Today, we are learning about “Wild C.A.T.S.,” a fantastic but sadly forgotten television program based on the same-named comic. The Canadian-American television programme Wild C.A.T.S. ran from October 1994 until January 1995. It had 13 episodes in a single season.
It was produced in 1992 by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi for Image Comics, but D.C. Comics later bought it. The show’s fight scenes were toned down to make them more kid-friendly, even though the plot of the comic and the cartoon were essentially the same.
For instance, Zealot, one of the show’s characters, softly knocked people out as opposed to beheading them. The Kherubim and the Daemonites are two alien races that are at war in the television series. The outcome of their conflict eventually determines the fate of Earth and humanity. Having said that, let us find out what the show is all about!
What The Cartoon Television Series Is All About
Let us discuss comics first, then the show. The 1992 release of Jim Lee’s Wild C.A.T.S. swiftly gained recognition as one of the most famous comics to come out of the mid-’90s. The inspiration for Wild C.A.T.S. was given to Jim Lee after numerous Marvel writers left to form Image Comics.
At first, it was a big success. A new comic book would always debut at the top of the bestselling list. Since Image was outselling Marvel and D.C. books at first, it appeared as though a new comic firm was poised to take over the stuffy, dated characters from the other corporations. The comics, on the other hand, evolved into the signature piece for Lee’s growing Wildstorm Studios brand and continued to be published long after Lee sold the company to DC in 1998.
Along with the legendary Jim Lee, many other well-known creators have contributed to the comic over the years, including Alan Moore, Joe Casey, Jae Lee, Steve Dillon, James Robinson, Grant Morrison, Sean Phillips, Travis Charest, Dustin Nguyen, and Chris Claremont. Although D.C. discontinued Wild C.A.T.S. and the other volumes in the Wildstorm line, the series had several standout jewels that comic fans have mostly forgotten.
The show follows the lives of two warring extra-terrestrial races, the Kherubim, and the Daemonites. They accidentally became the subject of many a myth and legend when they crash-landed on Earth centuries ago. The noble Kherubim have attempted to safeguard mankind ever since and have even procreated with humans, creating super strong hybrids.
In contrast, the Daemonites are a parasitic species that seeks to seize human bodies as hosts. The menace known as Daemonites was faced by humans, the Kherubim, and their hybrid children, who are known as Wild C.A.T.S., in a unique partnership. This conflict is still on in secrecy in the present day, as per the show.
There are several Daemonites – extra-terrestrial beings with human bodies. They occasionally resemble humanoid lizards. Other times, they take the form of little gremlins who control your mind through stickers on your forehead. The defenders of the cosmos, also known as the Kherubim, are the ancestors of the Wild C.A.T.S. They work together to defend Earth under Jacob Marlowe’s leadership. The government hires the Wild C.A.T.S., a covert action squad, to deal with threats, since the Wild C.A.T.S. have superhuman abilities, thanks to their extra-terrestrial ancestry.
Main Character & Cast Of The Show
The main characters of the show are Grifter, who was voiced by Colin O’Meara, Maul, who Paul Mota voiced, and Spartan, voiced by Rod Wilson. Void was voiced by Janet-Laine Green, Voodoo by Ruth Marshall, Warblade by Dean McDermott and Zealot was voiced by Roscoe Handford. They operate under the leadership of Jacob Marlowe, who Sean McCann voiced.
They have various superhuman abilities. Grifter is great at using firearms and hand-to-hand combat. At the same time, Maul has the ability to transform and alter his size along with superhuman strength and durability. Spartan is known for his cybernetic enhancement, energy blasts, and a big brain. He is skilled at hand-to-hand combat and using firearms. Since he is the brains, he also possesses good leadership qualities and tactical analysis skills. Void is a supercomputer with cybernetic enhancement and genius levels of intellect.
She has the ability to detect Daemonites as well. Voodoo also possesses Daemonite detection abilities along with mental powers that allow her to shoot psychic blasts. Warblade is more like the computer nerd of the group who does things like computer hacking. He also has claws which are super cool. And now the last, Zealot… she is one of the coolest characters in the show.
She is like a Kherubim rendition of Wonder Woman. She used to train Amazonian-like warriors; even though they ultimately formed a rival team that worked for the Daemonites for money instead of being noble like the rest, it is still pretty cool. Zealot is trained in martial arts, weaponry, and swordsmanship. She has extended longevity, enhanced senses, superhuman stamina, enhanced durability, accelerated healing, along with superhuman agility and strength. Now, let us jump into the episodes and see what they were all about!
