Monday, February 9, 2009

Exfanding Review: The Goon

Goon punches lots of zombiesIf it weren't for Alex, I can assure you that there's virtually no chance I ever would have picked up The Goon. It's got zombies. And vampires. And while I enjoy throwing such things at my D&D players, I really don't care for the whole monster/horror genre.

I mean, just look at that picture up there. Does that look like the kind of thing I'd use as my desktop wallpaper? Heck, I wouldn't even post that picture on my blog!

But, as Alex has pointed out in his introduction to this series, The Goon is not so easily categorized. Which is why I not only read through everything he gave me, but also why I enjoyed it.

The Goon Lagarto Hombre coverFirst of all, it's funny. Funny goes a long way with me. I'm not talking about clever wordplay and exquisite puns; I'm talking about things so unexpected and absurd that you can't help but laugh.

The issue pictured on the left, for example, features a phenomenal parody of the Giant Monster Battle genre, starring a Godzilla-like character who spews out some of the most hilariously bizarre dialogue I've ever seen.

Also in The Goon you'll find comedic references of all sorts, ridiculous fake advertisements, and even a Hellboy cameo. Plus, the 1930s gangster feel that pervades the comic just makes everything a little bit funnier and even further removed from what's normal. The humor varies from random to disgusting to borderline offensive (depending on how you feel about hobos), but it's always fresh.

One of the things I appreciate the most about The Goon is how absolutely anything can happen. Between the magic of a zombie priest and the crazy inventions of a dangerously brilliant scientist, there's no creature or situation that can't be concocted.

What's amazing is that Eric Powell ties all this insanity together into a cohesive world that has history and depth. As The Goon goes on, there are very real moments of compassion for the characters, and some big revelations and neat plot twists that make The Goon more meaningful than being simply a "monster/horror comedy" series.

Once again, The Goon defies such simple categorization.

No matter how absurd, disgusting, or dark The Goon may be at times, it's so inventively written that one can't help but continue reading. I haven't become a raving Goon fanboy, and I'm not about to start buying my own copies when I can still borrow them from Alex, but I can honestly say that I like The Goon and am happy to have been introduced to it.

The Goon cast in an old-timey photograph
[Images from]

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