Wildcat

+ Wildcat II + Wildcat III (Tomcat)

Created by Bill Finger & Irwin Hasen
Yolanda created by Roy Thomas
Tom created by Mark Waid, Alex Ross & Geoff Johns

NAME + ALIASES:
Ted Grant

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Henry Grant (father, deceased), unnamed mother (deceased), Jake (son, deceased), Tom Bronson (Wildcat III, son)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America, Birds of Prey

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942)

Wildcat II

NAME + ALIASES:
Yolanda Montez

KNOWN RELATIVES:
"Mauler" Montez (father), Maria (mother), José (brother), Carcharo (name unrevealed, cousin), Alexander Montez (Eclipso II, cousin, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Infinity, Inc.

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Yolanda: Infinity, Inc. #12
As Wildcat II: Crisis #6

Wildcat III

NAME + ALIASES:
Tom Bronson

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Ted Grant (Wildcat, father), Marilyn Bronson (mother, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America, JSA All-Stars

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Bronson: Justice Society of America v.3 #1 (Feb. 2007)
As Wildcat III: Justice Society of America v.3 #4 (May 2007)

History

Henry Grant was determined that his son Ted would not be frail, as he had been. And so, Ted was raised close to his father in a very athletic lifestyle which included the sport of boxing. Ted was a natural and and eventually decided pursue professional boxing. He was even good enough to compete in the 1936 Olympics. (Justice Society v.2 #7)

But for all his good intentions, Henry Grant's gambling addiction ultimately brought about the demise of his family. When his gambling debt became insurmountable, the mob killed Ted's mother and faked Henry's death as well. Henry was left alive but alone and penniless. Henry died in 1938 and Ted never forgave him for being so weak. (JSA Classified #27)

At this time of his mother's death, Ted was attending college still training in boxing. Henry's gambling left Ted destitute, and the boy he fell under the wing of boxing coach Joe Morgan (aka Nat Milligan), who also taught him gymnastics. Ted was directionless until one night when he saved boxing champ "Socker" Smith from a mugging. This renewed his interest in boxing and he quickly became a sensation.

The Yellow Wasp. From Sensation Comics #20 (1942); art by Irwin Hasen.

In his first championship bout, Ted's gloves were rigged without his knowledge to poison his friend and opponent, Socker Smith, who died as a result. Ted was inspired by mystery man Green Lantern to become the vigilante called Wildcat, and forced his handlers to clear Grant’s name. (Sensation #1) After the scandal cleared, Ted was re-awarded his title as heavyweight champion of the world. (#2)

Wildcat eagerly threw in with his contemporaries in the wartime group called the All-Star Squadron. After the war, he became a core member of the Justice Society. (All-Star Comics #24) Wildcat also maintained a sexual (but apparently non-romantic) relationship with Hippolyta during her time with the JSA. (Wonder Woman v.2 #185) Ted has also suggested that he had a sexual relationship with his 1940s adversary, the Huntress I (Tigress II). (JSA3 #10)

Postwar

In 1945, Wildcat had a life-altering encounter with King Inferno. The villain had wagered against the demon Naedon on one of Ted Grant's boxing matches. The price for King Inferno was the nine souls in his coven. He attempted to force Grant to throw the match, but when Ted refused, Zatara stepped in to help. The magician prevented King Inferno from turning Ted into a real cat, and their intertwining spells resulted in the coven's souls being transferred to Ted. Wildcat gained a real, supernatural nine lives! (JSA #53, JSA 80-Page Giant 2010 #1)

Wildcat bore two sons, neither of which did he have the opportunity to raise. In the late 1940s, he and his girlfriend Irina had a son, Jake. Jake was kidnapped shortly after his is birth by Wildcat's enemy, the Yellow Wasp. (1st app. Sensation #20) Ted never saw the boy or the Yellow Wasp again, and Ted and Irina split up afterwards. (Secret Origins #50, JSA Secret Files #1) The Yellow Wasp retired from villainous adventuring and raised Jake as his own son. But the Wasp's other son became jealous of their closeness and at some point, killed them both. The Wasp's biological son later became the villain called Killer Wasp and joined Johnny Sorrow's Injustice Society. (JSA3 #21, JSA Secret Files #2)

