Superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man all have enemies that are immediately familiar to those unversed in comic book minutiae. But Wonder Woman? Sure, she has recurring antagonists like Circe, Cheetah, and Ares, but nobody on par with, say, Lex Luthor or Venom. Here are nine nemeses that would transform a Wonder Woman movie into an arthouse classic.
9. A Telepathic Misogynist Dwarf
Doctor Psycho was medical student who — after he was framed by his unfaithful fiancee and her paramour — used his superior, out-of-nowhere mental powers to force him to eat radium and her to marry him, “a fate worse than death.” He also turned the US military against Wonder Woman by impersonating George Washington, but that’s almost secondary to the brainwashed radium eating and hypnotized nuptials.
8. “Angle Man”
Angle Man began his career as a criminal who “knew all the angles.” He later graduated to battling Wonder Woman using the powers of geometry and then being rebooted as suave art thief. With the DC Universe resetting every 45 minutes, it’s unclear what Angle Man’s up to nowadays, but fingers crossed he’s gone back to his hypotenuse-y roots.
7. A Gorilla Super-Evolved Into A Beautiful Woman
She’s had a billion origins since her first appearance, but the Wonder Woman enemy Giganta began her career as a gorilla transformed into a gorgeous woman with the demeanor of a silverback.
As the years went on, she gained the power to grow as tall as buildings. But in the beginning, she was just had a few inches on Wonder Woman. You really can’t blame Giganta for turning to supervillainy, being an unwitting genetic abomination and whatnot.
6. A Cross-Dressing Snowman
Byrna Brilyant was an ice-based malefactor who wore a costume that resembled W.C. Fields with frostbite. This is an absolutely smashing sartorial choice. You’re going to gain the upper hand in every fight if your opponents believe you’re perpetually on the edge of a heart attack.
And here’s Blue Snowman reveling in the perks of her job. Priceless!
5. A Mustachioed Lady Hypnotist
Because all early Wonder Woman comics needed some excuse to mind control or bind the protagonist, we ended up with Hypnota, who used her mental powers to mesmerize Diana. Mind you, the spirit-gummed goatee has no bearing on whether her powers work or not. It’s purely aesthetic.
And just for laughs, here’s a panel of the three aforementioned villains hanging out with their bad girl supergroup, Villainy Incorporated. Giganta’s addition to the roll call kills me.
4. Idiotic Charity Auctions
Because superheroes were at the beck and call of bored plutocrats in the Fifities, 1957′s Wonder Woman was once strongarmed by “the Millionaire’s Club” to babysit a sperm whale, an elephant, and a dinosaur. Read it here (link NSFW).
Yes, there was a brief period of time (1993′s Wonder Woman #73, to be specific) when Wonder Woman found herself both in dire financial straits and without her Amazon sisters at Paradise Island. Because saving the globe time and time again from an infinite series of transdimensional crises doesn’t leave much time to build one’s résumé, she is consigned to accept a job at Taco
Bell Whiz. I always assumed Wonder Woman has the strength to crush Ticonderoga #2 pencils into diamonds, but that’s not neither here nor there.
Also, couldn’t she ask Dr. Fate to cast a financial solvency spell or get some complimentary shares of Wayne Enterprises? It’s an amusing conceit, but in the end it ranks with the time Superman ended up in a mental institution and smoked nineteen cigars simultaneously.
2. S&M Lesbian Street Gangs
Way back in 1969′s Wonder Woman #185, Diana battled a gang of felonious hippie women who forced their victims to wear dog collars. This gang went by the moniker THEM! so that other gangs would (presumably) mistake them for giant ants. That’s smart intimidation.
Mind you, Wonder Woman’s encounter with THEM! occurred when she was a mistress of kung fu instead of someone who could box Superman, so a coterie of lesbian gangsters in Willy Wonka outfits posed a legitimate problem.
1. A Giant Egg Who Was Also An Asian Stereotype
Back in the 1960s, Batman battled the Joker, whereas Superman duked it out with a myriad of personality disorders. How about Wonder Woman? Her nemesis was an anthropomorphic Chinese egg who ensnared victims with his mustache tendrils. (Who, incidentally, is still around in DC Comics continuity.)
Related: 5 Lesser Known Wonder Woman Powers.