First Appearance: Wonder Woman 196 (2003)
Creators: Greg Rucka and Drew Johnson
Abilities: Genius engineer, business tycoon, criminal mastermind and founder of Godwatch.
Backstory: One of Diana’s more complex adversaries, the deeply self-reliant Veronica Cale wears many hats: bio-engineer, CEO, dedicated mother, god hunter and of course, contemptuous villain who won’t stop until she evens the score. Despite being rescued by Wonder Woman several times, Cale uses here wealth, intellect and expertise in chemical & technological engineering to conspire against Diana, which has brought her in league (and conflict) with prominent members of the Amazon’s rogues gallery. Her motives have changed over time, however, the core reason for her resentment becoming deeper and more personal.
Talented and industrious, Dr. Cale worked hard to earn everything she has, but as a woman working in the fields of both medicine and business, she spent her life fighting an uphill battle—a familiar story: working ten times harder to make half the progress as people with a fraction of her insight or creativity; But Cale was up to the challenge, and became the founder of a hugely successful company, accumulating vast wealth.
She had grown cynical though, and developed a ruthlessness which allowed her to survive in a cutthroat world, so when Wonder Woman arrived with her graceful god-given gifts, preaching of peace and equality, she took personal offense. Cale would attempt to smear Diana’s reputation, and later played a role in the creation of the 3rd Silver Swan, Vanessa Kapatelis, by buying her from Sebastian Ballesteros, and turning her into a cyborg.
During Rebirth Cale would gain another layer of scorn for not only Diana, but the Gods of Olympus. As the CEO of Empire Industries she would launch Godwatch, which was founded for the sole purpose of locating Themyscira—not to enhance Cale’s own power or influence, but out of desperation.
The sons of Ares, Phobos and Deimos, seeking to free their father from prison on Themyscira, had exploited Veronica by placing a curse on her daughter, Isadore, which removed her face and soul from her body. Only upon the liberation of Ares from his prison on Themyscira could Isadore be restored. To add to her grief, she would also lose her best friend, Adrianna Anderson, who died and transformed into Dr. Cyber while on a mission to find the island.
Cale exacted revenge upon her blackmailers by partnering with the sorceress Circe, and even arranged to re-curse a newly cured Barbara Minerva in order to aide her in her efforts. When she located the island Veronica learned that Isadore could only remain whole if she stayed, forcing her to leave her only daughter and heir behind. Veronica blames Wonder Woman’s personal feud with Ares for their separation to this day.