Wildcat's second son was the product of his affair with the spitfire, Marilyn Bronson, a woman whom he saved from the Gambler. Ted and Marilyn were together for only one night but he also discovered that she was a super-human. She was a were-cat, and helped Wildcat fight the Huntress. Bronson was knocked out in the fight and Ted took her to see Dr. Mid-Nite. The doctor gave Marilyn a drug to help curb her transformations and informed her that she was pregnant. By that time, Ted had already decided to leave her alone—"for her own good." He never learned of her pregnancy and she bore a son, Tom Bronson, who inherited her power to become a man/cat. (Justice Society of America v.3 #1-2, 80-Page Giant #1)

Tom Bronson takes a dream-trip back in time, sees his father carrying his mother away from a battle against Tigress. From Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant #1 (2010); art by Jerry Ordway.

Silver Age

After the JSA's breakup in 1951, Wildcat, like other members continued to have occasional adventures. With the help of Wildcat, Black Canary and Starman defeat the Huntress and Sportsmaster. (Brave & Bold #62) Soon after this, Ted lost the first of his new "nine lives" in a battle with Solomon Grundy. (JSA3 #53) He also helped the Spectre defeat the mystically possessed "Happy" Jack Dold. (Spectre v.1 #3)

After the debut of the Justice League of America, the Justice Society also officially reformed with several younger members. Wildcat was a core member of this group and in one of their first cases, he suffered brain damage from the Icicle's mind control. This caused his speech to deteriorate. (All-Star Comics #66) He was then badly injured in a battle with the Thorn, and the JSA discovered his earlier brain damage. (#72) Surgeons successfully struggled to save Ted's life (#73) and he subsequently took a leave of absence from the JSA to open a private gym in Gotham for underprivileged kids. (Adventure #464)

His boxing career was rather long-lived as well. Grant mentioned that he once fought Sugar Ray Leonard (whose career was 1977-1988). (JSA Classified #9)

Wildcat II

Yolanda battles her cousin, Carcharo. From Infinity, Inc. #25 (1986); art by Todd McFarlane and Tony DeZuniga. Dr. Midnight pleads in vain to save her friend, Wildcat. From Eclipso #13 (1993); art by Audwynn Jermaine Newman and Ray Kryssing.

During the second age of heroes, Ted Grant helped to train several notable young heroes, including Batman, Catwoman and his friend Dinah's daughter, who would become Black Canary II. Ted also became the godfather of Yolanda Montez, the daughter of his old friend, Juan "Mauler" Montez. He taught his skills to Yolanda as well. Yolanda grew into a strong, determined young woman who decided to continue Ted's heroic legacy when the elder's legs were crushed during the so-called "Crisis." (Crisis #5) She donned his costume and became Wildcat II. (#6) Soon she met other new heroes with ties to the original Justice Society. Together with the new Hourman II and Dr. Midnight she made a bids membership in Infinity, Inc. (a group of JSA progeny). The fledgling group was hesitant to add members so soon, (Infinity Inc. #25, 28) but the trio proved their worth and were soon admitted to the group. (#31)

In her time with the team, Yolanda learned that her metahuman prowess was a product of the same genetic experiments that created the group called Helix. Another child from this group, Carcharo, was in fact Yolanda's cousin. (#26) Yolanda stayed with the group until it disbanded, following their leader, Skyman's, death. (#31) Wildcat went into semi-retirement, concentrating on her professional career as a reporter for the magazine Rock Stars.

During much of Infinity's time together, Ted and the Justice Society had been banished to Limbo, locked in the endless Ragnarock battle. (Last Days of the JSA) When they emerged, (Armageddon: Inferno #3-4) Wildcat joined several members and restarted the team. (Justice Society v.2 #2) Sadly, it was soon after Ted's return that Yolanda met her end alongside Dr. Midnight and several other heroes in a mission against Eclipso. The villain mowed down Dr. Midnight just as she was trying to save Yolanda's life. (Eclipso #13) Ted was left with the awful task of delivering this news to the Montez family, who blamed him for Yolanda's death. (Showcase '94 #8)

At Yolanda's funeral, things got heated and Yolanda's father, Juan lashed out at Ted. Her mother, Maria sought the help of a witch who claimed she could resurrect Yolanda. Her brother, José alerted Ted and the witch was exposed. Afterwards, Maria forgave Ted, acknowledging that Yolanda was happy in her time as Wildcat. (Showcase '94 #8)

