Gail Simone

Gail Simone

Simone at the New York Comic Con in Manhattan, October 9, 2010.
Born (1974-07-29) July 29, 1974
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Critic
Notable works
Birds of Prey
Secret Six
Welcome to Tranquility
Wonder Woman
Red Sonja

Gail Simone (born July 29, 1974) is an American writer of comic books. Best known for penning DC's Birds of Prey, her other notable works include Secret Six, Welcome to Tranquility, The All-New Atom, Deadpool, and Wonder Woman.

In 2011, she became the writer for Batgirl. Though fired from Batgirl in December 2012 by the title's incoming editor, Brian Cunningham,[1] she was rehired on December 21 after DC received backlash from fans.[2]

She became the writer for a new Red Sonja series in 2013 with Dynamite Entertainment.[3]


Early work

A former hairdresser who had studied theater in college,[4][5] Simone first came to fan attention through Women in Refrigerators, a website founded in 1999 by a small group of comics fans, including Simone, in response to a scene in Green Lantern #54, in which the titular hero's girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, was murdered and her corpse shoved in a refrigerator for the hero to find. The site was dedicated to identifying female superheroes who had been killed, raped, or otherwise suffered traumatic indignities as a plot device for a male character.[5] The site brought her into contact with many people working in the comics industry. Her column You'll All Be Sorry! appeared weekly on Comic Book Resources.[6] Topics ranged from short, satirical summaries of comic books ("Condensed Comic Classics") to fan fiction parodies.

Simone worked for Bongo Comics, scripting many of their comics based on The Simpsons. Her contributions include stories for Simpsons Comics, an annual Treehouse of Horror special, and regular scripts for Bart Simpson Comics. Simone also penned many Sunday strips for the syndicated Simpsons comic strip.


Simone posing with a fan dressed as Huntress, a character whom Simone wrote in Birds of Prey, at the New York Comic Con, October 9, 2010.

Following her Simpsons work, Simone entered the comics mainstream with a run on Marvel Comics' Deadpool. When Deadpool was canceled and relaunched as Agent X, Simone continued as writer, but eventually left the series after a conflict with the series' editor.[7] Simone returned to pen the concluding arc to Agent X, some months after the series' initial cancellation.

After the dispute with Marvel, Simone moved on to DC Comics, where she was given the Birds of Prey title (beginning with issue #56) featuring the all-female group consisting of Oracle, Black Canary, The Huntress and Lady Blackhawk.

Simone took over Action Comics after writer Chuck Austen, with John Byrne penciling. Simone continued her other projects, including the 2005 Villains United limited series - part of the "Infinite Crisis" crossover - in which she revitalized the Catman character. She also wrote a two-issue story arc that focused on the new Hawk & Dove for the third Teen Titans series, with Rob Liefeld penciling. While Simone maintained her usual enthusiastic stance, fandom was quick to lambast the promotional art Liefeld produced in tandem with the PR announcement.[8] The controversy lay with Liefeld more than with Simone, a situation Simone acknowledged on the DC Comics message boards[9] soon after the first Simone/Liefeld issue reached stores.

In 2005 Simone wrote a Villains United limited series spin-off, entitled Secret Six, which led to an ongoing series that debuted in September 2008 and finished with the rest of DC's titles prior to the September 2011 New 52 relaunch.

Other work by Simone includes a run on the Superman title Action Comics, a brief stint on The Legion, a Rose and Thorn limited series at DC Comics, and a revitalization of Wildstorm's Gen¹³. For Oni Press, Simone wrote Killer Princesses with co-creator and artist Lea Hernandez, Gus Beezer specials for Marvel Comics.

Simone also wrote an Atom series, based on ideas by Grant Morrison and penciled by her Action Comics artist, John Byrne and later Mike Norton. Other work includes a Gen¹³ series and a creator-owned project about a retirement community of super-heroes, Welcome to Tranquility, for Wildstorm. Simone was also a contributor to Tori Amos's Comic Book Tattoo.

On April 12, 2007, DC announced that Simone would be the new regular writer of the third volume of Wonder Woman, first scheduled to start with issue #13 but later changed to #14.[10][11] Simone is notable for being Wonder Woman's longest-running female writer and has often erroneously been credited as the first woman to write the character, when she was in fact preceded by Mindy Newell, Trina Robbins, and Jodi Picoult. In early 2010 she was named as the writer for Birds of Prey under the "Brightest Day" banner.[12][13]

Simone was replaced on Wonder Woman by J. Michael Strazcynski, right after the book was renumbered to issue 600, but remained writer for the ongoing Birds of Prey and Secret Six titles. A second Welcome to Tranquility limited series was also published in 2010.[14][15] In June 2011, it was announced that Simone would be collaborating with co-writer Ethan Van Sciver on a revamped Firestorm series starring Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch[16] and that her ongoing series Secret Six had been cancelled.[17] She subsequently left Birds of Prey, and was succeeded by Duane Swierczynski. Simone left The Fury of Firestorm with issue #6 (February 2012).[18]

