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Wildcats (comics)

Wildcats, sometimes rendered WildCats or WildC.A.T.s, is the name of multiple incarnations of a superhero team created by the American comic book artist Jim Lee and Brandon Choi.

Overview

The team first appeared in 1992 in the first issue of their eponymous comic book WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams, published by Image Comics. It was Image founding partner Lee's first work published by the newly-launched company, and his first creator owned project after achieving fame and fortune as a penciler of X-Men and Punisher comics published by Marvel Comics. The Wildcats were the starting point for Lee's menagerie of interconnected superhero creations which became the foundation of the Wildstorm Universe. The Wildcats comics, launched at the apex of a speculator-fuelled comics sales boom, was wildly popular at its inception, with wholesale sales to comic book stores above one million copies for early issues and the fan press whipping comics buyers into a frenzy of anticipation. An animated TV cartoon adaptation of the comic made its Saturday morning debut on CBS in 1994. As the comics market cooled off, the title's popularity waned somewhat, and it was cancelled and relaunched several times as various new approaches to the concept were introduced, although it never went away for very long. In 1998, ownership of the Wildcats concepts and characters were sold to DC Comics, a subsidiary of Time Warner, as part of DC's acquisition of Lee's company Wildstorm Productions, previously his imprint within Image. In addition to Lee, the Wildcats comics have also featured work by such prominent comics creators as Jae Lee, Travis Charest, Chris Claremont, James Robinson, Alan Moore, Joe Casey, Sean Phillips, Dustin Nguyen, and Grant Morrison.

In the first series the Kherubim, a group of immortal aliens stranded on Earth for centuries, organize a "Covert Action Team" to fight the Daemonites, a second alien race with whom the Kherubim have long been at war. After 50 issues, the first series ended and a new incarnation was launched, under the simplified title Wildcats, focusing on the former members of the now-disbanded team and emphasizing a grittier tone during its 28-issue run. The third series, Wildcats Version 3.0, revolved around the HALO Corporation, its CEO Jack Marlowe (an amalgamation of original team members Spartan & Void), Grifter and a gallery of new characters subverting corporation politics to their cause of creating a better world. This incarnation lasted 24 issues and was followed by a nine-issue limited series titled Wildcats: Nemesis, which returned to a more superheroic syle reminiscent of the first series. In late 2006, a fourth ongoing series was launched as a part of the Worldstorm publishing initiative.

History

WildC.A.T.s - The Daemonite-Kherubim War

Launched as an original Image comic book title by hugely popular X-Men penciler Jim Lee and his friend writer Brandon Choi, the comic book's premise revolved around the centuries long war between aliens called Kherubim and Daemonites. Kherubims, a nearly immortal, human-looking alien race with exceptional powers and skills, eventually traveled to Earth and by breeding with humans populated the planet with "Half-Breeds". Daemonites, besides having a fearsome appearance, also possessed various superhuman abilities including body possession and mental control over human beings. The initial arc brought Voodoo over to the team as the readers' point of view character as Helspont, a Daemonite warlord has taken control over Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle. Rob Liefeld's Youngblood co-starred in the closing chapters of the arc.

WildC.A.T.s' story continued in the mini Trilogy, penciled by Jae Lee, that introduced Hightower the Daemonite lord. Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri proceeded to publish a 'Killer Instinct' crossover detailing Warblade's connection to Marc Silvestri's Cyberforce. Penciler Travis Charest was introduced in a oneshot Wildcats special written by Howard the Duck's creator Steve Gerber. Jim Lee devoted his time to coming up with the new concepts of Gen13, Deathblow and Stormwatch. Before he left the book he did the four-issue Gathering of Eagles storyline written by his Uncanny X-Men writer, Chris Claremont. It featured a new villain in Tapestry and added the characters of Mister Majestic, Savant and Soldier, all the while featuring Claremont's creator owned character Huntsman that also starred in a Cyberforce storyline.

Of note is also the issue #14, part of the month when Jim Lee and Brandon Choi penciled an issue of Savage Dragon featuring Grifter and Condition Red while the Dragon's creator Erik Larsen tackled WildC.A.T.s pitting them against his Freak Force team in a tongue-in-cheek adventure.

