Nobuko Chiyo and Simone are a married couple living in North Philly section of Phildelphia in Commanders In Crisis by Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto. Family is everything to the two women who have built a life together for several decades. They’re worried sick over their missing grandson and implore Seer, one of the superheroes in this fictional world, whom they run into in public to try to locate him. The hope embodied by these two characters is a relevant point to the theme of empathy being explored in the story. Ending weeks of frustration for the women, Seer, the “quantum god one minute at a time”, does find him recovering in an army field hospital half a world away. Their gratitude and friendship provides a touchstone for Seer in the coming fight to save their world.
The pair represent the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, the older women who know everyone in a neighborhood and whom everyone knows. Nobuko and Simone are also examples of oral historians who play an important cultural role. The scene in which this comes up is in issue #5 and is set in Philly’s popular Oval Park and they’ve gathered with Seer when the topic of secrets and how at times they can be necessary but also a burden. As an example, they relate the story of Madame Fury and Hack, a superhero duo who operated in Washington, DC in the 1930s. Americans and media at the time fell in love with the pair and the romance the public saw. Years after their deaths Madame Fury’s daughter released the true story as a documentary: the romance was devised to conceal the fact that Fury and Hack were both queer and in love with other people.
Simone and Nobuko also have a granddaughter named Jessica whose line of work is space aeronautics. Growing up Jessica listened to the story of Madame Fury and Hack many times and as the main event unfolds in Commanders In Crisis she’ll do her part 21st century style to ensure the Fury legacy lives on.
Simone and Nobuko’s final appearance in the series shows them both incredibly happy.
Both characters first appear in Commanders In Crisis #2. It isn’t defined if they’re lesbian, bisexual, or identify differently from those labels. What is clear is their love for one another. Simone’s last name doesn’t seem to be given.
Created by Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto. Art by Tinto from Commanders In Crisis #11.
All rights reserved Steve Orlando and Arancia Studios s.n.c.