in the name of righteousness in the hopes that one day Man’s World will no longer need her. Until that time however, Wonder Woman refuses to give up, despite having to contend with villains for all types and varieties.
One of the world’s strongest beings, it takes a lot to significantly endanger Wonder Woman and even though she has plenty of enemies, some are goofy and lame, while others are diabolical and threatening. Not every bad guy can be a Cheetah or a Circe, sometimes you get a Paper Man or a Blue Snowman, but that only works to Wonder Woman’s advantage. The fewer world-ending bad guys she has to stop, the more time she can spend preventing practically harmless criminals from making bigger fools of themselves. Today at CBR we’re looking not only at 8 of Wonder Woman’s lamest villains, but also 8 of her strongest.
16 LAME: PAPER-MAN
One of Wonder Woman’s lamest, and generally weirdest, villains, was the Silver Age bad guy known as Paper-Man. Originally a normal guy named Horace, he worked at a chemical plan for the military, making some kind of special paper. Unfortunately for Horace, tragedy struck. He fell into one of the paper vats and was turned into flat, sentient piece of paper. Such an incident would probably be enough to make anyone jump on over in to crazy town, and that’s exactly what happened to Horace.
Now going by the name Paper-Man, he would manipulate his form to turn into paper airplanes and balls of paper, all in the name of wooing Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. Which was ironic since he hated Wonder Woman. As you might imagine, Paper-Man wasn’t especially threatening…unless you hate the idea of paper cuts.
15 POWERFUL: ARES
Ares, the God of War, is among Wonder Woman’s most iconic foes. A being with neigh unlimited power, defeating his physical form isn’t enough; he’s fueled by war and the evil in men’s hearts. So long as there’s violence, Ares will be there. He’s fought Wonder Woman on multiple occasions and even if she pushes him back, it’s only by the skin of her teeth. Luckily for her, Ares prefers manipulating others into doing his bidding rather than engaging in physical combat.
That said, Ares can teleport, uses necromancy, and has superhuman strength, mind control, energy projection, telepathy and generally every other power out there. While physically Wonder Woman might not be able to beat Ares, she’s beaten him through more devious means. Once she hogtied him with her lasso, making him experience the suffering he’d wrought on the world, which made him abandon his mad quest for a time.
14 LAME: MOUSE MAN
Mouse Man, much as his name implies, was a tiny mouse-sized villain. Rather than using his mousiness for good, he joined the Academy of Arch-Villains and thought it would be a grand idea to attack Wonder Woman. Armed with uncanny swiftness and occasional mind-control, he was a marvelous annoyance to the Amazing Amazon. However, after she first defeated him, Wonder Woman locked Mouse Man in a birdcage.
Upon escaping, and with a grudge against the superhero, Mouse Man attacked Wonder Woman again, but accidentally shrunk her, which allowed Diana to knock him out with a piece of cheese. Later, he’d face defeat when she sneezed. Why Mouse Man continued going after one of the planet’s strongest heroes is a mystery onto itself. Rarely will you come across a lamer villain.
13 POWERFUL: DARKSEID
Traditionally considered more of a nemesis to Superman, seeing as they’ve squared off multiple times, the fearsome New God is also a bane to not just Wonder Woman, but the Amazons as a whole. One of DC’s strongest beings, Darkseid is generally considered a threat to the entire cosmos. On multiple occasions, and for varying reasons, Darkseid has perpetually laid siege to Themyscira, otherwise known as Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons.
Usually his reasons involve something along the lines of godhood or questing for greater power, but every time he and his armies of malicious Parademon shock troops attack the island, Wonder Woman and her band of sisters are there to stop him. It hasn’t always been easy, as Darkseid has nearly proven victorious on more than one occasion.
12 LAME: ANGLE MAN
As physically imposing or downright threatening villains go, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to take down Angle Man on your own. Since he first appeared in the Golden Age of comics, somehow this businessman, who’s only real ability was to work out every “angle” of a crime, proved a bother to poor Wonder Woman, who really just wanted to go and fight someone like the Cheetah or Ares. He was defeated multiple times, with little effort on Wonder Woman’s part. He later died during "Crisis On Infinite Earths".
However, the infamous Angle Man would return during the Modern Age, receiving an update along the way. Yet no matter what modifications were made to him or his ridiculous costume, or even the inclusion of silly super powers, Angle Man never proved to be anything more than a lame villain.
