The Goon #36
Created by Eric Powell
Art by Eric Powell
Colors by Dave Stewart
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 2, 2011
Cover Price: $3.50
It feels like The Goon creator Eric Powell is always walking a thin line. Powell is straddling an edge where on one side there are storylines and dialogue that are so insanely ridiculous that no one in their right mind would find them readable. On the other side of this line is harmless, by the book comic writing, there’s action, there’s gags, and there’s beautiful women wearing next to nothing. In The Goon #36 Powell finds himself directly between these two points. With the pure madness and clever writing of The Goon #36, Powell proves he does not need Goon and Franky beating the tar our of some poor soul to make a compelling book, but worry not, there’s still plenty of the rough stuff.
In the letter column of The Goon #36 Powell explains that he was always interested in the episodes of Scooby-Doo where they had guest appearances. This issue brings us exactly this, with burlesque queen Roxi Dlite. Let’s get this straight Roxi Dlite is a real burlesque dancer, and Eric Powell has featured her as the main character – this guy does whatever he wants. It’s not often that a comic creator takes full control of his intellectual property like Powell has done here. He has broken out of the standard Goon story line of pounding on zombies into something that is light on action and heavy on comedy dialogue. Skeptics could see this as a risky move to stray away from the action-filled pages fans are so use to, however, in The Goon #36 Powell silences all critics with one of his best issues yet.
We are introduced to Roxi as she crashes a plane into a swamp after being on the run from the Pontani sisters. Roxi has no choice but to travel to Goon’s turf because she has killed, slept with, or stolen from every person in every other state. From here Roxi opens up a burlesque house guarded by two harpies whom only she can tame through acts of sexual depravity (this issue is big on the sex stuff). Powell then takes us to Franky and Goon stealing “the worlds most expensive knick knack” from a fabulously wealthy heiress. It’s easy to forget that Goon and Franky are crooks after seeing them cave in the heads of countless zombies, however, Powell reminds us that they are indeed thieves and scoundrels. Franky and Goon try to find a buyer for the trinket only to have it stolen and have Franky fall in love with Roxi. The relationship between Franky and Roxi is what stands out most in this issue because Roxi is just as horrible as Franky and though she doesn’t seem to want it, Franky knows they are soul mates.
In 36 issues Eric Powell’s art style has increased drastically and with new colorist Dave Stewart, The Goon #36 really showcases the talent both these creators have. Stewart’s colors are never fully exposed, they look as if they’ve been dragged through mud and are never quite as bright as they should be, and in the world of The Goon it fits perfectly. Powell’s lines and shading are as strong as ever and his “study” of the female form shows that he isn’t limited to drawing rotting zombies and muscled anti heroes.
Eric Powell proves to fans in The Goon #36 that he can make a compelling Goon story without axes in zombie heads or cars with flaming vampires on the hood. Sure this issue could be seen as not as thrilling as past issues. But when you stand back and admire the dialogue and wit that Powell put in each panel it becomes obvious that he has complete control over his creation. The Goon continues to be one the best, funniest, and overall well done comics on shelves and The Goon #36 is another addition to this already amazing cannon of books.