Initially, it was revealed that Daemonites could not breathe Earth's air but subsequent writers have ignored and revised the concept. Most of the villains and characters in the book were Half-Breeds or Daemonite warlords with half of the WildStorm Universe eventually turning out to be one or the other.

Almost all of the characters were spun off into their own mini-series, with Zealot featured in a 3 part Ron Marz written story, Spartan having his Kurt Busiek written mini-series, Warblade sharing another with Cyberforce's Ripclaw. Grifter co-starred in a mini with Stormwatch's Backlash that led to the latter's ongoing title, as well as another with Youngblood's Bedrock, Billy Tucci's Shi and even Dark Horse's the Mask.

WildC.A.T.s was also made into a Nintendo video game and a short-lived cartoon that spawned a spin-off comics series WildC.A.T.s Adventures that was cancelled after 10 issues.

Inter-title continuity

The Wildstorm universe started to take a more clear shape with the second batch of titles, most prominently Gen13, Deathblow, and Wetworks, that continued the story of IO's manipulation of the Gen-factor. The characters' backstories were further detailed in the three Team 7 mini-series.

James Robinson

James Robinson wrote a handful of issues, and also participated in the Wildcats' first Annual as well as a Team One Stormwatch/WildC.A.T.s mini-series detailing the past of the Wildstorm universe. Except for Grifter's involvement, WildC.A.T.s mostly kept clear of the other titles and the larger universe, being linked only by Emp, Majestic and Zealot's Cold War history as superheroes. The title also participated in the WildC.A.T.s-oriented "Wildstorm Rising" crossover that saw the heroes try to gain control of the Daemonite battleship, which turned out to be the Kheran Ship instead, with WildC.A.T.s eventually leaving for Khera. Following a Grifter oneshot, the crossover gave birth to a short-lived Steven Seagle written Grifter series that centered on his super spy/superhero adventures while linking to an obscure Team One character Regiment at one point.

Alan Moore

Alan Moore attempted to give the series depth and cohesion by following up on the initial premise of the Daemonite and Kherubim war. After Grifter resigned, the C.A.T.s had the opportunity to venture to Khera where they found what appeared to be paradise. The Kherubims had won the Daemonite-Kherubim war and were living in prosperity. Appearances were deceiving, however, and it was apparent the planet was run by power-hungry politicians who have ruthlessly subjugated the Daemonites as second-class citizens. Voodoo, with her Daemonite blood, experienced this firsthand. Maul's race was also treated unjustly and though Emp, Warblade and Zealot were seduced by promises of power and recognition, Spartan discovered the truth about Khera's corrupt leaders. It took the death of one of Maul's race for the WildC.A.T.s to leave and head back for Earth. Disillusioned by the outcome of the war offworld and their selfishness, the team fell apart. Voodoo left and Emp fell into depression. The original team returned to Earth in pieces and despite having new members, they were defeated by the cunning traitor, Tao, who had manipulated them at each turn. Alan Moore also participated in Fire From Heaven, a huge continuity-heavy crossover that resolved plotlines regarding Team 1, Team 7 and Kaizen Gamorra.

Alan Moore spun Voodoo off in a four-issue mini-series that had almost no connection to WildC.A.T.s mythos instead dealing with voodoo magic. Alan Moore also wrote a time-traveling WildC.A.T.s/Spawn crossover mini-series.

At the time, Grifter had another turn at an ongoing series, this time written by Steven Grant with a much more gritty take on the character, but it didn't last long. Zealot was featured in a Backlash spinoff, Wildcore.

Return of Brandon Choi

A two part arc was set in place before the book's co-creator Brandon Choi returned, setting up the short lasting Savant Garde spin-off. Choi initiated a storyline with an organization called Puritans as the main villains. The Puritans' goal was to eradicate the Kherubim and Daemonites on Earth. The 'C.A.T.s included Grifter, Condition Red and new members Mythos (a Kherubim Lord), Olympia (a Coda-trained Daemonite) and Sister Eve (the daughter of Emp's brother, Lord Entropy). The team traveled in time, and had various adventures through different times, until they came back.

WildC.A.T.s crossed over with Grant Morrison's JLA and the X-Men, the latter series providing info on both team's places in each other universes' post World War II history and even the future.

