Today is a very special day in the comic book world, especially in the world that revolves around the work of one Gail Simone.
Today is Gail's birthday!
Your relation with the illustrious Simone's work may vary greatly. Perhaps you came to her thanks to her breakout role writing on Deadpool. Maybe you know her because of her creator-owned work on projects like Leaving Megalopolis or Clean Room or the latest, Crosswind with Cat Staggs. Maybe you love her Wonder Woman. Maybe, like me, you know her as the essential writer of the Birds of Prey and, by extension, Batgirl.
Maybe you only know her for her hilarious trolling on Twitter (Cyclops totally ships Olicity, by the way).
Perhaps one day you will know her as a writer on Wynonna Earp (a girl can dream, right?).
However you have come to know and love Gail and her work, we know you want to celebrate the day of her birth just as much as the rest of us. So, to celebrate this national holiday (it IS a national holiday, right? There are gonna be commemorative stamps, aren't there? And a parade? I bought balloons), we are taking a look, not at the essential Gail Simone reading list -- because that is pretty much everything -- but at some of the amazing characters she has created along the way.
This is by no means a definitive or exhaustive list, so please leave some of your favorites in the comments!
I honestly couldn't pick just one member of The Movement, because the entire team is what makes this book special. They're interesting and diverse, both in their powers and in the ways they mark a pointed attempt at representation. You have various ethnicities and sexual orientations and abilities. And these characters were created with the purpose of exploring the rebellious spirit of modern protest movements.
Misfit (Birds of Prey)
Of all the characters that flew in and out of the pages of the Birds of Prey comics, few had the lasting effect of one Charlotte "Charlie" Gage-Radcliffe. She idolized Batgirl and broke her way into their base of operations in order to force her way onto the team. Charlie was the best kind of spunky and fans of the character have even created a holiday in her honor. Oh, and Simone has discussed on Twitter that in her mind, the character was always asexual, which has been a boon to fans who are also ace.
Astrid Mueller (Clean Room)
Clean Room is a hell of a trip the whole way through, full of absolutely creepy monsters and circumstances. At the center of it all is Astrid Mueller. On the surface, Astrid is the head of a scamming Scientology-like religion where the followers are driven to suicide, but in reality, Astrid is an incredibly strong woman who has spent her entire life preparing a fight against the monsters who hide in the dark.
Savant/Creote (Birds of Prey)
Another original character from Simone's run on Birds of Prey, this time a duo who appeared in her very first arc, Of Like Minds. Savant is a bad guy, at least when we first meet him. He's also got this problem where he can't keep track of when things happen. Creole is Savant's right-hand-man, and as we find out, is in love with his boss even though he knows the feelings won't be reciprocated. It's so sweet. After the Birds encounter him, Oracle hires him on to do work for her and she doesn't treat him very well. Creote calls her out on it, which just endears him even further in our hearts.
Alysia Yeoh (Batgirl)
Probably one of the most interesting and important characters Simone has ever created, Alysia Yeoh started out very simply as Barbara Gordon's roommate. Alysia and Babs quickly become close friends and eventually, Alysia comes out to Barbara as transgender, making her the first major comic book character in a mainstream book to do so. Sometime later, she would participate in the first ever transgender comic book wedding and was so awesome that she was also included in the team of Batgirls in the Bombshells comic book.