In 2011, Simone contributed to The Power Within, a Kickstarter-funded comic book that focuses on teen bullying.[19] That same year, as part of DC Comics' New 52 initiative, Simone wrote the new Batgirl title starring Barbara Gordon.[20] The first issue of that series was published in September 2011, and in it, Simone introduced a character named Alysia Yeoh, who was later revealed to be transgender, the first major transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream comic book.[21]

In November 2012, various press reported rumors that her exclusivity deal with DC was coming to an end, that she was leaving the Batgirl title and possibly DC.[22] On December 9, 2012 Simone revealed that her departure was not voluntary, and that she had been fired from Batgirl the preceding Wednesday by the book's new editor, Brian Cunningham.[23] By December 21, Simone was back writing Batgirl.[2]

In February 2013, DC announced The Movement, a new series by Simone and artist Freddie Williams II, which Simone calls, "a book about power — who owns it, who uses it, who suffers from its abuse."[24] The following month Simone began writing a new ongoing Red Sonja series for Dynamite.[3] The first issue was released in July 2013. That same year, Simone was listed first on IGN's list of the "The Best Tweeters in Comics" for the "enthusiasm and thoughtfulness" of her Twitter posts.[25]

Other media

Simone penned the Justice League Unlimited episode "Double Date", which features Question, Huntress, Green Arrow and Black Canary in a romantic adventure tinged with revenge and jealousy. Originally, Simone wrote the episode to feature Batgirl Barbara Gordon. After Gordon is injured while working a case, Batman forbids her from continuing. She contacts Black Canary and the Huntress to finish the case. Neither heroine meets Gordon in person. Due to the animation rights for the Batgirl character being tied up at the time, Simone replaced Batgirl with Green Arrow and The Question. Simone stated that she was interested in working on the show again, having in mind a "Queen of Fables" story which she felt would look good animated.[26]

She also wrote a 2010 episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold titled "The Mask of Matches Malone!", which features Black Canary and Huntress from the Birds of Prey, as they try to remind Matches Malone that he is Batman.

In August 2007, Simone created and wrote an episode of GameTap's Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider Animated Series, entitled "Pre-Teen Raider".[27]

Awards and recognition

Simone has been noted as being one of the most influential women in the comic book industry.[28] Her blog, Women In Refrigerators, is noted for raising awareness of the representation of women in comics. Simone stated that the blog was not to condemn the industry for its use of women, but raise awareness of the tendency for female characters to be used as mere plot devices.[29] Simone has stated that most female characters are targeted at male audiences through oversexualization and advocates the creation of female characters that are equals to male characters, a practice in which Simone herself has been recognized for engaging.[28]

In 2009, she was inducted into the Friends of Lulu's Female Comic Creator’s Hall Of Fame.[30]

In 2010 and 2012, Simone was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book through her work on Secret Six.[31]

In July 2014, Simone was awarded the first ever True Believers Comic Award for Roll of Honor/Comic Excellence at London Film and Comic Con [32]



