A Tribute to the of
#62 Text feature
When his son Ted was born, Henry Grant resolved that the boy would be developed into a superb physical specimen. Ted was coached in all sports from infancy, but he particularly excelled in boxing.
Ted wanted to study medicine but his hope died when his parents passed away. His father had not been very provident, and the money from his insurance barely covered his debts.
One day, while looking for work, Ted Grant spotted a holdup in progress and waded into the two crooks with both fists. With the element of suprise on his side, he easily beat the hoodlums and discovered he had rescued "Socker" Smith, heavyweight champion of the world! Smith gave him a job as a sparring partner, and Ted proved so skilled with his fists that "Socker's" managers signed him as a pro.
Soon Ted had worked his way up to become the top-ranked contender for Smith's title. Their managers figured that, if Ted won the crown, they could make plenty of money on a rematch. So, to make sure he did win, they drugged "Socker." However, they accidentally administered an overdose and Smith fell dead in the ring.
Ted was the number one suspect in the killing. Hearing a boy talk about the costumed crime-fighting career of his hero; the original Green Lantern, inspired Ted to adopt the identity of Wildcat in order to clear his name and bring his friend's killers to justice. How he did this was told in the very first Wildcat story, which appeared in SENSATION COMICS No. 1 (January, 1942).
In the following issue, (February, 1942) Ted Grant fought for--and won--the title vacated by the death of "Socker" Smith. He also resumed his anti-crime crusade as Wildcat, appearing in the first 90 issues of SENSATION, the last being the June, 1949 issue.
Wildcat worked twice with the Justice Society of America. The first occasion was after Starman and The Spectre had left the active membership rolls of that illustrious organization. Wildcat and Mr. Terrific filled in briefly (in ALL-STAR COMICS No. 24 Spring 1945) until Green Lantern and The Flash, who had for some time been inactive honorary members, returned to the active roster. Later on, Wildcat substituted for The Atom ("A Place in the World," ALL-STAR No. 27 Winter 1945-6).
Wildcat battled many villians during his career, but none more formidable than The Huntress. He first met her in SENSATION No. 68 (August, 1947). A mysterious person called The Masked Marvel had challenged Wildcat to a boxing match. Imagine his chagrin when he discovered his opponent was a woman! Of course, he could not hit her; and while he tried to find a way out of this dilemma, he was plunged into a worse one, as the arena lights went out and he was slugged. He woke up in The Huntress's private zoo. Her idea of sport was to hunt law enforcement officials. However, her career was abruptly ended--for a while, at least--when Wildcat escaped from his cage and trapped her. She soon pulled an escape of her own and returned to battle her nemesis again--one of many such battles. (See SENSATION COMICS Nos. 71, 73, 75 & 76.)
And now let's look at another villian. "Crusher" Crock was a superb athlete, but he didn't know the meaning of fair play. Eventually, his foul tactics got him barred from sports. The embittered Crock turned criminal, but found stiff opposition in the form of the original Green Lantern. "Crusher" was apparently killed and buried; but he had only faked his death, and he was soon back as the Sportsmaster. "Crusher's" first duel with the Emerald Crusader appeared in ALL-AMEICAN COMICS No. 85 (May, 1947); he became The Sportsmaster in GREEN LANTERN No. 28 (October-November, 1947); and he was back for a third contest in ALL-AMERICAN No. 98 (June, 1948).
The Sportsmaster and The Huntress met when they were both invited to join The Wizard's new Injustice Society (his eariler organization having been broken up by members of the Justice Society). Also included in this criminal combine were The Icicle, The Fiddler and The Harlequin. However, there was one traitor in the group; The Harlequin was secretly a police undercover agent whose villianous pose even fooled Green Lantern. Although the Injustice Society managed to defeat all the regular JSA members, The Harlequin contacted Black Canary and the two costumed girls smashed the plot of The Wizard and his criminal cohorts. It was this adventure which won for Black Canary a membership in the Justice Society of America, where she fought evil-doers alongside Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, The Atom and Wonder Woman. ("The Case of the Patriotic Crimes," ALL-STAR No. 41, June-July, 1948).
More than one life had been changed by this case though. The Huntress and The Sportsmaster had fallen in love and decided, when they got out of prison, to make their team-up permanent. So it is that they appear in this magazine, for the first time, as Mr. and Mrs. Menace! Return to Review
© 1965 National Periodical Publications, Inc.
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