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Goon #20

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2008
By: Bruce Logan

Eric Powell
Eric Powell, Dave Stewart (c)
Dark Horse Comics
EDITOR’s NOTE: The twentieth issue of The Goon will be in stores this coming Wednesday, January 9.

Exclamation: “A lesson on the varying uses of the toothbrush.”

Explanation: Being the ‘softy’ that he is, Goon goes in search of the dim witted son of one of the residents of his area. That the man owes him $200 is a minor (yeah, right) factor in his drive to find the poor chap. What Goon and his pal Franky find is a couple of old lady friends. The ladies, who just happen to be giant flesh eating birds in human form, attack Goon (as expected).

Examination: The Goon is a great series. Granted it might not be up to everyone’s tastes but speaking personally it is easily among my Top-10 ‘FUN’ series. Read as singles or together, either in arcs or TPB form, it never fails to entertain almost always hitting the entertainment bulls-eye. Since it began it has set a standard in what the reader can expect and receive from it.

So why am I giving such a low rating to this particular issue?

Well, because of what I just mentioned a line back. The Goon has a standard set for it, right from its story plots to the character depictions to its art. All of its ingredients are (almost) always in the right proportions thus giving the series its trademark taste. Everything needs to be just right. Unfortunately, this issue is a practical example of a Goon story that has one or more ingredients lacking in the appropriate quantity. It is a Goon story that isn’t quite up to The Goon level.

As for what I found lacking, well, in two simple words, the plotline. Even though it has a solid premise and kickass start, the story of this issue gives the feels of petering off as it progresses. The Goon-Franky interaction is as outstanding as ever so are their moments with the bad guys, and that includes the rotting/zombie evil-magician hostage. Yet, at no time did I get the feeling that the twin birdies were any sort of threat to Goon. In fact, if anything they were more of an unwanted interruption to the comedic moments between Goon and Frank.

The issue ends with a ‘To be continued’. This I hope portents for more on the ‘birds’, because the ending given here isn’t quite an ending as it is an abrupt halt.

Unlike the writing the visual half of The Goon #20 scored perfect hits, left right and center. From the opening with the introduction to Ralph to the closing panels with Goon and Franky chilling out in the bar, every panel is descriptive enough (and more) for the story it tells. This stands both for Powell’s pencils as it does for Stewart’s colors. All in all, three thumbs up.

Proclamation: ‘Good’ by (other) comic standards, this issue scores a mere ‘OK’ for a The Goon story.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at http://www.xcave.net



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