Gail Simone restores the wonder to Wonder Woman


As a long-time reader of

Birds of Prey, I was disappointed when writer Gail Simone
left the series. Her love for the characters showed — and she was one
of the few female comic book writers working on a superhero title. But
soon after, DC announced that Simone’s next project would be
none other than the story of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman.

Shortly after the announcement,
Simone summed up her feelings about Wonder Woman. "This
book is about the best goddamned warrior planet Earth has ever known,
and she happens to carry a mystical arsenal around just for the hell
of it. If a writer can’t make that interesting and fun, they really
shouldn’t be writing superheroes."

Do I hear an amen?

With the release of her first
issue (No. 14), which hit the stands two weeks ago, Simone becomes the
first female ongoing writer in Wonder Woman‘s 66-year history.

In an interview with The New York Times
this week, Simone sounds just as enthusiastic about Diana as she was
when she first got the gig.

"She’s just the best kind
of person. She was a princess who didn’t need someone to rescue her.
I grew up in an era — and a family — where women’s rights were very
important, and the guys didn’t tend to stick around too long. She was
an amazing role model."

Simone’s foray into the world
of comics was Women in Refrigerators, a website that lamented the fate
of women characters in comics. She writes of her love of gritty superhero tales.

"Having a uterus myself,
I found that I most enjoyed reading about the girl heroes, or Superchicks.
And it had been nagging me for a while that in mainstream comics, being
a girl superhero meant inevitably being killed, maimed or depowered,
it seemed."

So, she made a list of all the superchicks who had met
such a fate — and the comic industry noticed.

My first encounter with Simone’s
writing was Killer Princesses, a very funny Oni Press series
that poked fun at the beautiful-but-brainless female characters who
often appear in comics. It’s worth a read, especially if you enjoy Simone’s
brand of humor.

Most of the reviews of Wonder Woman No. 14 have been favorable. Looking to the Stars echoes my thoughts on the issue.

first issue IS wonderful. What Simone has done here is captured the
essence of everything Wonder Woman is and should be. She is tough. She
is smart. She is clever. She has a dry sense of humor. She is more than
capable of handling herself in a fight but is always looking for ways
to avoid fighting when possible. She is compassionate. She is understanding.
She is, in short, every bit the wonder her name implies."

I have to admit, I have abandoned
Wonder Woman
in recent years. But No. 14 is a good place to rejoin
the Diana Prince fan club — and Gail Simone is a good reason. Who’s
with me? What do you Wonder Woman fans think of Simone’s first

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