As I’ve written before on this blog, comic books from the 1990’s almost always get a bad rap, sometimes deservedly so. There were some clunkers during the decade. Usually, though, most of the hate is aimed at the early stuff from Image Comics.
But I still have a bunch of fond memories of some of the early Image books, including some issues I still own to this day. One of those books is WildC.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams #8 from February 1994.
Getting this comic was unexpected. I was actually shocked when I found WildC.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams #8 on a spinner rack at a 7-11 of all places. This might have been the first Image book I saw on the newsstand.
This was one of the reasons there’s a gap in my Image collection. Until then, I had no other choice but to buy all my Image books from stores like New England Comics or Newbury Comics. But making trips to these stores wasn’t always easy for me. However, finding a copy of WildC.A.T.S #8 on the newsstand, got me back into these titles
WildC.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams #8 was written by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, and features art by Lee and inkers Scott Williams and Richard Bennett. The main story was called “Down Times” and it took place in the aftermath of the events of the Killer Instinct crossover with Cyberforce. After that ordeal, the WildC.A.T.S team was in need of some much-needed R&R, but this being comics, things don’t always go according to plan.
First off, we see team members Zealot and Grifter spending time playing pool in a bar, and of course, they end up getting into a fight. After they mop the floor with some good, Grifter is summoned and leaves Zealot behind, telling her that it’s a personal matter. I always liked the relationship between these two, but him just leaving Zealot like that seemed cold to me.
Meanwhile, Warblade and Maul visit an art gallery and meet some girls. But I would think after Killer Instinct, Warblade would be more careful about who he dates, just sayin’.
The best part of WildC.A.T.S #8 sees Voodoo and Spartan enjoying a vacation on a cruise ship along with Emp. While lounging by the pool, Voodoo gets flirty with Spartan, much of which goes over his head. And to be fair, Jim Lee drew a gorgeous voodoo in a tiny swimsuit. This makes it worse for Spartan who at one point uses his x-ray vision and notices a large amount of silicone in a certain body part of Voodoo’s.
Spartan’s little invasion ticks off Voodoo and she throws a drink at him. To get her back he pretends to be short-circuiting due to the water, but that’s not the important part. If you looked closely at this panel you will see two very familiar faces from Jim Lee’s past. At first, I wasn’t sure the couple was who I thought they were, but in the next panel, we get confirmation when the man starts to ask the redhead if she thinks Spartan is a mutant.
I couldn’t believe it, an X-Men crossover?!? How did Wizard magazine not inform me of this? probably because Jim Lee didn’t get permission for it. But it’s still a cool scene that somewhat fits into X-Men comics of the same time. WildC.A.T.S #8 hit shelves just weeks after Scott Summers and Jean Grey tied the know in the pages of X-Men #30. So the couple could have been on the honeymoon at the time.
From there the cruise ship passes the Bermuda Triangle and the whole ship ends up being sucked into some kind of vortex. As this happens, Void is able to sense that Lord Emp is in trouble and summons her fellow teammates to investigate. The next issue is your typical WildC.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams stuff, but that doesn’t take away from how good issue #8 was and in my opinion, still is.
Even though I’d read several comics featuring these characters, I feel like I didn’t really know they personalities until WildC.A.T.S #8. I liked seeing how the team unwind after what had been their most brutal mission. The issue has humor, innuendos, and an uneXpected cameo to boot. Not bad for a comic that only cost $1.95.