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 (opens in new tab) 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.