James Robinson’s Complete WildC.A.T.s

November 5, 2009 | Trades

James Robinson’s Complete WildC.A.T.s
James Robinson, Travis Charest, Jim Lee, Barry Windsor-Smith, Richard Bennett, Terry Dodson
Wildstorm/DC Comics
$29.99/$24.99 US (Paperback)
**** (out of five)

One great British writer finally got his due for a fine run on WildC.A.T.s.

Now another gets his.

Alan Moore’s run on volume 1 of this Wildstorm-founding title appeared as Alan Moore: The Complete WildC.A.T.s, which collected issues #21-34 and part of #50, marked the first time a substantial portion of this series was included in one volume.

Now James Robinson’s WildC.A.T.s run, spanning issues #15-20, the other part of #50, and a few related books, gives readers another entry point into the explosive and action-packed lives of this Covert Action Team (that’s the C.A.T.s part) featuring Grifter, Spartan, Warblade, Maul, Zealot, Void, Voodoo and Emp.

Robinson, best known for his 80-plus issue run on DC’s Starman, a recent run on Superman and an upcoming turn on Justice League of America, adds depth to this widescreen action book with his trademark sharp dialogue and strong character development. The adventures, which include a plot to discover which member of the team may be an alien assassin in disguise and a showdown with the government-sponsored hero team, Stormwatch, are solid, but do rely a bit of readers having a general familiarity with the Wildstorm universe of that era.

While the focus on writers for these trade paperbacks is an interesting approach, another look at the WildC.A.T.s shows it’s definitely time to make more of the original series available. Of the initial 50-issue run, only 23 are in currently available collected editions (including #5-7 in WildC.A.T.s/Cyberforce: Killer Instinct, which may also be out of print).

One or two volumes with issues #0-4 and #8-14, featuring great work by writers Brandon Choi and Chris Claremont and star artists Jim Lee and Erik Larsen, would leave just 15 issues outstanding. Perhaps there’re issues with rights to Larsen’s work on issue #14 (what with him now running Image Comics and all), but still, everything else ought to be out there for comic fans to enjoy. (They should also finish collecting the underrated Wildcats 3.0 and all of Vol. 1 of Gen 13, but I digress.)

And really, isn’t publishing a comic with “art by Jim Lee” on it kind of like printing money?

Lets hope Wildstorm finds a way to make it happen.

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