Not everyone was pleased when the season 6 premiere of Arrow debuted a new costume for Team Arrow member Wild Dog, played by Rick Gonzalez. One of the costume's biggest critics happens to be the character's co-creator, Terry Beatty, who says that changing the costume alters the character too much.
Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog was introduced in the season 5 premiere of Arrow as a vigilante who Oliver tries to recruit as part of the new Team Arrow. Rene was a former Navy SEAL whose wife was tragically murdered. After hearing of Damien Darhk's death at the hands of the Green Arrow, Rene was inspired to become a hero. Though initially reluctant, Oliver eventually allowed Rene to join the team. As the newbie grew into his role as a hero, he formed strong friendships with Quentin Lance and Curtis Holt, while working to regain custody of his daughter.
The season 6 premiere saw the debut of a new costume for Wild Dog which ditched the character's iconic Hockey-mask and outfit. Beatty, who co-created the character, posted his thoughts on the costume on Facebook.
While praising the performance of Gonzalez, Beatty had a lot to say about the portrayal of the character on the show, particularly his new look, which according to Beatty "erases any trace of the original Collins/Beatty concept for the character," since the costume and name were the only aspects of the comic book character that translated to the TV series. Saying that the change makes him "literally Wild Dog in name only," Beatty even remarks that the character's name may be the next thing to go.
It's currently unclear what inspired the character's costume change. It could be that the intent was to make Wild Dog fit in better with the other members of Team Arrow. However, this appears to contrast with Beatty's vision of the character, as the artist designed Wild Dog to have a "street-level" look. During season 5 of Arrow, his vision, at least in terms of the character's costume, remained intact as Wild Dog's hockey mask, blue jersey, and camouflage pants all helped make the character unique when compared to his fellow vigilantes.
Created by Max Allan Collins and Beatty in 1987, the comic book version of the character was an ex-Marine and former football star named Jack Wheeler whose girlfriend was murdered by gangsters. In response to the tragedy, Jack worked as a mechanic by day while fighting crime by night as Wild Dog.
Arrow airs on Thursdays on The CW.
Source: Terry Beatty