Current Reviews


The Goon #26

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008
By: Matthew Brady

Eric Powell
Eric Powell, Dave Stewart (c)
Dark Horse Comics
After a slow 2007 for The Goon (due to Eric Powell concentrating his energy on the Chinatown graphic novel), the series has bounced back with a vengeance in 2008. Powell has been cranking new issues out on a monthly basis, adding interesting developments to the seriesí overarching plot and continuing to craft entertaining stories that combine his signature style of violence, gross-out humor, and emotional character development. Itís been a good run of issues, with a lot of surprises and nice moments, and this issue is no exception.

The main plot this month concerns the Goonís gang trying to find the identity of a traitor who betrayed them to their enemies, who are now being led by Labrazio, the gangster who the Goon thought he killed as a kid, but has somehow been resurrected and gained some magical powers, gathered a gang of other evil freaks (including Mr. Wicker, the guy who nearly killed the Goon in the aforementioned Chinatown), and become a major menace to anybody on the side of good. In addition to some funny jokes concerning bog lurk anatomy and a gang of kids trying to sneak into a burlesque house (the center of Labrazioís operations) using the old ďstand on each otherís shoulders while wearing a long coatĒ gag, there are some nice moments about friendship and betrayal. Since heís such a stoic character, itís always interesting to see something pierce the Goonís tough surface and reveal the rawness underneath.

That leads to an especially nasty fight scene, which allows Powell to give us some really impressive visuals. The amazingly-skilled Dave Stewart has been providing the colors over Powellís pencils, which, in addition to allowing for the faster schedule, really brings a lot of life to Powellís world. That fight scene, for instance, sees the Goon tussling with a werewolf, and there are some panels that leap off the page with energy. While Stewartís bursts of color add a lot to the page, the pencils still shine through, providing weight and substance to the battle. Itís beautiful stuff. And thatís just one sequence among many really nice-looking ones. Each month, I pick up this series and just marvel at Powellís artistic skill.

So if you havenít been reading The Goon, well, this probably wouldnít be the issue to start with, but itís a good one for long-time fans. Powell is stretching himself on the title; where before Chinatown, he focused mostly on single-issue stories that had some continuing plot points, he has been telling a long, continuing story, and doing an excellent job of it. Itís a nice deepening of the seriesí mythos, and it remains a great read each month. If you havenít read it before, pick up one of the collections and give it a chance.

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