Archive for Gail Simone

Gail Force

Two new comics from Gail Simone? Let’s check ’em out, shall we?


Batgirl #23

Commissioner Gordon is leaning on Cherise Carnes, wealthy socialite who secretly moonlights as vengeful, murder-prone vigilante Knightfall, trying to get information about Batgirl. This somehow convinces Carnes that Gordon is in league with Batgirl, so she orders her team of supervillains, the Disgraced, to be ready to kill the Commissioner. Meanwhile, the gangsters who Barbara and Ricky beat up last issue have kidnapped Ricky’s brother. They’re threatening to kill him unless Ricky comes out to meet them so they can kill him. And even worse, Ricky assaults a cop while trying to get to the meeting location. Can Barbara — who isn’t wearing her Batgirl costume anymore — save Ricky from both the gang and the cops?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, suspense, drama, moments of sheer terror, and one holy heck of a cliffhanger. It’s an absolutely fantastic issue, and it’s a great beginning to this new “Wanted” storyarc.


Red Sonja #2

Sonja is leading a hopeless battle, facing a superior force of soldiers and monsters, lead by a former friend, Dark Annisia. Sonja and Annisia survived a grueling career as enslaved gladiators. But Annisia has gone mad and believes she’s haunted by the ghosts of the slaves she killed, and the only way to soothe their anger is to offer them more deaths. And Annisia reveals that Sonja has the deadly plague that’s been killing scores in the countryside. But she gives Sonja a chance to save the people of the city. All she has to do is… surrender. Can the undefeatable Red Sonja accept this blow to her pride?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another really grand issue. Tons of excellent action and drama, and multiple outstanding cliffhangers. This one is still early in its run, folks — there’s still time to get in on it at the beginning. So go pick it up now.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Need more reasons to skip the “Ender’s Game” movie? How ’bout because Orson Scott Card is a monstrous racist?
  • There’s a move on to name a bridge in San Francisco for Emperor Norton. This sounds completely awesome to me.
  • What if animals were round and bouncy?

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Everyone’s Sweetheart


Batgirl #15

Well, we now know that we’re looking at the last few months of enjoying Gail Simone’s take on Batgirl — or apparently, on anything else DC Comics is publishing. Ya see, DC is run by stupid people. And either they don’t like phenomenally-popular and extremely-talented creators who are producing critically acclaimed comics that sell well — or they just don’t like yucky girls. I know where I’m placing my bets. And I also know that Gail is going to land on her feet — she’s just too good not to get more work from more intelligent comics publishers.

So in this issue, Batgirl is facing off against the Joker — with her mother’s life on the line. The Joker has her mom tied to a chair with a five-pound nail bomb strapped underneath, and the price for Barbara’s mom is — Batgirl’s hand in marriage? Can Barbara keep him from killing her mother? Can she keep herself from killing the groom-to-be? And what other horrific surprises does the Joker have in store for her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderfully dark, suspenseful story. For once, Batgirl is the one dispensing the savage beatings — even if, ultimately, she’s not in control of the situation at all. I still hate the Joker’s stitched-on face, but he’s as crazy and dangerous as he ever has been. We also get a short appearance by Barbara’s psychotic brother, who may actually be on her side for once.


Love and Capes: What to Expect #5

Thanks to the kind of accident that’s only too common in comic books, Mark and Abby have switched bodies. That’d be a problem any time, but it’s particularly rough now, since Abby is now the most powerful male superhero in the world and Mark is now pregnant. A lot of adjustments have to be made — Mark has to get used to food cravings, being unable to sleep comfortably, and being panicked about the potential for having to give birth, while Abby… well, Abby gets to drink coffee again. Will they ever get back into the correct bodies again?

Meanwhile, Darkblade and Amazonia have a serious crisis in their relationship. Amazonia is being named queen of her interdimensional homeworld — and that means she can never go to Earth again. And Darkblade knows he’d never be able to live on Amazonia’s mostly crime-free world. Is their relationship doomed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This was a really, really good comic — both storylines are really strong, with the bodyswitching as the more comedic and the Amazonia/Darkblade story being, obviously, a lot more dramatic. But there’s a lot of story here, it’s all enjoyable and satisfying to read, and you won’t regret coming along for the ride. This is really one of the best comics out there.


Ame-Comi Girls Featuring Duella Dent #3

Most of this issue is devoted to the origin of Duella Dent, the Ame-Comi universe’s version of the Joker. The daughter of a career criminal, his death spurred her to embrace chaos as a lifestyle. Batgirl tries to stop her, but she’s vastly outnumbered by Duella’s supervillain allies. But when they learn that Duella is working with Brainiac to destroy human civilization, Cheetah takes a powder, and Catwoman tries to help Batgirl escape. Meanwhile, Steel and the Flash are about to enter the battle, too, but will they be too late to save Batgirl?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Duella’s origin is really pretty good — probably the most enjoyable part of the whole story. One doesn’t often see an origin in which the death of a genuinely loving parent inspires someone to turn supervillain instead of superhero. In addition, the action is good, the dialogue is good, and the whole thing is pretty entertaining.

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Simone Says

In the mood for a non-comic-book book review about comics and comedy by the funniest ex-hairdresser to ever write a comic book?

You’ll All Be Sorry! by Gail Simone

Before Gail Simone began writing comics like “Birds of Prey,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Secret Six,” she wrote a weekly humor column at Comic Book Resources called “You’ll All Be Sorry!” Her satires and parodies were extremely popular, both with comics fans and with comics creators. And it took ’em almost ten years to get those columns collected into a single book.

We actually have a number of Simone’s original columns, plus some new material. So we get: ridiculous Batman fanfiction by Brendan “Nightwing” Hockenberry and Fern Rosario; the softer side of the Punisher; a teen romance comic script starring an innocent high school girl and a quasi-mystical and heavily bearded British comic book writer; the secret history of the Hulk’s time with the Beatles; a dating guide by misogynist lunatic Dave Sim; a blog by Galactus, Eater of Worlds; and the epic tale of “Conan and Hobbes.”

In addition, there are a number of “Condensed Comics Classics” scattered throughout the book. These are (mostly) short, (mostly) funny summaries of comic series, written by the actual creators of the comics. In other words, the summary of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” (condensed to about six lines) was actually written by Marv Wolfman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Only one or two duds, and the rest are consistently hilarious. If you can find it, get it. Heck, if you can’t find it, get it anyway. Borrow it, order it, steal it, whatever it takes.

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