Action Comics Weekly #608 (Wild Dog)
“Moral Stand, Chapter Eight: Winged Dog”
Writer – Max Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Colors – Michele Wolfman
Letters – Gaspar
Editor – Mike Gold
As we enter our penultimate chapter of Wild Dog (for this arc, anyway), I want to share something that had been shared with me just the other day.
I was talking to a pal’a mine, who informed me that… with this Action Comics Daily format, I’m… get this… “writing for the trade”. And… and… he’s right!
I guess what they say is true… some blogs perish heroically… but only a few stick around long enough to become the villain!
Let’s Wild Dog.
We open a moment before the ending of our previous chapter. That black-clad Moralist (who we’ve been calling “Sir”… because, well, that’s what he told us to call him) looks to have been sniped… but in actuality, he just went boom. I mean, we couldn’t have a Wild Dog cliffhanger without something blowing up, could we? Well, I suppose we could have… but, what fun would that be? Anyhoo, Flint and Gault are looking on and aren’t quite sure what to make of it. From here, we shift to an eating establishment where Helen Whatsherface is waiting for her date, Dr. B. Lyle Layman to finish up with a phone call. He proceeds to lay the sweet-talk on pretty thick.
We rejoin Andy Flint as he arrives at Wheeler’s garage. He finds Jack, and immediately notices his bandaged arm. Remember, he’d gotten shot with that armor-piercing bullet last time out. He asks who patched him up… but he doesn’t spill the beans. We, of course, know that it was Lou Godder. Andy breaks the news on “Sir’s” explosion, and posits that Layman might have triggered the blast.
The true identity of Sir is revealed… and get this, he’s a Merc-for-hire, who likely answered that “Call to Arms” in Soldier For Glory magazine… just as Jack suggested. Andy suggests that Layman used a remote detonation device (of sorts) to keep the Merc’s mouth shut… and, believe it or not, he’s right on the money with his guess! Worth noting that Helen Whatsherface witnessed Layman making the call…
… though, when Andy and Graham question her the following day, she denies it all. After the in-house interrogation concludes, Dr. Layman emerges from an adjoined room, all sultry-like. Helen expresses remorse, but Lyle tells her to forget all about it.
Then… Susan King sighting! Susan King sighting! Boy, it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen her face! She’s on the news, talking about… what else, Wild Dog. She reports that, in the earlier fracas, Wild Dog looked to have injured his right arm. This report is via a television set, which is serving as background noise for Helen and Lyle… being together in the Biblical sense.
Later that night, Jack Wheeler reports in to the Legion of Morality… and is very apologetic for being a pretty lousy look-out during the Moline News Raid. Lyle tells him not to worry, and sends him off into the locker room to “suit up”. While Jack’s swapping clothes, however, a Moralist notices that his right arm is bandaged. Hmm…
Moments later, Lyle joins Jack in the locker room… and pistol-whips him! Looks like the jig is up, the news is out… they finally found him!
We wrap up at the Wundram Museum, where they’re exhibiting some sorta risque pop-art… which will be the Legion’s next (and final?) raid.
Alrighty… things are certainly coming to a head!
When I started this little endeavor, one thing I tried not to hold against these first features was “poor pacing”. I mean, if it was egregiously bad, I’d comment… but I was planning on grading pacing on a curve… ya know? Many/all of these writers were more accustomed to writing twenty-odd page monthly comics. These 8-page chapters were likely going to take some getting used to.
Gotta say though… I didn’t notice any glaring pacing issues with Wild Dog. This entire arc has been pretty tight, and really feels at-home in these shorter bursts.
So, whatta we got here? Layman blew “Sir” up to keep him from squawkin’… and Helen Whatsherface looks to be conflicting regarding her blind devotion to the Doctor of Morality. I mean, clearly, this guy was going to be revealed as a hypocrite… but, the fact that one of his “Lieutenants” is seeing it, is a pretty big deal. I don’t see his story ending well.
Jack’s “discovery” was well-done… and, since now a handful of Moralists know about his dual-identity… well, just like Layman (and including Layman), I don’t see their story ending well either. Though, gotta say, Jack not taking better care to hide his wounded arm… even inside a locker room… feels a bit “off”. I’d assume he’d always behave as though he’s being watched… because, c’mon, he usually is!
Overall… this is another one I’m going to miss while it’s gone. Next week will wrap up this arc… and we won’t be seeing the Dog again for several weeks.
Tomorrow: Tain-ted Meat, whoa-oa-oa (dun-dun) tain-ted meat