Cole Cash is Grifter, a soldier, mercenary and petty criminal who was a core member of the WildC.A.T.s.
There are various accounts of Cole's early youth: his father died while he was still young and Cole and his brother Max were raised by their mother and stepfather, with his mother dying when Cole was already an adult. However, his mother died while he was still young and he and his brother were raised by their father. It is certain though, that Cole left his family while still a teenager and turned to crime to survive. Despite being a criminal, Cole had his own code of honor and stopped one of his partners in crime from shooting at the police. Cole was arrested and offered a second chance. He was enlisted by International Operations and turned out to be a gifted marksman and an excellent soldier.
Cole Cash's natural talent for combat landed him in black ops, taking the dirtiest jobs as part of a squad known as Team 7 (which also included John "Topkick" Lynch, Marc "Backlash" Slayton, Jackson "Arclight" Dane, Philip "Bulleteer" Chang, Stephen "Wraparound" Callahan, Alex "Slaphammer" Fairchild and Michael "Deathblow" Cray). Cash's codename during these operations was Deadeye.
The group was deliberately exposed to an experimental chemical called the Gen Factor, which activated a variety of psi powers in them (in Deathblow's case, this did not happen until twenty years later), but which also detrimentally affected their sense of morality and mental health. After the experiment the survivors were classified as Gen 12. Some of their teammates went mad or committed suicide. Cole suspected that in fact their own superiors, I.O., were behind the experiment, while their superiors claimed that it was an unknown chemical weapon. One of the many missions Team 7 performed was destroying the dictatorship of a small African country. Andrew Johnson, one of the members, went mad and gloried in his ability to make people commit suicide. Disgusted, Cole killed Johnson. Cole grew more and more disgruntled with I.O.'s manipulations and secrecy and rebelled against team-leader John Lynch. Cash took charge and united the team's mental powers against a nuclear weapon that I.O. team-leader Miles Craven fired at Team 7 as a test. Team 7 went into hiding, but was eventually forced to return to I.O.
When the powers of many of Team 7's members started to wane, Craven became interested in their children, the Gen 13, who should have inherited their fathers' powers. Most of the team went into hiding again, while others stayed with I.O. The team finally fell apart and Cole went to work as an assassin for I.O., but he soon became disenchanted with them too. He went freelance, and it was during this period of his life he encountered the ancient Kherubim warrior Zealot. They fell in love, and she took the unprecedented measure of teaching him, a male, the ways of the Coda, the warrior order she had once belonged to. Her Coda-teachings stabilized Cole's sanity and locked away what remained of his psionic powers.
Some time later Cole and Zealot broke up; for Zealot it was just another relationship, but Cole had become devoted to her, being eternally grateful to her for restoring his sanity. However they remained on good terms, and both were recruited to become part of Lord Emp's Daemonite hunting team, the WildC.A.T.s. Grifter would later quit the team when they had to ally with Hightower, a Daemonite who had killed Grifter's friend Lonely. He rejoined when the team came back from Khera, even being the team's leader for some time. During this time Max Cash, his younger brother, was killed, came back as a zombie and was killed again by Grifter himself. He left the team again after Zealot's apparent death. At this point most of his teammates left as well and the WildC.A.T.s were disbanded.
Months later, Cole joined the Wildcats, a small group that included Lord Emp, Spartan and the French weapons dealer known as Noir. After Emp's ascension, Grifter sank into a depression; he began drinking and having one-night stands with women who reminded him of Zealot. Finally Zealot herself returned, but at the time Grifter was too drunk to recognize her. After a night of sex, Zealot left him before Grifter realized who she was. He caught up with her again while she was fighting the Coda. Zealot told him that the Coda had betrayed her teachings and she had sworn to wipe them all out. She added that she would spare Grifter, despite being Coda-trained, because of their history. After this meeting, Grifter straightened out his life and joined Jack Marlowe's (Spartan) Halo Corporation.
During this time Cole was mind-controlled by the villain Tao into shooting his former teammate and current I.O. director, John Lynch, leaving him in a coma. Tao then erased Cole's memories of these events.
During a mission for Jack Marlowe, Cole's legs were shattered by Agent Orange. Therefore he could no longer operate as Marlowe's field agent. He trained accountant Edwin Dolby (Grifter II) to take his place. Dolby turned out to be unsuitable for the violent life that Grifter planned for him and resigned from Halo. After Marlowe apologized to him, he rejoined, but strictly as an accountant. Grifter remodeled the robotic body of former teammate Ladytron as a remote-controlled body for himself.