WildC.A.T.S Volume 1 collections

Trade paperback collections:

  • WildC.A.T.S Covert Action Teams - Collects # 1-4
  • WildC.A.T.S/Cyberforce: Killer Instinct (ISBN 1401203221) - Collects #5-7 and Cyberforce V2 #1-3 (ISBN 1401203221)
  • A Gathering of Eagles - Collects # 10-13
  • James Robinson's WildC.A.T.S (ISBN 1401222048) - Collects # 15-20, Annual #1 & Team One/WildC.A.T.S. (due January 2009)
  • WildC.A.T.s: Homecoming - Collects # 21-27 (ISBN 156389582X) (first printing, 1998; second printing 1999)
  • WildC.A.T.s: Gang War - Collects # 28-34 (ISBN 1-58240-037-7) (first printing, November 1998; second printing, May 1999)
  • Alan Moore's Complete WildC.A.T.S - Collects # 21-34, and #50

Issue #14 is collected in Savage Dragon Vol. 4: Possessed as it was done by Erik Larson as part of Image X Month, issue 20 is also collected in the Wildstorm Rising trade paperback, while JLA/WildC.A.T.s is collected in the JLA: Ultramarine Corps trade.

New printings of the trade paperbacks WildC.A.T.s: Homecoming and WildC.A.T.s: Gang War were published in 1999 after the late 1998 acquisition of WildStorm Productions by DC Comics.

Wildcats volume two

After the first series cancellation, WildStorm, now an imprint of DC Comics, resurrected the Wildcats under a whole different premise - Wildcats dealt with the lives of the original members after the team's breakup following a botched mission during which team member Zealot apparently died. Scott Lobdell provided the writing for the initial seven issues as well as a Mosaic oneshot detailing the change in Lord Emp, with Travis Charest penciling most of them. New villains like Kenyan and CC Rendozo were featured as antagonists, but it was all dropped very quickly, with Charest leaving the monthly comic format for working in a French still-to-be-released Metabarons graphic novel called Dreamshifters and Lobdell going away just a couple of issues later, after a very grim and bloody issue featuring Warblade's new status quo as he avenges the death of his girlfriend.

Wild Times: Wildcats and Wild Times: Grifter were published as oneshots, as a part of the strange crossover series Wild Times that spotlighted the characters in Elseworlds-like alternate reality scenarios that blended genres.

Somewhere around this time, Wildcats' creator Jim Lee penciled the 12 issue maxi-series Divine Right, featuring a new character called Max Faraday with God complex issues, introducing even more new creations such as Fallen, who were seldom seen later, as well as the end of the Internal Operations storyline. Strangely, Wildcats participated also in the WildC.A.T.s/Aliens crossover written by Stormwatch's Warren Ellis that served as a coda to that series and a prequel to his Authority run, having very little to do with Wildcats themselves, and pencilled by Chris Sprouse.

As Joe Casey and Sean Phillips took over Wildcats, they quickly dealt away with Kenyan while Void and Emp ended up having Spartan absorb their assets and powers, thus the book began a long spell featuring him aided by Ladytron and Grifter with Maul and Voodoo guest-starring and as well as new characters Noir, Agents Wax and Mohr of the National Park Service. Warblade was featured very briefly, last time in the Wildcats 2000 annual that brought back the dead version Condition Red, killing Olympia. Casey and Phillips signaled the new Wildstorm - critically acclaimed but low on readers' radar. The heroes fought Samuel "Slaughterhouse" Smith (a superhuman serial killer whose grandfather had appeared in Team One: WildC.A.T.s) after which eventually Zealot returned. Casey also wrote the Ladytron oneshot, a farsic rendition of her past, as well as a Mister Majestic ongoing series, cancelled at #9.

Storylines

Street Smart
More of a series of stand-alone stories instead of a story arc, issues one through seven were the ones written by Scott Lobdell.

Balance of Terror

Grifter goes to Venice, planning to steal the money from an arms transaction. There, he sees his old teammate Spartan negotiating with the dealer, who goes by the name of Noir. After some fighting, the three of them are teletransported to the Halo Building. There, Grifter is surprised to see that Emp has been through some kind of transformation. Spartan reveals that Emp is doing this in order to become a Kherubim High Lord. They team up to stop the villain Kenyan from using Kherubim technology to his own purposes.

