Simon. Simon. Simon Dark.
If you're good he'll stay away.
If you're bad he'll make you pay.
Lurks in Shadows. Hides in the park.
Simon. Simon. Simon Dark.
Unabashedly inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein this comic follows the patchwork teenager Simon Dark as he learns about humanity and his own origins while growing increasingly protective of his Gotham City neighborhood. Gotham's more famous protector gets a brief mention, but doesn't show up as the Village is generally less crime ridden than the rest of the city and is not a place he spends much time. Simon is also unaffiliated with Gotham's other patchwork horror hero Ragman.
Tropes in this series includes:
- Apocalypse Cult: The Geo Populous cult is trying to summon a swarm of demonic things to eat Gotham in order to let an even greater evil into the world. It's unclear what the members were looking for before the lot of them were possessed, but the cult seems to have started off more benign and then things went wrong when their leader got taken over while creating Simon.
- Artificial Zombie: While Simon was brought to life using a combination of Mad Science and Dark Magic his murderous predecessor was created before his creator gave in and tried combining his science with magic.
- Attractive Zombie:
- While Simon's easiest face is a chalky clay-like thing, he has twenty-four of them and the most of the rest are fairly attractive teenagers. This only works to make him traditionally attractive if he's wearing clothing that hides the patchwork that is the rest of his body, and the belt partially sunk into the flesh of his neck.
- Tom is more easily conventionally attractive, but while he was murdered and then stitched back together and revived he seems to be more alive than the traditional zombie or Simon.
- Car Cushion: The first victim of the cult's zombie-like possession plot tackles her husband out the window of their apartment and they both die upon their collision with a car parked on the street below.
- Creepy Children Singing: The kids in Gotham Village sing about Simon coming after those who are "bad" while skipping rope. It's unclear if Simon named himself after their song or if the song was made about him.
- Deadly Delivery: Geo Populous kidnaps delivery driver Neal Jones and replaces him with one of their own, who switches out Simon's delivery of soap for their own deadly altered soap.
- Familiar: Gaius, Suzie and Marty were all once human and transformed into monsters to be summoned to do the bidding of sorcerers. Despite being called familiars none of them have ever cooperated with those who summon them instead killing them for treating them like slaves and trying to bind them. They choose to become Simon's familiars because they're fond of him and need a magic user to tie themselves to the human world, but they're not bound by him in any way and are more friends who can lend him power if they please.
- Fighting from the Inside: While most of those who end up infected with the little shadowy soap "demons" tear a bloody path through the humans around them until they're put down several individuals who are around those they care about manage to fight it off enough to keep from slaughtering their loved ones. Rachel claws at her dad some but he and Beth are able to subdue her and tie her up, until Vincent shows up and threatens them at which point she easily tears through her bonds and cuts Vincent mostly in half with a fire iron. An elementary school teacher manages not to kill any of her students despite turning with them defenseless in the room with her, and instead went and attacked the adults at her school's front desk before being brained by one of her co-workers.
- Finish Him!: Gaius Publius refused when ordered to kill a fellow gladiator he'd defeated, which resulted in Caligula giving Gaius to his sorcerer as punishment turning Gaius into a monstrous nigh-immortal familiar, who retains his human sense of justice.
- Flesh Golem: Simon Dark's body is a patchwork of the parts of the twenty-four teenagers whose bodies were used as the raw materials for his.
- Friendly Zombie: Simon and Tom are both undead zombies and are usually rather friendly, despite their dark senses of humor and penchant for causing harm. The other zombies in the series are far more violent and murderous.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Simon Dark tears Gus' first successful revived human in half, when the deformed man proves to be a remorseless furious murderer who nearly kills Tom and does kill Gus. It works out as a bit of karma since tearing his victims in half was the murderer's favorite way to kill his own victims.
