Simon Dark Vol. 3: The Game of Life | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Simon Dark Vol. 3: The Game of Life


Steve Niles and Scott Hampton

Feb 11, 2010 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

Simon Dark Vol. 3 collects the final issues of the series of the same name. The story centers on a mysterious youth living in a strange, Bat-Family-absent corner of Gotham City, and is far from a typical super hero tale, even as it incorporates its fair share of slugfests and action.

The main character’s costumed visage is creepily appealing, and is probably the most interesting thing about Simon himself. In fact, Simon’s “deer in the headlights” responses to everything don’t make for particularly interesting reading. However, the supporting cast makes up for it: a medical examiner, a detective, a girlfriend of sorts for Simon, and even her father are all so well fleshed out and/or interesting that I’d frankly rather be reading about them than the modern, mystical, teenage Frankenstein. Simon’s best role is as a catalyst for everyone else’s exploits and interactions.

The character moments and the more horror-inspired brutality are more impressive than the sequences of overt magic and mysticism. Simon’s demon friends, who seem interesting in their first appearance, grow to be just silly.

Perhaps its inclusion in the DC universe proper is at fault for introducing those overt elements that detract from the ambience somewhat. On balance, Simon Dark is a good read supported by really interesting art that has, indeed, piqued this writer’s curiosity for more from Steve Niles. Especially his horror-centric, independent works. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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