More than half a century ago, people were only able to watch about half a dozen channels on TV. More often than not, they were black and white movies that may or may not have had sound. Also, they would have listened to broadcasts on the radio. Those were the main methods with which people used to spend their free time. But in the 1940’s, another entertainment medium was created that would last for generations—comic books. Since their inception, comic books have told visual stories about superheroes, individuals who possess all sorts of abilities and powers who selflessly defend the innocent from supervillains who possess their own abilities. DC is one of the two biggest comic book companies in the world, and they have created some of the most iconic superheroes in history, including Wonder Woman, who has been the greatest heroine ever since her original debut in 1941.
Wonder Woman, otherwise known as Diana Prince, is an Amazon from the island of Themyscira, who was originally molded out of clay by her mother, brought to life by the Greek goddess, Aphrodite, and then granted superpowers by the other Greek gods. More recently, though, she has been depicted as the daughter of Zeus. But no matter what her origins are, she can always be seen wearing the same suit into battle, which includes a tiara that can be thrown, her Lasso of Truth, and a pair of indestructible bracelets. A live-action movie adaptation of the heroine was just released, and in it, we get to see Wonder Woman take on one of her more iconic foes. So, to honor the movie’s release and the character as a whole, here is a list of the 15 strongest enemies Wonder Woman has ever fought.
By now, most of you who are reading this know that Ares was the villain in Wonder Woman. But as it turns out, he is not the only god that Wonder Woman has fought and defeated in the past. In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was started, thanks to Eris. This was why she gained notoriety as the god of strife and discord who, at times, has been identified as either Ares’ daughter or sister. In DC, Eris is known for being Ares’ daughter, as well as a scheming individual who hates Wonder Woman, her mother, and humanity as a whole. She is also known to be consistently trying to take her father’s place as the new god of war. In the New 52 series, Eris became the daughter of Zeus, making her Wonder Woman’s half-sister, and aside from being able to alter her size, she has the ability to spread strife by tricking mankind into war by using paranoia, confusion, and mental manipulation.
14. Baroness Paula Van Gunther
If the Wonder Woman movie told us anything, it is that Diana of Themyscira actually fought in the First World War, but she has also helped to fight the Nazis in the Second World War. Here, we have Baroness Paula Von Gunther, Wonder Woman’s very first recurring villain, who happened to be a rather evil Nazi sympathizer and scientist who performed several atrocities during the war. Over time, DC tried to humanize Von Gunther, by having her daughter held captive by the Nazis who, in turn, forced her to carry out those atrocities. And when Wonder Woman learned of this, she rescued both the Baroness and her daughter, and convinced the Amazons to give them refuge on Themyscira. In another story, though, during her time with the Nazis, she became possessed by a Dark Angel entity who eventually transformed her into a dark mystic having the ability to teleport, control time, and alter the timeline, which resulted in Wonder Woman being transported to the Trojan War.
13. Silver Swan
Anyone who considers himself to be a huge comic book fan will tell you that there have been several superheroes and villains who have been portrayed by more than one person, and DC’s Silver Swan is one of them. There have been 3 women who have taken up the Silver Swan name over the years, with the first being Helen Alexandros, who was mutated by Ares to carry out his evil plans. The second was Valerie Beaudry, who gained her powers through experimentation and eventually becomes Wonder Woman’s friend. Of the 3 women, though, Vanessa Kapatellis truly stands out, as she started out as a fan and friend of Wonder Woman who was then manipulated into hating her and transformed into a terror-instilling killer. This Silver Swan was especially dangerous, as she would also target our heroine’s protege, Wonder Girl, out of jealousy. She also comes equipped with a hypersonic scream which is capable of destroying entire landscapes.
Thanks to Dawn of Justice, we know full well that Darkseid will be the big bad that the Justice League will have to defeat. But from a comic book perspective, she has also battled against members of his family, including his daughter, Grail. As it turns out, Grail was actually born on Themyscira, without anyone’s knowledge, on the same night that Wonder Woman was born. While growing up, she grew to hate our heroine, the rest of the Amazons, as well as her absentee father. It is because of this hatred that Grail went out of her way to manipulate the Justice League, another villain named Anti-Monitor, and Steve Taylor (Chris Pine‘s character) into trying to kill Wonder Woman and dethrone her father. Grail is viewed as a perfect fighter who comes equipped with abilities like the Omega beams she inherited from her father, which allowed her to nearly destroy Wonder Woman and her friends.
