Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Wild CATS

Go To

A comic book by WildStorm, later adapted to a Saturday Morning Cartoon for CBS by Nelvana. The characters debuted in WildC.A.T.s #1 (August, 1992). Their original title lasted for 50 issues (August, 1992-June, 1998), plus a couple of special issues. Vol. 2 lasted another 28 issues (March, 1999 - December, 2001). Wildcats Version 3.0'' lasted 24 issues (October, 2002 - October, 2004). Vol. 4 was an abortive effort, consisting of a single issue (December, 2006). There was some fanfare because said issue was written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Jim Lee, but the hectic work schedule of the famous creators led to an early demise for the project. Vol. 5 lasted 30 issues (September, 2008-February, 2011).

While the series has produced a number of popular characters over the years, its various spin-offs tend to be short-lived. In the 2011 Continuity Reboot of the various titles owned by DC, some of the featured characters of Wildcats were granted solo titles again while being integrated into the larger DC Universe, mostly Voodoo and Grifter having their own titles and the other members appears in diverse titles.


Several millennia ago, two ships crashed on Earth. The crew of one ship were Kherubims, the inhabitants of planet Khera, while the other belonged to the Daemonites from planet Daemon. During all this time, the Daemonites have been possessing human hosts and created the organisation known as the Cabal. Oppossed to them, some Kherubims and halfbreed Kherubim descendants form the Wild C.A.T.s (Covert Action Team).


This comic book series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Warblade's claws.
  • Action Figure File Card: The toys had them.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the comic, Voodoo's only abilities are telepathy and separating Daemonites from their hosts, making her an important member, but useless in a fight until Zealot gave her some Coda training. In the cartoon, she is given telekinesis as well, making her a much more dangerous foe right from the beginning.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Majestic in the animated series.
    • Warblade was made a villain in the New 52 when Wildstorm merged with DC.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Savant.
  • After the End: When earth was annihilated in the Wildstorm universe, one of the few titles featured the team picking up after the mess.
  • Almost Kiss: In the cartoon, Zealot and Grifter spend most of the thirteen episodes doing the UST dance; when they finally admit their feelings, they lean in...and then an emergency warning starts blaring.
    Grifter: Couldn't have waited thirty seconds?
  • Ancient Astronauts: It's implied that the Kherubim and Daemonites (note the names) are the inspirations for many Earth legends.
  • Artifact of Doom: The animated version of the Orb, is an artifact left behind by the Precursors on Earth that can give anyone power on a cosmic scale. It's also evil to the core, possibly more evil than Helspont himself. Guess the Precursors hid the thing on Earth for good reason.
  • Artificial Human: Spartan.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In volume 3 Lord Emp was becoming a High Kherubian Lord and wanted his arch-nemesis to kill him as part of the ascension process. His body had become child-sized and shriveled but he didn't care because he was about to transcend mortal concerns.
  • Bad Future: Alan Moore's Spawn/WildCATs miniseries is entirely based on this trope. Spawn and the WildCATs get thrown into the future where the world is ruled by a tyrannical super-sorcerer and most of our heroes are secretly fighting against him. The twist is that Spawn himself turns out to be the tyrant, having been given the idea by visiting this future in the first place. Our heroes manage to undo the bad future when Spawn finds out one of the resistance members is actually his ex-wife's daughter, who then she dies a moment later. Spawn promises to never let that happen, which undoes the timeline.
  • Beast and Beauty: Maul and Voodoo — they're just friends but Voodoo ensures that Maul remains a sane Gentle Giant.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Several Kherubims and Daemonites have been historical characters. For example, Emp was Napoleon, and the Coda have inspired the myth of the Amazons.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: From the three Daemonite lords who were on the ship, the two survivors, Defile and Helspont, went separate ways and both have their own plans against mankind.
  • Body Backup Drive: Spartan can do this, thanks to being an android.
  • Brains and Bondage: The Beef Boys are never seen without their bondage gear; the one who speaks (the other always has a ball gag when seen) is very intellectual.
  • Captain Ersatz: Some members of the original team had similarities to X-Men members:
    • Grifter is a Loveable Rogue in a Badass Longcoat like Gambit. His guns substitute for Gambit's throwing cards.
    • Spartan's general design and "stoic leader" attitude are similar to Cyclops.
