John Ostrander: No Man’s Land Redux

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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4 Responses

  1. JosephW says:

    Admittedly, “No Man’s Land” as it was set during the Clinton years certainly would be a pretty far-fetched concept. But, as you noted, Katrina. If “No Man’s Land” had happened during the Dubya years, then I certainly could see the Federal gov’t following through on such a scheme–especially if it didn’t seem that the Dubya cronies could make a fortune from it.

    Now, as to Sandy, again, you had a DEMOCRAT in the White House–someone who genuinely believed that the Federal government is NOT the “enemy” while also realizing that “private enterprise” is NOT the answer to everything. Unlike all the GOPers who seem to believe that private enterprise and “local” government can take care of everything (while seeming to ignore the fact that private enterprise does very little without there being a price tag attached), Obama knew that FEMA–the Federal agency–was better able to coordinate all the necessary relief efforts. (Of course, Obama made sure that FEMA was restored to the efficiency levels it had been under Clinton.)

    I can, however, envision what would’ve happened in a Bush-era “No Man’s Land.” After the Feds wrote it off, the Bushies would’ve allowed it to destabilize so badly that it would’ve been declared a “threat to national security.” The military would then be allowed to go in and destroy the city, levelling it to the ground. And, after rounding up all the “criminals” (pretty much a designation for anyone who hadn’t fled the City before the NML declaration) and declaring them “enemy combatants” to be sent off to Gitmo or some similar prison outpost, the gov’t would then sell off the remnants to the GOP big-pocket donors for mere pennies on the thousand-dollars (a whole city block could be sold for a few dollars; whole neighborhoods for a grand or two) which would then develop the City into a new community for the wealthy, full of bright, shiny new buildings and landscapes without all the pre-NML grime.

    As for that “fiscal cliff,” it’s solely on the GOP. Obama laid out his plan; the GOP said “it’s not good enough” while pretending the election never happened (even pretending that the many GOP supporters back Obama’s calls for the wealthy to pay more don’t really exist).

  2. mike weber says:

    “No Man’s Land” is still a ludicrous concept.

    As to the examples you cite – “Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

  3. I didn’t read the ‘No man Land’ comics but I read the paperback novel and LOVED it. Given the state of the US government today, I can see it happening.


  4. Paul1963 says:

    In addition to your objections to the underlying concept of “No Man’s Land” (I recall thinking, “Hmm, I guess the DCU version of Bill Clinton doesn’t want Al Gore to be President in 2001”), I thought it simply couldn’t work in a universe where there are super-heroes outside Gotham. The idea of the Justice League standing by while Batman said, essentially, “Back off, people, I’ve got this,” just didn’t make sense to me. Garth Ennis even had Tommy and Natt comment on it in “Hitman,” which was set in Gotham. One of the hazards of operating in a shared universe, I guess.
    So, really, the JLA should–and would–have come in the day after the earthquake and started fixing things up whether Batman liked it or not.