DC Comics’ press release reveals Wonder Woman will be featured in Sensational Comics #1 written by Gail Simone (a wonder-ful woman) and illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver. During the hustle and bustle of C2E2, Gail was kind enough to do a quick interview with the Big Comic Page.
Big Comic Page: So, you’ve been writing Birds of Prey for forever.
Gail Simone: **Laughing** I love Barbara Gordon
BCP: You brought a dynamic to the character that I’ve never seen before
GS: Oh wow thank you.
BCP: personally I’m not the biggest fan of The New 52 version [of Birds of Prey], but I’ll always love your version of them.
Barbara Gordon was confined to a wheelchair after the Killing Joke but the retcon of The New 52 puts her back into the suit. How did that work for you as a writer to take this character from the wheelchair bound intellect to an action hero of sorts? And how did that come about?
GS: Actually, it kind was of a great opportunity in a way. I loved writing Barbara as Oracle and I’ve been asked several times during the five years I wrote her that way how I felt about her becoming Batgirl again and coming out of the chair. I always said it wasn’t a good idea, but when The New 52 came about the way it was explained to me was this would be taking these characters back to the beginnings of their career so back to a younger and less experience time. They were going to have Barbara become Batgirl again, so they asked me if I’d like to write it. I said I would but I don’t want her swallowing some kind of magic pill and come out of the chair because of that or wave a magic wand or something. But I wanted it to be a part of her character and struggle as a young woman having to undergo this experimental surgery that may or may not work and working really hard on her rehabilitation and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt all the while trying to do the best she could to help people in Gotham and try to make Gotham a better place. They agreed with that so that’s kind of the angle we took. Plus I think of these characters on a timeline and Oracle is on the timeline in her early 30’s and New 52 Batgirl is in her early 20’s.
BCP: You worked with Scott Snyder and Co on the Night of Owls series. Can you complete the sentence, “Gotham City is…” in three words or less?
GS: (Laughs) Um… I don’t think I can do it on the spot. I’m sorry.
BCP: Batman vs. Superman is borrowing from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. That said is there a Batman story you love to see get the silver screen treatment?
GS: I usually don’t answer those questions because it could be something that happens in the future, but I will say I’m very excited about what’s going on in the Bat-books right now.
BCP: You’re working with Dark Horse Comics and Crystal Dynamics on the Tomb Raider series and if there’s anyone who can write strong female leads it’s you.
GS: Well, I’m picking up from a game where Rhianna Pratchett was the lead writer and she did a terrific job of bringing humanity, and three-dimensions, and everything to the new incarnation of Lara Croft so it’s just been really fun to take the stories in-between the games and play with that.
BCP: What’s was the process like working with Crystal Dynamics obviously you write the stories but did you have to adhere to a “bible” of sorts?
GS: It’s more phone calls and conversations, and Rhianna helps me to keep the British stuff proper. (Laughs)
BCP: This isn’t your first time around with the character, of course, I’m talking about the Tomb Raider Re\Envisioned short.
GS: YEAH I DID PRE-TEEN RAIDER!
BCP: Do you think that version of the character is somewhere inside of this new Lara Croft?
GS: I think of her as well educated for sure. I like this younger less experienced version of Lara Croft, and I like also the change that she’s a lot more interested in solving mysteries and figuring out the world around her. And her ideas of how the world works are being challenge constantly and I like that part of it rather than just going to another country stealing someone’s artifact and bringing it back. Her struggle through all of these things is great character stuff and its great fun for a writer.
BCP: What franchise would you love to get your hands on?
GS: I’ve been asked to do several things before and time just wasn’t on our side. I’d love to do something in Star Wars, Galaxy Quest, and I’ve been asked to do stuff for Halo. It’s come us a lot I just don’t have the time so maybe someday some of these things will happen.
I want to do new things so if you look at my career path trying to do new things all the time. I did a Kickstarter with Jim Calafiore on Leaving Megalopolis a project we did together where we fully edited its really straight from us to the readers, and I loved doing that project and we’re going to do a vol 2. I’ve got several creator own things coming up in the next year. It’s just fun to do stuff that I haven’t done before. Someday I’m going to get to a prose project maybe write a screenplay on day and get outside of comic book a little bit.
BCP: What are you reading now?
GS: Right now I don’t have much time to read, and when I am I’m proofreading, reading something I have to tie-in with, or researching or something like that. I love to read and in the winter when I’m not traveling as much I get to read a lot more I read a lot of novels and historical stuff.
BCP: Any particular novel?
GS: Joyce Carol Oates’ Zombie I try to sneak in when I can so I’m not getting through it very fast but it’s really beautifully written and completely different from what I’d normally read.
BCP: That’s it again thank you so much for taking the time to do this with us.
GS: Thank you.