We’ve got a special treat today here at FIRESTORM FAN – an interview with co-plotter/script writer of the upcoming FIRESTORM series, Gail Simone!
That’s right! Gail Simone took time out of her very busy schedule for a brief chat with FIRESTORM FAN! In addition to her work on THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN, Gail also wrote the sold-out BATGIRL #1! Simone is on fire right now (pun intended) and she’s bringing her star power to our favorite nuclear hero!
FIRESTORM FAN: What can you tell us about the new series and how familiar were you with Firestorm beforehand?
GAIL SIMONE: I’ve always loved Firestorm, really. I loved his visual, and I thought he was convincing as a teenager in a way many such attempts at youthful heroes were not. But I’ve always loved his visual, in particular. Over time these things get adjusted, but I think Ronnie’s original costume is one of the best superhero designs ever, and they even improved some elements for Jason’s version.
Love the character, always wanted to work on him. I had a pitch in at one time that promoted the idea that Firestorm was a secret legacy character going back to the pulp age. He’s a great visual and tremendous fun.
FF: Is this a complete re-imagining, or is this an altered version of Firestorm picking up where Brightest Day left off? Should the fans expect to see any other classic characters besides Ronnie and Jason?
GS: It’s very much a re-imagining. As you know, the hardcore fan base of Firestorm is hugely loyal, but it’s a bit of a cult audience and many feel the backstory is a little complex at this point. So we have to give a concise version of his story.
Additionally, the very nature of nuclear power has changed, and the way science in comics is portrayed has changed, we need to reflect that, I think.
LOTS of familiar, but different, characters coming up. And dozens of new ones!
FF: What aspects of Firestorm do you enjoy writing the most? What aspects do you find the most challenging to write?
GS: I’m enjoying the relationship between the three teens in the book the most, I find it a very interesting mix, there’s a lot of tension there right now. And the most challenging part is probably avoiding just doing page after page of cool shots showing Firestorm using his powers, because the art, by Yildiray Cinar, is so gorgeous!
And working with Yildiray and Ethan is a blast, I love it.
FF: What would you say are some elements that make a story a “Firestorm story”, rather than just any other superhero story?
GS: There’s got to be some science, and the fear of science gone wrong, when implanted on an unstable personality. There should be some spectacular visuals. And there should be a human being holding all of this amazing power, not just a construct.
FF: You and Ethan Van Sciver are both very politically outspoken, often on different sides of the fence. As co-plotters, how does that play out in the comic?
GS: We’re deliberately playing with that. Ethan and I are best friends, but we disagree on everything politically, essentially. So part of the book is about that, can two people of good conscience, with diametrically opposed viewpoints, disagree and still cooperate? Because if you only go by pundits and message boards, the answer is no, you can’t.
But neither of us believe that’s the case in the real world…we both believe you can respect and admire someone who votes differently. That’s something Ronnie and Jason have yet to learn.
FF: Who would win in a fight: Lady Shiva or Hong Kong Phooey?
GS: Well, Shiva. Hong Kong Phooey is the number one superGUY, but Shiva is a girl. Automatic win.
Thanks everyone, for the support–hope you enjoy where we are headed!
My thanks to Gail Simone for donating her time to this interview! Gail has been very supportive of FIRESTORM FAN. In fact, she contacted me offering this interview because she appreciates the positive support from the Firestorm fans! Keep it up, match-heads!
THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1 goes on sale September 28! Only two more weeks and our long wait will be over! If you haven’t already, be sure to reserve a copy now with your local comic shop!
Support Firestorm (and Gail Simone)! Fan the flame!