“THE GOON” #34 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on July 4, 2011

Tremendously entertaining, THE GOON #34 (Dark Horse Comics) is a highly enjoyable blend of pulp horror and slapstick comedy. The Goon, a muscle man with a scarred face, unexpectedly encounters a clan of Sparkly Vampires. While he takes on the entire gang, a demonic child has arrived at an orphanage. Does Goon have time to teach these Sparkly Vamps a lesson in toughness and save the innocent children? Definitely well worth your attention, you just can’t say “no” to buying this edition.

The hilarious opening prologue is reason alone to grab THE GOON #34. While walking across the street, Goon and his wisecracking sidekick, Frankie, unexpectedly run into a vampire gang. Each member of the group is anxious to use their baseball bats and start bashing people’s heads in. Before getting into action, these Sparkly Vampires drown themselves in glitter. And then, the Goon lays down a mighty beating, one that is heralded through the ages for its ferocity and magnitude.

Elsewhere, a little girl in chains and handcuffs is delivered by the police to the local orphanage. This abandoned child is eerily quiet throughout the day. When nighttime arrives, this blonde-haired girl suddenly transforms into a flesh-eating demon. There is only one person who can help them now. At the worst time, the Goon is too drunk at Norton’s Pub and can barely stand up on his own feet.

While struggling to sober up, Goon stumbles into the battle of a lifetime. The demon already has a taste for innocent children. The all-out brawl takes Goon and the demon from the inside of the orphanage to a nearby cemetery. Even though he doesn’t realize what’s going on, Goon is fighting for the orphans, who are all counting on him.

As a storyteller, author and creator Eric Powell (GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS) hits his mark every time with his comedic notes. At his best, Powell gives the orphans so much personality and tons of witty one-liners. The story’s point of view is directly from the orphans, who are disappointed by all the adults around them.  Interestingly, it’s these children who see past Goon’s faults and take him seriously as their hero.

Powell’s artwork, enhanced by Dave Stewart’s colors, is wonderfully cartoony. The Sparkly Vampires are such a gleeful homage to the unforgettable cult classic, THE WARRIORS. Their outfits are a funny tribute to the Furies, the film’s baseball gang. Even though the orphans only have black circles for eyeballs, their faces are just amazingly expressive. The climactic confrontation between the demon child and Goon is amusingly action-packed.

Smartly written and terrifically drawn, THE GOON #34 is a must-have. This is the perfect issue for any new reader to jump in. Longtime fans have been waiting anxiously for a new GOON issue, and they will not be disappointed. You can definitely see Powell’s outstanding humor right in these pages. Learn why a drunk Goon is better than no Goon at all! Don’t miss out on all the fun!