    • Voodoo had a costume and powers similar to Jean Grey, plus an interest in the stoic leader, but a different personality.
    • Warblade not only has claws like Wolverine, but he also had a mysterious past as part of Cyberdata, which creates a parallel with Logan's Weapon-X days.
    • Zealot was the "ninja" aspect of Psylocke, which turns her more into an ersatz of Elektra. Since her "Hand" equivalent, the Coda, were like Amazons, DC created Artemis, a Zealot ersatz, in Wonder Woman.
    • Majestic while a pretty blatant copy of Superman in ability, is more akin to Monet St. Croix / M both in power stocking and personality.
  • Captain Obvious: H.A.R.M. loves to point out the obvious, although it was probably hardcoded into his AI. When transformed into a hover-like craft: "Entering vehicle mode!". Get hit by a Wild CAT: "Damage!".
  • Chrome Champion: Void.
  • Civvie Spandex: Grifter has the longcoat, cargo pants, combat boots version, combined with a Cool Mask.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In episode 4 of the TV series, Daemonites plan to lure Voodoo into a trap by sending her a letter to where she used to live. Coincidently, Voodoo quits the team and goes to her old place and finds the letter, despite the place being abandoned.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: They've been sponsored by various sources in the past.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: In the animated series, when the team itself was temporarily unavailable and with no evidence strong enough to bring the government in to stop the Daemonites, Marlowe crippled the villain's plan by figuring out what highway the enemies were going to have to travel down, buying it, and turning it into a toll road (somehow managing to do this in one night). When the Daemonite transport runs the tollbooth without paying, this provides him with the evidence he needs to bring the government down on them. He also figures about where the villain's trucks will run out of gas and buys all the fuel in the area, and has caltrops scattered on the road before buying all the truck tires. These actions insure that the government forces make it in time.
  • Crossover Punchline: When Voodoo and Spartan were vacationing, they were noticed by familiar-looking honeymooners named Scott and Jean. Helping the gag is the fact that Jim Lee drew X-Men for years.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Warblade, Grifter, Maul, Zealot, etc.
    • Wild Covert Action Teams isn't too far from a dark supername either. Interestingly, the team name changes slightly throughout the first three volumes, which reflects how dated the name had become. Volume one had Wild Covert Action Teams, volume two had WildCATs, and volume three had WildCats.
  • Decoy Getaway: To recover the character of TAO, there was a retcon saying that the one who died really was shapeshifter Mr White.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Used in a rather darker fashion in Alan Moore's run as Tao repeatedly switches positions in a debate with Fuji, leading to Fuji's being psychologically crippled.
  • Dumb Muscle: Maul actually gets dumber as he gets bigger. He once got so big he forgot how to return to normal size. He is a bizarre case: while his power is that he can swap brains for brawn, in his "normal" form he's a nobel laureate so, when he doesn't grow too much, he retains enough smarts to be more like a Genius Bruiser.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: It was revealed that Zealot, who has looked out for her 'little sister' Savant since she was born, is actually Savant's mother (and that Majestic was her father). However, the Reset Button was pushed on the entire title the issue after this was revealed, so God only knows whether it's still in-continuity.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Void's real name is Adrianna Tereshkova, just like Valentina Tereshkova, who was a cosmonaut (and the first woman to be sent to space) just like Adrianna before becoming Void.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: When the team visits Khera, it turns out the Kherubim-Daemonite war ended centuries ago everywhere except Earth. Khera is ruled by the wealthy and technologically advanced Kherubim while the planet's indigenous population, a race of Size Shifters from which Maul is descended, has been displaced into underground cities, and Daemonite civilians living on Khera are confined to a low-tech ghetto. Having one Daemonite ancestor is enough to get Voodoo, a Kherubim-human hybrid like her teammates, forced into the ghetto.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Grifter has psychic powers, but never uses themnote .
  • Flying Brick: Majestic.
  • Gambit Pileup: The whole episode 5 is this. the Daemonites fails to break into one of Halo's facility to steal an x-ray device, so they place a bug on an old friend of Grifter who's been released from prison. The Daemonites learn that the convict will breach Halo's facility in order to test its security. What the Daemonites don't know is that Jacob knows about the bug and has the Wild C.A.T.S. waiting for the Daemonites, once the convict finished his break-in. However, the convict has been working for the Daemonites all along since they paid for his bail. He then steals the x-ray device and gives to the Daemonites. All this is rendered moot for Helspont, because Jacob swapped the x-ray device for an explosive before the convict made his breach.
