|Born||April 20, 1949|
Star Wars: Legacy
John Ostrander (born April 20, 1949) is an American writer of comic books, including Suicide Squad, Grimjack and Star Wars: Legacy.
Ostrander studied theology with the intent of becoming a Catholic priest, but now describes himself as an agnostic.
Originally an actor in the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, Ostrander moved into writing comics in 1983. His first published works were stories about the character "Sargon, Mistress of War", and appeared in the First Comics series Warp!, based on a series of plays by that same Chicago theatre company. He and Timothy Truman co-created the character Grimjack, who originally appeared in a backup story in the First Comics title, Starslayer, before receiving his own title. Just prior to entering the comics industry, Ostrander had a supporting character named for him in The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl series. His friend, writer Paul Kupperberg, incorporated him into the Supergirl storyline in 1982.
Ostrander made his DC Comics debut by plotting the miniseries Legends, which was scripted by Len Wein and penciled by John Byrne. A new version of the Suicide Squad was introduced in Legends, including the team's leader, Amanda Waller. The character has been substantially adapted into animated and live-action media and is portrayed by Viola Davis in the 2016 film Suicide Squad and the 2021 The Suicide Squad. Following Legends, Ostrander and artist Luke McDonnell launched the Suicide Squad into their own title in 1987 and developed several characters for the series. Later that same year, he and actor/writer Del Close created the Wasteland series with a rotating roster of artists. He and Close had previously worked together on Munden's Bar backup stories in Grimjack.
From 1987 until her death from breast cancer in 1997, Ostrander frequently co-wrote with his wife Kim Yale including on the Manhunter series. It was while working together on Suicide Squad that they recast Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl, into the information and computer specialist Oracle.
Ostrander has been a frequent collaborator with artist Tom Mandrake. They have worked together on Grimjack, Firestorm the Nuclear Man, The Spectre, and Martian Manhunter. Ostrander's in-depth explorations of morality were used in his work writing The Spectre, a DC Comics series about the manifestation of the wrath of God. His focus on the character's human aspect, a dead police detective from the 1930s named Jim Corrigan, and his exploration of moral and theological themes. In issue #54 (June 1997), the creative team introduced the character Michael Holt as a new version of Mister Terrific. Following the end of The Spectre series, they moved onto a Martian Manhunter series. In December 2006, a story-arc titled "Grotesk" by Ostrander and Mandrake appeared in Batman issues 659–662.
In 1990, Ostrander launched an ongoing Hawkworld series which followed Timothy Truman's limited series of the same name. In 1993, the title was cancelled and relaunched as Hawkman with art by Jan Duursema.
At Marvel Comics, Ostrander has worked on X-Men, Bishop, Quicksilver, Heroes for Hire and the Punisher, as well as the Western mini-series Blaze of Glory: The Last Ride of the Western Heroes.
He has written the Elfquest character Jink for WaRP Graphics, Hotspur for Eclipse Comics; Lady Death for Chaos! Comics; Magnus, Robot Fighter, Rai and the Future Force and Eternal Warrior for Valiant Comics. He was one of the main writers on Star Wars: Republic for Dark Horse Comics, and his story arcs include "Twilight", "Darkness", and "The Clone Wars" stories. He is the writer of Star Wars: Legacy. An unreleased Doctor Who audio drama titled "Deadman's Hand" was written by Ostrander for Big Finish Productions. As announced, the story was to feature the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex in the American wild west.
Ostrander contributed to the Silver Age Sentinels short story anthologies from Guardians of Order. He was nominated for the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. In 2010, he co-wrote Secret Six issues 14–18 with writer Gail Simone. Ostrander maintains an online presence on the World Famous Comics Network and writes a weekly column on the ComicMix site. Ostrander has a cameo as Dr. Fitzgibbon in the 2021 film The Suicide Squad.
Ostrander suffers from glaucoma. To help cover the costs incurred by his treatment for it, a benefit auction was organized for the 2009 Chicago Comic Con.
I was raised [Roman Catholic] and even thought of becoming a priest, to the point of going to the seminary for a year.
If I’m an agnostic about deities, I might as well doubt economists, too.
DC's next big crossover showcased John Byrne's pencils on all six of the miniseries' issues. Entitled Legends, this new limited series was plotted by writer John Ostrander and scripted by Len Wein...By the series' end, the stage was set for several new ongoing titles, including...the Suicide Squad, as well as the Justice League.
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Readers met the reluctant foot soldiers of Task Force X — informally known as the Suicide Squad — who were directed by Waller and corraled in the field by [Rick] Flag.