Arrow has made great strides in making a name for the characters of the DC Comics Universe on television. The small screen wasn’t a place that costumed heroes often found a home prior to recent years on the CW Network with series like Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and now the CBS transfer series Supergirl.
The fifth season of Arrow will be dropping this fall and with it new additions from the sacred annals of DC Comics history. The latest casting comes in the way of the 1980s cult-classic vigilante hero Wild Dog.
EW is reporting that not only will the vigilante Wild Dog have a place in Arrow season five, but also that he will be portrayed by actor Rick Gonzalez (Mr. Robot, War of the Worlds). Additionally, EW is reporting that Gonzalez will appear in multiple episodes at the beginning of season 5. The character is being described as having a “reckless and cocksure nature” causing Oliver Queen to take the vigilante under his wing and show him a more constructive path.
Wild Dog is one of those often overlooked parts of the DC Comics universe. Many fans may remember his comic book debut in issue #1 of his own solo series. The four-issue mini-series featured an original vigilante character, created by the team of Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. Fans may recognize Collins from his most famous creation, the graphic novel Road to Perdition, which was later adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks. Beatty went on to find cult fame amongst comic book fans by lending his artistic talents to many of the ongoing Batman comics.
Wild Dog is the fictional alias of ex-college football star and former United States Marine Jack Wheeler. Wheeler resides in the Quad Cities and lived a relatively normal life until one fateful night when his girlfriend was assassinated by hitmen. It turned out that she was the daughter of a major Quad Cities crime boss. Stricken with a mixture of grief and rage, Wild Dog comprised a costume from various pieces of sports equipment, including a hockey mask and a football jersey with a red snarling dog on it. He also sported camouflage pants and body armor. Wild Dog wasn’t your typical DC Comics hero, he was a vigilante in the vein of Marvel’s The Punisher, and wasn’t shy about gunning criminals down, which he did often while seeking his revenge.
The Wild Dog series didn’t go over as smashingly as DC Comics had hoped, and despite efforts to insert him into the Action Comics Weekly comic book series, the character never really took off. The vigilante wouldn’t be seen or heard from again in any major way after 1989 – until now. The appearance of Wild Dog on television is not only a huge move for the character, but also a nice treat for fans of the more obscure parts of DC Comics history.
Supergirl season 2 will air at 8pm Mondays on The CW in Fall 2016, The Flash will air in the same timeslot on Tuesdays, Arrow on Wednesdays, and Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays.