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A comic book by Wildstorm, later adapted to a Saturday Morning Cartoon for CBS. 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, including 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.
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. Opposed to them, some Kherubims and halfbreed Kherubim descendants form the Wild C.A.T.s (Covert Action Team).
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Savant.
- Artificial Human: Spartan.
- Badass Abnormal: Inverted; rather than being a Badass Normal who then gets powers, Grifter has psychic powers, but never uses them.
- 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, and then she dies a moment later. Spawn promises to never let that happen, which undoes the timeline.
- 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.
- Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: They've been sponsored by various sources in the past.
- 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 Wild CATS, and volume three had Wild CATS.
- 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 an astronaut just like Adrianna before becoming Void.
- 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 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 secret ID.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Team members Maul, Voodoo and Warblade, and antagonist Pike.
- Human Aliens: the Kherubims.
- 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 upon (he was using long-range binoculars rather than the camera, but the effect is the same.)
- 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."
- Lighter and Softer: The Saturday Morning Cartoon was far more typical superhero fare than its ultraviolent source material.
- 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.
- 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 Cyberpunk 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.
- 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.
- Rule Number One: 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 for preparation to whooping the floor with him.
- Stab the Scorpion: When the Black Razor Benito Santini has to shoot shapeshifter Mr Smith, who has disguised as one of the WildCATs, it seems he's going to shoot Grifter, but he shoots Maul, who was 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.
- He was a member of Team 7 before getting his powers, but then he was in a normal context, so doesn't count as Badass Normal