It’s 1992! The world of comic books is both chaotically upturned and at the same time, the sales are fiery hot. Single issues are selling in the millions, money is rolling in, and the top seven creators in the field have left Marvel in order to found Image Comics.

That’s where my dive into the back issue bins takes us today. Smack into the dizzying, confusing, and amazing high of comics in ’92. Because I have in my hands a copy of “WildC.a.t.s Covert-Action-Teams #1” by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi.WildC.A.T.s #1

I was nervous about picking this one up. I was 14 years old when this book came out, so it was essentially conceptualized, created for and marketed to me and my comic book reading buddies. I loved Jim Lee’s previous work on X-Men, The Punisher and Wolverine and I was practically salivating at the thought of seeing what he would do now that the shackles were off. The effort that Jim Lee had put in was succesful, and I loved this book. I loved it. It looked cool, the story was badass, and the new characters were awesome, had cool powers, and yet also held an air of mystery about them that made me hunger for more.

So reading this book up again as a grown man was, is in a way, a challenge to my younger self; 14-Year-Old Scott, how dumb were you?

There was trepidation. I’ve done this before, and not just with comic books. Old movies, television shows, even novels I adored in my youth have not held up well, and I’ve often looked back and asked: “What was I thinking?”. There are exceptions, of course, but for every Terminator 2, there are a half-dozen Passenger 57s. Batman the Animated Series started in 1992, but that year also had King Arthur and the Knights of Justice.

But WildC.a.t.s Covert-Action-Teams #1 is fine. It’s good. It’s a good book that could be better, but it also really tries to be better than it should be.

First off, the art by Lee is great. It’s probably too much “tits and ass” for my liking now, but there are great splash pages, crazy panel work, action, detailed costumes and backgrounds, and characters that don’t all look alike. You can really tell that Lee was putting it all out there. Oddly, this book is printed on newsprint, so he’s dealing with that, but colourist Joe Rosas and inker Scott Williams really help him out, and the book looks great.

The writing in this one is… okay. I say that knowing that the book isn’t for me. “Now-me” at least. I’m 40. I have Netflix and HBO and I know that writers need to bring their A-game to get me really saying wow. But there is a lot going on in this issue. All of the heroes, supporting cast, and villains need to be introduced, explained, and shown how to interact with one another in a brand new fictional universe. That’s not easy to do, and Choi and Lee do well enough. Marlowe is a drunk dwarf billionaire, Void is his mystic/cyber Merlin. Grifter and Zealot are tough fighters, Warblade and Maul are basically Johnny Storm and the Thing. And Voodoo? Well, she’s a psychic stripper, kinda? She’s pretty awful here.

But the book is a good read. It also has 2 collector cards inside it. I love collector cards. I miss collector cards.

Spartan Collector card

So yeah, read WildC.a.t.s Covert-Action-Teams #1. It’s like fifty cents if you catch it in a long-box at a con. There are literally millions of copies floating around out there.


Scott is a writer and founder at 9to5. He’s a host on The 9to5 Entertainment System and does a lot of the graphic design around these parts.

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