Several JSAers met their end battling Extant in the event known as Zero Hour, but ironically, both Ted and the Flash gained a measure of youth in the process. (Starman v.2 #20) The eternally youthful members of the JSA reassembled again to help the JLA free the Spectre and stave off an imminent invasion from the 5th Dimension. During this case, the rest of the JSA learned for the first time about Ted's "nine lives," another of which he lost in this battle. (JLA #28)

Though he is limited to hand-to-hand combat, Ted has repeatedly proven his worth despite his advanced age. He remained semi-active with the JSA, teaming up again with a new Justice League. It was during this case that Wildcat revealed to his teammates that he had "nine lives." (JLA #28-31)

He has also been persuaded to aid the so-called "Birds of Prey," at the request of Black Canary. (Birds of Prey #81) Wildcat has teamed up with Catwoman several times in the past, and appeared to have trained her as well. Their relationship exhibited a certain amount of sexual tension. (Catwoman/Wildcat)

JSA: Vengeance for Yolanda

When the JSA's Sandman died, the remaining members reassembled with other second generation heroes to defeat the evil mage, Mordru. (JSA #1)He repelled the entire Injustice Society—single-handedly, with a broken arm, and naked. (JSA #10) The Killer Wasp was a member of this new villain group. The Wasp finally revealed the fate of Ted's son, Jake. (JSA #21)

Wildcat meets his son's killer, the Killer Wasp. From JSA #10 (2000); art by Stephen Sadowski and Michael Bair.
Alex Montez becomes Eclipso. From JSA #49 (2003); art by Leonard Kirk and Keith Champagne.
The next generation Wildcat (Obsidian and Jade to his left, Batman in the foreground). From Kingdom Come #3 (1996); art by Alex Ross.
Alternate cover to Justice Society of America v.3 #4 (2007). Art by Alex Ross.

At this time, the JSA recruited Yolanda Montez's cousin, Alexander Montez, to serve as the JSA's Museum Curator. (#26) Alex had a secret agenda; he was secretly acquiring the power of Eclipso's black diamonds in order to defeat the demon and avenge Yolanda's death. (#45)

Ted's past again came calling when the new Crimson Avenger attempted to exact her vengeance for the death of Charles Durham. She claimed that Durham had been framed for murder by Wildcat, then executed. Her supernatural guns pierced both he and Power Girl. Wildcat won this fight by forcing the Crimson Avenger to question the source of her powers, and drove her away. By the end of this encounter, he had lost lost three more of his nine lives. (#37, 52-53)

Once Alex Montez acquired all of Eclipso's diamonds (#49-50), he took the name Eclipso (II) and joined a rival team formed by Black Adam's rival team. (#52) This of course led to a confrontation with the JSA where a stray blast from Eclipso killed his lover, Nemesis. The tattoo that bound Eclipso within Alex was also severed and Alex's hold on Eclipso wavered. He committed suicide in grief of his actions. (#58) Ted delivered the sad news to Alex's parents just as he had to Yolanda's. (#59)

Wildcat was forced to intentionally exhaust his remaining "lives" when he and the Flash were captured by the Dragon King. The King used the Spear of Destiny to imprison them and their only escape was death—Ted's. He convinced Jay to kill him down to his last life, thus rendering Wildcat without super-powers and able to leave the Spear's sphere of influence. (JSA Classified #8-9)

Wildcat learned he had another special attribute during the JSA's battle with the Gentleman Ghost. The Ghost could only be defeated by someone of noble blood and as it turned out, Ted was descended from a 17th century duke. Wildcat finished him with a sword to the supernatural throat. The JSA's headquarters was destroyed and the elder members considered disbanding the team. (JSA #87)

Next Generation: Wildcat III

Ted Grant's son, Tom Bronson, was a character inspired by the Wildcat in Kingdom Come. This 1996 limited series introduced a second generation of familiar heroes. Unlike his father, the younger Wildcat had was a were-cat and joined Batman's group. He was described in the hardcover Revelations as "a half-animal creature, looking much like the costume come to life. This man-panther is obviously more feral and ferocious."

