By Eric Powell (Dark Horse Books)
Before Dark Horse picked up The Goon, Eric Powell self-published a number of issues of this splendidly eccentric retro-feature, and these are presented here (mostly) in colour for the first time. Lord knows how long he’d been working on the thing prior to publication because this is one of those rare Athenaic occasions when the creation springs forth fully formed without the usual noodging and twiddling that customarily occurs as a strip progresses until it settles into a stride.
The Goon is a hulking, two-fisted brawler just getting along as best he can in the seamy underbelly of the city. He and his pal Franky do jobs for the reclusive gang-boss Labrazio, work their own scams when they can and look after their friends. They also hate zombies.
This makes for a pretty eventful life since Labrazio’s biggest rival is The Nameless Man, an immortal witch-priest whose army of the undead keeps trying to escape from their rightful bastion on Lonely Street to take over the whole city.
This spectacular pop-culture spoof is thrill-a-minute crazy as these not-so-Wise (but extremely tough) Guys tackle flesh-eaters, Cthuluistic hell-shamblers, twisted ghosts and every type of thug and monster armed with nothing more than fists, gats, dirty vests and attitude, all in the name of an easy life.
Powell is a sharp, economical writer with a great ear for period dialogue and a truly surreal sense of humour. This is supplemented by the ability to draw like a cross between Jack Kirby and Wally Wood. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.
™ & © 2003 Eric Powell. All Rights Reserved.