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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Not your average superhero

Goon offers good characters without pretension

Published: March 14, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

diverse-city-3-14-08_page_2_image_0001.jpg I was reflecting on my weekly column the other day, and I noticed I’ve really gone off on a tangent here. Basically, you can boil down each article into “this (movie/band/comic) is (awesome/terrible) and you should (like/hate) it.” I guess I really enjoy telling people what to like and dislike. Is that so terrible? Are there opinions that matter other than mine? Probably. But I’m going to pretend, for this column’s sake, that every opinion of mine is indeed fact, and should be treated by you, my readers, as a universal fact. So here it goes.

I decree that you all have to like The Goon. One of the more unique comics out there on that bastion company of unique comics, Dark Horse, The Goon is an amalgamation of various disproportionate story elements. Wait! That sounds pretentious!

Think of The Goon this way: imagine a rather backwards southern town, maybe somewhere in Tennessee. Now imagine that town is run by two mobsters, one giant (Goon) and one small (Frankie). Now imagine that Goon and Frankie are fighting a rival gang…of ZOMBIES!!! That’s right, folks. It’s the human gang versus the zombie gang. Also imagine for somewhat unknown reasons, there are giant peg-legged fish, a giant spider named Spider, and a lizard that doubles as a butler who occasionally lectures the reader in garbled Spanish.

All those plus some other factors make up the world of Goon. Naturally, much of the utter randomness/ brilliance of this world must derive from its writer, Eric Powell. Powell has created a low-brow, occasionally gross, and flat-out hilarious comic series. The Goon isn’t your average superhero either. His only power is that of his brawn. He isn’t very smart. He has no special advantages besides his muscles and a willingness to hand out an ass-whooping. His buddy Frankie’s main ability is his willingness to stab you in the eye. And yet Goon and Frankie hold their own fighting such evildoers as The Zombie Priest, evil Dr. Alloy, giant lizards, robots, bird-women, Santa’s helpers, and little innocent children.

Naturally, this comic isn’t for the faint of heart (one of The Goon’s more famous images is of Goon and Frankie driving a car through the air with a burning zombie on tied to the dashboard) or those hung up on being politically correct. Goon features blood, guts, fecal matter, retard jokes and much, much more.

But what The Goon lacks in highbrow content or pretensions, it makes up for with a genuinely great story with great characters that may seem cartoon-ish at first, but in actuality have well-developed and interesting stories. That’s why this comic is so fun. It’s an action packed ride with little regard for political correctness and tact, mixed with some genuine storyline and character progression, and a heaping mass of freakin’ hilariousness. And then there are the interludes by sometimes-writer Dwight T. Albatross, but I’ll let you read the comic to find out about those.