ACW #622 – Wild Dog

Action Comics Weekly #622 (Wild Dog)
“Fatal Distraction, Chapter Eight: To Help a Child”
Writer – Max Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Letters – Tim Harkins
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Brian Augustyn

Hello everybody… today we wrap up our second (of three) Wild Dog arcs!  The Dog will be going on extended break at this point… in fact, we won’t be seeing hide nor hair of him for fourteen-weeks!  Yowza!  By then, we’ll be in the very last legs of this Action Comics Daily project!

We pick up immediately after we left off… Wild Pup’s been stabbed, and both the Night Slasher and Wild Dog are left agog.  She takes off into the night, leaving our man with the duty of bringing the boy to hospital.  He drops him off before returning to ROVER to pray.

Time passes, and the news of the encounter spreads.  Before long, Ms. Susan King is on the scene trying to get the skinny from Lt. Andy Flint.  He more or less tells her to “pound salt”.

As the boy convalesces alone in his darkened room, Wild Dog scales the side of the building and climbs inside.  At that very moment, the Night Slasher arrives at the boy’s room… and after portraying herself as his mother, is allowed entry.

She heads inside just as Wild Dog is finishing up his lecture on why the boy shouldn’t want to be anything like him.  He tells him there are ways to help, without putting his life in danger. 

The Dog notices the Slasher… and they have themselves a chat.  She tells him that they hurt this boy… together.  Ya see, they’re both on a “mission of justice”.  The Night Slasher used to be rather promiscuous… which left her with a Sexually-Transmitted Disease.  When she finally settled down, and became pregnant… the STD caused her son, Robert, to be stillborn.  Ever since then, she’s been “reconnecting” with folks from her… uh… “easier” days, and exacting revenge.  By, uh… killing them.

She convinces Wild Dog to leave her and the boy alone for a bit… because, even though the Police will soon find out who she really is… she wants to be there for him on this night.  Wild Dog thinks on it for a moment, and decides that she won’t be any further threat to the Pup.  We close out with an entry from Wild Pup’s diary… where he confirms that he knows Wild Dog and Jack Wheeler are one-and-the-same.

Well, that’s a wrap!

As much as I enjoyed this arc (and I really did!), I can’t help but to feel as though this ending might have been a bit truncated.  Everything kinda falls too neatly into place.  I mean, many “realities” of comics publishing usually set the tone and pacing of a story… and, again, I feel like that might’ve happened here.  Though, please keep in mind I know nothing about the inner-workings of DC Comics.

We find out here what makes the Night Slasher tick… and, while it’s sorta “rational”, it’s also sorta cliche.  I feel like anytime we see a woman lashing out in fiction, it’s usually going to wrap back around to some sort of sexual trauma.  I do appreciate that hurting a child is her “rubicon” of sorts, and she’s now prepared (as far as we know) to “face the music”.

I also appreciated that this was left open-ended.  We don’t know if the Night Slasher will allow herself to be arrested.  She very well might say a little prayer for the boy, and immediately sneak out right after.  We also don’t know what Wild Pup might do with the knowledge of Jack Wheeler’s alter-ego.  Will it (or he) ever come up again?  Well, probably not… but, it’s fun to wonder!

Overall, I found this to be a really fun arc… and I feel like the Wild Dog feature will be sorely missed over these next few months.

Tomorrow: It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

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