Review: ‘The Goon’ #42

The Goon - 2

The Goon #42 crackles with sheer joy over its witty sense of humor and pulpy storytelling. Weird, crazy, and entertaining – these are all the perfect words to describe Eric Powell’s unforgettable creation. The laugh-out-loud humor has always been what sets Eric Powell’s “The Goon” apart from other paranormal mystery books, and this issue showcases his ability to mesh genres.

WRITTEN BY: Eric Powell
ART BY: Eric Powell, Mark Buckingham
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3. 50
RELEASE: September 26th, 2012

The issue begins after a crowd has placed their bets on the boxing match between Tommy “The Tank” and “Charming” Chuck Williams. The Goon puts his money on this match, hoping to make a few extra bucks off his good pal, Chuck, who will become the sure-fire winner. But, the Goon quickly learns that his friend is in quite a lot of trouble. Powell works around the clichés of boxing movies, such as Rocky, Raging Bull, and Price of Glory. It’s become a trope in boxing movies to include the underdog, and the fix. Powell addresses these clichés in the opening pages, puts a spin on them, and uses some element of the supernatural, such as black magic, to keep the story fresh.

Powell always finds a way to inject zany humor into bizarre situations. The horror is played off for laughs and kept in an animated tone. When the Goon wakes up in his bed, he suddenly discovers a walking and talking corpse with sticks of dynamite lodged into its chest. You can’t help but laugh when the Goon finds himself in a fight. In order to decapitate a giant spider, the Goon squashes its head with his bare hands.

The issue also works to plant the seeds for something bigger, the start of a major story arc. Powell cleverly places each important clue of the large scale mystery throughout the issue. The Goon does not realize that Chuck is being used and set up to take the fall. A much deadlier and smarter adversary is putting his friends in life-threatening danger. The cliffhanger sets up another piece of the puzzle, where an unlikely, and uneasy, alliance will take place.

The visual gags add immensely to Powell’s particular brand of humor. As the Goon walks around searching for clothes, he stumbles upon the recent Doctor Who suit and bowtie. The Goon takes one good look at it and shakes his head. It is incredible how Powell can express emotional queues without showing any eyes. The upper half of Goon’s face is always kept in shadows because of his classic cap.

As an extra bonus, there is a back-up story by Powell, which features artwork by Mark Buckingham. In the close-ups, Buckingham adds a little extra detail of scars to the Goon’s face. The battle between the robot monster and the mud monster is a hilarious homage to 1950s B-movies.

“The Goon” #42 is an amusing tale that mixes dark humor, witchcraft, and tons of action. Issue #42 has everything you would expect from Eric Powell.

Rating: 4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by JorgeSolis