At the risk of sounding a bit too fangirly, I absolutely adore everything that Gail Simone writes. From her Bongo stories to now Domino’s Hotshots, her stories are funny, sad, poignant and more often than not, end up hitting every single one of my buttons as a comic reader. She has made me love characters I used to despise, and hate and fear villains that I thought were harmless.
So precisely because I was so loving Domino and Hotshots, I decided to do a homage week. And put it to vote if I should honor her Marvel career or her DC career. DC won by a couple of votes so here they are, Gail Simone’s greatests characters in DC (in my very biased opinion)
The first hero of the week of course had to be Batgirl. Gail first wrote her in Birds of Prey (as far as I know, I sometimes got comics late) and made her incredibly strong as Oracle. While she wasn’t the one who gave her the Oracle identity, in my personal opinion Gail built upon what they started and made her even stronger: The backbone of the Gotham-based heroes, with the greatest power of them all: Information.
I have to admit, I never paid much attention to Black Canary back in the early eighties. We didn’t get many comics in Mexico, and I only got to meet her in the Justice League International where she had to be the straight man to a ton of funnier characters. But when she came to become Barbara’s best friend and confident? I felt bad I had ignored Dinah for so long. She is a great second in command, and one that doesn’t shy away from calling out Barbara when she’s out of the line. And of course, her looks are always incredible.
I’m a long time fan of Zinda. And when I say long time, I mean long time. My dad had some old Blackhawk comics in spanish, that I devoured when I was a little girl. She appeared in only a handful, but she was my favorite because she was a hero like Wonder Woman, but had no powers and didn’t need any powers. So when she was re-introduced to the DC Universe in the present? I was beyond myself. And when she was in the hands of Gail? I was over the moon. I need more Lady Blackhawk in my life.
Huntress is one of those really complicated characters in a meta level. She used to be Bruce and Selina’s daughter, then Crisis made it impossible so she became the daughter of a mob boss. At first, I wasn’t sold on her because I thought she was a female Punisher, but boy, her addition to Birds of Prey proved me wrong. She’s an amazing field leader, and her doubts and fear feel REAL. I just wish more people used her right.
What can I say about Diana that hasn’t been said before? She’s Wonder Woman, ffs! She’s the first heroine that was not derivative of a male hero (Current attempts to make her She-Hercules notwithstanding), a woman who uses both her strength and her compassion to fight for humanity, someone who loves both her friends and her enemies and tries as hard as she can to save everyone. And while Gail Simone’s run had the bad luck to be wedged between a ton of very bad event it was still epic, and I wish it had been a lot longer.
Misfit, created by Gail and Nicola Scott, is probably one of my favorite new DC Characters because she’s so different. She’s a female character with a really dark and sad origin that doesn’t include anything remotely like sexual harassment. She lost everything, and still manages to find joy in her powers -despite the fact that they didn’t save her loved one- and in doing the good work as a heroine. She’s a fangirl that took Batgirl name until Barbara asked her to stop and she did. And she still fights, and still does her best to improve, and I love her (And she totally deserves a solo book. Written by Gail and drawn by Nicola)
Catman is one of the best examples of the fact that there are no bad characters, just writers that have no idea what to do with them. He began his life as a Batman Villain/knockoff, who only survived his constant fights with Batman due to his magic costume that gave him nine lives. After the Crisis, he became a joke that was even killed just to show how the other villains were so much worse. And then came Gail, and made him the field leader of the Secret Six. And while he is still a villain part time, and has butted heads with the Batfamily, he is no longer a joke character nor someone who isn’t dangerous. He and his team? Will mess you up if you cross paths.