If you’re an avid reader of comic books, you’ve most probably heard of Gail Simone.
The esteemed writer has been a force to be reckoned with in the comics industry over the last eighteen years, racking up an impressive CV that spanned impressive runs of Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Secret Six and Wonder Woman for DC Comics, and the iconic Red Sonja series for Dynamite.
This time, she’s moved on to bigger and greater things, most notably her involvement as the creative lead behind Seven Days, a crossover event comic series for the Catalyst Prime Universe by Lion Forge Comics.
For the uninitiated, Lion Forge Comics is a relatively young comic book publisher, first debuting in 2011. The Catalyst Prime Universe, which Seven Days will be set in, has produced stories are heavily centred around issues of racial, cultural and gender representation, heralding a progressive new wave of comic books that have lit up the scene in style. A natural fit for someone as progressive as Simone.
Seven Days is the first crossover event for Lion Forge, a bi-weekly series that spans seven issues starting July, and Simone is nothing short of thrilled to be in the pilot’s seat for this mega project.
“Well, the first thing is, I love new characters”, enthused Simone in an exclusive interview with Deadline. “I’m a fan, I read comics, I talk comics, I make comics…it’s almost pathetic how much I enjoy this hobby and industry. And I love shared universes. Being offered the opportunity to jump in and help wrangle a complete universe, that’s just very appealing.”
The premise of Seven Days is “what will you do when you only have seven days to live?“, centring around the fate of Earth as determined by a “superior” being who seeks to destroy it, but gives its inhabitants a seven-day grace period to say their goodbyes and live out their final moments.
“The story of Seven Days is this, in simplest terms: A superior being comes to Earth, and he’s a conqueror and destroyer, but he has one act of mercy in him. He’s going to give the people of Earth seven days to say goodbye to each other and make peace. At first, no one believes him. As it starts to creep in that people have just seven days to live, many can’t handle it. Some go up to the mountains with their family to wait for the end, some start shooting people. But a lot of people start “playing hooky,” the term to mean they stop showing up at work. Or they abandon their families. If you had seven days to live, would you go to work each morning? And the first thing to fall are the borders. No one particularly wants to check passports or run a guardpost when they would rather be partying or being with their loved ones. And we see what happens in a world without borders, where the people are terrified because the end is coming. It’s not utopia. “
Simone likens the scale, scope and intensity of Seven Days to the likes of disaster films such as Independence Day and Earthquake or other event comics such as DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and Marvel’s Secret Wars. Simone explains how that concept, while not entirely new, is something that she and her team wishes to explore and exploit in fresh and interesting ways.
“One of the things I love about [Independence Day and Earthquake] is, you don’t know who is going to die. And I love the spectacle. Event comics [i.e. Final Crisis (DC), Secret Wars (Marvel)] have a lot of tropes now…big threat, a character dies, another loses an arm, it’s not really a formula I want to follow. What I want is, give these characters something they’ve never faced, never even imagined. And see what happens to the people on the street without plasma powers. We have an unlimited budget, we’re not monitored by a big film company. There’s tremendous freedom. So we’re going to push over all the toys.”
Lion Forge president Geoff Gerber extolled Simone upon announcement as her role as creative lead for Seven Days, stating:
“Gail Simone’s ability to write some of the most compelling superhero characters of our time in storylines and universes that were created three-quarters of a century before her contributions speaks to her talent as a writer. Her leadership on representation of women in superhero comics speaks to her fit with Lion Forge and its mission distilled in our slogan as ‘Comics for Everyone.’ It is inspiring to think what she will be able to do with the amazing team of current creators working on Catalyst Prime when we set her loose on an emerging universe conceived and executed for a contemporary audience that, from its inception, has been inclusive and entertaining.”
It’s an exciting new year for comics, especially when an entire Earth – heck, universe – is at the mercy of Gail Simone. So mark your calendars for July 1, when Seven Days #1 releases.