- Human Sacrifice: Dall Moss knew bringing Simon to life would cause a demonic entity to come through the veil alongside him and kill one of those performing the ceremony, but he intended this sacrifice to be "Gus" and the thing took Dall instead.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- The cult kills four of its members who failed in their tasks by trapping them in a room where long metal spikes emerge from holes in the walls, though they're given the option of death by spikes or jumping into the pit of flesh-eating eldritch monsters at the end of the room. They all choose the spikes.
- Tom Kirk later gets tossed in the same room and impaled through the head and torso to immobilize him in order to use him as a hostage to try to force Simon to cooperate.
- In the Hood: Simon wears a hood when trying to be inconspicuous, it helps hide his unsettling mask, or when he's not wearing that, his inconsistent face.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Simon is fond of cats, and is heartbroken when Vincent kills the stray he's been looking after. After Simon gains Gaius, Suzie and Marty as familiars the trio disguise themselves as cats to accompany him around town.
- Mad Scientist: While Gus has mostly left those days behind him he spent years working on a way to revive the dead, driving around Gotham with a van full of bits of dead teenager, and has created three different types of undead/zombie.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The rank and file members of Geo Populous wear black bags over their heads. By this point every member of the cult has been taken over by a demonic entity which makes them stronger than the average human, and some of them are just as bullet resistant as Tom and Simon.
- Mugged for Disguise: Tom kills one of the cultists and steals his outfit while infiltrating the Moss Estate.
- Off with His Head!: Due to his strength Simon Dark uses his garrote wire to decapitate people. He does so rarely as he is opposed to killing humans, but he makes exceptions for those who have been killed by possessing entities and a rapist targeting the local high school.
- Our Zombies Are Different: While there are quite a few flavors of zombie in Simon Darkdespite the word zombie never being utteredmost are easy to categorize. Then there's Tom Kirk, who despite being made by the same man whose other undead creations are deformed patchwork flesh golems with no pulse is able to pass as human so long as he keeps a few conspicuous scars covered, but doesn't quite fit as a technically living zombie since he was murdered and very dead before Gustav snagged his corpse.
- Possessing a Dead Body: When Simon was created the malevolent entity that entered the world with him took possession of Dall Moss, and eventually kept possessing him after getting fed up with the original occupant of the body and having him shoot himself in the head.
- Revenant Zombie: What Simon was intended to be, for the twenty-four individuals who went into making him. While he does retain fractured bits of their memories and his personality is a distorted amalgamation of theirs, and he unknowingly carried out the purpose he was created for in the end he chooses to become his own person and steps back from his intended purpose, though he doesn't turn away the responsibilities entirely.
- Shower Scene: Kate Matheson gets a decidedly non-titillating shower scene during which a demon burrows into her back. When her husband gets home the now possessed Kate tackles him out the window and they both die in what is assumed by their neighbors to be a double suicide.
- Southern Belle: Suzie has the mannerisms and speech of a sweet but hot tempered Southern lady, but in practice she hasn't even tried for a human form in decades and her base form is now a eyeless tentacle covered blob with several rows of razor sharp teeth. She is from the south and used to be human, so presumably she once fit the trope a bit better.
- Technically Living Zombie: Those "infected" by the little shadow demons the cult hides in a popular brand of soap are not actually dead and are the zombies who act most like the mindless attackers popularly associated with zombies.
- Was Once a Man: The three monsters the cult sets against Simon and Tom turn out to have once been human before being forcibly transformed into familiars. All three of them despise the cult and, once Simon realizes what they are and stops fighting them to talk, agree to help Simon and Tom destroy it and later chose to be Simon's familiars.
- White Mask of Doom: Simon wears a creepy white mask with stitching that matches the rest of his body to hide his frequently shifting head. He's also a bit unhinged and has decapitated multiple violent criminals who made the mistake of attacking people in his neighborhood.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The cult plants little shadow "demons" in a popular brand of soap that take over those who use said soap and makes them look like corpses, and sets them on any and all humans nearby. Their plot intends for this to kill everyone in Gotham in order to create enough directed bloodshed to bring an eldritch entity into the world.