The first episode is titled Dark Blade Falling. We start off with Jason Marlowe, who is in the process of curating his team of Wild C.A.T.S. His team is almost complete. They just need one more missing piece – Reno Bryce. But Bryce is not a hot commodity just for the Kherubims. The Daemonites are also after him. We get a wonderful action scene within the first five minutes of the show.
The Daemonites are trying their best to ambush Bryce, and the Kherubims are trying to save him. However, all they end up doing is scaring Bryce when he finds the two groups of weird-looking people after him. Anyway, they manage to save Bryce from the Daemonites and take him back to the headquarters, where Jacob Marlowe reveals the entire team to him and tells him all about the war between the Kherubims and the Daemonites that has been going on for thousands of years. Using Void’s abilities, Bryce’s real powers come out, and he transforms into Warblade.
Unfortunately, Warblade is not happy with this new change. He has claws for hands that he doesn’t understand. So, he runs away. Too bad that also doesn’t help much. He runs and hides in his house, but the Daemonites are hiding there, waiting for him. They put a little sticker on him, serving as a portal for the Daemonites to enter his body. Once they took control of his body, they were next seen somewhere in the icy North. Meanwhile, back at the Wild C.A.T.S. headquarters, Bryce had left behind a little orb-like tracker which the Daemonite leader had put on him.
Void helped locate Bryce and created a portal for the Wild CATS to go and rescue him. When they reached the facility where the Daemonites had kept Bryce, they were pulled into a trap. However, Maul had tossed Voodoo onto the ceiling before she could be trapped. She then found Bryce and saved him by removing the sticker from his head. The two of them then head over to the trapped Wild CATS and rescue them.
But things don’t slow down there. As the story continues, we see that the villain Helspont plan to capture Void using the orb-like tracker and drain the supercomputer of all her knowledge. To thwart Helspont’s aggression, Maul transforms into his 30 feet self and grabs him, while Warblade frees Void. They leave from there, as Helspont despairs from his defeat.
The next episode is called Heart of Steel, in which we get a look into Spartan’s life as a man of steel. Spartan used to be human, but due to an injury, his body was put into stasis, and his brain was put into an alloy body. But why are we talking about this? It is because this episode also features his old flame from when he was human – Karen, a researcher at InfiDyne.
At the start of the episode, the Wild C.A.T.S stop the Troika from stealing top secret encoded data. Thankfully, the Troika weren’t able to succeed, because they couldn’t encode the data. Void, the supercomputer, focuses on decoding the data while Karen talks to Spartan and tells him that the people at InfiDyne can transfer his mind and reconnect it to his body. Meanwhile, the Daemonites kidnap Karen. They take her back to InfiDyne, where they use her access key to decode the data. The Daemonites end up finding out about Project Alpha.
This kind of messes with Spartan’s head. While he feels loyalty toward his team, his heart still yearns for humanness and love. His heart wins this battle in a moment of weakness, and he leaves the team in order to become human once again. He asks Jacob Marlowe to direct him to where his body is preserved. He goes to Halo Labs, where his body is kept in stasis.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Wild C.A.T.S go to the location of Project Alpha. Here, they battle Helspont once again. But they don’t fare well without their leader. So, Jacob goes and stops Spartan just before he can begin his transition from steel man to human. He convinces Spartan that the team needs him, and even more than the team, the world needs him, because he cannot have a quiet life full of love in a world run by Daemonites. With that, he goes to help his friends and manages to defeat Helspont. The episode ends with him breaking things off with Karen and staying true to his duties as one of the Wild C.A.T.
The third episode, “Cry of the Coda,” focuses on Zealot. In this episode, we explore a new country – Yurgovia. Yurgovia is at war with various neighbouring countries, and somehow, those countries are getting massive earthquakes. Void theorizes that these earthquakes are not natural, and Yurgovia probably has a new superweapon that can create earthquakes. So, Jacob sends the Wild CATS as mercenaries to the war zone to stop the Daemonites from getting their hands on the earthquake machine.
When the team reaches the location, they are welcomed by a bunch of tanks and soldiers. But they are the Wild CATS, after all, so they manage to pretty much wipe the floor with them. However, they do encounter a woman, Artemis, using the weapon of the Coda. This really gets on Zealot’s nerves, and she goes to settle an old score. Grifter wants to go after Zealot and help her, but Spartan stops him. He reminds him that Zealot can take care of herself, and their duty is to their mission first. Too bad that it doesn’t work. Grifter runs away to help Zealot.
