By Koppy McFad
October 10, 2008 - 20:53
This is one of those "quiet interlude" issues where nothing much happens but where we get to know more about the characters, especially about the mystery-man Simon Dark and his strange supporting cast.
This basically gives us the new status quo of the series: Simon has the ability to enter a strange alternate dimension and also has a band of weird-but-friendly monsters helping him out. It almost makes him look like an adult version of 'YO-GABBA-GABBA.'
There are some moving scenes of understated drama in this issue, particularly involving the two cops who have gottten entangled with Simon Dark. This reminds us that Steve Niles had some very good scenes of human interaction in his "30 DAYS OF NIGHT" graphic novel. He is clearly more than just a horror/suspense writer.
For old fans, this issue really fleshes out the cast but as a "jumping-on-point" for new readers, it fails miserably. Little effort is made to explain who these characters are or what their situation is. A newcomer might even think this issue consists of a series of unrelated vignettes. The lack of action or even a driving purpose in the story would not bring readers of this issue back.
The art has a quirky moodiness to it, making this issue look like an independent comic which somehow got a DC Comics label stuck to it. But in all other aspects, it has the polished professionalism of DC evident everywhere, such as in the crisp lettering and subtle coloring.
This is a unique title with its own attractions but it needs a wider audience. If it does not find more new readers, it may not survive for long, which would be a pity.
Rating: 6 /10