Greek mythology is incredibly rich with characters and stories, which is part of the reasons why DC decided to incorporate it into their comic storylines when they originally introduced the Amazons. One of the better-known non-god characters in Greek mythology is Medusa, a gorgon who had hair made of snakes that had the ability to turn anyone into stone by just looking at them. In DC, she was turned into a gorgon by the goddess Athena, who did not like her looking at Poseidon. Medusa hates all of humanity, especially the Amazonians due to their connection to the gods, which is why she gradually became one of Wonder Woman’s biggest rivals, to the point that she once joined forces with Ares, an endeavor which resulted in Wonder Woman cutting off her head. What makes Medusa really dangerous is the fact that she only cares about getting revenge on those who have wronged her in some way. Plus, she thoroughly enjoys killing people.
There is an old saying that the hardest adversary for a person to defeat is himself. That could not be more true with this Wonder Woman enemy, as Genocide is literally just Wonder Woman with a complete physical and mental makeover. Genocide was actually created by Ares, who ventured into the future and obtained Diana’s corpse, and who then collected soil from areas which at some point experienced a genocide. With the help of Cheetah, Dr. Morrow, and Felix Faust, Genocide was created through the use of both science and magic, but none of them expected her to be as powerful, uncontrollable, and bloodthirsty as she was. Seeing as she was essentially an enhanced and evil Wonder Woman, she was able to use the Lasso of Truth after defeating her past self. In fact, she was so strong that the entire Justice League was almost unable to defeat her.
9. Morgaine Le Fey
In Suicide Squad, the DC cinematic universe introduced audiences to Enchantress and the existence of magic, and as you might have guessed from earlier entries on this list, Wonder Woman has had to battle magical beings. One of her more consistent magical adversaries is Morgaine le Fey, a sorceress who was based on the mythical half-sister of King Arthur who lived during the medieval times, and who entered into an immortal feud with Merlin that spilled into modern time. Since the limited Crisis on Infinite Earths series, Morgaine has faced Wonder Woman several times mainly because she wants to steal the heroine’s eternal beauty for herself, seeing as Merlin stole her youth, which is why she wears a golden mask and body armor to hide her appearance. Morgaine uses black magic in her fights with Wonder Woman and is even capable of transporting her and others to other dimensions. Although Wonder Woman has overcome her magic every time, Morgaine’s immortality makes her a constant threat.
8. The First Born
The Greek gods are incredibly powerful individuals in the DC universe; and although Zeus is believed to be the strongest god in Greek mythology, that is not true when it comes to DC lore. As the story goes, a being known as the First Born was the first child born to Zeus and Hera, but he was quickly cast out of Olympus as a newborn after it was prophesied that the child would grow up to take the throne from his father, while killing every other god in the process. He survived the expulsion, though, and used his ability to control animals to feed and protect himself. After learning his identity, he eventually created an army of hyena-human hybrids with which to storm Olympus. The First Born also had superhuman strength, invulnerability, accelerated healing, and the ability to absorb energy. He was so strong that not only was he able to defeat Ares, but he was also able to tear open a Boom Tube, which is an extra-dimensional portal used for travel. It was difficult to do, but Diana was able to defeat him; and in doing so, she became the new god of War.
Morgaine le Fey may now be one of Wonder Woman’s more common magical female villains, but she is not the strongest. That title actually goes to Circe, who is a demigod that has lived for more than 1,200 years. Circe is also incredibly jealous of Wonder Woman, partly for her looks, but also because of the respect that people give her. Plus, Diana is affiliated with the gods, and when she was given her immortality by the goddess Hecate, Circe was taught to hate the gods and humanity itself. Over the years, Circe has been known for either attacking Wonder Woman head on or ambushing her while disguised as a human. But those are not all of her abilities, as she is also able to teleport, to manipulate the dead, to produce magical shields and blasts, the ability to transform any object into whatever she desires, and the ability to alter minds and reality itself.