Meanwhile, Zealot enters the Coda headquarters, where she gets captured by Artemis. She is quite upset that the women she trained to defeat the Daemonites are now paired up with them and helping them just to make a little money. Grifter also gets caught by the Coda while the rest of the Wild CATS look for the weapon.
The Wild CATS are unable to find the location, but Zealot and Grifter manage to escape from their prison back at the Coda Headquarters. They reach the Coda before leaving for the superweapon location, and Zealot gets a chance to make things right. But she can’t make herself kill Artemis, because it goes against her morals. Instead, she gives an inspirational speech and asks the rest of the Coda to not work for the Daemonites. After that, she leaves with Grifter. Grifter contacts the rest of the Wild CATS and informs them that they know the location of the superweapon.
The Wild CATS reach the location just as the Daemonites do. They battle it out, but the Wild CATS seem to be losing, when the Coda come to their rescue. Turns out, the speech Zealot gave actually worked. The two teams work together and defeat the Daemonites, but Artemis claims that the Coda will continue to be freelance mercenaries and work with whoever matches their price. Zealot responds that as long as they work with the Daemonites, they will be her enemy. However, the Wild CATS do not think that this is the end. They know that Helspont is after something else. And with that, the episode ends.
The fourth episode, “The Evil Within,” continues on the same note where they try to find out what exactly it is that Helspont is after. He is after a secret spy satellite to locate the Orb. In order to do so, he decides to take control of the President of the United States. He transplants a Daemonite into the President’s body.
Meanwhile, Voodoo and Zealot have a falling out where Zealot basically calls Voodoo useless in battle because she wasn’t able to hold out on her own against the Daemonites. Turns out that Voodoo is an orphan, so all this talk about her not being good enough in battle only triggered her issues of being abandoned. She goes to her old school, the only place where she ever felt at home. There, she finds a letter for her that claims that her parents are still alive and she can meet them. She leaves the headquarters, goes to Florida and tells Maul not to tell anyone.
Meanwhile, back at the Wild CATS headquarters, Void tells Jacob that Voodoo has left the headquarters, and she is sensing excessive Daemonite energy near the U.N. Plaza where the President is going to give a speech that very afternoon. He gets attacked by the Daemonites, but the Wild CATS save him. However, Helspont doesn’t give up that easily. He sends a special agent who a Daemonite possesses. The Daemonite transfers the sticker that acts like a portal for Daemonites to possess bodies onto the President and possesses him. He then tells his bodyguard that he will fly to the satellite and stop the Wild CATS.
On the other hand, Voodoo gets possessed by Daemonites too back in Florida. She gets duped by a human, but thankfully, Maul is a true friend, and he comes to her rescue. He reminds her of their friendship and their bond, which ignites something in her and makes her able to throw the Daemonite out of her body. She then goes with Maul to help the rest of the Wild CATS.
Unfortunately, the possessed President had instructed all his bodyguards to destroy the Wild CATS and claimed that they were dangerous. So, the Wild CATS battled the forces outside the satellite station. When they finally managed to make it inside, they found the possessed President trying to give over the control of the satellite to Helspont. Just then, Voodoo and Maul join them and manage to throw the Daemonite out of the President’s body and save the day.
What Happened To Wild C.A.T.S. The Animated Series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Skeleton Warriors, and Wild C.A.T.S. were all included in what was called the “Action Zone” showcase, which employed an animated fly-through pre-credit sequence. Wild C.A.T.S. was aired on C.B.S. and was supposed to compete with FOX’s X-Men: The Animated Series. However, it was canceled after just one season, in 1995. Around the same time, the “Action Zone” idea was formally discontinued, so the end of the series made more sense. Following its demise, the U.S network picked up Wild C.A.T.S., which ran from 1995 to 1996 as a part of the U.S.A. Action Extreme Team block.
Additionally, Wild C.A.T.S. Adventures, a companion comic, was released. The comic was essentially a retelling of the first ten episodes of the show. In 1995, a companion video game with the same name and setting as Wild C.A.T.S. was also made.
Wild C.A.T.S. was a really fun and intriguing series, in both comic and cartoon form. It is a shame that comic fans don’t remember it as dearly. There is really considerable story development that, at the time, wasn’t usual in animated programs, let alone live-action T.V. series.
Both the adversaries and the heroes have well-developed personalities in the show. There is also some character drama, with almost every episode being usually centered around a different character, which allows us to learn more about each of them in depth. What did you think about Wild C.A.T.S.? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!