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Grifter kissing Zealot in WildC.A.T.s #9
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘WildC.A.T.s’ #9 finally introduces some heavy emotional stakes

WildC.A.T.s is finally spreading the love.

While the rest of the DC line is moving into Knight TerrorsWildC.A.T.s #9 has its own horror stories to share. As Grifter scrambles for a way out of his new universe, Matthew Rosenberg, Michele Bandini, Danny Kim, Elmer Santos, and Ferran Delgado have teamed up to introduce a much heavier drama than this book is used to.

SPOILERS AHEAD for WildC.A.T.s #9!

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The last issue left Grifter pointing a gun at Void’s head, and WildC.A.T.s #9 takes a step back to show what happened between them. Void outright asked him to do it. That makes sense. Grifter believes it’s the only way to save the world. That makes sense too.

Lynch, meanwhile, is busy recruiting the rest of the team to his side. No one is particularly convinced by his arguments. He may be planning to fight Halo, but he also seems to be working as a villain himself. When the still-captive Priscilla has their location forced out of her head, they don’t have many choices left but to follow him.

While they scramble to make a decision, Priscilla is on her own. The Court of Owls attempts to recruit her, but they don’t get far. She’s rightfully stubborn. They plan to kill her, but Priscilla isn’t a raw recruit. She knows what she’s doing. She takes down two members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory with ease before a Talon drives a knife through her stomach.

Grifter speaks to Void in WildC.A.T.s #9

DC Comics

While Marlowe destroys his own building to get away from the Seven, Priscilla is left in captivity, bleeding from a gut wound. She takes the opportunity to plunge out of the window, freeing herself but leaping to a near-certain death.

Grifter is left to face his brother, who desperately tries to convince him to spare Void. Grifter tries to explain himself, but Zealot arrives. She convinces Grifter to hold Max back before she ruthlessly skewers the man. It’s a brutal end for Max, and a devastated Grifter shoots Zealot after a brief kiss. He goes back to Void, devoid of any humor, and shoots her in the head.

WildC.A.T.s #9 is a much-needed respite for the series in that it gives the rest of the team some attention. In my WildC.A.T.s #8 review, I touched on the lack of development that the non-Grifter characters have been facing, and #9 instantly resolves the problem. With a heavy focus on Priscilla, Lynch, and the Soldiers, the book is finally offering everyone an opportunity to appear.

Grifter is, of course, still a major presence. It’s clear that Rosenberg has a genuine love for the character, which is always nice to see. Still, getting to see Priscilla single-handedly take on many of the Seven Soldiers has definitely added the modern Priscilla to the roster of WildC.A.T.s that really shouldn’t be messed with.

Grifter speaks to Void in WildC.A.T.s #9

DC Comics

The rest of the WildC.A.T.s, however, can still use some more to do. The team has spent three straight issues standing in a room and talking. While Grifter has been fighting to save an entire universe, they have been throwing verbal jabs back and forth. It’s a blessing in disguise that Priscilla gave away their location because they might have spent another three issues standing around and talking. As interesting as the dialogue is between them, they desperately need to head back into the action. So far, they have just been too passive.

The art, unfortunately, feels like it has taken a small step back since WildC.A.T.s #8. Some of the faces look downright strange and take away from major moments like Max taking off his mask to face Zealot. On the other hand, the coloring remains excellent, providing a strong atmosphere that lends some weight to Grifter’s choice to kill Void.

Grifter’s decision is another clear highlight of the issue. His wise-crackling personality has been dulled by the triple deaths of Damian, Zealot, and Max. By the end of WildC.A.T.s #9, it is very easy to feel for the man that was once the heart of humor. It can be hard to make a comic about a multidimensional traveler with a disaster streak this emotional, but Rosenberg really manages to create a tragic air to all of Grifter’s choices.

If WildC.A.T.s #9 is anything, it’s an answer to any and all criticism of the book. It finally offers the rest of the team some focus, and it manages to create a compelling story that leaves off on three separate cliffhangers. Miraculously, every single one is enough to leave readers on the edge of their seats. With the fight with Halo Corporation on the way, the series has never been this engaging.

Grifter kissing Zealot in WildC.A.T.s #9
‘WildC.A.T.s’ #9 finally introduces some heavy emotional stakes
WildC.A.T.s #9
If WildC.A.T.s #9 is anything, it's an answer to any and all criticism of the book. It finally offers the rest of the team some focus, and it manages to create a compelling story that leaves off on three separate cliffhangers. Miraculously, every single one is enough to leave readers on the edge of their seats. With the fight with Halo Corporation on the way, the series has never been this engaging.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.1
Huge stakes on both personal and multidimensional levels.
Emotional consequences and genuine character growth.
Other members of the WildC.A.T.S getting the chance to shine.
The art is occasionally jarring and reduces the effect of the narrative.
8.5
Great
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