Arrowed: Wildcat

The feature inspired by great cosplay and fan art where I imagine various DC properties taken to the small screen and wonder aloud just what their shows would be like. Today's BOXING DAY pitch: Wildcat.
Cosplay by: Bob Mask; picture by David Ngo

Not necessarily next on my list, but I couldn't resist the boxing pun(ch). And anyway, I love Golden Age heroes, and I love Wildcat especially. This is a special case, because Ted Grant has already been cast in DC's television universe. He's being played by J.R. Ramirez, and features in Season 3 as a former boxer who runs a gym and interacts with Laurel a lot.
It makes sense to bring Wildcat into the Arrow-verse because in the comics, he trained Black Canary among others. But I'm not proposing Ramirez get a spin-off. He's too young for the role.

My preferred Wildcat would be a grizzled veteran who's still out there fighting the good fight. His show would make full use of the boxing world and sports movie tropes, but he'd also use his pugilistic skills on the streets to fight crime. He'd be the over-the-hill hero would still won't quit, and would earn a feline reputation for having nine lives. Then there's the whole "trained other heroes" angle, which is a great way to get your crossovers in. He might spend an entire arc training a mysterious, tortured youth we delightfully discover to be a young Bruce Wayne. Characters from the other shows would all make an obligatory visit to his gym to hone their fighting skills. What if he trained one of their enemies? Not all eggs turn out to be good. TV shows love to do boxing episodes, but there really isn't a boxing show per se.

Since he's a veteran hero in my take, it would also give the program a chance to flash back in time to adventures of some street-level Justice Society (Law's Legionnaires?) and characters who have since died or really retired (or have they?) like the original Atom, the Guardian, Star-Spangled Kid & Stripesy, the Sandman, Tarantula, and oh my, is that Laurel's mother Dinah as the original Black Canary?! Gasp! As we get more and more into this era, we'll realize there's more to a superhero than his or her powers; since they all have the same abilities, more or less, the focus will be on personalities, which can't be a bad thing.

But what would you do with Wildcat if you had that power?


American Hawkman said...

Best way to do Ted is as a grizzled veteran. Even Arrow had him as a vigilante longer than Oliver. You pretty much have to use the Yellow Wasp as one of Ted's old enemies that stole his son and use that arc. I would definitely use Zatara and Zatanna at some point as a story of the good old days, since Ted LIKED Zatara so much. Eventually, you REALLY should add in Jim Harper and Al Pratt as guys trained by Ted's trainer and adapt that All-Star Squadron arc. Essentially, focus on Ted being tough as nails, but getting older and having to be wiser because of it, and you'll be fine.

Jeff R. said...

I'm not sure what to do with Wildcat. I think Wesley Dobbs is the better vehicle for a no/low powers Justice Society period piece (He's the only focal point that doesn't let the idea drift into either the Minutemen or Robinson's Golden Age, both of which aren't the tone I'd want such a thing to end up with.)

So I'd be tempted to use Yolanda Montez for the Wildcat show, leaving Ted mainly in the mentor role. Maybe something along the Buffy model, although I'm having trouble coming up with a DCU-compatable equivalent of a Hellmouth for such a show; an ongoing reason for a school to have need of a youthful nonpowered vigilante and support team. (Does Wildcat have an independent rogue's gallery or even main archvillain to speak of, other than by JSA or ASS affiliation? Every candidate I can think of is GA Flash, Green Lantern, or Mr. Terrific foe mainly. If so, that character's nature could inform how to set up the opposition.)

Doc_Loki said...

With the ever-growing ranks of super-humans in the CW-verse, and with Ted's established backstory as a former vigilante and trainer of others, the idea I'd love to see is him opening an academy for aspiring vigilantes.

The original Wildcat could show up as his mentor (not sure what to do about the name thing, although it could be belatedly revealed that the 'cat we know is Ted Grant Jnr.), other ASS members could fill out the faculty (Ted Knight teaches Physics, Rex Tyler teaches Chemistry, Carter Hall teaches History, John Law teaches Lit, Terry Sloane teaches Civics, etc.) while the younger heroes could be the students (Jack Knight, Yolanda Montez, Jessie Quick - pretty much whoever wasn't a part of some other deal DC's made). Plenty of room for Arrow and Flash to show up as guest instructors or whatever, and a concept broad enough to accommodate pretty much any DC character.

That said, I love Jeff's idea of a Wesley Dodds series set in the late Thirties and early Forties.

SallyP said...

Definitely have old fart Ted. Does every character have to be 24? I Love Ted! He's a great character and he deserves to have the respect of his years and experience. And also be able to show the young whippersnappers a thing or two! Or three.

Siskoid said...

One of the reasons I wanted to do an article on Wildcat is that he's an older hero, which would be a take-off from everything the other shows are doing.


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