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Best Wonder Woman villains of all time

Wonder Woman villains
(Image credit: DC)

Wonder Woman's 80th Anniversary celebration is in full swing, but while October 5's 100-Page Super-Spectacular is more focused on the Amazon Princess herself and her friends and allies and less on her rogues' gallery of supervillains, Diana still has some of the most dangerous and diverse arch-foes in the DCU. 

Villains like Cheetah, Ares, and Maxwell Lord (two of whom made their live-action debut in Wonder Woman: 1984) are just scratching the surface of the list of villains Wonder Woman's has faced over her eight decades of adventures, Here's seven more to join those three as we look at the best Wonder Woman villains of all time.

10. Strife / Eris

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Strife (or Eris as she's known by her proper name) isn't so much a villain as she is a nuisance to Diana. Though they've clashed, they've also been uneasy allies at times - such is the case with many of Diana's olympian foes.

In her most heinous act, Strife invaded Themyscira, causing the Amazons to become confused and do battle with each other, leading to the deaths of many Amazons before Wonder Woman was able to put a stop to Strife's manipulations.

9. Silver Swan

(Image credit: DC)

Several women have worn the mantle of Silver Swan over the years, though they have all been enemies of Wonder Woman. The original, Helen Alexandros, was granted her powers of flight and sonic energy by Mars/Ares. Later Silver Swans Valerie Beaudry and Vanessa Kapatelis shared Alexandros's sonic powers but wore winged exoskeletons to achieve flight and strength.

The Vanessa Kapatelis version of Silver Swan was revamped as part of DC's 'Rebirth' era. In these stories, she was an innocent bystander injured in a battle between Wonder Woman and Major Disaster. Rumble fell on her in the melee, leaving her with a spinal injury that robbed her of the ability to walk. Diana visited her in the hospital during the first few months of her recuperation, but as the visits became less the young woman thought Wonder Woman had abandoned her. 

Reeling from that, Vanessa took part in an experimental nanite procedure (based on Cyborg) that gave her the ability to walk again - and soon run, proverbially speaking, to become a villain terrorizing other people Wonder Woman had saved.

8. Giganta

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Giganta's origin has changed a few times since her first appearance back in Wonder Woman #8, but she's always been one of the biggest - pun intended - thorns in Diana's side.

Long story short, Giganta is Dr. Doris Zuel, a scientist with a fatal blood disease that leads her to try and swap bodies with Wonder Woman. Through a mishap in her attempt to do so, she gained the ability to grow in size. 

She's often allied herself with other villains, including Wonder Woman nemesis Dr. Psycho.

7. Apollo

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One of Zeus's favored sons, Apollo used his station to wrest control of Olympus when his father disappeared. Like his father, Apollo was hungry for power and feared retribution from Zeus's other children.

Apollo employed a veritable army of faithful Gods and warriors in his quest to ascend the throne of Olympus and was only defeated when Wonder Woman threatened the life of his sister Artemis, forcing him to surrender.

6. Dr. Psycho

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Dr. Psycho began as kind of a silly villain when he was introduced in Wonder Woman #5, but even then he had a murderous streak and an intense hatred of women - traits that have only gotten stronger in the decades since his introduction.

In recent years, Doctor Psycho masqueraded as an A.R.G.U.S. scientist to take possession of a comatose Silver Swan to use her for his ulterior motives.

5. First Born

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Though the first child of Zeus has no name, he's got a reputation for brutality that is almost unrivaled in Wonder Woman's rogues' gallery.

Brought into conflict with Diana in his quest to destroy the gods of Olympus, she was almost unable to defeat First Born's incredible strength and ruthlessness, only being defeated when she threw him from Olympus, dooming him to fall forever.

4. Ares

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The God of War and Wonder Woman have occasionally been uneasy allies, but more often than not his schemes have brought them into conflict. He's also one of her oldest foes, having first appeared back in Wonder Woman #1.

Interestingly, it was Diana who ascended to his station as God of War after she struck a killing blow against him to defeat First Born, finally ending their long rivalry.

Ares has resurfaced as part of 'Rebirth' in a retelling of Wonder Woman's origin. He was also the villain in the first Wonder Woman movie.

3. Maxwell Lord

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Maxwell Lord began as something of a hero, organizing and bankrolling a new Justice League in the wake of the original team's dissolution. However, years later, he showed his true colors by trying to conquer the world.

Max Lord's rampage, fueled by his heretofore unknown mind control powers, reached its apex when he brainwashed Superman into fighting his allies. His reign of terror only ended when Wonder Woman was forced to break his neck, killing him and ending their fight.

Lord returned in 'Rebirth' as an adversary of the Suicide Squad, eventually bonding with the villainous Eclipso in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. He's since become a reluctant ally of Wonder Woman in her ongoing title and appeared in Wonder Woman 1984 (played by Pedro Pascal).

2. Cheetah

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Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman's longest-running enemies (no pun intended), with multiple women having filled the role throughout the decades. But the current Cheetah, Barbara Minerva, might be the most vicious of the bunch.

Having killed her brother as a teenager to prove her devotion to the cause of a secret cult, Minerva's ruthless streak began early. When she retrieved the artifact known as the 'God-Killer Knife,' she was transformed into the Cheetah and thrust into a conflict with Wonder Woman that is still ongoing.

Cheetah was given a slightly revised origin in 'Rebirth,' and she is still a primary Wonder Woman antagonist. She was played by Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984.

1. Circe

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The legendary sorceress Circe first came into conflict with Wonder Woman when she believed Diana to be part of a prophecy that would grant her immense power. 

She tried to kill Wonder Woman to enact the prophecy, but failed, starting a long career of menacing the Amazonian warrior, even bringing her into conflict with the Justice League and Wonder Woman's allies.

Circe has been perhaps the most powerful and consistent thorn in Diana's side, making her the greatest Wonder Woman foe of the bunch.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)