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|First appearance||Wonder Woman #196 (November, 2003)|
|Created by||Greg Rucka, Drew Johnson|
|Team affiliations||Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals
Veronica Cale is a fictional supervillain appearing in books published by DC Comics, primarily as an enemy of Wonder Woman. She was created by Greg Rucka in Wonder Woman v2, #196 (November 2003). Rucka stated his intent as creating a "Lex Luthor for Diana".
Fictional character biography
Veronica Cale is a founding partner (with her friend Leslie Anderson) in Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals. Having worked hard to get to this position she resents Wonder Woman for finding acceptance in Patriarch's World so easy, and finds her message of peace simplistic, reasoning that it is easy to preach an end to conflict if you are a superstrong demi-goddess. When Diana writes Reflections, a study of Amazon philosophy, Cale uses selected quotations from the book to spin the media against her.
When the book's most outspoken critic loses a debate, she arranges to have him killed at a demonstration, making it look like the book's proponents are responsible. She also uses Doctor Psycho to inflame both crowds.
Cale is subsequently bound, gagged, and locked in a closet by Psycho who impersonates her for a brief period, before she is rescued by Wonder Woman. This does not change her opinion of the superheroine, but does have an influence on Dr. Anderson which Cale finds worrying.
She is later coerced by Circe into applying as legal guardian of Circe's daughter Lyta as a way of removing Lyta from the Amazon island of Themyscira. The process is stopped midway through once Ares kidnaps Lyta from the island, leaving Circe to abandon her scheme with Cale.
This story plot was to have a larger part in the Wonder Woman comic but was dropped due to the Infinite Crisis storyline. Cale's reaction to the media furor surrounding Wonder Woman's killing of Maxwell Lord and its consequences have not been recorded.
Cale also played a role in the creation of the third Silver Swan, Vanessa Kapatelis, by buying her from Sebastian Ballesteros, the then-current Cheetah, and turning her into a cyborg to fight Wonder Woman.
She resurfaces in Week 26 of 52 as one of the abducted scientists on Oolong Island (and the only female among the group) she suffers a breakdown after unleashing the Four Horsemen upon the Black Marvel family. When Black Adam starts his world-wide crusade for vengeance, her conflicting feelings cause her to seduce the mentally unstable Will Magnus. When Black Adam actually arrives on the shores of Oolong Island, she attempts to take the blame for it, walking out to confront the maddened Adam. She is subsequently entirely ignored.
According to author notes in the fourth volume of the collected 52 editions, Cale was supposed to originally die at this point, casually slain by Black Adam. Further discussion changed her fate.
Subsequently, Cale leads the remaining mad scientists to form an independent collective. Their first problem is the return of the Four Horsemen of Apokolips. Cale ingests a semi-organic containment unit and uses it to absorb the Horsemen's essences. She is later seen undergoing an operation to remove the unit.
In a pastiche of Golden Age stories printed as a back-up strip in Wonder Woman v2, #200, Cale is reinvented as a perfume manufacturer called Veronica Callow. When Wonder Woman refuses to promote her new perfume, Callow tries to discredit Wonder Woman by creating a robot duplicate named Superba who commits crimes.
In other media
- Actress Elizabeth Hurley was to be playing Cale in David E. Kelley's television revival of Wonder Woman for NBC before not being picked up by the network.
- Veronica Cale appears in DC Universe Online, voiced by Debra Cole. Her voice is heard on the intercom during the Oolong Island alert telling her workers to get back to work. Cale herself is located on the second floor balcony of the central building in Oolong Island's first area.
- Cale-Anderson can be read on a billboard in the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
- Newsarama Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Wonder Woman #196
- Wonder Woman #197
- Wonder Woman #199
- Wonder Woman #200
- Wonder Woman #202
- 52 #26
- 52 #29
- 52: The Four Horsemen #1
- 52: The Four Horsemen #2-6
- Doom Patrol #1
- Melrose, Kevin. "Elizabeth Hurley Will Play Villain In David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman", Spinoff Online, March 3, 2011