The Goon #42
Written by Eric Powell, Tom Sniegoski
Art by Eric Powell, Mark Buckingham
Colors by Bill Farmer, Eric Powell
Letters by Mate Piekos
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 26, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50
How in the hell have I been missing out on The Goon for so long?! I was just recently introduced to Eric Powell‘s excellent series and I was floored by this amazing throwback horror comic with a dark sense of humor.
The comic takes place in an alternate Depression-era setting where monsters lurk around every corner just looking to get the jump on the Goon and his partner in crime, Franky. The Goon is a thug who’d fit right in with Batman’s rogue’s gallery. Only here there’s no Batman and the Goon will gleefully stomp a mudhole through whatever goblin crosses his path. This makes him a hero of sorts, but only because in a world brimming with demons, he’s the lesser evil.
Tommy “The Tank” Chandler is a pencil-necked wimp of a boxer who’s about to find himself on the wrong side of an old-fashioned ass-whooping by his opponent, Chuck Williams. No gambling man worth his weight in betting slips would wager a nickel on “The Tank.” Well, not until the Goon flipped the odds by having Williams walk around in a sling and play up that his business hand is busted.
The Goon and Franky stand to make a healthy profit off this ruse until Sullivan pays “The Tank” a little visit and lets him in on the scam. He tells “The Tank” that he’s going to give him something that’ll make him a “little more formidable.” In the world of The Goon, that undoubtedly means one swig of that bug juice will morph “The Tank” into a purulent, sock-breathed demon. Throughout this issue Goon receives warnings that he’s in danger. These warnings come in the form of monsters who then try to kill him. Yeah, it’s a bit redundant, but it’s all explained.
The Goon #42 sets the stage for what’s to come with Mr. Corpus although the story is built around a classic Goon-style, serialized, monster bash. The comic doesn’t really mention the overall story arc until later, but it’s lurking just under the surface of every panel. The whole point of all the head squashing is to build up the Zombie Priest’s grand entrance where he drops a bombshell that’ll get Goon fans (Goonies! No? Stop looking at me like that) jazzed for the next issue.
Eric Powell’s art brings out a wide range of mixed emotions that amplify The Goon‘s noir style. It is grotesque yet gorgeous, cartoony yet detailed, humorous yet unsettling. You’ll easily spend as much time admiring Powell’s craftsmanship as you do reading the story. Also included in The Goon #42 is a continuation of the black-and-white short “The Bog That Lurked Like a Thing! A Bad Thing!” This quick, humorous brawler continues to be a good time.
If you’re new to The Goon, this isn’t the best place to start off. Not that its storyline is all that intricate, but this issue is smack in the middle of a story arc. Take it back a few issues and catch up. For those who are already indoctrinated into the glory of The Goon, you know its goodness. Issue #42 exists mainly to set up the next issue, but it’s a great read with all the swagger and brawling that you’ve come to know and love from this series.