Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back Issue Review: Wild Dog Special #1 (1989)

I’d say it’s official, I’m now collecting DC Comics backwards, going and picking up older stories that I missed the first time around. Seems to be more my speed these days!

I’ve never read the original Wild Dog series, but I’d heard good things, and let’s face it, he’s got a simple and effective design. As far as I can tell after reading this issue, Wild Dog is essentially a DCU Punisher. I really like the idea that four old college football teammates are all the main suspect to be Wild Dog, and this issue revels in the fact that those four are the main suspects, but only the reader knows for sure. Each of the characters definitely has the motivation to become a vigilante, so I imagine the original series teased out the reveal nicely.

Max Collins and Terry Beatty have created a comic that would make a great 80’s action movie. That’s not a complaint, since that would have been a timely comment when this was published! Each of the characters is rocking dated but accurate clothing, hairstyles, and speech patterns. I also appreciate the robbers’ use of rifles rather than submachine guns. It’s another nice note of authenticity for the setting. I also love the way Collins gives bystanders and people on the street thought bubbles. The deaths and combat are a lot more effective seeing what some of these people are thinking. (One sequence with a bank guard psyching up to confront the thieves is particularly sad.)

In the end, the bad guys are too easily tracked down and punished, and the mastermind villain is a bit too nice a guy for this to be a fantastic comic. But it’s a great sampler for the character. I’ll have to track down more Wild Dog.


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