Friday, June 10, 2011

WildC.A.T.s? How the hell is that typed? S.H.I.E.L.D. is easier to keep typing...


As someone who wasn't a big Image/Wildstorm fan, my first thought when I saw Grifter and Voodoo were getting new DC number ones...was there go a couple of wasted slots. But that's not really fair: the WildC.A.T.s characters may not be to my taste, but that's not to say they couldn't possibly be used in good comics. And, on further thought, while I don't plan on running out and buying them, I have enjoyed just about every comic I've seen with Grifter and Voodoo! Weird...

First up, they, and the Wildstorm Universe, guested in the thirteenth issues of Marvel's Heroes Reborn books. Which reminds me, I need Spartan and Voodoo and heck, even Zealot figures. (I don't know Zealot's backstory, but she should just be slotted in as an Amazon. Her warlike nature would make Wonder Woman's peaceful mission stand out more...)

I'm pretty sure it's somewhat intentional, but Spartan is hysterical to me. He's the robot teammate, like the Vision in the Avengers or Red Tornado in the JLA; except Spartan is treated as completely disposable. That, and it's pretty obvious that Voodoo (and the Scarlet Witch in the crossover!) are using him as a sex toy. Which would be a bit creepy if the genders were flipped, but here it makes me laugh, for some reason.

Anyway, the WildC.A.T.s also crossed over with the X-Men, in a four-part series that I only read the issue that had Nightcrawler in it. (I know Warren Ellis wrote the fourth issue, but I've read enough Days of Futures Past X-crap over the years without actively hunting it down...) And Warblade comes across well here: while he looks like an EXTREME version of Wolverine, Warblade is nowhere near that into it, and seems like he'd be more than happy to go home and watch TV.

Then there's the JLA/WildC.A.T.s crossover, written by Grant Morrison. The heroes fight the Lord of Time, Superman is electric blue and Majestic looks more heroic, Grifter and Batman contrast methods, and Void trips Kyle right out. Another solid issue. And, although I recall most of that series as being about the Youngblood or Cyberforce characters, the WildC.A.T.s are in the Image superhero crossover Shattered Image as well.

What I like about the WildC.A.T.'s, even without reading a lot of their comics, is that the characters are archetypes--there's your Punisher-type, your Wonder Woman character, your Wolverine homage--but they're archetypes you can break. I have several issues from the quarter bins of Wildcats 3.0, and they are pretty far afield from where those characters started. (So far afield that there's been a reboot, even before whatever Grifter's DCU status is...) In theory, you should be able to do things story-wise with Grifter, that you couldn't do with Batman, since you don't have the burden of seventy years of continuity and fan expectations and licensing restrictions and so on. In theory, of course. After all, Grifter and the WildC.A.T.s are nearly twenty years old. We'll see if it pans out...

3 comments:

SallyP said...

Poor Ted. Poor, poor Ted.

plainwater said...

Memories! I had all the wildcat action figures as a kid and loved them dearly.

Dale Bagwell said...

Me too! I had Grifter, Zealot, and Spartan. They were cool for the times, but now that they're in the DC proper, it'd be nice if they showed up again in the DCUC/DC Direct toy lines.

Poor Ted, maybe the next 52 indeed.