Senses Shattered: Get to Know the WildC.A.T.s -

Senses Shattered: Get to Know the WildC.A.T.s

The WildC.A.T.s are finally back! No, I’m not talking about Ted Grant or Yolanda Montez—they’re the Wildcats. And no, the DC Universe hasn’t suddenly been overrun by mountain lions, bobcats and cougers—if it were, those would be plain old wildcats. I’m talking about WildStorm’s original, oddly acronymed covert action team—the WildC.A.T.s! The super-powered espionage crew is returning this week in a brand new series by Matthew Rosenberg and Stephen Segovia. If you’ve never encountered the WildC.A.T.s before, this new series is the perfect place to start. But don’t worry about getting up to speed. Consider this your quick-and-simple dossier on everything WildC.A.T.s.

Who are the WildC.A.T.s?

The WildC.A.T.s are a covert action team—it’s what the C.A.T. stands for. Imagine what the Justice League would be like if they had more guns and attitude, and you have the general idea. The WildC.A.T.s were created by Jim Lee (hey, we know him!) and Brandon Choi back in 1992. They’re considered one of the cornerstones of the WildStorm universe.

How did the WildC.A.T.s form?

The WildC.A.T.s are the result of a war between two alien races known as the Daemonites and the Kherubim. The conflict spanned centuries and Earth was one of their many battlegrounds. The Daemonites were a tyrannical race that sought to control humanity via body possession. Over time the Kherubim bred with Earth’s humans, which resulted in the birth of super-powered hybrids. Seeking to stop the Daemonites once and for all, a Kherubim refugee named Lord Emp gathered these hybrids and other enhanced individuals into the team that eventually became known as the WildC.A.T.s.

Who are the members?

Like most comic book teams, the WildC.A.T.s have had multiple lineups since their debut. Here’s a rundown on the original team.

Lord Emp – A Kherubim refugee who formed the WildC.A.T.s to battle the Daemonites. Although he has enhanced strength and energy manipulation, Lord Emp usually stays off the battlefield, preferring to delegate from behind the scenes.

Spartan – A Kherubim and an android. Spartan has super-strength and can manipulate machines. Since he’s part machine, Spartan is constantly upgrading himself, which means there is no shortage of surprises.

Grifter – Arguably the WildC.A.T.s’ best known member, Grifter is a former soldier who decided to become a vigilante… Okay, a vigilante with lots of guns. After being experimented on, Grifter gained telepathic powers, giving him an edge in combat situations.

Void – A Russian cosmonaut who merged with the Orb of Power. Void can teleport herself and others, see the future and manipulate energy.

Zealot – A Kherubim refugee who is one of the fiercest warriors on Earth. In addition to enhanced strength and agility, Zealot is a master enchantress, making her a formidable fighter.

Warblade – A human/Kherubim hybrid. Warblade has the power to turn any part of his body to liquid metal. This usually results in him turning his hands into blades, which is quite useful during a fight.

Maul – Maul can increase and decrease his mass, but there’s a catch. The bigger Maul gets, the more intelligence he loses. Conversely, his intelligence grows the smaller he gets. This means that Maul constantly has to choose between brain and brawn.

Voodoo – A human/Kherubim hybrid who has a powerful ability known as the Sight. Using the Sight, Voodoo can see through disguises and determine if a human is being possessed by a Daemonite. She also possesses enhanced abilities thanks to her Kherubim heritage and has been trained in Voodoo magic.

Some fun facts about Voodoo: The last writer to script a Voodoo ongoing series was none other than current Dark Crisis writer and DC superstar Joshua Williamson. That was back in 2012, but going back even earlier, the first writer to tackle a Voodoo solo comic after she debuted with WildC.A.T.s? No one other than Alan Moore.

Are they based in the DC Universe?

Yes, but that wasn’t always the case. Like Shazam and Blue Beetle, the WildC.A.T.s were originally published by another comic company. The WildC.A.T.s were part of an imprint known as WildStorm, which included a shared universe of characters such as the Authority. In 1997’s JLA/WildC.A.T.s, the characters from WildStorm and the DC Universe came together for the first time thanks to interdimensional travel…and some real world comic company cooperation.

In 1998, DC acquired the WildStorm imprint, paving the way for more crossovers, such as DC/WildStorm: Dreamwar. These team-ups continued to happen via interdimensional travel until 2011’s Flashpoint changed things for good. The reality altering events of the storyline restructured the DC Universe, integrating the characters of WildStorm into mainstream continuity. Characters like Grifter were given their own series, but the WildC.A.T.s were not seen together as a group…until recently.

What are the WildC.A.T.s up to now?

After a long absence, the WildC.A.T.s made their grand return in Batman: Urban Legends #5. There it was revealed that the team has been operating in the shadows for some time, which should probably come as no surprise. After all, they are a covert action team. The group fought the evil organization Leviathan and left the scene before Batman and Nightwing arrived. This version of the group was led by Grifter and included Mrs. Freeze, Ladytron, Zealot, Void, Spartan, Deathblow, Claire Fairchild, Voodoo and Jacob Marlowe.

Don’t worry though, not all of their modern adventures will be relegated to the shadows. This week the group will return with their first ongoing series in over a decade. Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Stephen Segovia’s new series will put the WildC.A.T.s up against the Court of Owls, another group who has some experience in secrecy.

Where can I learn more about the WildC.A.T.s?

If you’re interested in diving deeper, head on over to DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. You can binge read their original 1992 series, check out some fun one-shots like JLA/WildC.A.T.s, or get to know some of their members by reading solo comics like Grifter. Plus, if you upgrade to DC UNIVERSE INFINITE ULTRA, you can read Rosenberg and Segovia’s WildC.A.T.s series as soon as December.

Anything else?

Yes, in 1994 they had their own animated series. Head on over to YouTube and look up the theme song. It’s awesome.

WildC.A.T.s #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Stephen Segovia and Elmer Santos is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com and is the author of our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.