The challenge is to take a shifting roster of little known characters, a concept that largely failed thirty-years early, highly serialized character-driven story-telling built issue-upon-issue, and turn it into a series that last more than 60 issues and a team that would be relevant for years to come. By 1987, the Suicide Squad was little more than an interesting name with a largely forgotten history in DC Comics. But, an influx of talent and ideas from the thriving “Independent” smaller comic book companies took that idea and created an influential and highly entertaining team of villains fighting and dying in a moral grey area. John Ostrander, Kimberly Yale, and Luke McDonnell’s Suicide Squad provides insights on the maturing of comics, the impact of the independent companies, the slowly growing diversity of comic characters, and more in a fast paced, exhilarating comic series.
Join us as we explore Ostrander’s Suicide Squad from its influences; to its development of minor characters and creation of new ones; to what it represents in terms of story-telling and character diversity; and onto to its impact on the future of comics and the DC Universe.
Stay tuned for more coming this month :
• Polls: Coming soon polls on Suicide Squads impact on DC and comics in general, and Ostrander/Yale’s revitalization of existing characters
• Quiz: Mid-month will see a quiz as you can test how much you know about the history of the Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad Reading.
Ostrander’s Suicide Squad plays the long-game in its story-telling. Threads and character development would build over months or years before they pay off. Any reading list that is representative and provides the highlights of the series will naturally drop you mid-stream into these developments. But, we believe that the recommendations for Ostrander’s run represent some of the best and most representative issues of the series.
The Brave and the Bold (1955) #25 (original series)
Legends (1986) #3 (modern debut)
Suicide Squad (1987) #22 (Deadshot, Flagg, Waller focus)
Suicide Squad (1987) #40-43 The Phoenix Gambit (Batman, Waller, Bronze Tiger focus)
Deeper Dive: Really need to know more about this great run, here’s our recommendations for more extensive reading.
Legends (1986): #1-6
Deadshot (1988) #1-4 (leads into Suicide Squad #22)
Suicide Squad (1987) #33-36 (Apokolips)
Suicide Squad (1987) #48-49 (Oracle, Waller focus)
Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes (2016) #1: Ostrander writes today’s Squad
Suicide Squad based on Ostander’s run appears in more than just the comics, check here to find out everywhere you can find them.
- Squad Facts: Found something interesting about Silver Age and Ostrander Suicide Squad you want to share? Post your Squad Facts. See an example below.
- Squad Research: Have you found a reliable source for more information on the Suicide Squad. Add to the Research Links wiki below by clicking on the pencil in the upper right corner.
- Squad RIP: As you read Suicide Squad and discover a team member that has fallen during a mission, add them to our Suicide Squad RIP wiki below.
Suggested Discussion Topics.
Ostrander came from a successful run at First Comics creating the character Grimjack. In what ways did he work in independent comics influence Suicide Squad? How did Suicide Squad differ from other DC team comics at the time?
The list of characters that Ostrander and Yale either created or elevated is a long one, Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Oracle, Bronze Tiger and more. Which of these characters do you believe become most influentional? Which character do you identify with in some way? Which one was the greatest rehab achievement? Or any other thoughts you have on the series character development.
How does today Suicide Squad, either in films, television, or comics differ or compare to Ostrander’s run? What elements have been improved upon and what has been lost? Could DC produce a Suicide Squad closer to Ostrander’s in today’s market?