EXCLUSIVE: Gail Simone On Her Takeover of Catalyst Prime's Superheroes

Gail Simone is crashing into a new comic book universe this year as the prime architect of LionForge's Catalyst Prime superhero line.

The veteran scribe and the newly minted universe of characters will collide later this year, with Simone making her LionForge debut Sunday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The Catalyst Prime line was conceived of by LionForge co-founders Carl Reed and David Steward II, and over the past year the publisher has launched an expansive variety of super comics without the capes and tights.

In a CBR-exclusive first interview on the hiring, Simone promised her arrival to the universe of Accell, Noble, Summit and more series won't be a reboot or a reset of any kind. Instead, the writer plans on tossing her ideas and excitement into the mix with the current crop of Catalyst Prime creators like Joe Casey, David F Walker, Amy Chu, Jan Duursema, Larry Stroman and more. Below, Simone opens up on why she's taken on the new challenge of leading her own superhero universe.

CBR: Gail, you're coming on as a major force on LionForge's Catalyst Prime line, but what exactly does this job entail? I'm sure there will be some writing in the cards, but do you view your role here as a more editorial or collaborative one long term?

Gail Simone: Oh, definitely collaborative. The Catalyst Prime Universe is this wonderful, vibrant reality. It’s smart and surprising. I keep saying it reminds me of when I was a kid, reading my first X-men comics, and realizing there was this whole world, this whole reality, that I could just plunge into headfirst.

My role, which we will be talking about a lot more soon, is to help shape and connect the universe, to keep that feeling as we expand and grow. The CPU works differently from most publishers: the characters can age, change, die, they have lives. I get to help steer the speedboat, but the drivers are our fabulous team of writers and editors and artists.

That’s a weird analogy. I’m sticking with it. I bet that’s a weird-looking boat, though.

This is an entirely new superhero universe that is still forming its mythos and identity. I know you've done plenty of "ground up" superhero stories with things like Welcome To Tranquility and Leaving Megalopolis, but leading an entire line of books seems like a whole new challenge. Was that "leveling up" a part of why you wanted to take this on?

This is the truth, the very first thing that got me excited was the line-up of writers. It’s people I am already a fan of. But yes, absolutely, this is a thing I haven’t done before.

When I started to immerse myself in the books themselves, it’s easy to fall in love with the characters. I want Noble, Summit and Accell to be out there, to be in front of as many eyeballs in as many places as possible. And I became very enamored of what Lion Forge stands for, it’s the exact same thing I have tried to emphasize for a long time…comics for everybody.

And at the end of the day, it’s a new sandbox. There’s just unlimited potential.

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