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Goon #21

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008
By: Alex Giannini

Eric Powell
Eric Powell, Dave Stewart
Dark Horse Comics
For those of you who still haven't hopped aboard the bandwagon, Eric Powell's The Goon is one of the most original comics currently in print. In the series, Powell has created one of the most distinctive, entertaining, funny, and downright bizarre of comics' landscapes. Lonely Street, home of main players Goon and his little pal Franky, serves as an old school throwback where the writer/artist can delve into pretty much any genre he wishes. There are elements of the noir thrown in with the obvious nod to classic comics' monsters of the past, all wrapped up in a gangster story. Powell's lush pencils set the creepy tone for the series and its undercurrent of uneasiness. The creeping shadows tell us that Lonely Street is a place seemingly on the brink of disaster. And, on most days, it is. In addition to Goon and Franky, there are plenty of interesting (and bat crap crazy) characters inhabiting these streets, and visiting them is easy; Dark Horse has collected the entire series thus far in trades.

That said, Dark Horse has proclaimed 2008 as "The Year of the Goon," and as such, the series has gone monthly. For the first 19 issues, Powell scripted, penciled, inked and colored the series. Starting with last month's issue #20, colorist Dave Stewart joined Team Goon. Stewart's colors are, as always, incredible. He's a great addition to the book, and if his coloring affords Powell more time to write and pencil (meaning more Goon for me and you!) then I'm all for it.

Issue #21 has some major developments in the story of the Zombie Priest, as one of his own comes calling. The past few months have not been kind to the Priest, as he is beginning to lose the grip on his stranglehold of Lonely Street. His frustrations with Goon have come to a simmering point, and as the issue opens, Priest is packing his bags and babbling incessantly. As he's about to haul out of town, a white bearded man with a demon perched on his shoulder breaks down the castle doors. Priest is terrified and angered by this mystery guest, and more questions about the Priest's background are raised during their conversation. Longtime readers will get a pretty big payoff, though, in a reveal about whose face Priest has pinned to his purple top hat.

Amidst some serious character development, there are two, uh, interludes, I guess. The first gives us a glimpse into Franky's mind, and oh, what a scary place that is. Franky has a dream about a horse, a bear, and the terrible consequences of (apparently) having those two animals near each other. The second interlude depicts Goon taking down a huge, rabid, destructive transvestite. Yup.

This issue is classic Goon: the interspersing of serious story points with the absurd combine to tell a great story and one that will set the table for the next 10 months of The Year of the Goon.



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