Wednesday, February 20, 2013

John Ostrander on race in America

Suicide Squad #4 (Volume 1) 1989  Hawkworld #27 1992
Just this past weekend I found this Hawkworld issue in a $1 box. Written by John Ostrander and penciled by Jan Duursema it centered around the media savvy white supremacist vigilante White Dragon who tried to pass himself off as a crime fighter. I've actually enjoyed the work that Ostrander and Duursema have done on Hawkman in the past as well:
Because White Dragon was on the Squad during the 2008 mini-series "From the Ashes" I knew that he was William Heller from Suicide Squad #4 of the original series. Despite the under whelming cover art that was probably one of the best comic book issues I've ever read when it came to social commentary stories. The Squad's mission was to discredit William Heller who was doing the same shit but this time with a trick cross bow under the name William Hell who's "crime fighting" only consisted of capturing criminals of color.
John Ostrander & Jan Duursema
As White Dragon, Heller was in at least a couple of Hawkworld issues in which topics like American race relations, democracy and the line between free speech and hate speech are explored. There were some odd inconsistencies in regards to Heller's name and powers between his appearances in both volumes of the Suicide Squad and that of Hawkworld which I don't understand but it's possible there was just some over sights in writing:
Heller was a real piece of shit who used statistics and some cherry picked facts to validate his insidious agenda. But that tactic of manipulation is not something that is practiced exclusively by hard right wingers and reactionaries it's something leftist radicals do as well. Believe me I know I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Did I also mention Heller was a misogynist piece of shit too? Well I'm happy to say he eventually messed with the wrong ma . . . I mean woman with that bullshit who put him in his place . . . permanently. You might say this lady was a real blast for Heller.

Suicide Squad "From the Ashes" 2008 mini-series


  1. I have never, ever, picked up an issue of Hawkworld, but that sounds like a good one to read if I ever get the shot. You're right about the statistical manipulation that goes on everywhere in politics and media today. Hardly anyone actually wants the truth, they just want what backs up what they already think. And I don't think it's that new of a symptom, just more people with more access to lots of bullshit.
    Thanks for sharing the issue, Shlomo, I'll keep my eyes open for it from now on.

  2. you really hit it out of the park with this part of your comment! "Hardly anyone actually wants the truth, they just want what backs up what they already think."

    1. Thanks. :) I mean, I think I'm right on, but it's nice to have the validation from people I respect.

  3. I don't know what to say. Today has been great post reading.

    And believe you me this is officially going into my mental roladex

    "Hardly anyone actually wants the truth, they just want what backs up what they already think."

    Randomnerd you have been missed. Glad your back.

    Shlomo, dude I love Jan Duurasema. I just bought Dawn of the Jedi #2 today. Her and John are the new school dynamic duo.

    1. I'm very happy to be back, too, OA1. I missed you guys. Hopefully that won't ever happen again. Thank you.

  4. Same here, Random's dead on as usual;)

    I actually have a good number of these issues myself; I was mostly interested in the fight between the Golden Age Hawks and the then modern ones. Damn good fight scenes!

    I will say I was surprised to see White Dragon shows up again in that Rise from the Ashes mini. But since it was Ostrander who wrote it then that figures, because he wasn't used any other time by anyone else that I know of.

    Glad to see the Wall didn't put up with his shit though, figures;) But why was he on the team?

    1. White Power . .er i mean White Dragon wasn't the first member of The Squad who hated Waller and would have killed her given the chance. that's been the case from the very beginning from everyone to Boomerang to General Eiling (in the Shaggy Man's body) to Cliff Carmichael (The Thinker). but Waller's a professional. her job isn't to get squad members to like her her but rather to find ways to use them to do the government's biding while keeping them on a tight leash. it's that simple, don't fuck with The Wall.

    2. *Raises fist* Right on! That's why she's such a successful (and scary) leader, and one of the few that I think Batman is probably secretly scared of.