Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Characters I Want to Write: WILDCAT!

Yeh, I know what the world needs. Maybe not as much as the world needs our current Commander-in-Chief, but it wouldn't hurt: a Wildcat comic book. Starring Ted Grant, the Wildcat. All about Wildcat. Fists by Wildcat. Love-makin' by Wildcat. And, shocks galore, most of it wouldn't happen inside a boxing ring.

See, Ted Grant was the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Now, most everyone will point out he was Champ during the 1960s, which is fine. For my purposes, and bringing a healthy, middle-aged Ted Grant to comicdom, we go with the old "timeless times" of comics. What that means, comics used to not be confined to their "era." They obviously reflected their times, especially in the 1940s and 1970s, but to specify that Captain America shucked the Flag and Shield for his Nomad costume "in the 1970s" is to "date" the characters. Then some OCD writer guy comes along and decides Ted Grant, the Wildcat, is too old to play superhero games. He's a geriatric and needs to be "replaced" via his "legacy" being passed down, name and all.

I'm looking at you, Geoff Johns.

What you get with Ted Grant is a chance to tell two-fisted stories with a non-PC, non-affiliated, non-commercialized Pulp derived hero. In the 1970s he rode around on a Cat-O-Cycle. If you can't appreciate the Cat-O-Cycle, you just don't have it in you to love Wildcat.

I love me some Wildcat. Not many people can write a great Wildcat. Beau Smith (see "Busted Knuckles" webspace) can write the hell out of some Wildcat. I won't pretend to have Beau Smith's hand at it. But Wildcat reflects everything I love in a good two-fisted hero: he doesn't back down, he's uncompromising, he loves to fight.
The writers today can't let go of his boxing background. It's all fine and good, Ted Grant is a boxer with a hell of a left hook. But you gotta leave the boxing stuff alone. The character does represent the Sweet Science only marginally, actually. Say, if Matt Murdock's dad hadn't been killed by those gangsters, he could've become Wildcat. Ted Grant doesn't need an excuse for what he is. Punch first, ask questions later.
A lot of writers think a guy like Wildcat, who is just a man, with a man's courage (Queen's "Flash Gordon" of course) is somehow limited to his default "environment." Well, false on that. Wildcat should be as rootless as a boxer, long trained to not have a home, "performing" much like a carnival act. Ted loves to show off his physicality, it's his Bach, his Jack Kirby. Ted doesn't want to be adored for being a former Champion, he wants to knock you out to prove he's better than you.
So, psychology aside, Wildcat should be roaming everywhere getting into crazy sh*t with wicked villains super or not and monsters and dames who dig his love handles and his beefy thighs. That's Ted Grant, and that's what I propose.


Paul Brazill said...

I'm with you there. Wildcat has been a fave of mine since the first JLA/JSA crossover in the 60's. I rarely buy comics now but Wildcat could be a exception.

joe bloke said...

I would love to see a Wildcat series. unlike yourself, though, if it had anything to do with me it'd be set in the 'thirties. gangsters, gun-molls, wise-cracking Irish cop, maybe a mad scientist. and a big robot.

ah, I don't care! I just want a regular Wildcat comic!!!