Action Comics Weekly #641 (Wild Dog)
“Crack Up, Chapter 6: Unfriendly Takeover!”
Writer – Max Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Colors – Carl Gafford
Letters – Tim Harkins
Editor – Brian Augustyn
Hey gang! Today’s the day! The FINAL anthology chapter of Action Comics Weekly! Looks like we’ll be ending on a high note… and so, for the last time ever, lemme say T.G.I.W.: Thank Goodness it’s Wild Dog!
We open in Chicago, where Wild Dog looks like he’s on his way to a very important date. It’s funny, just like in our recent Speedy serial, our hero is out in broad daylight… in full costume! The folks around him gawk a bit, but just assume he’s out to promote a movie or something… cuz, ya know, hockey mask. Meanwhile, there’s a boardroom meeting going down at one of the biggest corporations in the city… and it looks as though business is going well. Hmm, wonder what this might be all about…
Downstairs, Wild Dog enters into the lobby of their building… and informs the receptionist that he’s there for an interview with WCKO Radio. They have no problem letting him in, thinking he’s just there to promote a movie… cuz, ya know, hockey mask. As he hops into the elevator, we check back in with the bigwigs who, for whatever reason, are really bummed out about the crack/rock houses being busted up in the Quad Cities. Hmm…
Well, ya see… this big corporation appears to have their hands in the cookie/crack jar, meaning if the operations keep getting busted up and burnt down, it affects their bottom line! The bigwigs discuss cutting their losses with their “franchisees”, and bringing the whole magilla back “in-house”. Just then, Wild Dog hops off the elevator.
Our hero whacks a couple of suits with his Halliburton…
… before setting it down, and retrieving some of his arsenal from it.
He then enters the board room, and informs them he’s there to “collect” on a debt. He talks about the unnecessary death of li’l Georgie Washington… and, well… empties his guns!
That’s right, Wild Dog just murdered an entire boardroom full’a big wigs. Our favorite reporter, Ms. Susan King refers to it as being the bloodiest day in Chicago since the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre… and alludes to the fact that a certain hockey-masked individual was seen in the vicinity.
We wrap up back at the bar, where Lou and Andy tell Jack that he’s officially “out of business” as Wild Dog. If they ever see him in action again, they will come forward with all they know. Jack’s all “yeah, whatever… I’ll hang it up… until you beg me to come back.”
Ya know what? I might be mistaken, but with this “review”, I think I’ve covered every single Wild Dog story ever published here on the blog! Sure, he’s made a handful of guest-appearances in the years since, usually treated as a sort of unsubtle “funny, ha-ha” character (most recently seen in that Cave Carson series from DC’s Young Animal)… but as far as “Wild Dog” stories… between his mini, his one-shot, and this ACW serial… I’m pretty sure that’s all she wrote! Well, there’s something I can hang my hat on, huh?
I’m really going to miss this character. Just knowing that not a whole heckuva lot happens with him after this is kind of a punch in the gut. I think I’ve read somewhere that Max Collins and Terry Beatty were too busy with other obligations (including Ms. Tree) to pour more time and effort into ol’ Jack… which, is kind of a shame. Though, at the same time, I’m glad he didn’t get pawned off on another writer. If you’re going to write Wild Dog, ya need to be… subtly unsubtle enough to do it in earnest. Otherwise, you’re just engaging in “low-hanging fruit” writing.
So… whatta we got here? Jack decides to quit dilly-dallying around with the drug-peddling “grunts”, and takes it straight to the top. Big business, naturally, has their fingers in the pie… and are able to stay “clean” by pawning off the dirty work on street-hustlers and the like. Sounds sorta like how the Quad-Cities P.D. keeps their hands clean by letting Wild Dog do everything they ain’t allowed to do. Hmm…
This was a pretty surreal chapter, all told. Wild Dog straight up murders a dozen people. Was everybody in that board room guilty? Maybe someone was just there “recording minutes”… who can say? I guess it doesn’t really matter at this point, does it? Guilt by association, and all that jazz. I did appreciate people kinda being okay with Wild Dog walking around in broad daylight dressed like he ought to be haunting Camp Crystal Lake. That was pretty funny… and a neat way of “lampshading” the Dog’s makeshift costume.
The ending was pretty great as well. Lou and Andy “finally having enough” of Wild Dog’s antics came across as pretty forced… like, something they said because it felt like something they had to say. Given the situation, I can’t fault them for that. Jack’s response, however, was gold. He knows that, no matter how righteous his buddies are trying to come across, the next time there’s trouble… they’ll come a’knockin’. Really good stuff, all around.
And that… my friends, wraps up the anthological portion of Action Comics Weekly! Forty-one weeks… Two-Hundred Eighty-Something Days… Tens of Thousands of Words… Hundreds of Pictures… that’s a pretty impressive body of work, for a blog very few people know or care about, innit? Tomorrow, we’ll wrap this issue up… then, the day after that… we begin our look at the FINAL issue of Action Comics Weekly! Hopefully, by the time we’re done with that… I’ll have some sort of idea what (if anything) comes next!