Several months later, Grifter's legs were healed, a side-effect of the dormant Gen-factor according to I.O. scientists. John Lynch, who had woken from his coma, restored Cole's memory. Cole was sent to take down Tao and working together with double-agent Holden Carver, Tao's organization was completely dismantled and Tao was imprisoned.
Main article: Captain Atom: Armageddon
When Jack Marlowe died Cole took control of Halo Corporation and all its assets. Being depressed by Spartan's death, Cole went to South America, fighting Daemonites for a month.
He later arrived back in New York just in time to witness Captain Atom's arrival and subsequent battle with Majestic. Cash recognized an energy signature in Captain Atom that he'd previously only seen in his deceased teammates Void and Spartan. After consulting with Jeremy Stone, Cole acknowledged that the Void's energy splinted into both of Captain Atom and Nikola Hanssen.
Cole later regrouped the former Wildcats to capture Captain Atom while he faced a fearful Nikola. Cole tried to convince Nikola to accept who she was as a metahuman as she, like any other normal people, was deeply afraid of metahumans. When Captain Atom defeated the Wildcats in Washington, D.C., both Cole and Nikola arrived at the scene in which Cole convinced Nikola to use the Void's power of teleportation. From there Cole (as Grifter) was about to combat Atom but witnessed him being teleported away by the Authority via a shift-door.
While regrouped with the Wildcats, they were confronted by Mister Majestic who then gravelly informed them that killing Captain Atom would caused the destruction of their universe leaving Cole all the more frustrated of the situation and focused more on Nikola's power of the Void. Cole eventually helped Captain Atom in fending off the Authority from killing the misplaced hero, who they believed that killing Atom would save their universe, and was subsequently killed by Apollo and Midnighter: Midnighter buried two throwing stars in Cash's spine, then Apollo incinerated his head.
After Nikola harnessed her powers and remade the universe, Cole, along of many past deceased people such as Deathblow, came back, but with no memories of the events with Nikola, Captain Atom, and the reboot of the universe.
In the wake of the reboot, Cole was shown to be a man who had attempted to change himself, but kept getting sucked back in to the hero lifestyle. He appeared to be an employee of Hadrian as a core member of the new WildCats team that he was assembling.
Cole Cash briefly worked as an assassin for the US government, targeting Islamist terror networks. His latest assignment went awry when his target turned out to be an alien shape-shifter who was being hunted by others of the same race. Zee, as he/she calls itself, has now drawn Grifter and Midnighter into an interstellar conflict involving weaponized giant worms.
Grifter returned to the Wildcats after Armageddon, helping survivors in Los Angeles. He was later summoned by John Lynch and regrouped with Team-7 where he and his teammates learned of Tao's nihilistic threat. After the Halo Building in Los Angeles was destroyed, Grifter had himself and the Wildcats teamed up with Team-7 in stopping Tao. Ultimately their battle ended with Grifter shooting Tao in the head at point-blank range, thus relinquishing his powers from Void, Max Faraday, and Providence.
Grifter was among the many heroes that were notified of the Authority's Carrier's leaving, and Grifter was among the few heroes to leave Earth when he was ordering the panic refugees who were boarding the shift-ship. Grifter, along with his old comrade Deathblow officially joined the "new" Authority and together helped in establishing order among the Carrier's influx of refugees. During the journey, Cole entered into a sexual relationship with Stormwatch member, Flint.
Cole's journey with the Authority led them to discovering a genocidal alien race known as the Karibna and helped in destroying them, and thereafter returning to Earth.
Powers and Abilities
Gen-Factor: Exposure to the Gen-Factor had gifted as well as cursed Cash with several supernatural abilities both Mental and Physical at the same time, these powers have fluctuated in potency over the course of his life. Eventually burning out over the years and going into dormancy thanks to his Coda training. While it's mostly diminished the psychic abilities bestowed by his Gen-Factor retains some effectiveness in its destructive ability, Cole can utilize his psionics by consciously reordering part of his psyche to turn them on and off again. But can normally only ever have access without the debilitating side effects while in range of another Team 7 Member. Since the universal reset where Cole had been revived, he could now utilize his full abilities without any assistance or harmful effects.
- Accelerated Healing: Cole also has access to a helpful yet extremely unstable ability to heal and recover damaged bodily tissue structure at phenomenal rates. But it's not very reliable despite it's potency, the effectiveness of which varies wildly between uses. Able to heal broken neck almost instantly after receiving it, to waiting months on end for healing two shattered legs, albeit without so much as a scratch or any scar tissue afterward.
