Writer: Eric Powell
Artists: Eric Powell & various
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
The promotional 25 cent issue of The Goon was a wonderful introduction to the series, a four-bulleter if ever I saw one, which makes this issue all the more disappointing, as it turns out that the regular comic is a de facto anthology title. Which isn't a crime in itself, as there are a number of excellent anthologies knocking about, but what we get here is a compelling main story with creepy and atmospheric art that just doesn't go on for long enough before being shunted aside for a number of back-up tales which get progressively worse the closer they get to the back of the comic. The second story is a fun but lightweight piece about a monster terrorising a small boy, but the third is just nonsense (in a bad way) and the last is a one-page slice-of-life vignette, that unfortunately seems to think that "twisted" means the same thing as "interesting."
That main story, "Nameless", is what's saving this issue from dropping below the level. The near-monochrome art, as mentioned above, is great; cartoony and exaggerated but at the same time very evocative and atmospheric, and with a great sense of storytelling to it. The protagonist of this all-too-short tale, the Buzzard (I think), is well-realised through the writing, and there's a good vengeful Old West mixed with dark fairytale feel throughout that makes for an evocative read. I just wish there were
more of it.
The promo issue was good, this issue could be a lot better, and all in all, I'm struggling to see what the fuss is about this title. There's an atmospheric setting in there somewhere that I'd certainly like to see more of, but there's also a lot of interference from extraneous and unnecessary bumf.
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