The DC Universe is full of skilled fighters, but a guy who’s often overlooked is Ted Grant, AKA Wildcat. The character was created in 1942 by Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen and first appeared in Sensation Comics 1. Wildcat is a famous heavyweight boxer and a member of the Justice Society of America. He’s responsible for training many heroes, including Batman and Black Canary. Often depicted as a rowdy tough guy, Wildcat represents a classic superhero trope that still has relevance in the modern era.
Grant took up boxing from a young age, eventually becoming tangled up in his managers’ schemes His mentor, ‘Socker’ Smith was killed by a boxing glove loaded with a poison needle by his managers Flint and Skinner. Grant was wrongly arrested for the crime while Flint and Skinner arranged for him to be killed. Grant survived and met a kid who was robbed of his Green Lantern comic.
The kid talked about the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, and Grant was inspired to create a costume of his own. He became Wildcat and brought his former managers to justice. From there, he joined the Justice Society of America and became one of the original members.
Wildcat’s boxing prowess makes him one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the world. Batman, Catwoman and Superman have all benefited from his tutelage. In addition to his fighting skills, Grant also possesses ‘nine lives’ with the ability to resurrect. According to the sorcerer Mordru, he will always have nine levels so long as he isn’t killed nine times in a single cycle. This power was given to Wildcat when the magician Zatara altered a curse placed on him by King Inferno.
Wildcat is often seen as the brawler of the Justice Society. He’s quick to solve problems with his fists, but will still look to solve conflict peacefully if possible. He shares an interesting relationship with Powergirl, who has a lot to say about his chauvinistic streak. Despite their differences, Wildcat and Powergirl share a strong bond and respect each other.
Wildcat’s longevity is a testament to the importance of the character. He’s an essential part of the DC superhero community and he’ll continue to kick ass for many more years to come.