Tag Archives: Gail Simone

Today’s Super Comic — Birds of Prey #56 (2003)

The second era of Birds of Prey began in #56, when writer Gail Simone kicked off a long and consistently entertaining run on the title.

It starts with the previous status quo. Oracle (the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, currently confined to a wheelchair) uses her extensive computer prowess to do good around the world, and Black Canary is her field agent and best friend. But this time, they’re operating in their homebase of Gotham to take down a CEO who’s planning on stealing his employees’ retirement funds. The plan is simply to scare him straight, but this would be a rather boring comic if everything went according to plan—and it’s certainly not that.

Simone hints at a new recruit for the team, one who will bring a fresh and interesting dynamic to the book.

This is just the start, and it’s a good one indeed, full of humor, ethical dilemmas, and cliffhangers.

Writer: Gail Simone

Penciler: Ed Benes

Inker: Alex Lei

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Birds of Prey vol. 1: Of Like Minds (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Wonder Woman #14 (2008)

wonder_woman_vol_3_14Not every writer “gets” Wonder Woman, but Gail Simone absolutely does, as demonstrated in her excellent run that began with 2008’s Wonder Woman #14.

Here, Wonder Woman is both a warrior and a diplomat. She’s very human, but also somewhat alien to our culture. And she bridges the gap between classical mythology and DC’s modern pantheon.

An early scene captures her perfectly. Intelligent super-apes attack her, and she initially enjoys the skirmish but ultimately talks her way to a peaceful resolution. Later, her interior monologue comments on American office culture from her unique perspective: “It is a strange culture that outlaws the hug. On the other hand…there is cake. And that excuses much.”

Also, the issue sets up a confrontation with Nazis. And yeah, sure, they’re never going to be sympathetic or complex antagonists. Still, watching good people clobber Nazis is one of superhero comics’ earliest pastimes…and it never gets old.

I have no idea if the upcoming Wonder Woman movie will be amazing or will disappoint like other recent DC movies…but either way, we will always have Gail Simone’s exceptional storylines to re-read.

Writer: Gail Simone

Penciler: Terry Dodson

Inker: Rachel Dodson

Cover: Terry & Rachel Dodson

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Wonder Woman: The Circle (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up

Today’s Super Comics — The All New Atom #17 & 18 (2008)

All-New_Atom_17The Atom and Wonder Woman team up! Not the original Atom, though, but that’s fine. Ray Palmer has always been plenty likeable, but he tends to work best as a supporting character rather than a lead, making the Atom a strong candidate for an “all-new” version.

The titular All New Atom was Dr. Ryan Choi. Like his predecessor, he worked as a college professor in Ivy Town and was an all-around good guy…just younger, a lot less experienced, and a lot more awestruck by the whole superhero thing. It was a great opportunity for writers to build a new Atom from the ground up, retaining what worked but crafting an engaging new character free from continuity baggage.

The series got derailed somewhere along the way, and offhand I can’t recall what’s become of this Atom. But the original run of issues written by Gail Simone remains a fun look at a novice superhero coming into his own. You can always count on Simone to deliver solid superhero stories.

In these two issues, the Atom goes on a date with Giganta and becomes incredibly awkward around Wonder Woman. Which is to say…good times. And Wonder Woman’s evaluation of the new Atom serves as a fitting end to Simone’s time on the book.

Writer: Gail Simone

Penciler: Mike Norton

Inker: Trevor Scott

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in The All-New Atom vol. 3: Small Wonder (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 13 and up