Overview

Simon Dark #1

Review

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Simon Dark #1

Credits

  • Words: Steve Niles
  • Art: Scott Hampton
  • Inks: Scott Hampton
  • Colors: Chris Chuckry
  • Story Title: What Simon Does
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 10, 2007

Gotham gets another new superhero defending the city, only this time he’s as ghoulish as they come.

Horror scribe Steve Niles gets an opportunity to create a frightful character from scratch to run around in the DCU, and Simon Dark is truly a chip off the classic Frankenstein theme. Perhaps best described as a patchwork concept, Simon sports a dead skin mask (resembling something worn by Leatherface), disheveled hair (taken from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman) and a striped shirt that Freddy Kruger would wear.

He certainly warrants a bizarre appearance because of it and much of the first issue is spent showcasing Simon’s penchant for murderous acts. In this case, he gets a chance to decapitate a member of a mysterious robed group of men in a burnt down church. From there Simon wanders the darkened streets pilfering a book in the process and buying food for a stray cat before settling down in the charred ashes of the abandoned church he now calls home. He doesn’t remember how he got there, but he does know that protecting the surrounding neighborhood from evil is important, and there seems to be some trouble stirring which may in turn require his ghoulish talents.

All in all, this was a very good issue for writer Steve Niles. He’s obviously a tremendous talent with sharp sensibilities to pace his script out for twenty four pages. There was enough immediacy straight from the get go and in doing so a mood of despair hung down upon Simon’s actions. He’s definitely an interesting character cut from the Frankenstein mould, so it will be interesting to see how Steve plots out upcoming issues with this character firmly planted in the DCU. I am sure a meeting with Batman can’t be too far off in the horizon, and perhaps he could also team up with other characters like the Phantom Stranger and the Creeper.

Of course the art of Scott Hampton certainly helped to compliment the dark nature of the script and his pages were a comfortable fit. I liked Scott’s approach here, especially since his style has mutated over time into a semi-realistic approach. It also helps to have muted tones supplied by colorist Chris Chuckry to help bring the more lurid details out into the forefront, so a one-two punch benefits this kind of urban horror story.

Overall though, this is a quality production and because of it the first issue is definitely off to a good start. I think the DCU can always use a new ghoul to co-exist with classic horror inspired characters like the Creeper, the Demon and the Phantom Stranger so we’ll see what path Simon Dark takes in the near future. I am more than certain that he’ll cross paths with the Batman soon enough and that should be an interesting turn of events.

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