ACW #616 – Wild Dog

Action Comics Weekly #616 (Wild Dog)
“Fatal Distraction, Chapter Two: Battle Gear”
Writer – Max Allan Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Letters – Tim Harkins
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Brian Augustyn

It’s Wild Dog time once again, and… waitasec… is that… omigosh, on the first page… could that be?

Be still my heart, it… it is!

We open with… Ah!  There’s our girl… Ms. Susan King!  She’s interviewing Lt. Andy Flint about the “Night Slasher” case… and they’re really emphasizing the probability that the Slasher is a woman.  Also of interest (especially to Ms. King) is the reemergence of Wild Dog!  After confirming with Andy that the vigilante is, in fact, back on the scene, she throws to an interview she conducted with that young fella from the convenience store last issue who saw the whole event go down.

From here, we shift scenes to a nearby comic shop, where that young fella (Daniel Crown) has become quite the local celebrity!  He regales his fellow fans with his Wild Dog tale, drawing the ire of a pair of nerdy-er patrons who give him the ol’ “Wild Dog ain’t a real hero!” treatment.  After all, he’s not a real hero like… Captain Electric or the Mutant Men.

Now, that’s one demented Sugar & Spike fan!

Wait, what?  Okay… I hate to do this, but I gotta invoke my inner-Zack Morris for a moment.  Time Out!  This story takes place in the actual DC Universe.  I mean, Wild Dog himself compared his night patrol to Batman’s just last week!  So to say that Wild Dog isn’t a “Real Hero” like Captain friggin’ Electric?  The hell is that all about?  I mean, Superman lives here!  This might be a tiny little thing to harp on about, but c’maaaaan.  Okay, Time In!  Another pair of fellas approach Daniel to ask him some questions, as they are looking into creating a Wild Dog comic book (imagine such a thing!).

We jump ahead in the day… and learn a few things about young Master Crown.  He’s an only child, and his mother is an alcoholic hairdresser… which might explain the haircut this kid’s got.  Being an only child, he gets a whopper of an allowance… with which he can buy himself whatever his little heart desires… ya know, like weapons…

… and, and… a Junior Wild Dog Commando Kit?!  Uh-oh.

We shift scenes to Wheeler’s, where Jack is filling out Day Two of his “Combat Log”.  Imagine it, Wild Dog Combat Log… man, what the 1990’s could’ve been!  He reflects on the previous night, and laments the fact that the Night Slasher struck despite his patrolling.

But… that was yesterday.  Tonight the Dog will be hitting various Night Clubs… including one where some dude named Harry just popped two into another fella’s chest!  We wrap up with Wild Dog confronting the killer… and Kid Wild Dog’s arrival… and it looks as thought he’s itching to get involved!

Kid Wild Dog.

Oh boy.

Just how much fun is this story?  I mean, c’mon… Kid Wild Dog (Wild Pup?) is just so ridiculous, and yet, something that could actually happen!  Look at things like Mark Millar’s Kick Ass… I mean, it’s been an age since I read that, but… this isn’t too dissimilar from that idea.

Thing of it is… I wouldn’t bet a penny that this kid makes it out of this story alive!  With this sort of story, I feel like it could go either way… which is a pretty darn engaging thing.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

I feel like I already made my thoughts on the “comic shop scene” known… but, to harp on for just a couple more lines… I gotta wonder if there were rights issues with Wild Dog… like, would this property default to Collins and Beatty if DC stopped using him?  Is that why nobody mentioned Superman or Wonder Woman when describing what a real superhero was?

I’m probably just thinking too hard about it… that’s what I tend to do.  Besides, DC didn’t exactly use Wild Dog in the decades that followed, and… as mentioned, the Dog himself evoked the name Batman just last week.  Still… it’s weird.  Maybe it just shows how disconnected from “reality” those comic book enthusiasts were?  Who knows?

Overall, a solid chapter of Wild Dog!  Really enjoying seeing this Kid Wild Dog, and Ms. Susan King is always a welcome presence… I’m pulling for her to be more of a thorn in Wild Dog’s side in the next few weeks!

Tomorrow: Funeral for a Friend that dude Superman accidentally killed?

One thought on “ACW #616 – Wild Dog

  • I assume Collins wanted to emphasize the realism of a hero like Wild Dog (as underscored by Wild Pup’s comments). Pointing out that he lives in a world where comic-book style superheroes are real would have undercut the point Collins was trying to make. Besides, it’s very DCish; every superhero kind of lives is his/her own little world (until crossovers are needed or desired). It’s an inheritance of the Golden Age.


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