Gail Simone

Tomb Raider 1 (February 2014)

297094 20140227154909 largeThank goodness Gail Simone has Lara Croft say “mates” and use kilometers instead of miles. Wouldn’t want to forget she’s British. Or something. Those little details, along with the forced exposition, drag the reader out of what’s already a chore.

Why would Dark Horse bother licensing Tomb Raider if they were just going to give it to artists who can’t draw action? The inks don’t seem to do much, they certainly don’t lend any motion to Nicolás Daniel Selma’s lead-footed pencils. There are motion lines. Maybe inker Juan Gedeon added them, thinking they were enough. They aren’t.

Having never played the game, I’m not sure if Simone’s script is meant to appeal to fans or to general readers. If it’s the latter, the comic’s in real trouble. There’s only one scene where the character shows any natural personality and it’s forced (she’s encountering sexism).

At least it reads fast.

F 

CREDITS

Season of the Witch; writer, Gail Simone; penciller, Nicolás Daniel Selma; inker, Juan Gedeon; colorist, Michael Atiyeh; letterer, Michael Heisler; editors, Shantel LaRocque, Ian Tucker, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Red Sonja 1 (July 2013)

919788Thank goodness Dynamite hired Gail Simone to write Red Sonja. She does such a wonderful job bringing the female perspective to the character. The result is a surprisingly deep, subtle story, full of great characterization.

Oh, wait, no. It’s a piece of crap.

I think the worst part has to be how Sonja talks to her two female bodyguards. They’re young and inexperienced archers; the Plague hit Hyperboria early apparently, so they’re the best the king has to offer.

I’m not sure what I was expecting out of Simone, but it sure wasn’t Sonja bossing them around. I guess Simone’s showing Sonja can be just as big of a jerk as a guy? There’s nothing new here, nothing any other writer couldn’t do or probably hasn’t already done.

As the only well-known working female comic book writer, Simone should be a lot more ambitious with female characters.

Sonja stinks.

CREDITS

Writer, Gail Simone; artist, Walter Geovani; colorist, Adriano Lucas; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men 3 (January 2012)

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Why’s the bad lady got Madame Masque’s mask, only in silver? You’d think DC would want more originality.

Cinar’s art suffers this issue. His lines are blocky and there’s a general gracelessness to his figures. The script is pretty boring too–it’s a standoff between Team Firestorm and Team Bad Guy. Team Firestorm eventually wins, but not until Team Bad Guy brings in their ringer… some brain damaged super-jingoist. Sort of a brainwashed Captain America, only as big as the Hulk.

I’d almost say Simone’s making a comment about the “Love It or Leave It” crowd being brain damaged, but co-plotter Van Sciver’s a very public neocon.

There’s no character development here, just passing acknowledgments from Simone she should be doing it. The awful pacing she established in the last issue gets worse in this one.

Firestorm is a pointless series; Simone’s coped out on her protagonists’ development.

CREDITS

Helix; writers, Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone; artist, Yildiray Cinar; colorists, Steve Buccellato and Hi-Fi; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Ricky Purdin and Rachel Gluckstern; publisher, DC Comics.

Batgirl 3 (January 2012)

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Even after a terrible opening–Simone finishes her cliffhanger without a proper recap, I still don’t know what happened or why–Batgirl starts to recover. And it does so against some substantial odds.

Besides the weak open, Syaf can’t draw regular people. He’s a fine superhero artist, but when he’s got to do two people talking, it bombs. It’s like he doesn’t understand actual facial expression, but understands it exists. He ruins an otherwise good scene (between Jim and Barbara).

Then, on the writing high point, Simone brings in Nightwing. Now, I’ve sort of read all the content before–it’s Barbara and Dick flirting and Batgirl wanting her independence from the Bat-family–but Simone writes it well.

Syaf does pretty well too, since they’re in costume, but he can’t do anything with Nightwing’s stupid costume. It just looks terrible.

Another new DC Universe factoid? Dick seems older than Barbara.

B- 

CREDITS

A Breath of Broken Glass; writer, Gail Simone; penciller, Ardian Syaf; inker, Vicente Cifuentes; colorist, Ulises Arreola; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Katie Kubert and Bobbie Chase; publisher, DC Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men 2 (December 2011)

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The great superhero art from Cinar continues and this issue of Firestorm is a little better overall.

Mostly it’s because Van Sciver and Simone have decided what famous plots to rip off. Here, it’s a little WarGames and a lot of Hulk. The giant Firestorm monster and the little Betty stand-in. Maybe they’ll get around to making a romantic triangle, but hopefully not. This issue, though improved, shows the pacing on Firestorm is going to be awful.

There’s a lot of exposition too. With the whole “Professor Stein is the smartest man alive” thing. If I were a new reader, it wouldn’t mean anything to me because Simone’s writing it as a big wink to familiar readers (Stein was the original Firestorm).

Unfortunately, Simone ignores most of the character drama this issue. I wonder if she’s just going forget about it and instead do more bad conspiracy thriller scenes.

CREDITS

Sound and Fury; writers, Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone; artist, Yildiray Cinar; colorist, Steve Buccellato; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Ricky Purdin and Rachel Gluckstern; publisher, DC Comics.

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