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Wildcat (Ted Grant) over a white background

Wildcat

(Ted Grant)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The original Wildcat (Ted Grant), a costumed boxing champ/vigilante, is a classic Golden Age  DC Comics character. He appeared in 1942, and is still active to this day with the Justice Society of America.

The following notes are also very old. Essentially it’s an improved version of Mayfair’s game stats welded to a modified history section written by David Stepp. Back in the 1990s we used to make a copy of these, as personal pages tended to vanish when people left college. Still, it’s useful as a placeholder so we keep it until we can redo it.


Background

  • Real Name: Ted Grant
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Henry Grant (father), Jake (son, last name unrevealed), Yolanda Montez (aka Wildcat II, goddaughter)
  • Base Of Operations: New York City
  • Group Affiliation: JSA, All-Star Squadron
  • Height: 6’5” Weight: 250lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black (graying)


Powers and Abilities

Wildcat is an extremely talented pugilist, and the product of decades of specialized training in that fighting style. A former heavyweight champion, Wildcat has relied completely on this method of operation. Wildcat is also rumored to have “nine lives”, but this has yet to be scientifically confirmed.

He was never defeated in a ring, and usually won by knockout. One of the few exceptions was his legendary match against Muhammad Ali . Grant is a huge and extremely muscular man, with a reach of 77 inches and incredibly tough hands. Not only is he extremely powerful, but he’s so fast you can practically hear the air crack open.

Grant prefers to think of himself as a heavyweight boxer and mostly fights that way. However, he has also studied a remarkable variety of martial arts and melee weapons, and is a master in most of them. For instance, when training Catwoman over the years, his choice was to make her a mistress of such esoteric skills as whip fighting and jeet kune do.

Grant is also a formidable athlete and acrobat, as well as a remarkable teacher who can inspire remarkable progress and skill in his students.


History

Ted Grant was probably born in the 1910s, the son of Henry Grant. Henry Grant had been a frail child. When his son was born, Henry swore that the boy would not suffer those same frailties.

Throughout his childhood, Ted was trained in all manner of athletics. Of all the sports, however, Ted excelled most in boxing. Yet when he graduated high school, Ted did not pursue a boxing career but went to college to study medicine. He was in the college boxing team part-time, however, to keep in shape. His coach was Joe Morgan, a former championship boxer.

Halfway through college, Grant’s father died. Henry’s debts consumed whatever savings Grant had. Unable to continue in his studies, Grant left school and tried to find gainful employment. Unfortunately, the pre-World War II American economy was unkind, and he failed repeatedly to find gainful work.

Boxer

One night, he happened upon two muggers assaulting a famous boxer, “Socker” Smith. With Grant’s help, Smith overcame the assailants. As his reward, Grant joined Smith as a professional boxer. They were both managed by a duo called Flint and Skinner. Ted soon proved himself to be championship material. He later became the undefeated heavyweight champion boxer.

In 1941, Flint and Skinner decided to improve their revenues from the gambling circuit. They fixed a championship bout between Grant and Socker Smith. This was done by placing a needle containing a sedative in Grant’s boxing glove. Thus, a hard blow from Grant would inject the sedative and knock Smith out.

Flint, however, misdosed the needle. When Grant struck Smith, the older boxer was killed from the overdose.

Grant was arrested, but his implicators feared he would reveal incriminating evidence to the police. They arranged an “accident” in which the car carrying Grant was forced over an embankment. The police officers aboard were killed. Grant survived but was blamed for his “escape.”

Fugitive and vigilante

A fugitive from justice, Grant wandered aimlessly. He tried to think of a way to clear his name. This is when he happened upon a small child who had been robbed of a comic book that featured Green Lantern. Unfamiliar with mystery men, Grant listened as the child described the popular hero.

Inspired by Green Lantern, Grant fashioned a costume imitating a large black cat, and took the code-name of Wildcat.

As Wildcat, Grant tracked Flint and Skinner to their hideouts. He forced each of them to confess. He then turned himself in as Grant after bringing the two criminals to the law as Wildcat. Satisfied by the justice that he had delivered as Wildcat, Grant vowed to continue on as the feline mystery-man.

