Hoping to obtain immortality, petulant archaeologist Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva investigates the legend of a tribal guardian figure imbued with the qualities of a cheetah. Assisted by Chuma, the caretaker of the ancient plant god Urtzkartaga, Minerva undergoes the mystical process, unaware that the ritual is designed to accommodate a virgin. Though the process is technically successful, transforming Minerva into a sleek bipedal feline with flesh-rending fangs and claws, she suffers constant pain in her human form and loses control when she converts into her cheetah form. The Cheetah initially earns the enmity of Wonder Woman during a failed attempt to commandeer the Lasso of Truth, and subsequently becomes obsessed with defeating Wonder Woman. The New 52 version of the Cheetah is included among the massive army of supervillains recruited by the Crime Syndicate.