Second Skin

Voodoo and Maul have moved to California, where Jeremy has been studyng their DNA. They are kidnapped by underworld power-broker C.C. Rendozzo. She stole a lethal virus, and, now, she is infected. Rendozzo wants Jeremy to cure her and, to make him work faster, infects him too. They are cured, and Voodoo and Maul escape. A Daemonite starts stalking them.

Flavors

Noir joins the Wildcats. Their first mission is to infiltrate a school where the Principal has a Daemonite artifact.

Firefight

Kenyan watches holographic scenes from the WildC.A.T.s last mission, which was invading a village in Ireland where there were superpowered terrorists possessing Daemonite technology. A mistake made by Emp apparently causes Zealot's death. The team disbands.

Coda-Fied

Zealot appears to be alive and well. After stopping a robbery, a movie director who was held hostage during said robbery tries to convince her to let him make a movie based on her life. They are attacked by a group of Coda warriors and Zealot finishes them all.

Meanwhile, whilst jogging, Grifter and Spartan run into a group of secret agents on Central Park. The agents attack them for seemingly no reason and, after the two heroes finish them, they found files with photos of both Maul and Voodoo.

This issue is pencilled by Bryan Hitch famous for his work on The Ultimates and The Authority.

The Chase

In New York, Grifter fights Kenyan, trying to stop him from killing several people with a bacterial bomb and them resuscitate them as zombies using stolen Kherubin technology. Spartan destroys the bomb, which is located on the Statue of Liberty's torch. Kenyan escapes.

To Kill a Wildcat

The mercenary Pike is obsessed with killing a WildC.A.T. (he doesn't know that the team disbanded). He kills Warblade's girlfriend and, in revenge, Warblade pursues Pike to Sarajevo and kills him.

Vicious Circles
Covering issues 8 to 13, this period, as well as the next ones, was written by Joe Casey, and includes the first story arc of the title.

Ascension of Lord Emp

The Wildcats continue their search for Kenyan, and, now, Emp has disappeared. Grifter persuades Noir to help. Together and with some reluctant help from Spartan, they discovered Emp is at Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Emp and Kenyan talk calmly. The Wildcats go to Vegas, where they fight a crook who is using hi-tech to steal a safe. Later, they meet Emp and Kenyan. Emp uses mind games to make his nemesis kill him. Instead, Kenyan kills himself. Spartan is, then, asked by Emp to kill him, and he does so.

Furious Engines

While Spartan views Emp's holographic will, Grifter is engaged by two foreigners who want him to find a historical artifact. He discovers that the artifact is Ladytron and that the foreigners are members of the church of Gort, a church for cybernetic people which Ladytron has left. After some fighting, Grifter decides to bring Ladytron to Halo Inc (now owned by Spartan).

My Father's House

Thirteen

Serial Boxes

The second and last extended storyline of the series, lasting six issues (14 to 19).

A superpowered serial killer named Samuel Smith starts killing women last-named Marlowe. He is the grandson of Slautherhouse Smith, who was rendered comatose by Saul Baxter (A.K.A Jacob Marlowe, A.K.A. Lord Emp). Meanwhile, the team starts adapting to Emp's Ascension and Spartan's subsequent assuming control of Halo Inc. Voodoo, who is using a Marlowe pseudonym, is tracked down by the killer. They meet and go to her house, where Samuel, using his eye laser beams, cuts off her two legs and almost cut her throat. Maul attacks Samuel, who shoots his laser beams at Maul's eyes, blinding him. Samuel escapes. Ladytron tracks Smith down, is seriously wounded by him, and is teleported back to Halo. Later, Spartan and Grifter prepare a trap for Smith, who is killed by Grifter.

It is during this storyline that Agent Wax makes his first appearance, investigating the killings with Agent Mohr.

Battery Park

The last storyline of the series. It is composed of minor story arcs that give closure to some dangling plot lines set by both Casey and Lobdell. This phase comprises issues 20 to 28.

