The truth hurts, and Eric Powell makes it funny as hell in his latest issue of The Goon. Against the backdrop of an overturned whiskey truck and a battle royale for its spoils, we are treated to an “origin” story like none other. By poking some fun at the industry, or mainly the Big Two, this tale is told with the many gimmicks, reboots, rehashes, and tired tropes that we’ve come to expect over the years. It’s actually both sad and funny that Powell was able to pull off everything that you’ve seen fanboys praise and complain about all in one issue of his book. There isn’t a specific plot per se, since when the story actually gets going it’s time for another reboot or other sales boost attempt that sets you back. Just like with many of the superhero books out there now. Though Powell is trying to make a point, he doesn’t let that get in the way of entertaining the reader. As his characters bounce from one cliché to another, Franky is still the perfect sidekick, and The Goon himself still pulls no punches.
Powell also switches up his art style to reflect the “what’s hot” look and the stylized action scenes presently in tights and capes books. So if you were hoping for that vintage Goon look, you’re only going to get a little of that here. There’s actually nothing wrong with that, since the art changes benefit the story and help drive the point home. This issue also touts one of the best covers this year from the captions to the art to the altered Dark Horse logo at the top. Just for that alone you should pick this issue up.
What really puts this entire kick to the industry’s privates over the top is Eric Powell’s letter at the end of the issue. It’s brutally honest and unapologetic, but you can tell that it comes from a guy who’s got a passion for the industry and wants to see it grow and flourish. There’s gotta be a change at some point, but until that happens, great creator owned titles like The Goon need to keep delivering quality and unique storytelling.