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Originally publsihed at Fangoria.com on August 15, 2011

Chock full of funny dialogue and nonstop action, WHEN FREAKS COLLIDE: CRIMINAL MACABRE/THE GOON (Dark Horse Comics) delivers a ton of thrills in one fantastic issue. A violent mob war is brewing between vampires and werewolves, and caught in the middle of this conflict are a pair of the unlikeliest heroes: paranormal private eye Cal McDonald and muscleman the Goon. And when these two prefer to fight each other rather than their enemy, who really stands a chance to win? Comic book fans are undoubtedly going to have a lot of fun with this one-shot special!

Vampires and werewolves have started a turf war, and the bloodsuckers are now planning on using black magic to summon their greatest monster hunter in order to wipe out the lycanthropes. What the two clans don’t realize, though, is that there’s a bigger threat out there who hates them both.

Cal McDonald, a pill-popping degenerate, has just finished his last case and jammed a wooden stake through a vampire’s eye. But when Cal and his ghoulish associate, Mo’Lock, accidentally step into a magic circle, they end up transported to a different location. Meanwhile, outside of Norton’s Pub, the Goon and his foulmouthed sidekick, Franky, are chasing after a werewolf, when they’re suddenly kidnapped. That’s the setup for how these four anti-heroes find themselves together, as well as lost and far away from their homes.

Right from the start, Cal and the Goon don’t trust each other. When Cal makes a snide remark about THE LITTLE RASCALS, the Goon’s first instinct is to punch him. The two fighters then beat each other senseless, not realizing that they’ve just been duped. While the brawl continues, Franky and Mo’Lock team up to find out who’s responsible for their kidnappings. And whether they want to or not, Cal and the Goon must find a way to work together in order to battle against the biggest and meanest Chthulhu monster ever.

Authors Steve Niles and Eric Powell have tremendous fun pitting their protagonists against each other, and both Cal and the Goon are distinctively distinguishable in their personalities and dialogue. Niles and Powell give them a chance to shine, and both have hilarious one-liners, but the witty banter between Mo’Lock and Franky reveals who the real “brains” are in their respective series. And the surprise ending lets readers know that there actually may be more plans on the horizon for these fellows.

Artist Christopher Mitten keeps the essence of Powell’s charming humor and the look of Niles’ noir tales. The fight between Cal and the Goon is pure slapstick comedy. Readers will be debating who won in the end. The highlight of the issue is the battle against the giant-sized Chthulhu monster. Cal and the Goon toss pistols and shotguns at each other while shooting simultaneously at the howling monster.

WHEN FREAKS COLLIDE: CRIMINAL MACABRE/THE GOON is a fun ride from beginning to end, and fans of each series will be rooting for their favorite. This comic definitely delivers on the horror, humor and monsters. Who could ask for anything more?