The Amazonian Princess, Wonder Woman is back once again to dispense another round of justice in the world of man. Recently, a trailer just dropped revealing all sorts of neat details. From the return of her longtime love, Steve Trevor to new foes joining the fray. Villains making their live-action debut in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) are Kristen Wiig as Cheetah, the avatar of an ancient goddess from another pantheon and Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord. Think of him as a more dashing and nefarious version of the X-Men’s Charles Xavier. His telepathic abilities enable him to influence the minds of others to do his bidding. An industrialist, genius and a madman all wrapped up in one handsome package. Wonder Woman’s rogues’ gallery isn’t nearly as well known as that of Superman or Batman’s. Which is such a shame because there are some pretty awesome villains within Diana’s mythos that deserve some spotlight of their own.
We’re here to rectify this injustice by giving recognition to some of her more exciting nemeses. Seriously, she’st got villains that would give Superman or Shazam a run for their money. These are the Wonder Woman foes we hope will be featured in future instalments.
You thought Bane was scary? Think again! When Dr Doris Zeul was diagnosed with a fatal blood disease, she attempts to transfer her consciousness into Wonder Woman’s body. Unfortunately, Wonder Girl aka Donna Troy disrupted the process, having her mind enter a test gorilla’s body, Giganta. Using her vast knowledge, she then kidnaps Olga, a size-shifting circus strong-woman and transfers her consciousness into Olga. Alas becoming the size-shifting villain known as Giganta. I won’t lie, her origin story is bonkers but she is without a shadow of a doubt one of Wonder Woman’s most dangerous enemies. This large lady can flatten buildings, destroy whole armies and has a genius-level intellect.
Do I think she’d necessarily make for a complex foil to Wonder Woman’s beliefs and existence? No, I don’t but she would definitely be a lot of fun to see on screen. I mean films like Aquaman and SHAZAM! are clearly taking a lighter approach to storytelling in the DCEU. Giganta’s appearance would certainly add some fun and colour to Diana’s life. Don’t get me wrong, Giganta is a formidable foe and has even bested Wonder Woman on a number of occasions. And who knows? Maybe director Patty Jenkins could put her own creative spin on the character. Making her a deadly combination of brawn, brain and beauty. If Giganta ever does make her way into the DCEU, she’s sure to make one big impression.
Diana isn’t the only demi-god to be on the island of Themyscira. For there is another divine daughter who wields great power, though from a much more malevolent source. I’m talking about Grail, the daughter of the Amazonian assassin Myrina and the Lord of Apokolips himself, Darkseid. This union wasn’t borne out of love though. For you see, Myrina had known of the threat Darkseid posed to the universe, and by extension her sisters. So she hatched a scheme to bear his child and raise her to be the one to end Darkseid once and for all. Grail, however, had greater ambitions. She didn’t she wish to end her father but to control him to her ends by draining the power of other demigods. If Diana is the champion of the gods, then Grail will be the agent of their downfall.
Not unlike the characters of John Constantine and Shazam, Wonder Woman has always been our entry point into DC’s world of the supernatural. One full of magic, gods, monsters and demons. The introduction of Grail could be a gamechanger for the DCEU. Her battle with Diana could involve both the old gods of Earth and the New Gods. Since 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. has been looking to bring the New Gods into DCEU. Grail in the next Wonder Woman film could be that bridge to organically incorporate them into the wider narrative. Given time, she may prove an even bigger evil than Darkseid.
Just as Superman has Lex Luthor and Batman with the Joker, Wonder Woman has an arch-nemesis of her own. A dark reflection of Wonder Woman and all she stands for, Circe. She was once a beautiful Greek princess wedded to drunkard brute and cheat. One day she had enough. She killed her husband and was in turn, hunted by the prince’s family. She narrowly managed to escape by sea but after sailing for days, she began to grow weary. But she would not die. Her hatred and desire for vengeance fuelled her survival, long enough for her to find salvation. She landed on an island belonging to Hecate, the Goddess of Magic. Embued with a portion of the deity’s power, Circe brought wrath and ruin to those who had wronged her. Above all else, she desires to become the greatest sorceress the world of man has ever seen.
Wonder Woman has always stood for love, compassion and mercy. Circe is a villain who is diametrically opposed to her beliefs. An ambitious, cruel magic wielder who could go toe-to-toe with Diana in terms of magical abilities. The truly tragic part is that Wonder Woman has tried on a number of occasions to bring Circe into the light. To show her a better way and time after time, Circe has rejected and betrayed the Amazonian. I’d love to see how their relationship is handled on the silver screen.
They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. For Hecate, truer words have never been spoken. Before the coming of gods and men, there was magic. The first being to have emerged from that power was Hecate, the mother of all magic in the multiverse. Her power was only matched by her beauty and as humanity began to dream off gods, so too did the gods dream of her. Many pantheons desired to bring Hecate into their fold. She finally settled with the Greek pantheon and married Hades. She then found herself trapped by humans who sought to use her power for their own gain. After escaping their clutches, she found that Hades had replaced her. Needless to say, she was pissed off tt both gods and mankind. She saw what they had done with magic and she seeks to tear it all down. She was the beginning of magic, now she will be its end.
Hecate is undoubtedly one of Wonder Woman’s most deadly adversary and a figure deeply tied to the character’s history. When Diana was a young girl, Hecate had sealed a portion of her power within the Amazonian against her will. Waiting for the day to call upon her power and bring about the end of magic. It would take the combined effort of some of DC’s greatest magic users to be able to take on Hecate. Perhaps Diana might have to find a league of her own.
5. The Upside-Down Man
Wonder Woman is a true heroine. Someone who leaps into the fire to save the helpless. Someone who lays her life down on the line time and time again in defence of justice. A woman of valour and courage but there are some things even she fears. In this case, it is the Upside-Down Man. Where there is great light, there is also great darkness. Hecate was once a shining beacon of magic’s creative, life-giving energies. The Upside-Down Man is her polar opposite. Beneath the DC Multiverse is a darker one, populated by everything wrong, twisted and horrible. And the one animating all these horrors are the Upside-Down Man. His only desire is to devour everything above. In fact, he eats magic and those who wield it. Wonder Woman to him isn’t an enemy, she’s a snack.
Though a recent addition to the current DC comic book landscape, the Upside-Down Man is shaping to be Wonder Woman’s greatest foe yet. Unrivalled in power and nothing she has ever seen before. Wonder Woman has always stood for hope, beauty and love but how will she fare against a being of such immeasurable power? The same being that ate Hecate, the Mother of Magic, in DC’s Witching Hour series. The Upside-Down Man is absolute nightmare fuel and would finally give a reason for the DCEU to experiment with the horror genre. You’ve seen wonder, now witness terror.