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Kherubim are revealed to be a galactic conqueror race later on. They actually destroyed their home planet and have been terraforming other planets to their liking and causing genocide and enslavement of its indigenous races ever since. Any races that they don't wipe out completely, they integrate into their society as second-class citizens or a servant race to be crammed into ghettos immediately or face death. Their new home planet of Khera is actually one of those planets with Titans and Daemonites serving as slave races until the Daemonites started a rebellion which kickstarted the Kherubim-Daemonite War.
  • Genius Bruiser: Maul is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who gets dumber as he uses his powers to get larger and stronger. For a while, he was also able to make himself smarter by shrinking, but that turned out to have unwanted side effects.
  • Genre-Busting: The third volume. While it is technically a super-hero comic, there aren't many super-heroics, and the titular team isn't even assembled until the last story arc. It is also very philosophical, topics ranging from questioning if a corporation can be truly good, to how far people will go to maintain the status quo, or adapt to new situations.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Clark's; the Expy owner won't serve anyone until they show a secret ID.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Team members Maul, Voodoo, and Warblade, and antagonist Pike.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Voodoo
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Maul and Voodoo.
  • Hulking Out: Maul has the power to grow in size and strength at the cost of intelligence. If seriously provoked he sometimes forgets himself and grows past the point where he can tell friend from foe.
  • Human Aliens: the Kherubims.
  • Human Alien Discovery: Voodoo was an exotic dancer saved by the Wild CATS who has the "gift" of knowing who was possessed by a Daemonite and who is not, also splitting the alien from the host. After joining the team and got in a coma by a bullet, she and his friends discovered the truth: she was a descendant of Daemonites with Kherubin roots.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: In one issue, one of the heroes freaked out when the villain of the week looked him straight in the eye while being spied on (he was using long-range binoculars rather than the camera, but the effect is the same.)
  • Implacable Man: Vol 3. has Agent Orange. He's the successful surviving remnant of defunct superhuman operative program formed by the FBI with robotic-like determination and a number of powers that make him a human Terminator. Not to mention he never speaks.
  • Is It Always Like This?: After watching Maul, a civilian says, "Wow, a guy just turned into a giant blue-skinned monster. You don't see things like this every day," to which another answers, "Tell me, you're new in the city."
  • The Lad-ette: Agent Chandler of the FBI. Though her case presents a deconstruction of the trope by showing just how her masculine and aggressive tendencies have made her divorced from her husband because of her job, bitter, violent, desperate for shared moments of tenderness, and eventually suicidally insane after her partner, the only person she could actually form a relationship with, gets killed.
  • Legacy Character: The Wildcats' Backlash is Jodi Slayton, daughter of the original one
  • Lighter and Softer: The Saturday Morning Cartoon was far more typical superhero fare than its ultraviolent source material.
  • Look Behind You: The second ever issue ends with Maul bearing down on a Daemonite baddie. When the bad guy warns Maul that there's something behind him, Maul almost laughs. "Do I look that stupid?" Turns out that there really is something behind him — Youngblood. Badrock opines that, yeah, Maul does kind of look that stupid
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the cast. Majestic stands out.
  • Magma Man: Slag from the Troika.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The first arc has the Gnome, who plays the C.A.T.s and the Cabal against each other to get the Orb. Alan Moore's run has TAO
  • Matriarchy: The Coda.
  • Meaningful Name: Pike seems to be a good codename to a villain carrying a baton or "pike" as his Weapon of Choice, but then we find his father's name is Daniel Pike, therefore "Pike" is the character's surname.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The cartoon has every villain working for Helspont (even the Troika, who worked for rival villain Gnome in the first comic miniseries) to get the more toyetic setting of "a hero group against a villain group"
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Lord Emp needs to ditch his corporeal body in order to complete his ascension into an Energy Being, but the rules dictate that he can't do it himself. Because the process of ascending releases enough energy to incinerate the killer, Emp tries to trick his long-time nemesis into killing him, thereby killing two birds with one stone. However, it turns out the nemesis is apparently so obsessively attached to their ongoing rivalry that, unable to accept the situation, he kills himself instead, so Emp moves on to plan B, getting the Nigh Invulnerable Spartan to do the deed instead.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Daemonites are good with this: Taboo, H.A.R.M., Slag.