Sodom and Modem

Unbearable Likeness

Turnaround

Tremor/Transformed

Hard Lies Vendetta

Battery Park

Idaho Falls

Door Prizes

Wildcats Volume 2 collection

Trade paperback collections:

  • Street Smart - Collects # 1-6
  • Vicious Circles - Collects # 8-13
  • Serial Boxes - Collects # 14-19
  • Battery Park - Collects # 20-28

Wildcats Version 3.0 - Corporate culture for a better world

The third series, Wildcats Version 3.0, was a part of the mature readers' Eye of the Storm imprint, dealing with Spartan's (now Jack Marlowe) agenda to better the world by proliferating advanced technology and power sources throughout the world via the HALO Corporation. Grifter was his troubleshooter and Agent Wax was one of his first associates. The stories added a motley group to this proactive organisation including the power broker C.C. Rendozzo and her organization, Agent Orange, and Grifter's unlikely pupil Edwin Dolby, one of HALO's accountants. The series ended with a thunderous finale where Zealot destroyed the Coda chapter she created on Earth. The whole series was written by Joe Casey and most of it was illustrated by Dustin Nguyen (not to be confused with the actor).

It is important to note that concurrent with Wildcats Version 3.0, Wildstorm also published a critically acclaimed noir-superhero series Sleeper starring Alan Moore's Wildcats villain Tao, several Wildcats and other related characters. Spartan played a role in the Coup D'État crossover centering on The Authority taking over as rulers of the Wildstorm Universe's United States.

Wildcats Version 3.0 collections

Trade paperback collections:

  • Brand Building - Collects # 1-6
  • Full Disclosure - Collects # 7-12

In between the volumes

After guest-starring in Superman books, in 2004 DC published a Mr. Majestic mini-series to test waters for next year's eventual ongoing series that was cancelled at #17.

Wildcats starred in a limited series by Robbie Morrison and Talent Caldwell entitled Wildcats: Nemesis, focusing on Zealot, Majestic and the Coda continuity, while heavily spotlighting the new Wildstorm universe anti-hero character of Charis, Lady Nemesis.

At the same time, Wildstorm published the Captain Atom: Armageddon maxi-series, heavily featuring the Wildcats as they tried to help DC character Captain Atom return to his universe and stop him from accidentally destroying their reality. Nikola, a female medic became the new Void with Captain Atom sharing a part of the power that eventually remade the Wildstorm universe altogether.

WildCats Volume 4

In 2006, as part of the Worldstorm line-wide shake up, the title was restarted, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Jim Lee. The team consists of Spartan, Mr. Majestic, Zealot, Grifter, Voodoo, Savant, and Ladytron. Warblade is on a secret mission, and Maul has retired to his civilian identity. Kaizen Gamorra returned as villain, aided by the WildCats' first enemy, Helspont. Thus far only one issue has been released (Dec. 2006 cover date), and no second issue is currently solicited. Jim Lee announced at Wondercon 2008 had said that he has the second script from Grant Morrison, but Wildstorm will not solicit it until there are several issues ready to go. The story should run six issues long.

WildCats Volume 5

Wildstorm has announced a new ongoing WildCats series to be written by Christos Gage (Stormwatch: PHD, Wildstorm: Armageddon) and pencilled by Neil Googe (Welcome to Tranquility) will follow on the imprint's current Number of the Beast mini-series. World's End is the new status quo in the Wildstorm Universe which will lead to the relaunch of the main titles, the series is expected to begin in July 2008. Issue 1 was released on July 31, 2008 with the series officially titled as WildCats Volume 5 #1 (Sept. 2008 cover date) in the comic's legal indicia (whereas the series was previously advance-solicited to be titled as WildCats: World's End).

Creative teams

Volume 1

  • 0-9: Jim Lee (Plot, Art), Brandon Choi (Script), Brett Booth (Art #0)
  • 10-13: Chris Claremont (Writer), Jim Lee (Artist)
  • 14: Erik Larsen (Writer, Artist)
  • 15-20: James Robinson (Writer), Travis Charest, Jim Lee (Artists)
  • 21-34: Alan Moore (Writer), and various artists (Jim Lee, Mat Broome, Travis Charest and others)
  • 35-36: Barbara Kesel (Writer), Pascual Ferry, Rich Johnson and Carlos D'Anda (Artists)
  • 37-50: Brandon Choi, John Peterson (Co-Plotters), Mat Broome, Ed Benes and others (Artists)

Volume 2

Volume 3.0

  • 1-24: Joe Casey (plot), Dustin Nguyen and others (art)

Volume 4

  • 1: Grant Morrison (plot), Jim Lee (art). No more of these issues have been solicited by DC Comics. The series, much like Morrison's The Authority with Gene Ha is on permanent hold.

