Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review Rewind: WildC.A.T.s #1-4

Review Rewind: WildC.A.T.s #1-4 
By: Andrew Hines

I want to introduce you to a comic that brought me into the medium as a huge fan of Jim Lee's work, WildC.A.T.s (Covert•Action•Teams). This 20-year old comic series, which is now defunct, has recently had its characters brought into current continuity with their own on-going series and guest spots in other series'. As the brainchild Jim Lee, an artist and co-publisher for DC Comics and writer Brandon Choi from their college days, the series debuted as a title for Image Comics, and later under the WildStorm imprint for DC Comics, where it's first run remained until 1998. It later came out in fits and jerks, until DC stopped WildStorm publications in 2010.

The first issue is fantastic in the way that introduces the main characters. Many team-based books, such as the new Justice League, never manage to have all of their main characters show up in the first issue. They also fail, most of the time, to introduce the main villain of the series. WildC.A.T.s is the only comic I've seen in the last 20+ years that has not failed in either regard. It is one of the few comics in which you can pick up a first issue and identify all of the principle characters.

Jim Lee's artwork is without equal in this, the master work of his 90s art. The amount of detail in this series is unprecedented. His pencils give more power and depth than 99% of the comics I have read. He does not pump up the muscles on his men more than is necessary, though admittedly the women have longer legs than should ever be anatomically possible. Because of the depth of the story and characters, I'll excuse that singular misstep. Since this is a world that doesn't have DC's Trinity, comprised of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, it is essentially our world. That is even more true, since the secondary villain in the premiere four issues, there is an alien possessing Dan Quayle (the Vice President from 1990-1994.) With just this seemingly small bit of realism, Choi and Lee brought a new idea and new era to mainstream comics.

With all of this in mind, I have to give a 9.8 out of 10 to the first story arc of WildC.A.T.s.

WildC.A.T.s Cover #1:

Cover #2:

Cover #3:

Cover #4:

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