WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #80, by G. Willow Wilson, Jesus Merino, Vincente Cifuentes and Jenny Frison, in stores now.
DC Rebirth has gone to great lengths to put a spotlight on Wonder Woman's sometimes overlooked archenemy, Cheetah. From the beginning of Greg Rucka's Rebirth run, the character has been given depth and a powerset greater than she's ever boasted before. Year of the Villain continues the trend, with Cheetah's recent acquisition of the Godkiller sword from Lex Luthor giving her the power to truly kill her Amazon enemy.
In Wonder Woman #80, however, her bond with the weapon makes her more powerful than ever... and it's all Wonder Woman's fault!
GOD KILLER CHEETAH
The God Killer sword was a prominent weapon used by Wonder Woman in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. In the recent comics, however, it is given to Cheetah by Lex Luthor. Bonding her to the weapon through unknown means, he gives it to her to use to assassinate her heroic rival should the Amazon attempt to stop his coming plans. Cheetah, however, has different plans for Wonder Woman.
The gate between Patriarch's World and Themyscira has been breached, meaning that Themyscira can finally be entered by outside forces. Unsure of the way there, Cheetah tries to force Wonder Woman into allowing her to take her place on Themyscira.
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman isn't in much of a position to protest. In a previous issue, Cheetah, who was hoping to ambush Diana, instead used the sword to kill the unsuspecting goddess Aphrodite. Killing the goddess of love had a drastic effect on both the world at large, and also Wonder Woman herself. Love, caring and selflessness begin to wax and wane around the world, causing lawlessness and apathy to take hold. This even affects Wonder Woman, who, previously driven by her love and will to protect the world around her, essentially becomes weaker without love in the world. That's to say nothing of the immediate impact on her relationship with Steve Trevor. Losing much of her warrior's drive and strength, Wonder Woman is overcome by Cheetah, who uses the Godkiller to destroy Wonder Woman's arsenal. This includes her bracelets, as well as the Lasso of Truth.
DOWN WITH LOVE
Seemingly unbeknownst to Cheetah, Wonder Woman is given a serum by none other than Veronica Cale. This favor for her hated enemy is to finish a debt that Cale felt she owed Wonder Woman after she had saved her from Cheetah before. Given her possession of the God Killer, seemingly nothing can defeat Cheetah now, least of a all a dramatically weaker Wonder Woman. The serum, however, will supposedly remove whatever enchantment Lex Luthor put on the sword when he bonded it to Cheetah, removing her imminent threat.
Cheetah savagely brings death and destruction in her wake as she ransacks the city, before Wonder Woman attempts to convince her to give over the sword. The resulting fight leads to Cheetah ambushing Wonder Woman from above. Before she can kill her enemy, however, Wonder Woman douses the God Killer with the serum to free it from Luthor's modifications.
The result, however, is not what the Amazon expected. Cale had lied to her, seeking revenge for the hatred that she still felt for her and the Greek gods for what had happened to her daughter years ago. Instead of unbinding Cheetah and the God Killer, it seems to make their connection stronger than ever. The same goes for Cheetah, whose eyes glow with power as lightning and energy crackle around her body.
With her arch enemy now truly God and killer of the highest order, Wonder Woman has no choice but to take her to Themyscira, or die.
KEEP READING: DC Just Made Wonder Woman Its Most Important Hero