Star City is about to have yet another vigilante running amok in town. This week, EW reported that the CW TV show based on DC’s Green Arrow comic books will be adding the super obscure Wild Dog to its main line-up, with actor Rick Gonzalez (Mr. Robot, Rosewood) in the role as the gritty street hero. But naturally, you may be wondering: Who the hell is Wild Dog?
Who is this Wild Dog fella?
Introduced in 1987 in his own DC Comics series Wild Dog #1 from Max Allen Collins and artist Terry Beatty, Wild Dog is Jack Wheeler, a college football superstar who lost his scholarship due to injury (similar to another DC and Arrowverse superhero, Jax, one-half of Firestorm). He then joined the Marines but quit after his platoon were all wiped out in a terrorist bomb. Returning home to the Quad Cities area, his girlfriend — the daughter of a Chicago mob boss — is killed by hitmen, and ol’ Jack seeks revenge.
He suits up in a makeshift costume: Hockey mask, oversized football jersey to hide his body armor, camo pants, electrified gloves, and a 9 mm machine gun. He gets the name “Wild Dog” when, in his first issue after he rescues a reporter from a hostage situation, a SWAT captain orders his men to shoot him down “like a wild dog” in the street.
What are his powers?
He’s a street vigilante. He’s got a gun and he’ll kick you in the balls.
How come I’ve never heard of him?
The guy is pretty obscure. He was introduced in the late ‘80s and had his own series, but it didn’t last into the next decade. He had a bit role in 2005’s Infinite Crisis but he hasn’t been used since. When you’ve got characters like Batman and Black Canary and Green Lantern, a guy in a hockey mask and a gun leaves little room for development, world building, or even commercial potential. Though I think his super easy cosplay makes him appealing for some.
What will he do in ‘Arrow’ Season 5?
Wild Dog is ruthless with a mean streak, and in Arrow Season 5, he’ll go under the Green Arrow’s wing to turn him into a true hero. And he’ll probably do it reluctantly, so expect lots of that sort of character drama all season long.