- Peak Human Condition
- Peak Human Strength
- Peak Human Speed
- Peak Human Agility
- Peak Human Stamina
- Peak Human Coordination
- Peak Human Reflexes
- Peak Human Durability
- Peak Human Balance
- Indomitable Will
- Master Tactician
- Military Protocol
- Master Marksman
- Master Combatant
- Multilingualism: Shown to be fluent in Vietnamese.
- The Rush: The side effects of using this power however are terrible to say the least. It was nicknamed The Rush due to the effect that the use of it is likened unto a drug. Raw, telekinetic, energy twisting and wielding power that if left unchecked can ravage the mind and body of the wielder, driving him to insanity.
- Uncontrolled Psionics: The downside to these powers was that they were nearly impossible to control, sometimes being largely unreliable when needed most.
- Physical Strain: Using the powers also put a terrible strain on Cash; trying to keep them under control would often cause blood vessels to rupture and he would weaken.
- Affect Mind: Prolonged use would threaten his sanity and outside forces. But his Coda training under former matriarch of which, Zealot; helped him repress this aspect greatly.
- Weak Healing Factor: Cole's healing ability tends to fluctuate often despite it's impressive capacity. The more severe the damage done to him, the longer it takes for him to recover, more expediently lethal injury increases the likelihood of fatality.
- Tunic: Grifter's face wear was specially designed by S.H.I.E.L.D. tech specialists using their state of the art engineering. On top of being made of a Kevlar fiber linen, it's also doubles as a gas mask which filtrates airborne toxins. The featureless lenses serve duel purposes of octagonal telescopic/microscopic visual receptor and analyzer coupled with infrared night vision locator.
- Trench Coat: Cole's trademark long jacket comprises of the same artillery resistant material as his face mask. Serving him well both in a fashionable and practical sense, beyond it's natural application. It also withholds a great many pocket stores and holding straps with which to house and withhold a great many munitions on his person. Armaments such as explosive charges, throwing knives, stilettos, acupressure needles and small firearms.(possibly formerly)
- VAD PP30: Grifter uses a VAD PP30, a semi-automatic particle pulse handgun custom made by Vulcan Arms Division for his use only. It fires 44mm explosive pulse packs, and by adjusting the Catalytic Particle Converter (CPC), Grifter can change the range of the firepower so it may be a simple stun, or an armor-piercing blast.(Formerly)
- Little Magnum: Hidden micro blaster concealed within his glove, single shots pack enough kick behind the chamber to blast holes though an full grown humanoid target.
- Various High-Tech Munitions: In his time as a special forces operative as well as one of Jacob Marlowe's covert operatives. Grifter has stocked up on and/or engineered a great many kinds of lethal ordinance for use while in the field. Often carrying around high-caliber fusil's, combustibles and hidden utilities which are a mix of Kherubim and Earth based xenotechnological engineering.
- Cole Cash has called Michael Cray his best friend.
- Grifter admitted he was agnostic when he went back in time to Rome and was thrown with the Christians to be attacked by lions in the Coliseum.
- Grifter's original mask is not only used to conceal his identity but also has the ability to filter out any noxious gases he may come in contact with.
- Grifter has appeared in the following non-WildStorm Image publications: Savage Dragon #13A, Savage Dragon #13B and Savage Dragon #41, Badrock and Company #5 and #6, and in Top Cow's Shi/Cyblade: The Battle for Independents #1.
- 269 Appearances of Cole Cash (Wildstorm Universe)
- 81 Images featuring Cole Cash (Wildstorm Universe)
- 25 Quotations by or about Cole Cash (Wildstorm Universe)
- Character Gallery: Cole Cash (Wildstorm Universe)
- Point Blank (Volume 1)
- Point Blank #5
- Wildcats: Nemesis (Volume 1)
- Captain Atom: Armageddon #8
- Captain Atom: Armageddon #9
- Wildcats: World's End #18
- The Authority: World's End #18
- The Authority: World's End #23
- Team 7 #3
- Team 7: Dead Reckoning #2
- Grifter (Volume 2) #2
- Wetworks #5
- Grifter and Midnighter #1
- Grifter and Midnighter #5
- Team 7 #2
- Grifter (Volume 2) #14
- Wetworks #43
- Team 7 #4
- Captain Atom: Armageddon #2
- WildC.A.T.s #7
- Wildcats Version 3.0 #5
- Sleeper (Volume 2) #1
- Gen 13 (Volume 2) #22
- WildC.A.T.s Sourcebook #1
- WildC.A.T.s #1
- Grifter and Midnighter #6
- Point Blank #1
- WildC.A.T.s #45
- Grifter #1