Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s classic and controversial Batman: The Killing Joke is making waves once again after the the animated adaptation debuted at San Diego Comic Con and reportedly doubled down on the damseling and objectification of Batgirl. Without spoiling the changes (you can read about them here), Barbara Gordon’s reliance on men’s approval is a big theme of the film, and only serves to give Batman more angst when the events of the comic play out.
Fans of The Killing Joke will often defend it by pointing out that without the story, Barbara Gordon would not have become Oracle, the Batman family’s computer whiz and one of the most prominent disabled superheroes in comic books. However, crediting The Killing Joke for the creation of Oracle is wholly inaccurate and does a disservice to the true creators of the reinvention, John Ostrander and Kim Yale.
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.
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.
John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell's run on Suicide Squadin 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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