Though demoralized, the JSA's founders were urged by the Justice League to reassemble and train the myriad of "legacy heroes" appearing on the scene. Wildcat declined to rejoin until Green Lantern revealed that his son, Tom Bronson, was among them. (Justice Society of America v.3 #1) Their relationship was complicated. Tom told Ted that Marilyn Bronson had died of cancer. He claimed he wasn't bitter, but wanted no part in the Wildcat legacy. (#2) Life among the Justice Society wouldn't allow that. No sooner did Tom settle in than he was forced to adopt his cat form and fight Vandal Savage. (#3-4)

Despite his super-powers, Tommy had little skill in hand-to-hand fighting so his father began training with him. (#9) Tommy had never told his mother that he had powers. Likewise, he never knew about hers. He learned about this when the JSA were overcome by mystical forces and the young Wildcat was allowed to peer into the past. (JSA 80-Page Giant #1)

The membership of the Justice Society ballooned during this time and Ted clashed with the younger hero, Magog, whose style was decidedly less traditional. When the two brawled over a disagreement, it was clear that the team needed to split in two. (#30-31)

Tommy went with half the team to join the JSA All-Stars. (JSA All-Stars #1) His new teammates off-handedly referred to Tommy as "Tomcat," a name which he rather liked, and adopted thereafter. (Justice Society of America Special #1) The splinter team was short-lived and when they two recombined, Tomcat did not appear again. Wildcat remained active. In battle, he was struck by a large battle axe but survived. (Justice Society of America #54)

This timeline may no longer exist. In 2010, DC rebooted its universe, generally known as the "New 52."

Notes

Justice Society of America v.3 #4 (Apr. 2007) featured a variant cover by Alex Ross featuring both father and son Wildcats.

Wildcat III joined the JSA in a flashback, in Justice Society of America v.3 #8 (Sept. 2007)

The Wildcat of Earth-One

In the original DC multiverse, there was a Wildcat of Earth-One who was very similar to the original (of Earth-Two). He was featured in six adventures. This Ted Grant was a former heavyweight champion of the world. Little is known of his early days as Wildcat, but his fortunes waxed and waned. The first five of his adventures teamed him with Batman to battle various mundane menaces (though they did have to outwit the Joker on one occasion). (Brave & Bold #88, 97, 110, 118, 127) This Wildcat's final appearance was a team-up with the Creeper where they fought that hero's enemy, Proteus (this team-up cements the argument that he was from Earth-One). (Super-Team Family #2)

Nothing in these Wildcat adventures indicated that he was active during World War II.

Earth-2, Post-Infinite Crisis

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the original Earth Two was merged into all other surviving Earths. After the Infinite Crisis, the multiverse of the DC Universe was restored, there was again an Earth-2. Their history seemed to have unfolded as if the first Crisis had never happened (picking up approximately after Infinity, Inc. #24). On it, Infinity Inc. and the Justice Society merged to form Justice Society Infinity, and Yolanda was a member. (JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom #1)

+ Powers

Wildcat is a top-notch hand-to-hand combatant who has helped trained some of the most accomplished heroes, including Batman, Black Canary and Catwoman.

His only metahuman ability was his "nine lives." When killed, he was magically revived and restored to full health. He used the last of these recently. (JSA:Classified #9)

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Ted:

  • All-Star Comics #24, 27
  • Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1, 3
  • Birds of Prey #81-83
  • Brave & the Bold #62
  • Flash v.2 #268
  • Impulse #67
  • JSA Classified #8-9, 26-27, 35-39
  • JSA 80-Page Giant #1
  • JSA 80-Page Giant 2010 #1
  • Justice Society of America Special #1
  • Knight and Squire #1
  • Robin 80-Page Giant #1
  • Showcase #62
  • Showcase '94 #8
  • Showcase '96 #11
  • Spectre v.1 #3
  • Suicide Squad v.2 #12
  • Super-Team Family #2

Yolanda:

  • Infinity, Inc. #12, 25-53

Eclipso #11-13

» SERIES:

  • Sensation Comics #1–90 (Jan. 1942–June 1949)
  • Batman/Wildcat, 3-issue limited series (1997)
  • Catwoman/Wildcat, 4-issue limited series (1998)
  • JSA, 87 issues (1999-2006)
  • JSA All-Stars, 18 issues (2010–11)
  • JSA vs. Kobra, 6-issue limited series (2010
  • Justice Society of America v.3, current (2007-)