Every good superhero adopts a theme, and for many of these heroes, their theme is animal-related. While some heroes like Spider-Man embrace the sensibilities of creepy critters, others like Vixen or Beast Boy tap into the entire animal kingdom. However, it takes a special hero to find inspiration in a pet.
Cats are an essential aspect of human mythology. They have symbolized stealth, cunning and magic for a millennium. Additionally, big cats often represent things like royalty and power. The comic book pages are full of superheroes who, using these themes, have become some of the most iconic characters ever created.
ten Wildcat wears war-worn mustaches
While several characters have gone by the name “Wildcat” in DC Comics, the most iconic is Ted Grant: The Original. Grant is generally portrayed as an older hero, largely because he is a key member of the Justice League’s predecessor: The Justice Society of America.
Aside from a mystical spell that granted the character a constantly regenerating set of nine lives, Grant has no metahuman powers. He usually builds on his skills as a former champion boxer and has trained heroes like Black Canary, Superman, and Batman. Wildcat is often translated in other DC media in this mentor role.
9 The black cat is more than the shadow of the cat
On the surface, Felicia Hardy seems nothing more than Spider-Man’s Catwoman. The black leather-clad burglar has an on-again-off-again relationship with the web-slinger, which has resulted in them teaming up on several occasions. Although creators Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard and Dave Cockrum are not believed when they say the character is an independent invention, Black Cat has proven to be his own hero.
The saga of the black cat is that of self-determination. After being assaulted by a boyfriend, Hardy vowed to never let such a thing happen again. She became an expert martial artist and thief, later demonstrating unconscious powers affecting odds. One of Spider-Man’s most interesting Rogues, Black Cat remains an ever-evolving point of interest in the Spider-Man mythos.
8 The bronze tiger is a karate cougar
Perennial Suicide Squad member Bronze Tiger, aka Ben Turner, has a rich (if sordid) history in the pages of DC Comics. Originally featured as a skilled martial artist in the pages of Richard Dragon, Kung Fu fighterthe Tiger has become one of the most enduring anti-hero assassins in the DC Universe.
Though never forgotten in various DC media adaptations, Bronze Tiger’s best stories can be found in the pages of John Ostrander. suicide squad. By turns man in search of redemption and vicious killer, the Tiger became a leader of the team and eventually conquered his demons. Now blessed with the ability to assume a half-man, half-tiger form, Bronze Tiger’s pathos lies in his struggle against his own evilness.
seven Shadowcat now rules its own pride
Kate Pryde has gone by various names in Marvel continuity, but her most well-known codename is undoubtedly Shadowcat. Longtime member X has been a staple of the team since his introduction in the “Dark Phoenix Saga.” She served as a substitute reader until the eventual New Mutants and Jubilee introductions.
Although Pryde is usually only tangentially related to a cat, Kate (formerly Kitty) is in many ways the heart of the X-Men. Generations of readers grew up alongside him, becoming smart leaders, independent thinkers, and even fashionistas. Now a nation-builder on Krakoa, Shadowcat’s journey from teenager to queen is one of the most satisfying in comics.
6 Dex-Starr is a good cat
Any cat-based superhero exploration would be incomplete without Dex-Starr, the resident ring-wearing cat of the Red Lantern Corps. For a member of an anger-based space soldier group, Dex-Starr is exceptionally likable – though that might have something to do with him being a house cat.
Before leading the battle in the space lanes of the DC Universe, Dex-Starr was the pet of a woman living in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, she was murdered in a burglary and Dex-Starr was kicked out by the police. His desire for revenge won him a Red Lantern ring, and since then Dex-Starr has been DC’s best-selling murderous space cat.
5 Hellcat showed its claws after years of control
Patsy Walker wasn’t cut out to be a superhero. Established in 1944, Walker starred in comedy comics aimed at teenage girls like Miss America and girls life. Its title track was released continuously from the 1940s through the 1960s, and Walker’s trajectory turned to superherodom.
As Hellcat, Walker became a more feminist hero. She divorced her abusive husband, took (temporary) control of the stories that had been published using her name, and joined a non-superhero team, the Defenders, to battle unnatural evils. A humorous character with an engaging story, Hellcat remains one of Marvel’s funniest felines.
4 Catman went from lamb to lion
Between Catwoman, Wildcat and Bronze Tiger, what place is there in the DC universe for a Catman? A lot, as it turns out. Although initially nothing more than a player in Batman’s rogues gallery, Catman’s transition from sad bag to badass is one of DC’s most satisfying character arcs.
The revival of the Catman began under writer Brad Meltzer, who brought the character into the modern era as a former enemy easily defeated by Green Arrow. However, it was writer Gail Simone who took Thomas Blake and made him a tiger, helping him find redemption by defending wild lions and finding purpose among the Secret Six. Although still relatively minor, Catman is one of the coolest characters in comics.
3 Tigra embraces her feline side
When most heroes adopt a theme, it’s often limited to their costumes. However, this is not the case with Greer Nelson, aka Tigra. After an unpowered stint as a crime-fighter known as a cat, Nelson took on her new moniker when a hidden culture of cats resurrected her as a werecat defender.
Tigra embraced her new feline form wholeheartedly, wearing little to cover her hairy body and even grooming herself in front of her West Coast Avengers teammates. Feline enthusiasm aside, Tigra has repeatedly shown herself to be a loyal Avenger, loyal friend, and caring mentor in the Marvel Universe.
2 Catwoman is the coolest of cats
With the exception of the Joker, the most critical figure in the Bat mythos is Catwoman. Selina Kyle’s willful relationship with The Dark Knight and her uneasy peace with both sides of the law have made for compelling stories for over 80 years. However, Catwoman is defined by much more than her relationship with Batman.
The character is an undisputed icon. She’s a symbol of sexuality without being exploitative, and her cunning and utilitarian self-interest make her a powerful player in the DCU. Whatever the interpretation, Catwoman exudes freshness, confidence, and a feline cunning that makes her one of the strongest characters in fiction.
1 Black Panther is the king of cats
After half a century of obscurity, the Black Panther has surged to the peak of its popularity. The King of Wakanda has become a pop culture icon due to his political prominence, imaginative visuals, and of course, his cool cat motif.
T’Challa and his fellow Panthers have always been a crucial part of Marvel and comics in general, as the orphan prince was the first black superhero to appear in major American comics. Besides this critical importance, her sleek, feline design has always made the character stand out, while her importance in the story has led to crossover after crossover. When the claws come out, the Black Panther is the best cat-themed superhero.
NEXT: 10 Things You Missed In The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Trailer