As Ted Grant, he remained a professional sports figure. He also strove to become a personal role model for disadvantaged children.

As was the habit of the time, Grant picked up a Man Friday in the form of Hiram “Stretch” Skinner of Corn Corners, Iowa. Skinner (no relation to Skinner the corrupt coach) was a private investigator, allowing Grant access to a certain amount of casework as an occasional tagalong and frequent rescuer.

The lanky detective was something of a dunce, never quite grasping that Grant and Wildcat were one and the same. Nevertheless, the two were an effective team throughout World War II. Skinner’s ultimate fate is unknown.

Morgan’s revenge

During World War II, Wildcat joined the loosely-organized All-Star Squadron.

Early in 1942, Wildcat was accosted by a mystical being who had taken the form of Joe Morgan, the boxing champ who had trained Grant in his college days. Morgan had been victimized by an alien radiation. The radiation had split him into three magically-powered entities, and provoked him to seek vengeance against Grant.

Wildcat was then intercepted by All-Star Squadron members Green Lantern, the Flash, and Wonder Woman. They told him that Morgan had attacked two others, the Atom and the Guardian. The Guardian, the Atom, and Wildcat had all trained with Morgan, but each had sworn off professional athletics to pursue other interests.

The trio ultimately confronted Morgan and defeated him with the help of the All-Star Squadron. After his defeat, Morgan regained his senses and begged forgiveness of those he had assaulted. As the alien radiation fled his body, Morgan died at the side of his former pupils.

All-Star Squadron

In the latter part of World War II, the Justice Society contacted Wildcat to help with a disillusioned youth who wanted to avoid service in the war. He was also contacted shortly after the war to help promote public acceptance of disabled veterans. At or around this time, Wildcat was awarded full membership in the Justice Society.

While most of Wildcat’s adventures resulted from Skinner’s hired casework, he did encounter the occasional super-villain.

Notable among these was the Yellow Wasp. The origins of the Wasp are unclear, as are his abilities. The Wasp employed a variety of insect motifs in his crimes, such as stinging poisons and waxy adhesives. The Wasp’s main goals were robbery and the acquisition of material gain, but he was largely foiled by Wildcat and Skinner.

Without a doubt, one of Wildcat’s most ambitious foes was the Huntress. A former heroine known as the Tigress turned professional thief, the Huntress resented the way criminals were tracked by the law. She had resolved to turn the tables. She created a private zoo and captured Wildcat, as well as many local politicians, to serve as game in her own private hunt. Wildcat escaped her traps and defeated the Huntress, sending her to prison.

After several individual forays against Wildcat, the Huntress joined the Injustice Society of the World. There she met “Crusher” Crock, also known as the Sportsmaster with whom she ultimately became romantically involved. Whatever her criminal activities, the Huntress became a regular inmate in any of several federal penitentiaries.

McCarthy

Wildcat had already entered a period of retirement before the House Un-American Activities Committee meetings in 1951 disbanded the JSA. Grant also retired from boxing some years later, an undefeated heavyweight champion. Grant returned to active duty as Wildcat when he joined Starman and Black Canary against the newlywed criminal duo of the Huntress and the Sportsmaster.

When the JSA reformed, Wildcat again became a regular member.

Wildcat never married. However he did have a brief affair at some point in the 1960s with a woman known as “Irina,” and a child was born. The Yellow Wasp kidnapped the boy, whose fate (and that of Irina) remain unrevaled as of this writing.

After his retirement from sports, Grant opened a gym that trained aspiring fighters in a variety of martial arts techniques. Among his trainees was Dinah Laurel Lance, Black Canary’s daughter. Wildcat again resumed his membership with the Justice Society in the mid-1960s.

Silver Age  and Bronze Age 

In the 1970s, Wildcat was severely injured by the Icicle when the Injustice Society seized control of the JSA’s headquarters. This caused brain damage to an unknown extent, which was worsened when Wildcat was poisoned by the Thorn. He was successfully treated and seemed to return to normal after a period of recovery.

