Interview: Gail Simone On Birds Of Prey

From 2003 through 2007, Gail Simone guided the flight path of the Birds of Prey, DC's team of kick-ass heroines, featuring Black Canary, Oracle, and the Huntress. Gail eventually migrated to other climes, including Secret Six and her well-received run on Wonder Woman, which ends with June's #600. But with any ending must come a new beginning, and such is the case with Gail's return to the relaunched Birds Of Prey, which lands in stores this week. I spoke with Gail to see what's changed with the Birds in the intervening 3 years, and what her plans for the new series entail.



Matt Adler: How did this new Birds of Prey series come about?

Gail Simone: It’s totally Geoff Johns’ fault, no doubt about it. I hadn’t even really let myself imagine going back to BOP.  No one wants to be doing Greatest Hits albums forever, you always want to be trying new things, even if you fail at some of them.

But Geoff pointed out some things that made a lot of sense—he said that BOP being gone left a hole in comics that wasn’t really being filled elsewhere in the same way, and he asked if I still had stories to tell with the characters, and of course I did.

But also, I just missed it. Missed the characters, missed the readers, the artists, the whole thing.

MA: What's your attachment to the series/concept? Obviously given that you've written it before and are now coming back to it, it's more than just another assignment, right?

GS: Oh, yeah, well, for one thing, it was the first book I got to work on for an extended run, and I can’t write a book unless I care about the characters, so they were on my mind all the time. Plus, I’ve always felt that the concept was brilliant, which isn’t my doing, it’s Chuck Dixon and Jordan Gorfinkel. But kickass women who love each other, that’s just a ton of fun to write.

MA: Do you anticipate this series majorly differing from your last run?

GS: It’s a little naughtier, for sure.  We purposely avoided romance and sex stories previously, to show a female-led book didn’t HAVE to have that component. Okay, that’s proven. Now some Birds might get some action.

MA: What can you tell us about the cast? It seems like you're going for even more of a bird theme this time around.

GS: Well, Hawk and Dove are a great addition, because they add tension. I’m loving writing them both, they’re both wild cards. Other than that, it’s the core team, plus Lady Blackhawk, who is one of my all-time favorites to write. Her joyful slightly selfish nature just delights me.

MA: Can you say anything about their reasons for getting back together?

GS: Well, not to spoil, but someone WANTS them back together and makes it happen.  And it’s not a good guy.

MA: What can you tell us about the first arc? It looks like you've got yet another "bird of prey" on hand (though in this case that prey may be fish). What's The Penguin up to here?

GS: He’s joining the team. Or more precisely, he’s LEADING the team.  Oswald is sexy, you know it, you all want him.

MA: What's it like working with Ed Benes again? Is it different from your collaboration with other artists?

GS: Well, yeah, we don’t really get to talk, and Ed is half a world away, and he doesn’t really speak English. But there is a definite connection there, he ALWAYS gets what I’m asking for in the script.  He’s an amazing guy and a joy to work with.

With someone like Nicola Scott or Jim Calafiore, we talk back and forth almost every day. Ed, I have never spoken with directly, but we both love to work together.

MA: How will this series connect with the Brightest Day event?

GS: Ah, that’s a good question but Geoff would kill me if I said. Hawk and Dove are involved, and there IS big Brightest Day stuff coming, and it fits in beautifully wth our story.

MA: Any plans for special guest stars? Perhaps another crossover with Secret Six, as we saw towards the end of the first series?

GS: Catman will definitely appear, and we DEFINITELY will be deeply in the DCU fabric. We’re working out an incredibly fun crossover with another book that is going to be hilarious, but I can’t say what it is yet.  But it’s not Tiny Titans.

MA: I noticed you've referred to BOP as a female buddy cop story, so I have to ask; Cagney & Lacey; are you a fan?

GS: Never seen it. I hear BOP compared to every female-driven tv show going, and I loathe most of them, so it’s always weird.

MA: What else are you working on these days?

GS: Secret Six each month, a new series of Welcome To Tranquility in July, and then a huge secret thing I can’t mention yet.  Woot!

Thanks for asking, I really like iFanboy. Keep up the good news!


Did you know that Matt Adler's last name means "eagle"? Now if only there was an open spot on the Birds' roster…


  1. I really enjoyed BOP when Gail was on, so I’m very excited to see her back with these characters.

  2. I’ve yet to read the old BOP series, but I fell in love with Gail reading Secret Six.  What a fucking book!!!!  Can’t wait to read this new set of books.

  3. I am a lot more excited about this reboot that I thought I would be and am seriously considering a re-read of the previous run.

  4. Never read the original run (might pick some of it up), but I love Simone’s work on Secret Six, so I’ll definitely be picking this up when it’s collected.

  5. I never read te other series, I’m gonna pick this one up

  6. Awesome!