  • Post Cyber Punk: 3.0. A huge Mega-Corp answerable to none buying out entire conglomerates, technological advances leading to social upheaval, and ineffective governments looking out for their own economic interests. All the elements of a Cyber Punk world, but with a twist; the Mega-Corp is entirely altruistic. Interestingly, most of the characters are Genre Savvy enough to be very aware of the implications. Even the two people who know the Mega-Corp best wonder if a Mega-Corp can actually be anything but malicious.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Agent Wax. He uses his mind control powers to rape his boss' wife, kill his boss by causing him to kill himself after he tried to murder Wax and his wife for the sex, and then took over his own job firm by impersonating said boss.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Majestic is great at these.
    Majestic: "This is your last moment. Try, for once in your life, to look it in the eye."
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Daemonites.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. In Wildcats 3.0, Spartan sought to use the advanced extra-terrestrial technology that belonged to his creators to change the world. The limitless batteries alone caused quite a stir.
  • The Remnant: Happened to both sides. The Khreubim/Daemonite war has been over for a long time, with the Daemonites falling to the Kherubim and effectively being subjugated. Unfortunately, neither side bothered to send an envoy to Earth, so the war continued to rage here for centuries.
  • Replacement Goldfish: When most of the first team is presumed dead, Savant and Majestic attempt to put together a new team, including Grifter's younger brother.
  • Robosexual: Voodoo when it comes to her relationship with Spartan/Jack Marlowe. She's a half-breed stripper from Florida and he's an alien android construct. Their relationship could be a homage to the relationship between the Vision and Scarlet Witch from Marvel due to Jack's continuous doubt of his humanity and Voodoo's continuous reassurance of him being the man she loves.
  • Robotic Psychopathic Womanchild: Ladytron is basically the world's most annoying teenage girl with robotic death cannons installed.
  • Rule #1: In an issue of Alan Moore's run, one of the MERCs says: "Rule number 1: Don't @#$%& us. There's no rule number 2."
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Rare heroic example. When the team was fighting Lord Entropy, an impossibly powerful madman who wanted to take revenge on Lord Emp from killing his wife, Voodoo used her illusion to look like Entropy's wife. Entropy was so confused that Emp has enough time to prepare to wipe the floor with him.
  • Side Bet: In the cartoon, Maul and Warblade bet on how many days it's going to take Grifter and Zealot to give in to their simmering UST. When they confess their feelings before the end of the episode, Warblade smugly collects his money.
  • Skull for a Head: Helspont has a flaming horned skull for a head due to his possession of an Acuran host.
  • The Smurfette Principle: In the TV series, Taboo is the only Daemonite female under Helspont's command.
  • Stab the Scorpion: When the Black Razor Benito Santini is about to shoot shapeshifter Mr White, who is disguised as one of the WildCATs, it seems he's going to shoot Grifter, but he shoots Maul, who is behind him.
  • Super Zeroes: Voodoo, whose ability to spot people possessed by the evil aliens was actually pretty useful, but countered by her lack of the most basic combat skills. Zealot gave her some Coda training to change this.
  • Talking Through Technique: According to the "Hawaii 2.0" arc, the Coda have a martial art that doubles as a language. Zealot and Nemesis use it to talk past an immortal madman with microscopic vision and superhearing.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Tao (the Tactical Augmented Organism) is the ultimate manipulator, capable of bending anyone to his will with time. However, when he tries his tricks on Ladytron, they simply don't work. She spells it out for him: He can influence the way rational people think, but she's a violent, stupid criminal — anything but rational. It's then immediately subverted when he switches tactics and uses effective emotional manipulation on her just long enough to take her out.
  • Withholding the Cure: TAO claims to have the cures for AIDS and all forms of cancer, as well as a genetic patent on a strain of corn that will end world hunger forever. He uses these as bargaining chips when he gets in trouble. Majestic doesn't care.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Wildstorm tried to pull this off with Grifter and Zealot, by having them make as many guest appearances as possible.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: