Archive for Goon

No Habla Espanol, Senor Goon!


The Goon #44

Well, it’s an issue almost entirely in Spanish. And there’s not a translation. And I don’t speak Spanish! Oh, Eric Powell, why must you hide the crazy stuff that Franky says away from me?

Basically, as far as I can tell, the Goon and Franky are smuggling hooch into Mexico. But they’ve also accidentally smuggled in a booze-loving monster called El Hombre Lagarto! Which I’m pretty sure means “The Lizard Man!” He also loves chickens! And pretty women! And singing! Soon enough, there is fighting. Also: Tom Waits and Li’l Jon.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I’da loved knowing what lunacy was being spouted by everyone. But even without translations, this was bizarre and hilarious and violent. And thus, it was The Goon.


Revival #15

While Dana Cypress tries to piece together the mystery of who murdered her sister Em, the local government is confiscating everyone’s livestock — there are fears that whatever created the revivers is in the groundwater — and in all the cattle and chickens in the area. And young reviver Jordan Borchardt — who, despondent over losing her chance to die again, went nuts and cut off her eyelids last issue — gets turned over to the CDC for study. And the local anti-government wingnut is working to start up his own private militia.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series doesn’t often feel like a mystery to me — the horror is very, very strong in this one — but this one felt like a mystery. Lots of clues being dropped, lots of people thinking about what’s going on, lots of people scheming to get their way. It feels like a real noir in this issue.


Pretty Deadly #2

Well, a lot of stuff happens. And it looks pretty cool. And it might be well written. But dang it, I can’t tell for sure, ’cause I’m not really sure exactly what’s going on.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Listen, I don’t even know most of these characters’ names. How am I supposed to care what’s happening?

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Why City of Heroes never had a chance.
  • Okay, Alan Moore is trying to sell some projects, so of course he’s gonna say some controversial stuff. But to a not-insignificant degree, it’s kinda bullshit. You could say this stuff about any dedicated, passionate fanbase, from comics to gaming to music to sports to politics…
  • Long but enjoyable article about the infamous Max Headroom signal intrusion.

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The Hero Sandwich List of Favorite Comics for 2012

Well, 2012 is almost over, and I’m absolutely delighted to see it go. This has been, without a single doubt, the absolute worst year of my life.

My grandmother died in January — she was 100 years old, but nope, you’re never prepared for that, never, never. Three friends died of cancer. We lost Ray Bradbury. I was diagnosed with diabetes. “City of Heroes” was shut down.

Oh, I know, there are lots of ways it could’ve been worse. Lots of people have gone through more horrible things this year, and I’ve got it relatively good. My family is healthy and happy. I have a job that keeps a roof over my head, food on the table, and comics in the longboxes. I’ve lost about 45 pounds since July, and my health is overall pretty good.

Nevertheless. It’s been a deeply unpleasant, depressing, sorrowful year, and I won’t be at all sad to see it end.

And ya know, this hasn’t been a very good year for comics, either.

We’ve had to sit through DC firing Gail Simone from “Batgirl” for no apparent reason (and then hiring her back when they realized that she was much more popular than anyone else at the company); DC shutting down “Hellblazer” so they can try to turn John Constantine into a superhero; fans responding to the (truly awful sounding) Amazing Spider-Man #700 by making serious death threats against writer Dan Slott (Pff, like Slott came up with that? Joe Quesada and Alex Alonso probably thought that one up, then assigned him to work on it.); DC just straight up being a dick to Alan Moore almost all year long with the (mostly ignored by readers) “Before Watchmen” comics.

And dominating geek news for the entire year has been the bizarre hostility in comics and gaming toward anyone who isn’t a straight white male. In a lot of ways, the gaming industry has been far worse with the hating-on-everyone problem, but the new obsession with Fake Geek Girls is largely focused on the comics fan community, especially cosplayers. Tony Harris’s bizarre misogyny helped play it up, but DC and Marvel have had more than their fair share of He Man Woman Hater moments, too. Really, would you be particularly surprised if Dan DiDio announced he was firing all the female creators at DC?

I’m probably forgetting some really important awful moments for comics, too, but there have just been so dang many of them…

Even the year’s major successes — the films of “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” — were really to be attributed more to the skill, talent, and imagination of movie studios than to comics publishers.

DC, of course, has been the leader in bad comics and bad decisions. Marvel’s been a bit better, but has still shown too much enthusiasm for dull crossover events and poor judgement. The independents have been better than both of the Big Two — and yet I’ve still felt mostly bored with the comics that’ve been released this year.

I went through my pull-list earlier this year and stripped a lot of it out. I was tired of spending so much money on comics, of having to find storage space for all my books. And a lot of what I got rid of was actually pretty good. Scott Snyder’s Batman comic, for example, got pulled off my list. It was just fine, Snyder’s still a fantastic writer, and his work on the Dark Knight is just plain some of the best work anyone’s done with him for years. But I still took it off my list because I wasn’t excited about it. It wasn’t a book I looked forward to getting anymore. There were lots of comics like that — The Massive, Dark Horse Presents, Dial H, Demon Knights, Fatale, Frankenstein, Morning Glories, Popeye, Saucer Country, Unwritten, even B.P.R.D. — and I don’t really regret taking any of them off the list.

So what are my picks for my favorite comics of 2012? Here they are, in alphabetical order…


American Vampire

Still the best and most gloriously visceral horror comic we’ve got. Great characterization, art, and plotting make it a winner every issue.


Atomic Robo

Possibly the most consistently fun and entertaining comic out there. Any comic fan who isn’t reading this is utterly, utterly mad.


Avengers Academy

Cancelled long before its time, I loved this one for the great characterization and for its refusal to fall into the same boring traps as other teen-oriented comics. Random, shock-value deaths were avoided, and the heroes got out of plenty of problems by talking instead of fighting.


Axe Cop

This remains one of the best humor comics you’ll find — the Nicolle brothers are still hugely imaginative, funny, and audacious, even years after they started their comic.



Month after month, the best art you’re going to find in any comic book on the stands.



Probably the best pure superhero comic out there. Mark Waid’s Daredevil is fun, charismatic, clever, action-packed, and just all-around fantastic. And the art is usually pretty darn good, too.


The Goon

Rude? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. Unexpectedly emotional? Yes, yes, yes. Eric Powell would probably kick my ass for saying it, but he’s got more heart than any other comic book creator.


Love and Capes

This superhero sitcom is light on the action, but heavy on the humor, awesome characterization, and brainy storytelling. I would like more of you to read this, please.


Punk Rock Jesus

An amazing story combining religion, punk rock, politics of all stripes, science fiction, and our global obsessions with pop culture and entertainment. Sean Murphy deserves to win all kinds of awards for this.



A very fun modernized re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark.” Great characters, dialogue, humor, and action, all wrapped up in a very friendly all-ages bow. I want Roger Langridge to make more and more comics, that’s all there is to it.


Wonder Woman

This isn’t really a superhero book at all — it’s part horror comic, part urban fantasy, part reboot of the ancient Greek myths. Half the fun of this is seeing what bizarre new forms the Greek gods and monsters will take.

So that’s what I’ve got for this year. I left off a lot of good comics — books that debuted in only the last few months, books that were cancelled in the first month or two of the year, books that were of unquestionably high-quality but which were nevertheless boring me when I finally dropped them.

What can we hope for in the future? I’m sure not dumb enough to try to make predictions, but I’d like to think that, after a year this bad, there’s nowhere the comics industry can go but up. Unfortunately, my optimism bone done got snapped off, and it wouldn’t shock me a bit to see things get even worse in 2013.

Hold on to your hats, and pray for miracles.

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Billy and the Goon

The Goon #43

Hey, it’s a secret crossover between the Goon and Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities! We start out back when Billy the Kid was young and helping to run the old freakshow — Billy wins a trinket in a card game. What is it? It’s the Ossified Baby of Nuremberg, which seems to be a stone statue but is actually alive, and if it isn’t fed a bottle of milk and goat’s blood every Halloween, it’ll come to life and kill everyone it can. Sooooo many years later, the now-elderly Billy comes to town for a show, and a bunch of kids steal the Ossified Baby, which, deprived of its yearly blood-and-milk snack, runs amok. How will this terrible crisis be solved? Easier than you might expect…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not the funniest Goon story or the most violent, but it’s still got lots of great stuff to enjoy. Y’all should be reading every issue of this comic, and I’m a little amazed that y’all don’t.

Daredevil #20

The bizarre teleporting villain Coyote — who used to apparently be the Spot — has severed Daredevil’s head. But Daredevil is still okay, because Coyote’s powers have somehow left the head and the body connected, even though they’re not, well, connected. But Matt can still feel his body, so while Coyote monologues for Daredevil, the hero’s body slips out of its bonds and goes exploring the bad guy’s hideout. Turns out Coyote is running quite a criminal operation based on his teleportational abilities, most of it focused on just generally making people miserable, including using pregnant women as drug mules and creating a vast slavery organization of people who have been teleportationally decapitated like Daredevil. So how can Matt Murdock stop Coyote when he’s got no head?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A vastly clever story. Matt manages some wonderful stunts — even if it’s just his headless body using his cane to feel his way around the lair. And Coyote’s operation is as despicable as you can imagine — he’s definitely a villain worth hating.

Batwoman #14

Batwoman and Wonder Woman have just met Pegasus, son of Medusa. He doesn’t look like a winged horse — he’s more of an immortal cowboy who’s been beaten and tortured horribly by the evil Falchion — and because he’s immortal, it will take him thousands of years to heal, thousands of years of agony. He tells them where to find Medusa — right back in Gotham — and then Wonder Woman grants him a merciful death. Back in Gotham, the Medusa herself is laying siege to the city, along with her army of brainwashed minions and urban legends. Medusa offers Killer Croc another transformation — from the ultimate sewer alligator to the Beast of Babylon. Can two heroines save the day, or is the Medusa’s power too great?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked the story just fine, people, but this is worth buying just so you can marvel at the stunning beauty of the artwork. Every artist who works on this turns in some of their most visually stunning art ever, and I think we really do have to give at least some of the credit for that to writer J.H. Williams III — his astoundingly gorgeous artwork was all over this title, and I strongly suspect his writing instructions are helping the art look so amazing.

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Kickstart the Goon!

What the heck, another new post? I’m gonna spoil you guys for new content.


Surely you’ve seen the preview trailer for the film of “The Goon,” right? It looks awesome, doesn’t it? Well, the rotten thing about that (other than that zombie) is that it’s not in production and hasn’t been able to get funding. Because Hollywood is stupid.

But now there’s a Goon movie Kickstarter to get things rolling. Eric Powell is in it. David Fincher is in it. Other people are in it. Yeah, $400,000 is pretty steep, but you don’t have to provide all of that cash. (Unless you want to, in which case, could I also mention that bloggin’ don’t pay squat? Thanks, rich pals.)

Just wanted to mention it, people, so you’ll go out and help fund that there Kickstarter. The Goon needs to be up on the silver screen!

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Staring Down the Barrel

The Goon #42

Holy cheezwiz, look at that cover. Is that cover not just absolutely beautiful? Yes, it is, kid, don’t contradict me.

The story inside ain’t quite as good as the cover, but it’s still pretty good. Someone’s sending supernatural warnings to the Goon — and the warnings then try to kill him, too. This leads to several pretty funny situations, particularly Goon having to wear Franky’s clothes. So who’s behind the warnings/threats? You can bet it’s a familiar player.

Like I said, not as good as the cover — but that’s probably one of the best covers of the month. It’d be hard for anything to live up to that.

Happy! #1

New miniseries by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. We follow a scumbag ex-cop-turned-hitman as he kills off a serial killer and then a bunch of other hitmen who were out to kill him. Unfortunately, he gets injured and sent to a mob-run hospital, where they plan to torture him for information. Luckily, he’s got a very unexpected friend who’s going to try to help him.

Yeah, I’m not even going to try to spoil that one, ’cause it’s such a nice twist to the story. And yeah, I liked it enough to plan on getting the rest of the series.

Finding Gossamyr #1

The folks running the local shop asked me to give this one a try. It spotlights Denny, an autistic kid who’s a math whiz — more like someone who never answers anything wrong — and Jenna, his sister, his sole guardian. He has a chance to enter a prestigious academy for math geniuses, but he has to try to solve an impossible math problem first, one that’s stumped other mathematicians for centuries. And Denny refuses to solve the problem when he sees it — but he’d done enough work on it to intrigue the teacher, who can tell he’d be able to solve it. Can Denny be forced to solve it? And what are the possible consequences if he does?

This one? Loved it. Obviously, a fantasy story, with our two heroes traveling to a world dominated by what seem to be evil elves and good orcs. The writing and characterization are excellent, and the art is just plain gorgeous. Go pick it up, if you can — it looks like it’ll be a very fun all-ages series.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Last Week’s Comics

Yeah, I’m super-late with reviews, and I just don’t care. After cutting my pull-list in more than half, I ended up getting just four comics — the fewest I’ve picked up in months. And they were all pretty darn good. So, very quickly, let’s look at what we got.

Axe Cop: President of the World #2

It would be impossible for me to describe what goes on here. But there are giant robots, a giant gorilla, an attempt to stab God in the heart with Seattle’s Space Needle, a robot mustache, and a chee-rex, which is a cross between a cheetah and a T-rex.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully mad, as expected. And by all means, let’s take a moment to praise the artwork by Ethan Nicolle (That’s the older brother in the team) — everything he does always looks awesome, and I can’t imagine anyone else who could draw a chee-rex so completely perfectly.

The Goon #41

Most of the story focuses on the disgraced Zombie Priest, trying to build himself back up to a position of power by doing magic for others — always supposedly in their favor, but it always turns out bad for everyone. And the second part of the story features a deranged bog lurk with a mad-on for knocking the Goon’s head off.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see the Zombie Priest returning to become a major threat. And the seriousness of the first story is nicely offset by the wonderful goofiness of the second one.

Captain Marvel #3

Carol Danvers is stuck on an island near Peru during World War II, defending a small all-female squad of Allied saboteurs against Japanese soldiers armed with Kree war machines. And while she can handle one of the alien mega-tanks, is she going to be able to survive a horde of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good fun, nice art, and a few extras that help make it a really entertaining story.

American Vampire #30

Henry Preston is still gravely injured after an attack by vampires, and his wife Pearl and Skinner Sweet hunt the vampires hiding out in Hollywood. They get ambushed by a bunch of vamps just as Henry starts to recover — and just as another terrible twist drives itself into Henry’s and Pearl’s lives.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The action is pretty good, but the emotional whammy of the story, from the beginning all the way to the end, is what really sells this one. It’s an incredible piece of storytelling.

Today’s Cool Links:

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My Pappy Said Son You Gonna Drive Me to Drinkin’ if You Don’t Stop Drivin’ that Hot Rod Lincoln

The Goon #40

Let us step back to those terrible days, long years ago, of Prohibition, when some drunkard with a goat fetish roused the ire of the temperance societies and got hooch banned in Lonely Town. While the Goon and Franky were just teenagers back then, they still knew how to earn a dishonest buck, and they set about brewing their own rotgut whiskey. Alas, their truck was too broken-down to outrun the cops and make their deliveries, so they upgraded their vehicle and were soon keeping Lonely Town awash in low-grade liquor. But they ran afoul of the other bootleggers in town, the Boyles — Rev. Papa Grits Boyle, the snake-handlin’, wizardin’ patriarch, Randal, the stitched-together hot-rodder, Moon Pie, the knife-wielding psycho, and Snakebite Verna, the rotten black-widow sister. There commences a moonshine war that culminates in Franky and Papa Grits accidentally summoning the Devil by dancing the Charleston. The Devil figures  they’re all awful sinners and demands a hot rod race to determine who will go to Hell.

But that’s not all! While Franky’s brewing up a particularly vile batch of firewater, a wild skunk-ape is attracted by the stench and drinks the whole vat dry! And then it mutates into a green-skinned, pop-eyed, snaggle-toothed monster hot rod! Can the Goon capture the hooch monkey? Or will it continue to terrorize the world?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very, very many thumbs ups. A comic that nearly perfectly replicates both the hot-rodding hoodlums genre and the Kustom Kulture artwork of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth? This is drop-dead glorious stuff. Why aren’t you reading “The Goon” already? Do you hate glory!?

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Exorcism #2

BPRD Agent Ashley Strode is visiting the spiritual plane with Father Ota Benga, a priest who has kept the demon Andras imprisoned within his soul for over a hundred years. They must engage in spiritual contact with the demon, drive it from the priest’s soul and into the waiting body of a goat. Does Ashley have a chance of vanquishing the demon and saving Ota’s life?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story from Mike Mignola, excellent art from Cameron Stewart. A nice short two-issue series with plenty of pop, shocks, and horror. Go get it, you’ll like it.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Curbstomping the Reboot

The Goon #39

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the comic that is likely to win some Eisners and Harveys for Eric Powell next year?

