March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #287 Wildcat

A second generation hero took over for a JSA mainstay, but then she had some bad luck of her own.

DC Comics’s original superhero team, the Justice Society of America, has been somewhat allowed to age in real time.  Yes, various magical spells and MacGuffins have kept the heroes who started in the 40s if not young than at least not as old as they should be, but that doesn’t mean different members haven’t had more modern successors, some of them even well known like the various Flashes and Green Lanterns.

But some of the lesser-known members have had their own lesser-known successors.  One such lesser-know was the second Wildcat, Yolanda Montez.

Yolanda’s journey to heroism actually started before she was born.  Her mother and aunt were both expecting when someone Wikipedia describes as a “mad gynecologist” named Dr. Benjamin Love injected them with all kinds of drugs and tonics to do…something.  Dr. Love lost track of both women, particularly when Yolanda’s pregnant mother went to Mexico for a while.  However, when Yolanda was born, she came out a mutant.

Yes, I know this is DC Comics, but apparently “mutant” is the word they used.

Anyway, Yolanda’s abilities were mostly agility and retractable claws, but then the Crisis on Infinite Earths happened.  And writer Marv Wolfman had a plan for himself.  He decided he would not kill off any character that existed before he was born, basically making the old Justice Society safe.  Granted, not killing didn’t mean he could do other things, and when the JSA’s original Wildcat Ted Grant was paralyzed from the waste down, then his goddaughter Yolanda stepped into the void.

For what it’s worth, I read the Crisis and assumed that was Yolanda’s first real appearance when she put the suit on, so the whole “mad gynecologist” thing was a bit…surprising.

Anyway, Yolanda joined Infinity Inc with a lot of other JSA second generation heroes, flirted a lot with teammate Nuklon, and did the superhero thing.  When she was among the heroes recruited to go fight Eclipso in a very bloody issue that ended with all the assembled heroes dead, well, she died.  And unlike others where it was later revealed that it wasn’t really her, or that the Creeper’s healing abilities were good enough to grow back from a literal arm and a leg, Yolanda stayed dead.  By then, the original Justice Society managed to come back with Ted Grant fully mobile again.  Why rush back a second when the first was probably a more memorable character anyway?

As it is, there has been at least a version of Yolanda back.  The New 52 brought in a new Earth-2 series where Yolanda was the “Avatar of the Red”.  Further, it looks like the events of the recent Doomsday Clock might have revived her with the rest of the JSA.  But I haven’t read Doomsday Clock, so who knows?

Why bring her up at all?  She’s been revived in live action form on the DC Universe’s Stargirl series as played by actress Yvette Monreal.

Will that lead to more of this Wildcat in various comics?  I don’t know, but I think if I stick to the Stargirl series, I’ll have someone else to stick in this slot again next week.