Volume 5

  • 1: Christos Gage (writer), Neil Googe (art). Released July 2008-present.

TV series

A WildC.A.T.s TV series was created in 1994. It had only thirteen episodes and a "watered down", family-friendly storyline (in particular, Voodoo was an adolescent rather than an ex-stripper). The group was composed of all the original 'C.A.T.s. The major villain was Hellspont, but the Troika and the Coda were featured. A parody of the series, MadD.O.G.s, was seen during Alan Moore's run in the comics. The series was produced by Nelvana and WildStorm (Funimation recently released the series' entire run on DVD). The main differences between the series and the comic books were:

  • Jacob Marlowe, the Kherubim Lord Emp, was an ordinary human.
  • Warblade discovers his powers in the premiere episode, when he becomes part of the group. Because of this, he was the group's rookie, a position occupied by Voodoo in the original comic book series.
  • Maul apparently couldn't change back to his human form.
  • Void was a Kherubim computer.
  • Majestic was a villain, obsessed with finding the Orb and destroying the Daemonites.
  • Max Cash was Cole's older brother, and was the leader of the Black Razors.
  • Voodoo was still a minor, and was not a stripper.

WildC.A.T.s/Wildcats members

Original team

The original WildC.A.T.s (Covert Action Team) consisted of:

  • Spartan: originally intended to be a highly sophisticated cyborg who could "die" and easily be downloaded to another body, Spartan's character has been revised several times. It was discovered he was designed after the Hadrian-series of cyborgs from the Kherubim's homeworld and there were plenty of similar androids like him. Spartan resembled the X-Men's stiff leader Cyclops in many ways but had an interesting angle by having "human emotions" towards Voodoo. Spartan's history grew even more complicated when Alan Moore explained he was an incarnation of a long-dead hero, John Colt, a.k.a. the Kherubim lord Yohn Kohl. Later still, he absorbed powers of Void, making him one of the most powerful beings in the Wildstorm Universe. He has turned away from the role of superhero, trying to improve the world as Jack Marlowe, CEO of the Halo Company by introducing highly advanced alien technology into human society.
  • Zealot: Zannah, a Kherubim and a Coda warrior, Zealot is the former Majestrix of the Coda and helped develop their virtues and practices. She has lived for thousands of years and has had many relationships with both humans and aliens alike. After failing to follow her own rules under the Coda, she left their clan and they have hunted her since. She was part of Team One under the name of Lucy Blaze. Zealot has a close friendship with Grifter though she is equally devoted to her sister Savant, who is secretly her real daughter. Winter from Stormwatch is, possibly, Zealot's son. Zealot left the Wildcats and for a limited amount of time she joined Dept. PSI and co-led WildCORE with Backlash; a half Kherubim and former member Team 7. Zealot is seemingly based on the DC Comics character Wonder Woman and the Marvel Comics character Elektra. In recent years Zealot has turned upon her former allies in the Coda, claiming that by becoming mere assassins they have betrayed their purpose. Since then she has almost wiped out the Coda single-handed.
  • Voodoo: Priscilla Kitaen, a telepathic human-Kherubim hybrid with Daemonite ancestry, Voodoo has the ability to see Daemonites who have possessed humans and separate them from the bodies the Daemonites possessed. Voodoo was an exotic dancer before being rescued by the WildC.A.Ts from the Daemonites. She was later trained by Zealot in combat and developed an attraction towards Spartan. Her Daemonite ancestry was not revealed until she lapsed into a coma after being shot. Void entered her mind through a computer, and it was revealed that one of her ancestors, a Kherubim, was possessed by a Daemonite. Disappointed by her life as a superhero, she left the Wildcats and studied Voodoo magic. After she left the Wildcats, Voodoo was attacked by a serial killer named Samuel Smith, a fight which cost her both her legs. An elderly Daemonite appeared to her and taught her to use her hidden powers of regeneration and time-manipulation. She managed to regrow her legs and started a relationship with her former teammate Maul.
  • Grifter: Former government operative and member of Team 7, Cole Cash is the only male ever trained by the Coda. Grifter represented the loner of the group though he seemed devoted to his partner Zealot. He was the only member of the original team not to use any active post-human powers (even though he had them due to being gen-active following Team 7's disbanding). His disagreements with Jacob Marlowe and the arrival of a second group of WildC.A.T.s led to his resignation and ill-fated solo comic book series. He returned to the Wildcats after the death of his brother, Max, only to leave the team again after Zealot's apparent death. Emp managed to convince him to rejoin their team to battle the threat of Kenyan. After Kenyan's death, Cole started working for Jack Marlowe. This job cost him the use of his legs, landing him in a wheelchair for a long time, even forcing him to use Ladytron's robotic body as a remote-controlled stand-in. Recently Grifter's latent powers healed his broken legs.
  • Maul: Human-Kherubim hybrid capable of increasing his mass at the cost of his reasoning capability. Some have argued that the Maul character is an imitation of the Hulk. Maul experiences powerful rage and is actually a Nobel-prize-winning scientist named Dr. Jeremy Stone. In the second series, it was revealed he could increase his intelligence by decreasing his body mass, but this proved to be physically depleting. Jeremy has devoted himself to science and has shown some reluctance to use his superhuman powers these days. He started a relationship with Voodoo.
  • Warblade: Human-Kherubim hybrid capable of transforming parts of his body into any solid weapon. Warblade is an accomplished martial artist. Although a virtual killing machine, Reno Bryce also has the soul of an artist, having his sculpted work displayed in major art galleries. During Moore's run, a Kheran lord trained him in the use of his powers. In the second series, he killed the mercenary Pike for killing his girlfriend and retired as a superhero. He still keeps in touch with Grifter.
  • Void: A being capable of precognition, teleportation, and other cosmic stunts, Void has the ability to see various timelines due to her relationship with a cosmic Orb. Her persona was revealed to be based on a Russian cosmonaut, Adrianna Tereshkova, who died upon the arrival of the Orb from space. Over time, Void grew more and more distant from humanity and the part of her spirit that was Adrianna moved on to the afterlife. The Void-entity existed without any host for a short time, before the actions of the traitor Noir endangered its existence and Spartan became its new host.
  • Lord Emp: Jacob Marlowe is a multi-millionaire who owns the media/technology conglomerate the Halo Corporation. Although he was once a Kherubim warlord, Emp does not remember his past and has no control over the powers he once wielded. It was the woman named Void who took him from his life as a homeless man and made him into the wealthy financier of the WildC.A.Ts. It was revealed he has assumed other rich persona's in the past, including that of industrialist Saul Baxter during most of the 20th century. In the second series, Emp had taken a more alien appearance in preparation for his 'Ascension', a process which ultimately cost him his physical body but freed his spirit. Gone from the physical plane of existence, he left all his possessions to Spartan.

