John Ostrander: Improving On The Legends

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. I remember that run, with Tom Lyle swinging art. I actually enjoyed how it deviated from the canon. And it was lightyears better than the later revamp (by a pair of other writers) of Frank Castle as a supernatural avenging angel guy. That may as well have been an entirely different character. That’s what hit me, was the fun in seeing how far you can stretch a premise before it becomes completely unrecognizable. Where regards some revamps more recently by the big two, one wonders why they didn’t just create different characters altogether.

    A rose by any other name is not always a rose, honestly.

  2. mike weber says:

    My rule of thumb: if you look at a character after a revamp and you could simply give the character another name, then you’ve wandered off the concept.

    Funny you should phrase it that way – because that’s exactly how i felt about your revamp of Grimjack.

    One of the early “Destroyer” books featured a plot in which Remo Williams lost his memory and thought he was the high-level Mafia killer he was masquerading as … he wound up attending an international Mafia convention in (i think) Geneva…

    • Which in turn was homaging that one episode of I Love Lucy.

      But Grimjack is a legacy of one. The “revamp” of that character fit into the whole premise of that eternal city. Nobody can pigeon-hole Gaunt.

  3. Hi John! I’m a big Grim Jack fan and I just wanted to let you know I’m about 7 hours into a full back tattoo of the cover to GJ#61. just finished Twilley and the big demonstar!