  1. "Wired: Gail Simone Tossed Off Batgirl Via Email". Wired. 2012.
  2. 1 2 Esposito, Joey (December 21, 2012). "Gail Simone Back on Batgirl: Writer announces she's back on the book.". Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  3. 1 2
  4. "Passing the Tiara: Who Should Play the Next Wonder Woman". October 5, 2010.
  5. 1 2 Housel, Rebecca (March 3, 2013). "Gail Simone!" Dr. Rebecca Housel.
  6. The 'You'll All Be Sorry!' archives, Comic Book Resources
  7. Thomas, Brandon (2003). "The Gail Simone Dialogues". Comics Bulletin.
  8. Newsarama
  9. DC Comics message boards Archived October 17, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Brady, Matt (April 12, 2007). "Gail Simon Named New Wonder Woman Writer". Newsarama.
  11. Brady, Matt (2007-08-14). "Simon's Wonder Woman Debut Pushed Back a Month". Newsarama.
  12. Segura, Alex (January 13, 2010). "DCU in 2010: Welcome Back the Birds of Prey". The Source. DC Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  13. McGuirk, Brendan (January 13, 2010). "Gail Simone Returns to 'Birds of Prey' in 2010 -- EXCLUSIVE". Comics Alliance. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  14. "Gail Simone leaves "Wonder Woman"". Comic Book Resources. March 5, 2010.
  15. "Gail Simone on leaving Wonder Woman and returning to Birds of Prey". DC. March 5, 2010.
  16. Hyde, David (June 2, 2011). "The New Justice". DC Comics.
  17. JK Parkin (June 9, 2011). "Gail Simone confirms that Secret Six will end with issue #36". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  18. Khouri, Andy (December 7, 2011). "Comics Alliance: DC Shakeup: Gail Simone Off 'Firestorm,' Tom DeFalco on 'Legion Lost', Cornell Off 'Stormwatch'". Comics Alliance.
  19. Pirshafiey, Nicole (May 20, 2011). "The Power Within: Anti-Bullying Comic Book Raising Funds To Spread Positive Message". GLAAD.
  20. Meylikhov, Matthew (June 6, 2011). "DC Confirm the Women of Gotham". Multiversity Comics.
  21. Kane, Matt (April 10, 2013). "'Batgirl' Comic Introduces Transgender Character". GLAAD.
  22. "Bleeding Cool: Will Gail Simone Leave Batgirl? DC Creative Changes In The Next Few Months". Bleeding Cool. 2012.
  23. Esposito, Joey (December 9, 2012). "Gail Simone Fired from Batgirl". IGN. Newscorp.
  24. Hunsaker, Andy (February 8, 2013). "DC Announces 'The Green Team' and 'The Movement'". CraveOnline.
  25. Yehl, Joshua. "The Best Tweeters in Comics". Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  26. "Double Date". Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  27. "Pre-Teen Raider: Interview With Writer Gail Simone". Wired. 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  28. 1 2 Maggs, Sam (March 7, 2013). "Ladies Make Comics Too: Gail Simone". Dork Shelf.
  29. Meyer, Jim "Women in Comics- Gail Simone Interview". PREVIEWS.
  30. "2009 Female Comic Creator's Hall Of Fame Inductee: Gail Simone". Friends of Lulu. 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  31. Wheeler, Andrew (January 19, 2012). "GLAAD Announces Nominees for Outstanding Comic Book 2011". Comics Alliance.
  32. Melrose, Kevin (July 14, 2014). "True Believers Comic Awards announce 2014 winners"Comic Book Resources.
  33. "Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer: Spider-Man (2003) #1". Marvel Comics. Accessed 15 Aug 15.
  34. "Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer: Hulk". Marvel Comics. Accessed 15 Aug 15.
  35. "Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer: X-Men". Marvel Comics. Accessed 15 Aug 15.
  36. "Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer & Spider-Man (2004) #1". Marvel Comics. Accessed 15 Aug 15.
  37. Villains United details at DC
  38. Of Like Minds trade details at DC
  39. Sensei & Student trade details at DC
  40. Between Dark & Dawn trade details at DC
  41. The Battle Within trade details at DC
  42. Perfect Pitch trade details at DC
  43. Blood and Circuits trade details at DC
  44. Dead of Winter trade details at DC
  45. Welcome to Tranquility Volume 1 trade details at DC
  46. Welcome to Tranquility Volume 2 trade details at DC
  47. Collated from DC Comics data from individual comic book page counts. The graphic novel does not have a page number count in the "Library of Congress Catalog" or "DC Comics page"
  48. "JLA: The Hypothetical Woman", Library of Congress Catalog. DC Comics. Accessed August 15, 2015
  49. The Circle hardcover details at DC
  50. The Circle trade details at DC
  51. End of the Earth hardcover details at DC
  52. Rise of the Olympian trade details at DC. Note: Site incorrectly identifies this volume's contents as issues #20-27.
  53. Warkiller trade details at DC.
  54. Contagion trade details at DC.
  55. Cat's in the Cradle trade details at DC
  56. The Reptile Brain trade details at DC
  57. The Darkest House trade details at DC
  58. "BIRDS OF PREY VOL. 1: ENDRUN". DC Comics. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  59. The Death of Oracle hardcover details at DC
  60. Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave trade details at DC
  61. "BATGIRL VOL 1: THE DARKEST REFLECTION". DC Comics. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  62. "BATGIRL VOL 2: KNIGHTFALL DESCENDS". DC Comics. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  63. "BATGIRL VOL 3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY". DC Comics. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  64. DC Comics page incorrectly lists this as 19-25, but 19 is included in the previous volume 3 and 26 is included in this volume.
  65. "BATGIRL VOL 4: WANTED". DC Comics. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  66. "BATGIRL VOL 5: DEADLINE". DC Comics. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  67. Dynamite Entertainment lists this as Red Sonja Vol 2 on their website.
  68. "RED SONJA VOL. 1: QUEEN OF PLAGUES TPB". Dynamite Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  69. "RED SONJA TP VOL 02 ART OF BLOOD AND FIRE". Dynamite Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  70. "RED SONJA VOL 3 THE FORGIVING OF MONSTERS". Dynamite Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  71. "LEGENDS OF RED SONJA VOL. 1 TPB". Dynamite Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2015.


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