On a show that's often relentlessly dark, one of the more reliable sources of humor on The CW's Arrow -- besides Felicity Smoak, of course -- is what happens when the human and grounded members of Team Arrow encounter what Barry Allen calls "The Impossible."
Whether it's John Diggle's reaction to meeting The Flash or Curtis Holt's to meeting Green Arrow, Team Arrow has typically been a pretty fun place to encounter new faces for the first time.
Well, that ends this year, with Wild Dog. Actor Rick Gonzalez told ComicBook.com that his character is not impressed with the world of superheroics that joining Team Arrow will bring him into -- and that he has serious problems with the super-powered types he'll have to fight alongside during the four-shot Invasion! crossover.
“I can’t speak on that, but what I can say is that Wild Dog will be in the crossover, and he has a huge dislike for metahumans,” Gonzalez said. “So we’ll definitely see him not exactly rub well with The Flash and Supergirl and that’s just another glimpse into his psyche and his ideas and thinking about the world and the idea that there are people out there who have these sort of powers and who they are. Instead of saying ’Wow, these people can do these things,’ he says, ‘no, I don’t like you because this is what you bring to the table. This is what you represent to me.’”
In the comics, Wild Dog -- a street-level hero with no powers -- was one of a number of such heroes called upon to defend Earth against an invasion by the Dominators and a number of other alien races they had gathered together.
The character first appeared in Wild Dog #1 in 1987, making him one of the first new superheroes created following Crisis on Infinite Earths. Created by Road to Perdition writer Max Allan Collins and artist Terry Beatty, "his super power is guns."
Star athlete Jack Wheeler went to college on a football scholarship, but had to drop out and become a mechanic after an injury forced him off the team and he couldn't afford tuition. Before working as a mechanic, though, he enlisted for a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines, only to see most of his friends killed by a terrorist bomb. After returning home, he fell in love...but the woman he was in love with was gunned down in a seemingly-random shooting, later revealed to be a hit because her father was a reputed mobster. Wheeler snapped and became Wild Dog -- a vigilante beloved by the public for "cleaning up the streets" but wanted by the police for his brutality.
After his own series failed to make him a star, the character would appear in Action Comics Weekly before fading mostly into obscurity. His most recent appearances on the printed page were in an alternate-reality story in Booster Gold, in which Wild Dog was part of a team of revolutionaries led by Green Arrow and working against Maxwell Lord and his army of OMACs.
So far in the TV series, we haven't seen a lot of Wild Dog. At the start of the season five premiere, he was seen trying to disarm a bomb, only to have Green Arrow literally toss him aside, manhandle him a bit, and shoot him in the knee with an arrow.
That relationship will continue to be a rocky one even once he joins Team Arrow, Gonzalez told ComicBook.com; Wild Dog isn't exactly comfortable with authority.
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.