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The Five Most Awesome Moments In ‘Suicide Squad: Trial By Fire’

Suicide Squad vol. 1: Trial By Fire

This week, DC released a new paperback collection of the first eight issues of John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell's Suicide Squad, one of the absolute best comics of the 80s. The mix of high action and intense drama that focused on some of DC's more obscure villains not only revitalized characters like Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, it served as a blueprint to the kind of superhero story that DC would focus on for the next three decades. In short, it's great.

But let's be real, here: If you've read ComicsAlliance for any length of time, then you've probably heard us talk about all that stuff before. If that hasn't already convinced you, then what you need, friends, are specifics, which is exactly why I've sat down with my copy to bring you the five best moments of Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial By Fire.

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Ostrander And Mandrake Launch A Kickstarter For ‘Kros: Hallowed Ground,’ The Story Of Vampires At The Battle Of Gettysburg

Kros: Hallowed Ground, Ostrander and Mandrake

John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake have a pretty amazing track record. The long-time collaborators are probably best known for their work at DC with titles like The Spectre and Martian Manhunter --- and for the creation of Johnny Karaoke, an extremely minor Batman villain that I might be the only actual fan of --- but now, they're reuniting for a new project. It's called Kros: Hallowed Ground, and it's the story of a vampire hunter taking on the undead at the Battle of Gettysburg.

To fund the new book, Ostrander and Mandrake launched a Kickstarter campaign this week, and to be honest, I'm not sure they've invented a unit of time small enough for how fast I hit that link to get this comic.

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Ask Chris #241: The Suicide Squad, Then And Now

Ask Chris #241: The Suicide Squad, Then And Now

What made the Ostrander/Yale Suicide Squad work and others not? John Ostrander and Kim Yale, along with Luke McDonnell, Geof Isherwood, Karl Kesel and other artists. They were creators who were absolutely at the top of their game over the course of Squad's 66-issue run, and you can't really get away from the fact that when Ostrander came back for stuff like Raise the Flag and the Blackest Night one-shot, those books were immediately right back in step with some of the best stories of the run. They were, hands down, one of the best creative teams in the history of superhero comics.

But at the same time, I don't think that's the whole story. When you get right down to it, Suicide Squad wasn't just a product of its time, it was the kind of comic that could only really happen in 1987.

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On The Cheap: ‘Suicide Squad’ #58, The Issue Where John Ostrander, Kim Yale And Geof Isherwood Kill Grant Morrison

Suicde Squad #58, DC Comics

Over the past few weeks, Comixology has done a pretty amazing job of staying on top of DC's Convergence event with a string of sales based on the different eras that were brought into Bottleworld to fight it out, and this week is no exception. There's amazing stuff in there focusing on the Justice League International, the amazingly underrated 90s Superboy run, and one of the greatest comics of all time, the late '80s Suicide Squad.

But with all those great books to choose from, you might need a little help narrowing it down. Like, let's say you can only buy one comic from the entire sale. If that's the case, then my recommendation would be that you jump on Suicide Squad #58. You know, the one where a werewolf kills Grant Morrison.

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Ask Chris #213: A Brief History Of The Wrath Of God

Ask Chris #213: The Spectre, art by Erica Henderson

Q: Just re-read Gotham Central and it got me wondering, what's the deal with the Spectre? -- @BatIssues

A: The Spectre was originally created in 1940 by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, but it's worth noting that some sources -- including legendary editor Roy Thomas, who's about as big a fan of DC's Golden Age titles as you're likely to find -- give Siegel full credit for the whole concept, and that's the first interesting point. After all, Siegel is, as you may have heard, the co-creator of arguably the most enduring and significant character in comics history, who's known for his incredible physical strength: Slam Bradley.

Oh, and also Superman, I guess.

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Amanda Waller Creator John Ostrander Writes About Character’s ‘Sexy’ Redesigns

Amanda Waller as she appears in Suicide Squad v.1, Suicide Squad v.3, and Arrow

Of all the redesigns that took place for DC's "New 52" relaunch, the one that was most disappointing to the staff of ComicsAlliance was undoubtedly the one that hit Amanda Waller. Rather than the short, stout, and impossibly tough woman who appeared in the pages of John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell's Suicide Squad, the redesigned Waller was young, slim and sexy. She was, in other words, just like every other "idealized" body type in superhero comics, and lost a bit of what made her unique.

Well, it seems our disappointment has found us in good company, alongside no less than Ostrander himself. In a column at ComicMix that went up this week, the writer expressed both a love of the character he shaped for over 60 issues, and a dismay at how the character's redesign conflicts with his original intent.

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Michel Fiffe’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Fan-Comic Takes DC’s Villains to the ‘DEATHZONE!’


John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell's run on Suicide Squad in the late '80s is one of my all-time favorite comics, and has a pretty legitimate claim on being the best team book that DC ever published...

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Ask Chris #72: The Best Deaths of the Suicide Squad


Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's why every week, Senior Writer Chris Sims puts his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions...

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Comix 4 Sight Auction Raises Money And Spirits


The second half of the Comix 4 Sight art auction to benefit comics writer John Ostrander began with the sale of big ticket items and ended with the gratitude of a man among friends.

After a long fight with glaucoma, Ostrander recently underwent a surgery to save his sight, one that wasn't completely covered by his health insurance...

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Comix 4 Sight Auction at Chicago Comic-Con This Weekend


Comics writer John Ostrander is fighting a battle against glaucoma to keep his vision, a fight not made easier by the devastating cost of his medical bills. A few of his friends have formed a charity to help him called Comix 4 Sight, and they're organizing an art auction to benefit him at Chicago Comic-Con this Saturday night...

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