THE LEGACY OF BILL FINGER……WILDCAT

Wildcat was created by Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen, first appearing during the Golden Age in Sensation Comics #1. (1942)

Ted Grant, world heavyweight champion becomes the costumed hero Wildcat” after he is framed in a crooked fight, accompanied by his  sidekick “Stretch” Skinner, the Wildcat relies on his natural pugilistic talents to take on criminals.

Wildcat
Wildcat

Henry Grant vowed on his son’s crib that the child would not grow up afraid of life, “not easily bruise as I did”. Ted is trained to excel in sports and self-defense, and by the time he reaches college is a number-one athlete. An expert boxer, he resists the lure to fight professionally because he wants to become a doctor. However, the death of his parents leaves him broke and in the days of the Great Depression found himself unemployed in the big city. One night he saves “Socker” Smith, the world heavyweight boxing champ, from a mugging. Wanting to reward the young man, Smith gave him a job as a sparring partner, sharpening his already considerable skills. Smith’s manager, Natie Skinner, saw the potential in young Grant and set him up in his own career as a boxer. Over several months, Ted won his way to the top of his division. the only fighter left was his own mentor, “Socker” Smith. The public’s expectations of the coming bout led Skinner and his partner Ralph Flint to bet on the underdog….Grant.

 

Smith vs Grant
Smith vs Grant

Hoping to make a fortune, Skinner and Flint decided to even the odds by placing a needle laced with poison in Grant’s glove. As it hit repeatedly during the bout, Smith succumbed to the poison. The dose was only intended to slow Smith, but the duo misjudged the potency. When Grant was arrested for the crime Skinner and Flint, afraid he might know what had happened, arranged  for the police car carrying Ted to have “an accident”. Ted Grant survived, but the policemen with him were dead. He became a fugitive and on the run he came upon a kid who was robbed of his “Green Lantern” comic. The kid, describing the mystery-man Green Lantern, inspired Ted to create a costume of a large black cat.

Grant gets inspired
Grant gets inspired
Buy some FLASH comics
Buy some FLASH comics

He took the name of “Wildcat” and vowed to clear his name.

Wildcat
Wildcat

He brought Skinner and Flint to justice, as the villains were forced to confess and Grant’s name was cleared. Wildcat continued to fight against crime.

Justice
Justice

Wildcat was the second longest running feature in Sensation Comics.

Wildcat cycle
Wildcat cycle

Did you know, Wildcat was one of the proposed names for Batman’s sidekick? Robin wasn’t even on the list.

Wildcats sidekick “Stretch” Skinner was a private detective, didn’t know Ted Grant’s secret and was no relation to the above mentioned Natie Skinner.

Stretch Skinner
Stretch Skinner

 

Wildcat has appeared in other media:

Brave and the Bold
Brave and the Bold

Stephen Root: (Voice) Justice Guild Catman “Justice League Unlimited”

Dennis Farina: (Voice) Wildcat “Justice League Unlimited”

Roger Haskett: Ted Grant “Smallville”

R. Lee Ermey: (Voice) Wildcat “Batman: Brave and the Bold”

Lex Lang: (Voice)  Young Wildcat “Batman: Brave and the Bold”

………….: (non-speaking) Wildcat “Young Justice”

Smallville
Smallville
Smallville  JSA
Smallville JSA

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Source: DC Wiki,   Bill Finger Appreciation Group

Thomas ODonnell

Thomas ODonnell

My love of comics started at the age of 5, when visions of mythic beings fought their way across my TV screen. Batman ’66, Super Friends, Wonder Woman, and Superman ’78 filled my early childhood with imagination and adventure. Soon enough I found the spinner rack! Batman, Justice League and DC’s Who’s Who kept me coming back for more. I’ve seen the death of hope, justice broken, a light extinguished, and a universe torn! A kingdom come, the lightning return, a triumph of evil and a multiverse reborn!