With Grifter as Lucius Fox’s bodyguard and hints to another Wildstorm entity, will the WildCATS be making a return in DC Comics?
Warning! Spoilers to Batman #101, in stores now!
In the aftermath of the Joker War, the latest new face in Gotham City is Cole Cash aka the Grifter, a mercenary turned superhero that fans would recognize from the popular Wildstorm Universe. The current bodyguard to Lucius Fox spars with Batman whose fight reveals a reference to another potential Wildstorm entity, suggesting that Grifter’s old team, the WildC.A.T.S or some of its other members may be making their DC Comics debut in the near future.
The reference in question is the Halo Corporation, a multinational corporation founded by Jacob Marlowe who learned that he was of alien lineage by a superhero who helped save him from a mugging. Armed with this knowledge, Marlowe built the Halo Corporation within years with the primary purpose to finance the WildC.A.T.S, a superhero team from the same species as Marlowe who fought their sworn enemies, the Daemonites. Marlowe would be heavily invested in the team, even accompanying them on missions, and the company went through many ups and downs as its leadership changed hands throughout the years and yet continued to thrive, thanks to the billions made from its revolutionary inventions. The Halo Corporation was last seen in Wildstorm: The Worlds End series as one of the few remaining buildings after the global Armageddon which was eventually destroyed before Wildstorm and its characters were incorporated into the mainstream DC universe in 2011.
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In Batman #101 by James Tynion IV and art by Guillem March, Batman seeks an audience with Lucius Fox but must get through his current bodyguard Grifter who really takes it seriously when you don’t have an appointment. Although Grifter is not superior to Batman’s fighting skills, he puts up a decent struggle and only wins by cheating with a gun to Batman’s head. Cole Cash is as brash and arrogant as ever, as he either does not like Batman or can’t resist toying with him, as he throws down comments the way Batman chucks Batarangs. After his conversation with Lucius informs him of the changes that’ll come to him and his superhero lifestyle, Batman departs but not before giving a message to Grifter’s boss. Batman ignores Cash’s retort and states it’s for his real boss, telling him that he knows about Halo and that although Gotham is changing, it is still his city and that he’ll be watching.
Lucius told Bruce that Wayne Enterprises is no longer going to be the dominant corporate voice in Gotham and that there will be new players, hungry with their own agendas that won’t match the idealism that Wayne Enterprises prides itself upon. The Halo Corporation could be one of those new players, which means that Jacob Marlowe could make his DC Comics debut, possibly as Grifter’s real boss.
Grifter’s new place in Gotham could be a creative gateway to re-introduce other Wildstorm characters who, like him, haven’t done much since the New 52 or never found a place altogether. Tynion IV has proved he isn’t opposed to creating new characters or finding new purposes for those who aren’t being used in the current DC stories, and he’s also a fan of the Wildstorm comics proven by his excitement about including Grifter in his Batman run. Whatever Halo is or the identity of Grifter’s real boss will be revealed in time but they should know that doing shady business in Gotham means sooner or later, you’ll meet Gotham’s other iconic shadow.
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