WildGuard is a comic book series about a "made-for-TV" superhero team. The series was created, written and drawn by Todd Nauck and published by Image Comics. Nauck initially published the characters in 1993, in ashcan comics he published while sending out submissions. After making a name for himself working on Young Justice for DC Comics his earlier creation was picked up for publication in 2003. The set of miniseries and one-shots chronicles the exploits of the superhero team, the initial miniseries, WildGuard: Casting Call, introduced the characters to readers bringing the team together in an American Idol-style program. Fans actually got to vote a fifth member onto the team, bringing in more than 8,000 online votes.
The first six issues were later collected in Trade paperback.
- Four (Teri Vaughn)
- Leader of the team and co-executive producer of the WildGuard TV series. Teri began her career as a child superstar under the name Four-Power Girl. She later became a teen sitcom/pop music star under the name Four-Teen. As she entered early adulthood and a movie career, Teri took on the name Four. Four is so named due to having four distinct superpowers:
- Metal: She can transform her body into an unusual and incredibly strong metal called Kervinium.
- Mist: Her gaseous form enables her to travel great distances.
- Fire: She can fire destructive blasts of energy in a starburst pattern.
- Force: She can release force bolts from her mind.
- Ignacia (Jodie Hastings)
- Gifted with the power of pyrokinesis, Ignacia dropped out of community college to attend the WildGuard auditions. Originally operating under the name "Fire Chick", she changed it at the auditions when she learned there was once a villainess by that name. In the web-strips, she has a huge fan following, possibly the hugest out of anyone else on the team.
- Red Rover (Del Mendoza)
- Red Rover possesses superhuman/canine powers: enhanced strength, speed, agility, and senses. He also has an impressive intellect (it was Rover who gave Ignacia her new name, noting that it was Latin for "fiery one"). Much of his past is shrouded in mystery.
- Freezerburn (Max Armstrong)
- Can generate and project ice and fire from his right and left arms, respectively.
- Lily Hammer
- Lily Hammer has superhuman strength and endurance, as well as a degree of invulnerability. She uses a magic hammer as a weapon.
- Snapback (Ellis Newburn)
- Snapback was once a member of the Tri-County Power Patrol (even serving as team leader for two of his four years on the team) back in his home state of Texas until his girlfriend, Shonda, urged him to audition for WildGuard. Snapback is capable of stretching his body to lengths of a maximum 300 feet. Or so he professes. It is rumored he is also capable of manipulating the elasticity of his body to form various shapes/objects.
- Dandelion fought crime during the 70's and 80's until he retired under mysterious circumstances. Now he serves as co-executive producer and team trainer of WildGuard. Dandelion has superhuman strength and is near-invulnerable.
- Cordelia Hardman
- Four's agent and the co-executive producer of WildGuard.
- Exploding Girl (Kate Lawson)
- A hero with the explosive power of energy release and projection. Exploding Girl made it all the way to the final 12, but missed the cut to make the WildGuard team. She proved her heroism in the final battle with The Wandering Eye. While she barely survived her explosion that was induced on her by Wandering Eye, the Wandering Eye was desroyed by that explosion.
- The Human Shield (Beau Johnston)
- He is a soft-spoken and, until recently, illiterate hero who is completely invulnerable and can create forcefields. He made the final 20 during the casting call for WildGuard. Since the WildGuard casting call, he has formed a close bond with fellow contestant Exploding Girl.
- A robot who posed as a more reputable type of robot called a Grand Thunder Mechaman to try out for the WildGuard team. He was exposed as a mere robot when Toughlon pushed him out of an airplane and he could not fly. Despite this, he proved his heroism and made the final 12 during the casting call. He now works at a junkyard in New Jersey.
- Temperamental, super strong and durable, and completely non-stick hero who attracts disdain from fellow contestants immediately. He made the final 12 during the WildGuard casting call.
- An apparently nonpowered heroine who is in the hero business for the fame. Completely obsessed with being a superhero, with her ultimate goal involving a line of action figures. She only made it to the final 20 during the WildGuard casting call. She also regularly answered the letter column for the WildGuard comic books.
- Ultra Mega Super Five
- The premier superteam in the world of WildGuard. The Ultra Mega Super Five are held in high esteem by many for their long history of heroic deeds. At one time they tried to make the name reflect their roster. As people joined, quit, were killed, resurrected, got lost in or found their way back from other dimensions the Ultra Megas found keeping strict accuracy with their name simply too troublesome. They decided to go with their original name, The Ultra Mega Super Five regardless of the actual size of their team, which currently numbers six members. Some of their recent actions have shown a rather troubling arrogance and high-handed manner. This raises the possibility that The Ultra Megas have started to believe their own hype.
- Power Play
- In a world where superheroes are regarded as just another breed of celebrity, it was inevitable that someone would have the idea of creating a metahuman boy band. Extremely popular despite charges by their critics that they were chosen just for their powers. The team's roster includes:
- Hardbody: The "suave one". Possesses super-strength.
- Heat Rave: The "wild and crazy one". Possesses flame powers.
- The Quickness: The "sensitive one." Possesses super-speed.
- Laser Wolf: The "edgy one." Possesses lupine traits as well as the ability to fire lasers from his eyes.
WildGuard began mainstream publication in 2003 with an online voting campaign where fans could pick who they wanted to make the team at the end of issue 6. It was also supported on the official WildGuard website with a web campaign forum in which fans would discuss their picks and try to sway the voting. Fans could view pictures, description of powers and back-stories for 46 characters in order to cast their votes. In 2003, WildGuard issue 1 was sold internationally, with the first issue sold out. It was covered by articles in TV Guide, Wizard Magazine, and the OC Register, and various respected online sites of the industry such as Newsarama, Pulse, and the Fourth Rail.
WildGuard has also been popularized in theme songs by bands Kendall, Michael Miller Crusade, and Swivel.
The trade paperback collecting issues 1-6 was followed with WildGuard: Firepower, the two issue WildGuard: Fools Gold mini-series, and most recently WildGuard: Insider #1-3 (May 2008).