Week Opinions: The Goon Vol. 1
Here at Drinking Issues, we try to bring you a detailed analysis of a graphic novel and a comic issue from an ongoing arc every month. Putting out more than 2 episodes per month is an unrealistic goal at this point, but that doesn't mean we're not reading more books and having more opinions. Each week, we're going to write about a few comics or graphic novels that we read and felt were noteworthy. It'll be a great way to enjoy the podcast if you can't stand the sound of our voices.
The Goon Vol. 1: Nothin' But Misery
Eric Powell's most famous property, The Goon tells the story of a burley mob enforcer and his mouthy pal, Franky. They settle debts through coercion and violence like any good mobsters, but they also protect and provide for an impoverished neighborhood that the police ignore. Vol. 1 introduces us to the pair's antagonist, The Zombie Priest and his lackeys, who occupy Lonely Street and battle the Goon for control of the town.
The first volume is a great introduction to the characters and the world. The Goon has his code, but he's still a mob enforcer. The balance between good deeds and shake downs makes for a compelling character. The zombies and other monsters add in a supernatural element, but there's a lightness to it that makes it more goofy and fun than dark and scary. Each issue in the collection is its own standalone story. There's an overarching story in the background, but the majority of the book reads more like the early years of comics, where every issue stood on its own and the greater narrative was less important. This allows Powell to explore a wide variety of characters and situations without dedicating too much time to any. If you're not too familiar with the comic world, the irreverent humor of the book would put it right at home with any of the cartoons on Adult Swim.
The Goon is an entertaining world with a lightness you would not expect from a mob enforcer dealing with zombies. The story isn't a gripping, page turner that compels to binge read, but each tale is likely to put a smile on your face. If you're looking for something a little different than superheroes and suspense stories, The Goon might be the the guy to scratch that itch for you.