All images © DC Comics. From SUICIDE SQUAD #3, July 1987

Two versions of the Suicide Squad appeared in the 1960s, one in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD for six issues, another in STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES, both created by Robert Kanigher with the artists involved. It was not until 1987 that the concept finally became a monthly series, and a successful one, where DC villains and other outliers were conscripted to take on missions too dangerous for most heroes. Gaspar Saladino lettered some of the covers on the 1987 series, but none of the stories, and he was not involved in any later versions. His first cover, above, has a fine burst at the bottom, and he also did the name on the door.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #4, Aug 1987

The well designed caption on this cover fills the first line with a wide WHO to match the width of the rest, while the question mark is centered at the bottom, something I wouldn’t have thought of, but it works fine.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #11, March 1988

Reader interest was gained by including guest heroes from other series. On this bottom blurb, both character logos are by Saladino, but Vixen is an old one reused, I’m not sure about Speedy.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #16, Aug 1988

Another cover where existing logos are used, while only THE RETURN OF is new lettering by Saladino.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #19, Nov 1988

Here the lettering on the “photos” is by Gaspar.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #27, May 1989

The Saladino blurb on this cover is graphic, and shows how comics were changing. In previous decades, DC rarely showed blood as red even in lettering.

From SUICIDE SQUAD, Jan 1990

This large and effective Saladino blurb has contrasting styles and texture that add interest.

From SUICIDE SQUAD #50, Feb 1991

Another bottom blurb with effective texture giving the words a sinister meaning to match the image. I also like the burst at upper left.

To sum up, these covers have Saladino lettering: 3-5, 7, 11, 16, 19, 21, 27, 37, 50 and Annual 1. That’s twelve in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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