Simon Dark #2 (DC – Niles / Hampton) – This last weekend I finally got to sit down and read Simon Dark issues #1 and #2 in anticipation of issue #3 coming out this week. I wanted to read for myself what all the hype is about. Simon Dark as a character is being marketed as “DC’s most offbeat Superhero” and with writing genius of Steve Niles (modern classic 30 Days of Night) behind it, you would think that the “modern-day Frankenstein” would have potential. Well, you would be right in the first two issues, there is tons of potential. You have the patchwork quirky goth protagonist who doesn’t know all of his own secrets, has some kickin’ abilities and a good moral compass. You have a pretty evil bad-guy stereotypical cult made up of members of Gotham’s elite. You have got a plot that is a combinations of action and suspence and jumps around enough that the story is filled with holes that are promised to be filled in, but aren’t quite there yet. But that is what you have… lots of potential, but it’s not quite there yet. As it stands, given that the story takes place in Gotham and that it has been stated over and over that the Simon Dark story is in the middle of the DCU (the covers also have Countdown numbers), you just know Batman and other possible bat-characters are going to show up and turn what might be a possible great Edgar Allen Poe / Tim Burton-ish story character and make him into another magical member of Shadowpact. Simon Dark would be way better off as a stand alone Vertigo story. There are good ideas here with amazing complementary art by Scott Hampton, but with where this seems to be going, doubtful Simon Dark will make it to issue #12. Certainly not worth the uber-hype.
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