11 POWERFUL: CIRCE
The dreaded witch Circe hates Wonder Woman with a passion that will not be extinguished. For the longest time Circe has tried to kill Wonder Woman over and over again, and at least on one occasion, she’s succeeded. Going so far as to kick off Crisis-level events like "War of the Gods", Wonder Woman has few enemies quite as deadly as Circe.
The sorceress is so powerful, she’s killed the god Hermes, transformed all the male superheroes into animal-human hybrids, and even mind-controlled Superman into nearly killing Wonder Woman. She’s been partly responsible for the "Amazons Attack!" event and constantly plagues Wonder Woman whenever she gets the opportunity. Even though the Princess Diana can befriend most of her villains, Circe consistently remains an evil wretch. Any emotional headway Diana makes with Circe lasts briefly.
10 LAME: THE BLUE SNOWMAN
The Blue Snowman is without question one of the more peculiar -- and by peculiar we mean dumb -- bad guys to cross Wonder Woman’s path. As it turns out, the Blue Snowman is actually a female scientist who disguises herself as a man so she can commit crimes. It’s a mystery why she didn’t just commit crimes as a woman. Did she think she’d be taken more seriously? It didn’t work. With no powers to speak of, Byrna Brilyant relied on her telescopic snow ray to create blizzards.
During the Golden Age, Wonder Woman, fed up with someone running around dressed as a blue snowman, locked Byrna up in the Amazon penal colony Transformation Island. She escaped and disappeared into obscurity for decades at a time. Probably for good reason too.
9 POWERFUL: GENOCIDE
Ruthless beyond measure and more dangerous than nearly anyone Diana faced, the villainess known as Genocide came as close as anyone ever has to killing Wonder Woman. The bizarre thing about this particular monster is that Genocide is Wonder Woman. Actually, Ares stole the dead body of Wonder Woman in the future, went back to the present era and the Secret Society of Super Villains and Dr. T.O. Morrow reassembled the corpse until a living engine of destruction.
Genocide would go on to defeat the Justice League, Wonder Woman, and even fused with the Lasso of Truth, something no villain had previously done. With an incredible array of abilities, Genocide proved nearly unstoppable. While Genocide eventually met defeat, she did not die, disappearing, and remaining out in the world until the next time she strikes.
8 LAME: ZARA, PRIESTESS OF THE CRIMSON FLAME
When you’ve got a title like Priestess of the Crimson Flame then you better be able to scare the dickens out of everyone you face; raining fire and brimstone down all those who dare oppose you. Zara never got the memo and instead relied on belly dancing to commit crime. With an intense hatred for men, and combing her belly dancing with her skills in pyrotechnics, Zara formed a cult, fought Wonder Woman, and lost badly.
Afterwards she joined Villainy Inc., who also housed such winners like the Blue Snowman. Ultimately, Zara had no powers and when all was said and done, all but one of her followers abandoned her, leaving her to join other misfit villains before she was forgotten to time, mentioned only in hushed whispers.
7 POWERFUL: DARK ANGEL
Dark Angel is a terrifying spirit that inhabits the body of its victims. She’s best known for inhabiting the body of Baroness Paula Von Gunther during World War II. At this time, Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta did battle with Dark Angel, but was never able to successfully eliminate her. Dark Angel even tried kidnapping young Princess Diana, but failed and accidentally kidnapped her double Donna Troy instead.
After that fracas was over, another version of her appeared following "Crisis on Infinite Earths"; this Dark Angel was actually the Donna Troy of Earth-Seven. She would constantly fight Donna and Wonder Woman and even spent some time psychologically torturing Supergirl. Dark Angel is incredibly powerful, able to teleport control her size, use mind control, and even time travel and alter the timestream.
6 LAME: FIREWORKS MAN
Fireworks Man, because all the other good names were taken, had the misfortune of being a nameless chemist in a Wonder Woman comic book. Somewhere along the way, he transformed himself into a being made of, well, fireworks, with the plan to steal a Wonder Woman statue. In his mind, this theft would symbolize defeating her. Of course Wonder Woman promptly arrived on the scene and was about to put an end to his shenanigans when Fireworks Man proved more formidable than her, or the reader for that matter, probably expected.
