Comic Book Writer John Ostrander Reviews ‘Suicide Squad’

The reviews for Suicide Squad were mixed for movie critics. But what does famous Suicide Squad comics writer John Ostrander think of the movie?

“I really liked the film. Not perfect by a long shot, but a really good time in the movie theater. And for me, a lot of it was just amazing. The look, the detail, the feel of the film is not something I’ve seen in superhero movies before. That said, my artistic DNA is all over the place. This is ‘The Dirty Dozen’ with supervillains and that’s my concept. They did that and did it well.”

Ostrander- along with fellow comics legend John Bryne- wrote a seminal run of Suicide Squad comics in the eighties. He created and popularized the concept of villains being recruited to work for the government. Along the way, he elevated Deadshot to be one of the most interesting villains in the DC universe, turned Barbara Gordon into the computer-savvy Oracle, and most importantly, created the character of Amanda Waller. Much of the movie took ideas and characters from his comics work.

Ostrander’s first issue of his acclaimed ‘Suicide Squad’ run

Ostrander did note that there were flaws in the movie and some creative differences between it and his comic run.

“Are their problems with the film? Sure. The antagonist(s) are not well defined and, to my mind, you need a good antagonist to help define the protagonist(s). It’s the antagonist who usually sets the plot in motion and it is defined by what they want. The story is a little more generic ‘we have to save the world’ than I usually did; I always liked having one foot squarely in reality. I also liked having a political and/or social edge in my Squad stories. That would also give a greater feel of reality and I don’t see that here”

And to fans who liked the movie, but were disappointed in the print and online critical reception of it, Ostrander says not to sweat it too much.

“I know some of the critics, both in print and online, do not like the movie. That’s okay; everyone has a right to their own opinion even when it’s wrong. My problem is that, at least with some of the media reviews, is that the critic is also tired of superhero and ‘tentpole’ films and, overtly or covertly, would like to see their end. Look, I get it — they have to see all the films out there and they must be tired of all the blockbusters. As for some of the online haters — if a film doesn’t fit their pre-conceived notion, it is wrong. Female Ghostbusters, a black Deadshot, Ben Affleck as Batman [Affleck, by the way, does cameos as both Batman and Bruce Wayne in Suicide Squad and is terrific] — these are all sins and must be decried. Give me a f—ing break. Look, you can be the most important critic on Suicide Squad. In this case, your voice is your money. You decide if you want to see the movie and then go. If you like it, tell others. I guess you could also tell them if you didn’t like it but you don’t have to. I won’t mind.”

Suicide Squad  is now playing in theaters.

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