Savant's team

A second team was introduced later in the series. They were formed after the original team, rumored to be dead, had left for Khera, the Kherubim homeworld. This unlikely group broke from the WildC.A.T.s usual anti-Daemonite agenda and conducted a proactive war on criminals. This alienated them from many other characters in the Wildstorm universe.

  • Mister Majestic: He was another Kherubim warlord, Lord Majestros, one of four that had been stuck on Earth. Mr. Majestic is a Superman homage, with similar powers and physical characteristics (though he has had much better feats of strength and power than the current Superman), though he also is a genius inventor and a highly skilled martial artist (focused mostly on swordplay). He recently crossed over into the Superman comics, replacing the Man of Steel for a brief time, though he later returned and recently met Captain Atom. Following his return from the DC Universe, Majestic starred in his second ongoing solo-series.
  • Savant: The daughter of Lord Majestros and Zealot (a fact which was until recently only known to Zealot), Savant thinks she is Zealot's sister. She is an adventurer possessing many artifacts of mystic power and advanced technologies, including boots that can teleport the person who wears it and a piece of the Orb. Savant has shown superhuman strength and has a genius-level intellect, but can also be irresponsible and brash. She was the leading character of the short-lived Savant Garde series.
  • Condition Red: Max Cash is the younger brother of Grifter with excellent, if limited, fighting and marksmanship abilities. Max was gunned down by a Coda Assassin in issue #49 of the first series and died in the final issue. He was resurrected as a zombie for one annual in the second series.
  • T.A.O.: The T.A.O. is an artificially produced human being with peculiar thinking abilities that enables him to be inhumanly persuasive and incredibly intuitive. He was eventually revealed to have been manipulating the team to self-destruction, the revelation of which caused him to seemingly be killed by Majestic. Eventually it was revealed that he had foreseen this and had a shapeshifted prisoner take the hit. He later re-appeared, having founded a world-wide criminal organization that aimed to destabilize human global governments, public institutions and age-old secret societies that controlled many aspects of the Wildstorm Universe. T.A.O.'s story after he left the WildC.A.T.S. were told in the series Point Blank and Sleeper.
  • Ladytron: Maxine Manchester, a cyborg punk with homicidal tendencies. She was captured by the Wildcats and through T.A.O.'s reprogramming convinced to join the team. She admired the cybernetic mercenary Overtkill and was romantically interested in Max Cash, though her interest was not returned. When T.A.O. was revealed as a traitor, he disabled her robotic body and Ladytron was taken to the Church of Gort. She became a nun for this new age cult devoted to robotics, but had a falling out with its members because she still contained organic bodyparts. She ended up with the Wildcats again, but was wounded again, this time by the serial killer Samuel Smith. The damage was so extensive that Ladytron was shut down. A short stint as Noir's reprogrammed pawn later, Ladytron's mind was downloaded into the Halo mainframe and her body was used by the wheelchair-bound Grifter as a remote-controlled stand-in.