Spinning like a top, he knocked her into space with his fireworks, at which point Wonder Woman probably seriously contemplated her life’s choices. Fireworks Man began gloating about his imminent victory before his boasting left him distracted to get hit by a meteor. Is there a moral to the story? If not, it feels like there ought to be.
5 POWERFUL: SILVER SWAN
A classic Wonder Woman villain, Silver Swan, or at least the Vanessa Kapatelis iteration didn’t start off as a diehard antagonist. Initially, Wonder Woman and Vanessa’s mom, Julia, were best of friends. As for Vanessa, she became jealous about her mother’s relationship with Diana, but eventually outgrew the negative feelings and befriended the Amazon.
That was until some of Wonder Woman’s villains took Vanessa, whose mother had just been crippled, and transformed her into the Silver Swan. Directing her anger over the incident at Wonder Woman, Silver Swan proved remarkably deadly, nearly defeating the Amazon on more than one occasion. With cybernetic enhancement and a destructive sonic scream, Silver Swan would plague Wonder Woman, even when the heroine was trying to save Vanessa from herself.
4 LAME: EGG FU
Incredibly strange, and somewhat racist-looking, Egg Fu was a Chinese bad guy who inexplicably was shaped like a giant egg. First appearing in 1965 in Wonder Woman #157, Egg Fu wasn’t just an awful awful caricature, but he was a stupidly lame character too. Associating himself with criminal organizations like Intergang, Egg Fu brilliance was undermined by his general awfulness. While he might have started off as a serious threat all that came to end when he met Wonder Woman for the second time.
Or at least his relative, Egg Fu the Fifth did. Though he captures Diana and Steve Trevor, ensnaring her with her magic lasso Wonder Woman offers to dance for him. Egg Fu lets her dance which in turn allows Diana to perform a bracelet-clashing dance that cracks Egg Fu’s…egg, leaving him defeated. If Egg Fu sounds like a terrible character, it’s only because he is.
3 POWERFUL: DOCTOR CYBER
Many of Wonder Woman’s top adversaries are gods or cursed beings, but Doctor Cyber is a different blend of villain altogether. Relying on cybernetics and technology, Doctor Cyber was the head of a large global criminal and terrorist group. Yet after she got disfigured, a recurring trend for supervillains, she took a more hands-on approach to combating Wonder Woman. Donning a gold mask and a high tech exoskeleton, the cybernetic enhancements gave her the ability to shoot energy blasts and even made her strong enough to take on the Amazing Amazon.
However, no matter how great a power she achieved, Doctor Cyber would become obsessed with restoring her beauty, which in turn led to experimenting with planting her mind in Wonder Woman and then later Doctor Moon. Completely vicious and utterly unforgiving, Doctor Cyber is and was one of Wonder Woman’s most dangerous and formidable foes.
2 LAME: GIGANTA
These days, Giganta is a towering giant of a woman. She’s fearsome, impossibly strong, and also pretty intelligent (except for always wanting to fight Wonder Woman), but we’re not here to talk about that Giganta, but rather her Golden Age iteration. The original Giganta had an incredibly wacky and inane backstory. In it, the scientist Professor Zool mutated an ape named Giganta and turned her in an angry red-headed woman. Understandably, she was upset, even more so when the machine broke.
With nothing else to occupy her time, the ape-lady Giganta fought Wonder Woman over and over again, losing each and every time. After issue #28 of Wonder Woman, she wouldn’t be seen again until 1966 in issue #163; by then, she’d been modernized. Yet the original Giganta will always be a sore spot in Wonder Woman history.
1 POWERFUL: CHEETAH
Whether it’s Barbara Minerva, Priscilla Rich, or even Deborah Domaine, the story of the Cheetah is a tragic case among Wonder Woman foes. That said, the Cheetah is also one of the strongest and most ruthless opponents Wonder Woman’s ever fought, and she’s fought Superman for goodness sake! Every woman to take on the mantle of the Cheetah finds herself cursed in one way or another, as it’s usually the prerequisite for harnessing the awesome power. From there, the Cheetah is typically driven insane, yet Wonder Woman never stops in trying to find a cure for her friends.
Despite Wonder Woman’s affection for Cheetah, this is one villain Diana can’t hold back against. The Cheetah has beaten Wonder Woman, nearly killed the Flash, and came this close to defeating the Justice League in the New 52 by herself. Diana’s most famous baddie, the Cheetah is practically nature’s wrath incarnate.
Which of these villains is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!