At the beginning of this list, we focused on Eris, who has the ability to alter her size enough to become a literal giant. However, she is not the only villain Wonder Woman has faced who possesses that ability. Giganta is actually one of Wonder Woman’s more common enemies. In fact, she has had it out for our heroine ever since she came into existence because, in truth, Giganta is actually the mind of Dr. Doris Zeul who transformed her mind into a circus-freak named Olga who had the power to increase her size. Initially, Zeul wanted to place her mind into Wonder Woman’s body, but failed; which is why she continues to resent the hero until this day, and why she has partnered with several evil groups such as the Injustice League. She has the ability to become hundreds of feet tall. And, the more she grows, the more durable and physically strong she becomes to the point that even Superman has problems dealing with her. Giganta will always be one of Wonder Woman’s toughest enemies because the only way that Wonder Woman is ever able to defeat her is by using her own anger against her.
In terms of female villains, Cheetah is by far the most recognizable, as she and Wonder Woman have faced off against one another dozens of times, whether it be in the comics or in an animated series or movie. There have been several women who have held the title of Cheetah, but the most commonly used character is Dr. Barbara Minerva, an English anthropologist who was transformed into the Cheetah through mystical means, where she gains superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and enhanced senses. After gaining those new powers, Cheetah made it her mission to claim Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. But over time, she has also developed a need to beat the Amazonian to satisfy her ego. Minerva’s Cheetah has been revamped several times, though, including in the New 52 series where she was an archaeologist who was able to turn Superman into a Cheetah-like being. And in the Rebirth series, DC decided to make her close to Wonder Woman in order to make her transformation into the villain much more dramatic.
Ares has been mentioned several times on this list; and with this entry, we will be focusing solely on him. There is a reason why he was made the main villain of the Wonder Woman movie—he has always truly hated the Amazons. As the god of War, Ares is the son of Zeus, and because of his father’s relationship with the Amazons, he has either tried to eradicate or conquer them. Ares has all of the enhanced physical attributes associated with being a god, but he can also control the dead, fly, control people’s minds, teleport, travel through dimensions, light things on fire with his mind, and can even manipulate darkness. Wonder Woman and Ares have always butted heads regarding how their powers should be used; and although he is her bitter enemy, he does bring out the best in her. However, in doing so, he also brings out the worst in her, as she has to always go all out physically and mentally in order to stop him, making him a near perfect warrior for her to fight against.
This year’s Wonder Woman film may be the heroine’s first standalone movie, but it was in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that the character made her first big screen appearance. In it, she had a great fight scene with the monster known as Doomsday. Now, Doomsday is primarily known for being a villain associated with Superman. In fact, he was, at one point, the only character in DC to ever actually kill the seemingly “unkillable” Man of Steel. However, Wonder Woman has fought him at times when he comes to Earth. Doomsday is an ancient Kryptonian who lived on Krypton at a time when the planet was extremely violent, and when only the strongest individuals could survive and found himself on Earth, he had virtually all of Superman’s physical abilities. Aside from that, Doomsday has the ability to constantly adapt to different attacks, to survive in space and wormholes without any oxygen, and is also resistant to virtually all forms of energy. On top of that, he has very sharp claws and bone protrusions which are strong enough to cut through even Superman’s flesh.
In the DC comic book universe, Ares and his family may be gods here on Earth, but they are not the only gods out there, as there exists a race known as the New gods, of which the villain Darkseid is a part of. Darkseid will be the ultimate villain that the Justice League will have to fight in the cinematic universe; and like Doomsday, he is mostly known for fighting Superman. But whenever he threatens Earth in some way, Wonder Woman is there to help fight him. Darkseid rules over the planet Apokolips, a hellish world with burning firepits and metal structures. He is also quite possibly the most dangerous being that Wonder Woman and the Justice League ever have to face. Aside from being immortal, he has superhuman physical abilities that rival even those of Superman, but he also has a genius level of intellect to go along with his Omega beams, his ability to travel through time, to manipulate matter, to control minds, and the ability to literally erase any object or life form from existence.
Now, this entry may be very surprising to some, seeing as Wonder Woman and Superman have constantly been depicted as allies and close friends; sometimes even lovers. But they have indeed fought each other in the past. Superman, as we all know, is from the planet Krypton; and thanks to our yellow sun, he gains every superhuman physical power imaginable, as well as other powers such as X-ray vision, heat vision, super breath, and the ability to fly. Wonder Woman has seemingly always been just as physically strong as Superman, and although they are friends, there have been times when the Man of Steel has turned to the dark side. And, in those instances, she has essentially been the Justice League’s secret non-kryptonite weapon. Whether he was manipulated by magic, kryptonite, or straight up mind control, the two always put on one hell of a fight when they clash; and most of the time, their battles end in a stalemate that leaves both completely exhausted.