Friday, 25 July 2014

The Goon #46: Occasion of Revenge #1 Review (Eric Powell)

It’s good to see Eric Powell back doing what he does best: making rude, criminally brilliant horror comics. He’s been quiet in the last year and a half or so, putting out a couple of one-shot Goon issues here and there, but he’s returned with the first new regular Goon story arc in ages. He’s adopted the Dark Horse model where the issues will be advertised as contained story arcs rather than individual issues – so this issue is Occasion of Revenge, Part 1 of 4, but it’s also The Goon #46 (though you only find that out on the inside cover).

Goon comics tend to be either two kinds: the silly, irreverent kind where Powell goes purely for puerile comedy and the kind where he writes straight stories that’re often quite tragic in tone – Powell excels at both varieties.

The last couple Goon issues have been the comedy kind so it’s a nice change of pace to see Occasion for Revenge being straight narrative – though Franky brings the occasional comic relief (like a whole new meaning to beer shits)!

A group of magical cannibals have decided to make Lonely Street their new home, but don’t count on the kind of resistance Goon, Franky and co. put up. Meanwhile, Goon meets a new lady friend, and Powell tells the sad story of Fred Paulsey and Sandy Wayne.

While all of the story threads are compelling, the Fred Paulsey/Sandy Wayne storyline feels entirely separate from the Goon’s, though they’re mixed in together. It’s almost like Powell had a short story and included it here to make up the page count, they’re that different. That said, this is part 1 of 4 so maybe the stories will converge in later issues and make more sense as a whole.

Powell’s storytelling skills are as sharp as ever and his art remains unique and gorgeous – he is one of the few creators in comics who can juggle writing and art duties perfectly with his own original style. Occasion of Revenge #1 is an excellent comic and a fine start to a new story – welcome back, Eric Powell and Goon!

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