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|First appearance||Wonder Woman vol. 2 #196 (November, 2003)|
|Full name||Veronica Cale|
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 Man's World so easy- much like Lex Luthor's resentment of Superman's status in Metropolis- 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 (although Anderson was then hired to 'cure' Kapatelis by extracting the cybernetic components).
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 worldwide 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.
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Veronica Cale is reintroduced in the DC Rebirth universe as leader of the mysterious organization called Godwatch. In this timeline, the soul of Cale's daughter Isadore is stolen by Phobos and Deimos, the sons of Ares. The Gods promise to restore it only if Cale obtains knowledge of Themyscira's location. As part of the Rebirth reboot, Wonder Woman realizes she doesn't know the location of Themyscira, it was taken from her precisely to prevent minions of Ares from learning it and freeing their master. Cale spends several years attempting to manipulate Wonder Woman into remembering it. In her first attempt, her friend Adrianna Anderson is killed and Cale creates an artificial intelligence from her brain patterns which names itself Dr Cyber.
In this timeline, Cale is indirectly responsible for Cheetah's curse. She provided Barbara Ann Minerva funding and encouragement for her expedition at the behest of Deimos and Phobos and prevented Wonder Woman from learning when she was in danger. Realizing that Ares sons would not keep their end of the bargain, Cale struck a pact with the witch Circe to bind them into the forms of two Doberman Pinschers. Unfortunately for Cale, Ares himself had taken her daughter's soul from them and Cale would still need to find him and free him to get her back. It was at this point Cale created the group Godwatch, consisting of herself, Cyber, Cheetah and the mercenary group Poison. After Wonder Woman frees Dr Minerva from the Cheetah's curse, Cale forces Minerva to become the Cheetah once more to save the lives of Steve Trevor, Etta Candy and Ferdinand the minotaur.
Ultimately, Cale and Wonder Woman locate Ares prison and Deimos and Phobos are defeated, but Isadore could not return to the normal world with her soul intact due to Ares freeing her from his sons. The only way for her to remain whole was to go to Themyscira, which is mystically linked with Ares prison. Heartbroken and bitter, Cale returns home knowing she will never see her daughter again and finds she is under FBI investigation for Godwatch's activities. A vengeful Cheetah then attacks Cale, but Wonder Woman intervenes. Dr Cyber ensures the investigation yields no results and Wonder Woman confronts Cale asking her to help remove the Cheetah's curse, but Cale refuses.
The Rebirth version of Veronica Cale is a far more competent character than her Pre-Flashpoint counterpart, manipulating Wonder Woman and her allies for years and finding ways of triumphing over gods. She is also far more complex. While she still holds Diana in contempt for much the same reasons as she did Pre-Flashpoint, she was content to ignore her until Deimos and Phobos put Cale and Diana at odds. She hates the Olympians for the loss of her daughter and blames Diana for bringing them into their lives. By the same token, she was truly heartbroken at the death of her best friend and initially felt remorse for her role in Dr. Minerva's transformation into the Cheetah.
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 play Cale in David E. Kelley's television revival of Wonder Woman for NBC. However, the series was not 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
- Wonder Woman #9 (2016)
- Wonder Woman #16(2016)
- Wonder Woman #18 (2016)
- Wonder Woman #20 (2016)
- Wonder Woman #17(2016)
- Wonder Woman #23(2016)
- Wonder Woman #24 (2016)
- Wonder Woman #25(2016)
- Melrose, Kevin. "Elizabeth Hurley Will Play Villain In David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman", Spinoff Online, March 3, 2011