ACW #618 – Wild Dog

Action Comics Weekly #618 (Wild Dog)
“Fatal Distraction, Chapter Four: Lucky Night”
Writer – Max Allan Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Letters – Tim Harkins
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Brian Augustyn

I think this is the chapter we’ve all been waiting for… Ms. Susan King finally takes center stage!

We open with Ms. Susan King and her cameraman, Len Whatshisface.  She is positively giddy that there’s such carnage in the Quad Cities at present, and her news reports are skyrocketing in the ratings… to the point where she’s once again being considered for an Anchor position.  Len is, quite less giddy, and finds it rather morbid that King is celebrating the fact that people are being killed by a “Night Slasher” and that there’s a dumb kid running around in Wild Dog’s clothes!  She compares herself to a doctor or lawyer… having become “calloused” to human suffering in the name the job.

They break off, and Susan hops into her car.  Turns out, she ain’t alone.  In her backseat is… Wild Dog!  He tells her that this is her “lucky night” (hey, that’s the title of the chapter!) and that she’s about to get an exclusive interview with the Man of the Hour.

Susan ain’t scared… she knows Wild Dog doesn’t hurt the innocent, to which, the Dog questions the fact that she is, ya know “innocent”.  This begs a question though… if Ms. King is so certain that Wild Dog is a “good guy”, why has she been reporting on him like he’s not?  I suppose it’s all in the name of “Ratings Gold”?  Oh well… they drive to a secluded-ish area for a chat.

Wild Dog has a favor to ask of Ms. King… to stop sensationalizing the story of “Wild Pup”.  Ya see, Dog ain’t looking for a sidekick, and he’s certainly not interested in endangering a young person too dumb to know better.  Their discussion is interrupted by a pained shout nearby.

Wild Dog rushes over to check it out, and comes across our “Night Slasher”.  She’s just made a fresh kill, and Wild Dog insists he won’t be her second that night.  She swipes at him with her blade, but gets socked for her troubles.

Wild Dog stands triumphant over the Night Slasher… until, uh… she goes “low”.

We wrap up with Susan King reporting the event… making sure to point out that Wild Dog ain’t looking for a sidekick.  Also, drawing attention to the fact that Wild Dog appears to have an “Achilles heel”… which just so happens to be the same one I have!  How ’bout that?

This was a weird one… kinda low-key, while at the same time, feels like it moved the story forward quite a bit.

Let’s start with Ms. King.  I appreciate how she is portrayed as being “calloused”, how she is able to not only report on human tragedies… but, actually find glee in it!  I feel like, if this was a “longer-form story”, we’d be heading to an arc where she “cracks”.  Ya know what I mean?  It just seems like she “doth protest, yadda yadda”… where, everything she reports on actually does get to her, and her aloofness is just a facade.  Heck, for all I know, this is exactly where they’re headed with her… though, I kinda doubt it.

Having Wild Dog take Susan somewhere… not so secluded, in order to talk at her… I dunno, just seems weird, dunnit?  I mean, are we to believe that nobody walking by finds it weird that “that lady from TV” is being held at the arms by a dude wearing a ski mask?  Oh well, whattayagonnado?

We have our Night Slasher actually seen by a member of the cast, which is good.  I believe up to this point, nobody had seen her (besides we readers… and, her victims).  I’d imagine as we move into the second half of the arc we’ll be learning more and more about her.

Overall… I really enjoyed this, and am looking forward to more!

Tomorrow: Mr. Galt shops for a fashionable t-shirt.

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