Time travel team

The team consisted of Grifter, Max Profitt (Max Cash), Void and Spartan (an old Spartan unit, with no knowledge about Khera or the "previous life" as John Colt), as well as these new members:

  • Mythos: A powerful mystic and Kherubim lord. He has superhuman physical attributes, such as an incredible speed.
  • Olimpya: A Daemonite mercenary who has Coda training. Unlike many of her race, she was peaceful and even adopted a teenager named Kai, who apparently has Coda training as well. When Max Cash was killed, she killed his assassin in revenge. She was killed by zombie Max Cash during the Devil's Night crossover
  • Sister Eve: Lord Entropy's daughter, who was a nun before joining the WildC.A.T.s. She has inherited her father's "chaos power".

3.0 Cast of Characters

Besides Grifter and Jack Marlowe, the main characters were:

  • Edwin Dolby (a.k.a Grifter II): Jack Marlowe's main accountant and right-hand man in the Halo Corporation. When Grifter's legs were seriously injured in a mission, he started training Dolby to be the second Grifter after learning of Dolby's natural aptitude for markmanship. Dolby, however, refused to kill. Despite this, Dolby was sent on a mission and during this mission he panicked and accidentally killed a man. He suffered a mental breakdown and quit Halo, but Marlowe was able to convince him to return by reinforcing his belief in the success of Halo's mission.
  • Agent Wax: Jack Marlowe's mole at the National Park Service, a government agency tasked with monitoring superhuman activity. Wax is gifted with strong hypnotic powers, but his superiors never knew this. He quit the Service after the death of his partner, but he returned later. Because he had left, he was forced to take a desk job and was bullied by his boss, Agent Downs. He enacted revenge by having an affair with Downs' wife. Downs learned of Wax's manipulations and forced Wax to a confrontation. Wax made Downs kill himself with his hypnotic powers. He then used his powers to impersonate Downs. Marlowe found out about Downs' death, but decided to give Wax a second chance.
  • C. C. Rendozzo: An information broker who knows about Jack Marlowe's alien origin. In return for her silence on his alien heritage, he agreed to rescue her son, who had been kidnapped by his government agent father. Despite spending most of her time behind a desk, Rendozzo is quite skilled with firearms and joined Grifter in an attempt to rescue Zealot, even taking a number of her henchmen along with her.
  • Agent Orange: Another mole of Jack Marlowe, this time at the FBI. Agent Orange is an enhanced human, who can be mentally programmed for certain tasks. Agent Orange's blood is composed of dioxin and he has shown superhuman strength, durability and endurance. Never speaking or showing any emotion, Agent Orange is quite similar in appearance and behaviour to The Terminator.
  • The Beef Boys: Two remarkably, possibly superhumanly, strong men dressed in S&M fetish gear. Apart from running a BDSM club, they are also mercenaries who work for Grifter from time to time. The taller of the two, Glenn, never speaks, while the other, Cedric, is quite eloquent. Glenn was killed by the Coda.

Notes

References

External links

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