Wildcat later resigned from the JSA to return to his gym and become a child welfare advocate. Within a year or two, Wildcat had returned to the active ranks of the JSA. During this time, he became the proprietor of a gym and self-defense course in Gotham. Many sought to benefit from the champ’s course in the pugilistic arts, including Catwoman and even the Batman.

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wildcat answered the call to duty. However, during a storm brought on by the rogue Red Tornado, he was struck by lightning and crippled. His goddaughter, Yolanda Montez, used the mutant powers bestowed on her by the criminal Dr. Love to become the new Wildcat.

Modern age

When the JSA entered Limbo to forestall the coming of Ragnarok, Wildcat’s legs were restored and he joined them. He remained there for 3 years, returning during the advent of Abraxis. He then resumed his membership in the JSA.

Yolanda Montez later joined a government strike force sent to attack Eclipso and was killed in that assault. This left Grant the only active version of Wildcat. Montez’s family held Grant responsible for her death, but they later reconciled.

During Zero Hour, Wildcat joined the JSA in their initial assault on Extant. Along with the rest of the JSA, he was aged to a point much closer to his chronological age. Unlike other members, Wildcat survived. The effects of his ageing have yet to be fully revealed, as recent appearances portray Wildcat as still active and youthful to at least some degree.

Indeed, Grant was fit enough to tangle with a super-charged Cheetah when she more recently terrorised the Warrior Bar. He also was a force to be reckoned with when part of the JSA joined the JLA to fight against fifth-dimensional imps in a world-threatening crisis.

During this case, Grant was apparently shot to death, only to quickly recover. He half-jokingly claimed that he had nine lives just like any cat. The exact nature of these apparent powers are still unknown. They may explain Wildcat’s resistance to ageing as well as his propensity to come back from crippling conditions.

In the early 2000s, Wildcat took to fighting street-level crime with renewed vigour. This dispelled the rumour that he had retired from crimefighting. Undertaking many cases out of personal interest, he teamed with many modern heroes, including Batman, Robin and Catwoman (with whom he shares a mutual attraction).


Description

Wildcat being 6’5” and 250lbs is a modern retcon . He was initially 5’8” and 171lbs. I figure this is to make him more in line with modern boxers such as Mike Tyson in terms of physique.


Personality

Ted Grant is a fighter. He does not indulge in combat for its own sake, but rather as another way of testing and challenging himself.

Grant has made a career out of inspiring others to fight — to overcome physical adversity, to hone their natural abilities to the utmost, and to stand up for themselves. Ted first adopted the Wildcat identity to fight evils too powerful for others to beat on their own, such as the gangster that had framed him.

Ted has had as strong an impact on the current generation of heroes as any of the other JSAers, but it is a more subtle one than most. Many modern heroes have been trained in part by Ted Grant and inspired by his indomitable nature. Ted may not have as public a profile as most of his colleagues, but his example has still shaped many of the great heroes of the modern era.


Quotes

“Personally, I think it’s more a job for Wildcat !”

“Pointing a gun ? Okay. Trying to kill me ? I can forgive that. But don’t no one ever. EVER. Make fun of the champ’s *hat* !” (one-shots the thug who was mocking his mask)

“Me and the Justice Society took her on, back when soda was still a nickel. She’s bad news.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Wildcat I

Dex: 08 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Upholding the good
Int: 05 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Prizefighter
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 022 HP: 060

Powers:
Invulnerability: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:
Invulnerability only works 8 times, and has been used at least once, and probably was used on another occasion (in order to learn that this power works).

Skills:
Acrobatics: 07, Martial artist: 09, Thief: 07, Weaponry (melee): 07

Advantages:
Edge (STR), Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (teaching of the fighting arts)

Connections:
JSA (High), All-Star Squadron (Low), Street (Low), Black Canary II (High), Catwoman (High)

Drawbacks:
Secret identity

Compiled by Sébastien Andrivet (stats from World at War, history by David Stepp.

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald, Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Sensation comics (DCU)

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