ACW #620 – Wild Dog

Action Comics Weekly #620 (Wild Dog)
“Fatal Distraction, Chapter Six: Tailed!”
Writer – Max Collins
Breakdowns – Terry Beatty
Guest Pencils – Dick Rockwell
Inks – John Nyberg
Letters – Tim Harkins
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Brian Augustyn

Hey Gang, Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s and soon-to-be’s.  As it happens, we’re about to take a look at a chapter that (if ya squint) looks a lot like a father/son outing between Wild Dog and Wild Pup!  I hope everyone else’s day is far less bloody then their’s!

We pick up right where we left off last week.  Wild Pup has mounted the ugly, grotesque, horrid vegetarian terrorist so that Wild Dog might get in a few free shots.  Well, Jack ain’t quite feelin’ it… in fact, he’s a bit beside himself that the kid hasn’t yet hung up his hockey mask!  What’s more, the kid kinda puts himself directly in the line of fire when the homely, brutal, gross vegeterrorist snap-mares him over and uses him as a human shield!

Wild Dog tries to talk the disgusting, foul veggie-terrorist down, but it ain’t workin’.  Lucky for him, Wild Pup doesn’t think that “meat is murder” and takes a big ol’ bite outta the uggo’s arm!

At which point, Jack pumps him full’a lead!

After threatening to put the Pup “over his knee”, Wild Dog tells the lad to stick around for the cops… because the officers will be easier on him than he ever will be.  Wild Pup, however, doesn’t pay this any heed.  As the Dog goes to take off in ROVER, the Pupper stows away in the cargo bed.

Cut to our lady, Ms. Susan King… and she’s cuttin’ a promo on the ineptness of the Quad Cities Police.  She corners Andy Flint and starts calling him out for being a goofball who just stood by while Wild Dog “did his job”.  He tells her that once the Dog was on the scene, all they could do is let it “play out”… which, between you and me… is kind of a cop-out (no pun intended).

We wrap up with Andy visiting Jack at Wheeler’s Garage to sorta-kinda read him the riot act.  He tells him to cool his jets, otherwise he’s going to make him quit Wild Doggin’.  He also asks for a description of the Night Slasher (oh yeah, her!).  We close out by seeing that there’s another very interested party also listening in.

Sometimes I forget just how brutal Wild Dog can be.  I mean, he’s certainly an itchy-fingered fella, but sometimes when I see it this “matter-of-fact” I still feel a twinge of shock at the brutality.

I really wasn’t expecting him to positively perforate the uggo veggie-terrorist.  I thought he’d maybe “shoot to injure” rather than kill.  That was not the case.  Last time we saw the Dog in action (not counting the run-in with the Night Slasher) was in the convenience store where we first met the kid who would become Wild Pup.  There, Jack did pull the trigger quite a few times, but only shot up the bad guy’s legs so they wouldn’t get away.

Though, I suppose we could wonder how bad their subsequent injuries were… and what the quality of life post-arrest was for the would-be thieves… buuuut, that could be a slippery-slope directly into a sticky-wicket, so it’s probably best we don’t.

I suppose we can look at the overall situation here, and call it a “win” for the good guys.  I mean, the ugly, brutal bad-guy wasn’t about to listen to reason… and while Wild Pup’s presence may have escalated the hostility, the Uggo had already caused plenty of damage at that point.

Wild Dog’s win makes the Quad Cities P.D. look pretty inept, which is a story thread I’m happy they’re exploring here… and not just because it gets Ms. Susan King into the story!  This is a thread that sometimes comes up when folks discuss the inability of the Gotham City P.D., and when we look at it, their situations aren’t altogether different.  Both vigilantes have something of an “inside man”… who may, at certain times, turn a blind eye to their activity.

The difference here is, Commissioner Gordon is a lot cooler about the “deal” than Lt. Andy Flint appears to be.  We can tell that this is not only getting under his skin from a Public Relations standpoint, but the morally-gray nature of Wild Dog’s antics (which he is facilitating) is likely keeping him up at night too.  Good stuff.

Overall, yet another fine chapter for Wild Dog.  Still not totally on board with our fill-in artist, Dick Rockwell… who, really made it hard to look at the veggie-terrorist’s face.  Yuck.

Tomorrow: The Secret Six are still talking about meat!

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