The Halo Corporation has introduced their new group of heroes to the world: the Seven Soldiers of Victory are here to save the day! Wait...whaaaaat?!
WildCATs #3 picks up with the Seven Soldiers of Victory’s worldwide reveal from the previous issue. We quickly learn that this team is just a visual placeholder for the media so that the Wildcats can operate in the shadows without raising any suspicion. Grifter gets into an argument with one of the Seven Soldiers and is suspended from the team after he throws a punch. The rest of the issue follows the WildCATs as they are struggling with a mission because Grifter isn’t there. Meanwhile, Grifter continues investigating the Court of Owls.
After the first two issues, something felt off about Grifter. It wasn’t until this issue that I realized it was his hair. In the first two issues his hair is relatively short which looks different than the slightly scruffier look we are used to. Oddly enough, this issue brings back that scruffy hairstyle. I originally chalked this up to a creative design change, but it was really odd to see that this change happens halfway through the issue. Grifter is drawn exactly like he was in the first two issues for about one-third of this issue, and then the art randomly changes to his more traditional design. Stephen Segovia worked on all three issues so I have no idea where this change came from. This would make sense if the artist shifted; however, this is a design change that takes place within one issue, by the same artist, for practically no reason. Art is definitely subjective, but most people agree that beyond anything else, consistency matters the most. This was an odd artistic choice for sure.
Since the first issue, WildCATs has maintained its 90s aesthetic to a tee. The dialogue is modernized but evokes that ’90s charm, and the lettering feels the same way. This all works well for the title; however, one thing that continues to fall flat is the characterization of Grifter. Yes, he’s the most visually memorable. Yes, he’s the one people think of the most when the WildCATs are brought up. But, he is written in such an unlikable way. ’90s comics were full of angst and over the top drama, but Grifter takes this all to another level in this issue. He is almost insufferable in his lack of self control and his incessant need to commit acts of insubordination. He is constantly complaining about working for the Halo Corporation but refuses to leave them. The book makes it obvious that this is all a facade to mask his grief over the loss of his brother, but at what point is someone going to call him out and make him knock it off.
Another question I’ve had since the first issue is why this book is focusing so much on The Court of Owls. Once again, in this issue, Grifter goes off the books to take matters into his own hands, to try and figure out who the Court are. This seems like a meaningless task in the grand DC Comic universe since most readers are familiar with the Court, from Scott Snyder’s Batman. I can understand Grifter wanting to look into this, but Matthew Rosenberg presents this part of the story as if it’s some kind of mystery that we have yet to uncover. Also, if we take this at face value and ignore the fact that the entire history of the Court has already been discussed at length in prior stories, why does Grifter even care about them? The team accidentally bumped into them in the first issue and for some reason, Grifter insists on going after them. Not only is this not part of his mission, but it has no bearing on any of Grifter’s established goals throughout the story. This once again creates even more confusion as to why Rosenberg puts so much focus on this plot point.
The biggest question at the end of each issue is who this book is for. Is this book for 90s comic fans? Is it for new readers? I don’t quite have an answer after issue #3, but it’s starting to look like this book only exists to appease its creator, Jim Lee.
WildCATs #3 will appease '90s comics fans but after three issues, the creative team still hasn’t done anything to justify this title’s existence. The action is fun and the witty banter is enjoyable but don’t read this looking for any strong substance.
WILDC.A.T.S #3: Whose Comic is This, Anyway?
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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