this entry covers “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 14, which was part of “Image X-Month”
So here we are, the other side of the “Image X-Month” coin w/ Erik Larsen drawing “WildC.A.T.s” and I have to say, it’s a pretty fun book. I don’t know what I was expecting, though. I can imagine some people a bit upset with the book, as it was a total departure from the tone and art the book normally has, but a few years on, it’s a fun little treat.
The book opens with the WildC.A.T.s taking on an enemy named Stronghold who was the leader of a Daemonite splinter group known as the Warbreed. After that big battle, Pris demands a vacation away from all the action. Jacob likes the idea, offers up some time on his private island, but as the team is packing up, there’s a news report on the television about a building that got destroyed in Chicago. Turns out, the one victim of the demolition was a former flame of Jeremy’s. Jeremy “Mauls-up” gets on some crazy kick ass flying contraption and heads out to find what happened to his old pal, Margo.
The building collapse was all a fight gone wrong when Mighty Man was fighting Overpower and didn’t get to Margo in time. Mighty Man is taking this hard, hanging out bedside next to Margo while she lays there, in a coma. Turns out this isn’t the best place for Mighty Man, because as soon as Jeremy seems him there, the fight is on! As the fight is getting out of hand Mighty Man’s friends in Freak Force join him to take down Jeremy. Suddenly the WildC.A.T.s teleport in via Void and the fight continues. Is there a rumble going on in Chicago? How long before “you-know-who” shows up? That’s right, a few pages later and Savage Dragon is here, he catches Cole and is “WTF mate?” and Cole calls off his pals.
Crisis averted, right? Well, kinda, the main brawl is over, but Jeremy still wants to pound on Mighty Man. And when finally cornered, Mighty Man reverts to their alter ego, nurse Ann Stevens. This confuses the brain deficient behemoth and he shrinks down to think better as well as calm down.
As the two teams are getting to know each other, Jeremy goes in to see Margo who’s coming out of her coma. Turns out, back in the day, when she and Jeremy were dating, something happened and because of his superpowers she was hurt. He put some distance between them for her protection, so when she was hurt by a super powered being, he went a little nutso. Margo lets him know that it wasn’t his fault, or Mighty Man’s fault, sometimes horrible things just happen.
To wrap up, both teams (plus the Dragon) head to Marlowe’s private island. They’re all hanging out at the beach, some are enjoying the sun, other trading quips and of course, Zealot is taking the time to train. Jeremy and Ann share a small moment, and she asks him out. He turns her down for a variety of reasons, none being that he currently has a girlfriend. Jeremy Stone, you heel.
Odd as it may seem, I really like Larsen’s take on many of the characters. His version of powered down Jeremy is one of my favorites. I also like his version of Pris, even though she looks about a decade older than she is. To be fair, no one really draws her like she’s only 18 anyway, so I guess that’s fine. All in all, fun book.
- How many vacations does Pris need? She was trying to take one in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 8, as well as in “Voodoo / Zealot : Skin Trade.” Ok, maybe she means one that doesn’t end in some kind of typical comic book adventure.
- Marlowe’s Caribbean island might be the most lasting creation from this issue, as it is the setting for the “Zealot” miniseries. Everything else created by Larsen for this issue is never really touched on again.
- It’s a shame, too. The Warbreed and Stronghold could’ve been something pretty cool and given the early WildC.A.T.s team a few more enemies to their rogues gallery.