The WildC.A.T.S. relaunch with Batman that could’ve been

(Image credit: Freddie E. Williams II)

As long-time WildStorm and Jim Lee fans wait for a glimmer of a return of that universe of characters, one of DC's core artists has revealed he tried to reboot the flagship team of that grouping but, unfortunately, struck out.

DC artist Freddie E. Williams II has revealed artwork for a pitch he recently submitted to DC for a new, street-level WildC.A.T.S. team.

Williams had two versions planned: either a revival of the Travis Charest era of the team, or a new team composed of both WildStorm and DC heroes including Batman, Robin, Deathstroke, Deathblow, John Lynch, Zealot, and Grifter.

I'm sure you're thinking to yourself "... Batman?"

"Batman would have been an occasional member, since he is so busy (and so his resources didn't outshine the rest of the team)," Williams says.

No mention of classic DC hero Wildcat being part of the pitch. Too on the nose, perhaps?

Here are three pieces of art Williams drew for the pitch:

"DC didn't give me much in the way of a reason they didn't want to ⁠- they just rejected it - which is just how it goes sometimes," explains Williams.

Lee and Brandon Choi created the WildC.A.T.S. back in the early '90s as one of the seven launch titles for Image Comics. Inspired by Lee's then-recent run on Marvel's X-Men, the WildC.A.T.S. were a group of heroes with superpowers and ties to an aeons-long war between two alien races. The team became the centrepiece for Lee's larger Wildstorm universe (and company), and was included in Lee's sale of that company to DC in 1999.

Since then the team has been revived intermittently, and in 2019 a completely rebooted title was announced but DC later canceled that project.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)