Along with Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and Highlander: The Animated Series (both of which we’ll leave for another time), WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams was one of the last mainstays I can remember watching on USA Network’s Cartoon Express… or rather it’s Action Extreme Team lineup. Based on the comic book by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams is another Nelvana production that boasted some pretty awesome graphics and an appropriately rock-themed score. It’s admittedly a little goofy now, but back then this was the jam (trust me)!
The story itself featured many of the same characters from the comic series, especially the core team of Majestic, Voodoo, Maul, Warblade, Zealot, Grifter, and Void (to name a few). There were some deviations from the comic in terms of the characters backgrounds and subsequent motivations, but the overall story remained the same. The WildC.A.T.s (brought together by Jacob Marlowe, who sounds a little like Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame) were assembled to stop the evil threat of Helspont, an intergalactic despot and leader of an equally evil race of aliens known as the “daemonites.” Pretty nasty creatures too, those –, not only do they possess humans in order to take over our world, but they also bear a striking resemblance to what I’d imagine the offspring of an Alien and a Demon (from Doom) would look like… only uglier.
Naturally, the marketability of these characters not only spawned a tv series, but a toy line and a subsequent arcade-style SNES video game as well. I’ve never played the game before, but I did own some of the toys. I specifically remember begging the folks for Helspont and Warblade because… well, they were badass! I mean, one is an evil fiery-skulled villain and the other has giant metal blades for hands, come on! Unfortunately the articulation on the entire toy line was pretty awful, but I was 13 so what did I care- they looked cool.
Back to the cartoon- the show only lasted one season which is unfortunate given the expansive world Lee and Choi created in the comics, but also understandable given that world’s adult-oriented complexities. Still, it would have been neat to see some of the other WildStorm character make a few guest appearances. Given the nature of the comic, it might have even been cool to see the series evolve in a more adult direction like McFarlane did with his HBO Spawn series.