Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Women of WILDCATS!

Jim Lee's Classic Covert Action Team, WildC.A.T.s - PlayMates 1994-1995

The early 1990s were an interesting few years for comics fans.   There was essentially a creator's rights movement happening right under our noses.   All the major artists and writers from DC and Marvel left their mainstream projects in favor of the Image Comics mantra of creator ownership and control.  It wasn't until a decade later when I started hearing the term "intellectual property" in everyday lingo.   But by that point, I felt like I was an SME after witnessing the great comic creator exodus of 1992.   The first wave of titles included Spawn, Savage Dragon, Youngblood, and of course, WildC.A.T.s, the superhuman team title by (now former) X-Men superstar, Jim Lee.   WildC.A.T.s had a trio of stand out women who luckily got the action figure treatment early on.   Playmates always does a decent job with the ladies.   Some of these figures are nicer than the others, but for the most part they are all great representations (especially for the time period) of some classic characters.  Let's check them all out below!



It should be noted that these figures were actually made in conjunction with the short-lived WildC.A.T.s cartoon from 1994.  The bios on the cardbacks and some of the features of the figures themselves are more remininscent of the cartoon than the comics.


First up is...
 
VOID
 
Void is described as a living metalized super-computer.  She was extremely powerful and knowledgeable and had a very "sorceress-like" role on the team.  She had the added talents of being able to teleport the group and see visions of the future.  In later stories, her powers took on a "Phoenix-force" type aura and would detach from this body (Adrianna Tereshkova) and attach to other hosts.







 



Just ignore my reflection please.





 
Void features five points of articulation, but her unique leg pose doesn't allow for a lot of maneuverability.


 
 
Void came with a really cool figure stand.  She almost never stood on the ground in the comics and could always be found levitating in the background on nearly every splash page.
 
 
 

 
 
Her Levitation Teleportation Battle Stand does and awesome job replicating that look while also added some nice variation to the height of the characters when you have the team lined up.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Next up is...
 
VOODOO
 
Voodoo was honestly the character I rolled my eyes at as an adolescent.  Of course she was a stripper with a ready-made superhero costume.  Doesn't that always happen?  I'm pretty sure they stole that origin from Captain America.  The core premise of WildC.A.T.s is the focus on two warring alien factions: the Daemonites and the Kherubim (how very Sunday school).  Voodoo was the prerequisite crossbreed of the two species, with a dash of human to make it interesting.  She could see shapeshifting Daemonites when disguised, she was telepathic, she could regenerate body parts in a very reptilian-like way, and eventually she lived up to her name and learned black magic.  She may have been a shapechanger, too.  I always thought she was, but I may just be thinking about her New52 identity.




 


 
 









Voodoo has a great sculpt and a surprisingly dynamic hairstyle.  From some angles it almost gets in the way, but overall it looks great and makes her the standout of the bunch.


 
 
Voodoo comes with a Sabre, a Shield, two Knee pads, and a Standing base.
 
 
 
 
 
 




 
 
 
 
 
and Finally we have...
 
ZEALOT
 
Zealot is the disciplined warrior of the group.  She is Kherubim and a Coda Warrior (think alien Amazons).  This figure is a bit of a disappointment.. mostly because of the odd face sculpt.  She was always drawn with an angry sexy glare.  But here she just looks spacey and weird.  She came in two variations:  Coda Uniform (aka Pants) and Kherubim Uniform (aka No Pants).  (Remind you of a more recent Pants debate with a representative from a line of ancient female warriors???)  I only have the pants version.  Note that they have different packaging and bio cards though.













 
 










 
 



Zealot comes with a Stun Bolt Rifle, a Communicator, two Nobelium Sabres, and a figure stand.  The other variation came with a large clef blade and two Valkar blades (likes the blades on her back, but removeable)


 
 
 

 

 


Here are a few random images from the comics.

 
 
 
 
 





 
Oh Nineties Spur-of-the-Moment Cartoons...






Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!


 





Cheers!




4 comments:

  1. i Love that you review this three. My favourite is Voodoo, and l like Void but i wish she was in a flying pose. Zealot is OK but as you said somewhere three make a collection (plus she was cheap). The cartoon looks OK despide the MC Hammer?! rapper ( so 90's).
    BTW i go Shipota today and love her, specially her minion.

    Thanx!

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    Replies
    1. Three definitely makes a collection! Yeah Voodoo is the definite standout. Who knows, we may see more of her now that she's in the DC mainstream (plus I thought her comic was pretty good while it lasted).

      Glad your Shapoopie arrived safely!

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  2. Had to head over to Youtube & watch the first episode of this show! Plan to watch some more in a minute. These are three awesome figures!

    Void is just fantastic. Love the vac-metal look & her character in the show is quite interesting. Reminds me of Synergy from Jem & the Holograms (but much more powerful!). The floating base is a great inclusion.

    Voodoo & Zealot are also very cool. Love the designs &, much like Void, they are interesting characters in the show.


    Playmates were very good about including female characters. They seemed to put 1 female in initial assortments (Star Trek & Seaquest to name a couple), but when the initial Trek set sold well we received wave 2 with atleast 5 females.

    Unfortunately for Seaquest & Skeleton Warriors, we did not see a wave 2. This meant I never got my Doctor Westphalen from Seaquest (wipes away tear), nor was Talyn from Skeleton Warriors released.

    Ofcourse we would have received Talyn if Playmates had made the purple outfit first, & not the version with heaps of skin showing which resulted in the figure being removed from wave 1 & pushed back to wave 2. (wipes away another tear)
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v422/Artistix/talyn.jpg


    Anyways, enough of my crazy old man ramblings. Think I'll go watch more WildCATS. lol

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    Replies
    1. Now you sent me on a Jem-watching frenzie. I kind of forgot all about Synergy.

      You bring up one of the most heart-wrenching topics of this hobby: cancelled female figures. There are so many it hurts. I have quite a stockpile of images saved from a lot of relatively obscure toy lines that showed prototypes of a female figure that never made it into production. And in so many cases, they would have been the only female in the line. It's such a shame. If I had unlimited resources I would hunt down all the prototypes I could and reproduce them for the masses. Maybe Funko and Super7 could be convinced to take up that task!

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