The highly anticipated Suicide Squad isn’t being released until summer 2016, but the production on the DC film is scheduled to start in just two months. In the meantime, director David Ayer has been taking to Twitter recently to tease his followers on his research process during preproduction, from showing the kind of weapons the team members will be using to how lead character Harley Quinn’s insanity will be represented. As far as source material goes, Ayer has already shown that some of the movie’s elements will be pulled from the first volume of the New 52 Suicide Squad, but taking history into account, the director has also revealed that Suicide Squad will also take inspiration from the classic run that made the team famous in the DC universe.
This past weekend, Ayer went on Twitter to show more of his research material, this time showcasing issues from writer John Ostrander’s run of Suciide Squad comics, which lasted from 1987 to 1992. You can see the image and his message below:
This was followed an earlier Tweet where Ayer asked, "The eternal question: To canon, or not to canon?" Despite the New 52 rendering any pre-2011 Suicide Squad stories non-canon, it’s refreshing that Ayer is willing to delve into the classic source material rather than just base his movie on what’s happening currently in the comics.
Although this is the first official confirmation that Suicide Squad will be drawing from the stories John Ostrander wrote, it has been hinted at previously. DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns sent out this tweet last December that implied that the the movie would be based upon the classic run.
The Suicide Squad was originally created in 1959 as a team of adventurers that fought monsters, but it was Ostrander that created the modern incarnation of the Squad that we know and love. Lasting nearly 70 issues, his run established that the Squad as a The Dirty Dozen-type group of incarcerated criminals that were sent on extremely dangerous missions by the U.S. government. The only issue that can clearly be made out is Suicide Squad Vol. 1, #37. This issue was part of the "Coils of LOA" storyline, which featured the team (including Deadshot) on a mission to assassinate the LOA - a group that was planning to create a zombie army. It’s unclear whether an aspect of this story will be used in the film’s plot of if Ayer is simply looking through it to study the characters.
Currently, the only way to read the majority of Ostrander's stories is to find single issues at your local comic book store or on Comixology.com, but as the release date for Suicide Squad gets closer, DC Comics would be wise to republish these classic stories in new trade paperbacks or an omnibus hardcover. That way, people who either enjoyed the movie or want to learn about these characters ahead of time can jump into these classic stories rather than just be stuck with the New 52 volumes.