Well, Powell, creator of “The Goon,” has finally decided to sell out. He wants money, he wants collector speculation, and he wants some mass-media controversy. So the Goon reveals his new superhero costume and his new overblown superhero origin, and he takes Franky as his scantily-clad sidekick. Then they change costumes and origins a few pages later, and a few pages after that, and a few pages after that. Will Powell finally get the media coverage he craves, even with the giant splash pages, the Thong of Nobility, angst-ridden monologues, vector graphics software, gratuitous ass-shots, multicolored Goons, variant covers, inevitable betrayals, and constant reboots?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a pretty sure bet that Eric Powell is never going to work for DC Comics again, not after completely savaging the company this way. From the perfect Dark Horse With A Band-Aid logo on the cover to the DiDioesque/Johnsian plot twists and Jim Lee costume designs, this was a joy to read from beginning to end. Seriously, it’s a near-certain shoo-in for awards next year.

My only question is this: Are we seeing the beginning of the long-awaited backlash on DC’s Reboot? Or just a brief flare-up of dissent?

American Vampire #26

A new storyarc, this time focusing on Calvin Poole, a character we last saw all the way back in Issue #19. Calvin used to be a member of the Vassals of the Morning Star, a vampire-hunting organization, and he ended up getting turned into an American vampire when he was infected by a broken glass vial of Pearl Jones’ blood. Now he’s wandering the American South and occasionally killing and eating racist rednecks. He learns of an integrated doo-wop group and gets recognized by one of its members. He gets warned off by some teenagers who say he and the doo-wop group will die if they stay in town, and he gets some protection from a group of veterans. But the danger for Calvin is that he really has no idea who his friends and enemies really are…

Verdict: Thumbs up. I was afraid Calvin Poole had been completely forgotten — glad we’ll get to see a story focusing on him — and with a setting in the Deep South of the 1950s, this story should be juicy in more ways than one.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Dysfunctional Family Circus

The Goon #38

Eric Powell takes a break from the usual mad shenanigans to give us a look at the life of Kizzie, the Goon’s aunt, a circus strongwoman who raised him from infancy. We follow her from childhood, contending with the jeers of her schoolmates and the thuggishness of her brother Rooney, as she grows up to be a young woman, unusually strong from working on the family farm. She breaks her engagement with her fiancee because she unwisely falls for a conceited trapeze artist. Despite getting a job as the strongwoman, things don’t go well for Kizzie — she has an abortion, her beau dies, she quits to get a factory job, and Rooney makes a return to foist off his unwanted child on her. Something familiar about this little tyke…

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one is just plain glorious. All I can think to say about it — just plain glorious. Why ain’t more of you guys reading “The Goon”?

Batman #7

If you thought we were going to get a break from the Court of Owls, you were way, way wrong. Batman gets his heart restarted by some random fangirl with a car battery and jumper cables — something that seems medically unsound — and makes his way back to the Batcave, where he learns that Alfred has already acquired the body of the Talon, the assassin who’d almost killed him. After an autopsy, Bruce reveals to Dick Grayson that the Talon’s body was infused with electrum, which allowed the Court to resurrect him with electricity any time he was killed. And he also learns that the Talon was Dick Grayson’s great-grandfather, and that Dick was initially chosen to be a Talon, too, before he was orphaned. And the Court is hardly down for the count — they plan to wage war on all of Gotham City.

Verdict: Ehh, I really don’t know. It all seems fine, well-written, you name it. I’m just not so fond of the way the Court of Owls is turning into a way to rewrite Bat-continuity willy-nilly.

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – The Long Death #2

Johann Kraus has let his obsession with capturing or killing Ben Daimio get away from him. While he was stalking Daimio for destroying Johann’s old temporary body while he’d transformed into a jaguar demon, Daimio ends up killing almost an entire BPRD squad. He leads a small squad back into the wilderness, and they meet up with a wendigo, which uncharacteristically does not attack them. When the squad comes across the bloody remains of a family slaughtered while camping, Johann is able to possess one of the more intact corpses to take the battle to Daimio, with the aid of a magic dagger.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bloody character study of two people who have slid a long way down the scale from their best moments. Excellent suspense, very nice creepiness, and outstanding art, too.

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Friday Night Fights: Harpy Harm!

Alright, people, I ain’t got time to mess around, so let’s jump right into this. It’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from January 2008’s The Goon #20 by Eric Powell, as the Goon and Franky have to deal with a mid-air attack by a couple of harpies.

That oughtta do it for tonight. Now get out there and have an awesome weekend — I’ll see youse mugs back here on Monday.

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