Everyone knows about Catwoman, but you may have yet to learn that there are many other cat-inspired superheroes too! Cats are a central part of our society, so it only makes sense that there would be many heroes based on these agile felines.
In this article, we’ll look at several of the heroes that fall within this category. Some of these are pretty popular, while others are not as well known. If you’re a comic book fan, you may already know about several of these heroes. Let’s dive in!
12 Cat-Inspired Superheroes
1. Black Panther
Despite being cloaked in obscurity for over 50 years, Black Panther is now one of the most popular superheroes—and easily one of the most popular cat-inspired superheroes. Today, this hero has a bit of cultural significance and appears in several newer movies.
While this hero has always played an important role in the Marvel universe, he was also one of the first black main characters to be written into a major American comic book. Plus, his sleek, feline design has made him aesthetically different from other popular heroes.
Of course, we couldn’t write this article without mentioning Catwoman. She is one of the most important figures in the Batman world—besides Batman, of course. Her relationship with Batman has been the topic of many stories for the last 80 years. Catwoman is an extremely enigmatic figure, much like cats in our society.
While many heroes have cat-like costumes, Tigra has cat-like powers, too. She was resurrected by a culture of cat people that wanted her to be their defender. Therefore, she is more like a humanoid cat than a human. She does have a human name from before her untimely death, though—Greer Nelson.
Much like a cat, Tigra grooms herself with her tongue and wears very little clothing. She plays a role in the Avengers, too, as a mentor in the Marvel universe.
Catman is similar to Catwoman. However, he is a man and plays a different role. Originally, Catman played a very small role in the DC universe but he eventually became a great hero in his own right through a very satisfying arc.
True to his name, Catman found his purpose by defending wild lions from poachers. He also played a part in the Secret Six, where he made his redemption.
However, this is still a minor character and you don’t see him as often as other characters in the series.
Originally, Helcat wasn’t a hero. Instead, she was a teenage girl that commonly appeared in female-oriented comics—back when there was such a thing. She continued being written in this way until the 60s when she was turned into a superhero.
At this time, she became more of a feminist hero. She was married but quickly divorced her abusive husband. She also joined a superhero team called the Defenders, who battled other teams. She was often written to be humorous, despite having some very serious themes in her story.
Dex-Starr is one of the few heroes on this list that is a feline. He is part of a group of advanced space soldiers. He is unusually popular, though he is literally a housecat. Before becoming a space soldier, he was a housecat in Brooklyn. Sadly, his owner was murdered and the police threw him out.
At this point, he became vengeful and turned into a “hero.” He was drawn to the Red Lantern ring on this quest for revenge, leading to his becoming a humanoid.
Shadowcat isn’t one of the most popular heroes in the Marvel universe, and she is known by many different names. However, she is a long-term X-member and plays a part in many storylines. She was first introduced to the universe in the “Dark Phoenix Saga” and has not left.
This character doesn’t have many cat associations. Her “human” name is Kate Pryde, though it was originally Kitty. Since the beginning, she has done a lot of other things. Her long journey is fun to watch and full of unexpected turns.
9. Bronze Tiger
The Bronze Tiger is a pretty popular Suicide Squad member—though not the most popular. He was originally introduced as a martial artist. Since then, he has become a bit of an antihero assassin. He doesn’t have many cat-like traits, but his name is enough to land him on this list. He also has a half-tiger form in some adaptions.
This character has been part of many adaptations over the years. In many cases, his story has been one of redemption and overcoming internal (and external) demons. Either way, he’s a vicious character.
10. Black Cat
On the outside, Black Cat looks like a spin-off of Catwoman. This burglar does have many of the same characteristics as Catwoman, except she has a relationship with Spiderman—not Batman. However, she does have several traits that separate her from the more well-known Catwoman.
For instance, she was previously in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend, which led her down her hero path. She became a martial artist, leading to her becoming a thief. She also has some unconscious powers that can affect probability as well. She has played many parts in the Spider-mythos.
There are many heroes named Wildcat out there. However, the first one is one of the most iconic. This character is generally older than most options. He is a key member of the organization that occurred before the Justice League. However, he precludes many of the most popular characters we know of.
This character has a set of nine lives that constantly regenerate. Therefore, he’s practically immortal. Beyond that, he doesn’t have any other superpowers. Instead, he is a former boxer and relies on these skills to fight evil. He’s been a mentor to many heroes, as well.
Puma is one of the few Native American characters in the comic book world. He belongs to a tribe that tries to create perfect warriors through genetic control and supernatural means. These practices lead to Puma, who can become a Puma with concentration. He also has heightened senses, even in his human form.
There are lots of characters in comic books that are based on cats. Typically, these characters are sneaky and agile. However, this isn’t always the case. For instance, several characters are based on lions or similar animals, and they tend to be more brunt-force than other characters.
If you’re interested in cat-like heroes, we highly recommend learning about some of the more obscure characters on this list. While they aren’t nearly as popular as Catwoman, they are still quite interesting.
- See Also: 25 Amazing Hero Cats That Saved Lives
Featured Image Credit: Catwoman (Image Credit: Pat Loika, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)