Wildcat is the name of several DC Comics superheroes, the first and most famous of which is Ted Grant, a long-time member of the Justice Society of America. Created by writer Bill Finger and illustrator Irwin Hasen, Grant first appeared in Sensation Comics # 1 (January 1942).
A world class heavyweight boxer, Grant became inadvertently entangled in the criminal underworld and developed a costumed identity to clear his name. Like many non-headlining characters of the Golden Age, Wild Cat was primarily featured as a member of the Justice Society of America.
Modern portrayals of Wildcat show him to be a rowdy tough guy with a streak of male chauvinism, leading to frequent clashes with the feministic Power Girl. The character’s insecurities have been explored as well. Meanwhile, a magical "nine lives" spell has explained his vitality at an old age. Like many older JSA members, he’s been a mentor to younger heroes, particularly Batman and Black Canary. His relationship with Canary was the basis for an episode of Justice League Unlimited.
Other characters have taken Grant’s name and identity, including the deceased Yolanda Montez, his goddaughter who took over while he was injured. Recently, Tom Bronson, his newly discovered son, has also taken up the title of Wildcat and has been taken under Grant's wing as a new member of the Justice Society of America.
Wildcat's origin is chronicled in Sensation Comics #1 as well as Secret Origins #3 (1973) and All-Star Squadron Annual #1 (1982). Henry Grant vowed on his baby son's crib that the child would not grow up afraid of life, he encouraged his son in sports and paid for great coaching and would have continued to into the young man's college days except that both Henry Grant and his wife died. Orphaned in the days of the Great Depression Ted Grant found himself unemployed in the big city. One night he saved "Socker" Smith, the heavyweight boxing champ, from a mugging. "Socker" took Ted under his wings and soon Ted was a heavyweight champ in his own right. He also unknowingly became tangled in his manager's sinister plans. As a result, his mentor "Socker" Smith was killed by a boxing glove loaded with a poison needle by Grant's managers Flint and Skinner. The dose was only intended to slow Smith, but the duo misjudged the potency. When Grant was arrested for the crime, Flint and Skinner, afraid he might know what had happened, arranged a hit on the young fighter. Ted Grant survived, but the policemen with him were dead. He became a fugitive and came upon a kid who was robbed of his Green Lantern comic. The kid, describing the mystery-man Green Lantern, inspired Ted to create a costume of a large black cat. He took the name of Wildcat and vowed to clear his name. He brought Flint and Skinner to justice, and the villains were forced to confess and Grant's name was cleared. Wildcat continued to fight against crime.
In the pages of All Star Comics Wildcat had a few adventures as a member of the Justice Society of America and in the 1980s when the All-Star Squadron was published and created a retroactive continuity in which the majority of WWII mystery-men interacted with each other, Wildcat had a place as a member of that conglomeration of heroes as well. The 1970s run of All Star Comics (1976-1979) had Wildcat play a central role as a Justice Society member. In the story arc which saw Green Lantern go berserk and Commissioner Bruce Wayne issue arrest warrants for the JSA, it was Wildcat's ability to look fear in the face that allowed him to defeat the mastermind of the disaster: the second Psycho-Pirate. In 1985, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Ted's legs were shattered by an out-of-control Red Tornado and he was told he would never walk again, but he soon discovered he had a god-daughter who became the second Wildcat (see below).
In the post-Crisis rebooted continuity, Ted Grant never experienced paraplegia. He was also still a former heavyweight champion of the world. He also appeared in an issue of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman titled "The Golden Boy".
He assists the Justice League of America, where he is killed by a fifth-dimensional imp during a fifth-dimensional war involving the cosmos. It is revealed then he has nine lives, and has since 1945, as a result of him refusing to throw a boxing match where a sorcerer named King Inferno had bet several souls on his opponent; with the aid of Zatara, Inferno's spell in revenge failed to turn him into a real cat, but left him with a cat's nine lives. This accounts for how he can be over 70 years old, yet an athletic and powerful boxer.
Ted is one of the four members of the original JSA on the current team, and is seen as a kind (if rowdy at times), avuncular figure by the other teammates. He frequently scraps with the similarly rowdy Power Girl and may be attracted to her. Ted Grant has had several notable relationships with women. One included Irina, the mother of Ted's son Jake. After Jake was kidnapped by the Yellow Wasp, they soon parted ways. Selina Kyle followed soon after. In addition to training her in boxing, Ted and Selina have shared a mutual attraction and had a torrid affair at one time. Queen Hippolyta also had an affair with Ted when Hippolyta traveled back in time to World War II. Ted was visibly shaken up after Hippolyta's death in the DC crossover, Our Worlds at War.
Ted later lost the last of his extra "nine lives", when he was "killed" by his Justice Society ally Jay Garrick, the original Flash. The two did this intentionally in order to permit Ted to escape control of the Spear of Destiny, which can permit the holder mind control over superpowered individuals, and thus save the world from the spear being used to dominate Earth.
Born with meta-human powers due to the machinations of the villainous Dr. Love, Yolanda Montez became the god-daughter of Ted "Wildcat" Grant, a good friend of her father, "Mauler" Montez. Due to the prenatal treatments given to her mother, Yolanda was born with retractable claws on her fingers and toes, and cat-like agility. She concealed her abilities and lived a normal life. Yolanda became a journalist, working for "Rock Stars Magazine". Ted became injured in the Crisis and Yolanda used her powers to become the new Wildcat. She joined Infinity Inc. shortly afterward. She fought the good fight for years before being killed by Eclipso , alongside her other teammates in the Shadow Fighters. Yolanda's cousin Alex later became Eclipso.
It was later revealed that Ted Grant has a son that he never met before by the name of Tom Bronson. Tom's mother was a woman with whom Ted had a one-night stand. Tom does not appear to be bitter toward Ted for not being involved in his life, but states that he does not believe he will ever be the next Wildcat (stating that he hadn't been in a fight since the 8th grade, and lost that one).
It was revealed that Tom is a metahuman. When Wildcat is attacked by Vandal Savage, Tom turns into a werecat, very similar to the Kingdom Come version of Wildcat. Tom manages to hold out in the fight against Savage until help arrives, despite the near-immortal's desire to kill (and eat) him.
Tom (after some initial reluctance) agrees to share the "Wildcat" codename with his father, and is introduced to the Justice Society.
Later, he would participate in a team-up with the Justice League. His talk with Vixen indicates the presence of enhanced animalistic senses.
Wildcat (Ted Grant) appeared in the animated series Justice League Unlimited voiced by Dennis Farina. He had a prominent role alongside Black Canary and Green Arrow in the 2005 episode "The Cat and the Canary" where he was competing in Roulette's Meta-Brawl after he became less involved in missions, leaving him to train the other heroes on the Watchtower. He defeated Sportsmaster and his match with the Atomic Skull was interrupted by Green Arrow and Black Canary. Black Canary made a deal with Roulette for her to fight her mentor; if she won, Roulette would bar Wildcat from MetaBrawl forever, but if Wildcat won, Black Canary would never get involved with his life there again. Green Arrow used a knockout gas arrow on Black Canary, fought Wildcat and faked his own death using an unseen stunner that put him in "metabolic stasis". This helped Wildcat see the horror of the match and quit. Afterwards, Wildcat is seen in therapy with Martian Manhunter. In Panic In the Sky, he fights against the Ultimen clones.