Review: Goon: For Want of Whiskey and Blood

This 128-page collection of The Goon issues 42 through 45 also includes a great sketch gallery—as if you did not have enough reason to read Powell’s masterpiece.  If you are not of the kind to collect individual issues, here’s the chance to grab a block of the finest stories and sequential art to grace the medium of comics. Issue 42 revolves around a boxer named Chandler who gets a magical kick from a stranger named Sullivan while the Goon gets supernatural warnings portending disaster.  After surviving that debacle, the Goon gets a visit from Billy the Kid’s traveling sideshow.  All I can say is that winning the Ossified Baby of Nuremberg sounded like a good idea for Billy, but the result of the win meant one hell of a Halloween for the Goon and Frankie.

The Goon For Want of Blood and Whiskey 10.8.14In the next chapter (Issue 44), a Mexican musical breaks out when a cockfight and a menacing lizard bring the Goon far south.  To whet their whistles, the Goon and Frankie join a sailor on a bar hopping expedition.  In true Goon style, drinks aren’t the only things beings served for this adventure.

Five-time Eisner winner Eric Powell’s masterwork follows a big lug that has the size and demeanor to keep the supernatural in check.  Think of him as a bouncer for the occult interlopers.  His sidekick Frankie, always quick with a quip and a Tommy gun, accompanies the Goon on all the adventures.

The stories never fall into cliché, and most take on a satirical tone that lampoons everything from the comic book industry to stardom.  Besides satire, the amount of humor in a book like this is unparalleled.  Gags can range from Frankie messing with the toilets to elaborate visual homages to Ed Roth’s Rat Fink.

At times the stories in this comic can turn from humor to poignant and emotional.  The backstory revolving around the Goon’s mother (stories not included in this trade paperback) will evoke the deepest emotions in readers.

As far as the art is concerned, I have made this statement before—a statement that best surmises Powell’s talent.  Each frame of every Goon comic could be hung in a museum.

This is a great second chance to enter the Goon’s world of ass kicking supernatural adventure.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Eric Powell Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $16.99 Release Date: 10/8/14 Format: TPB; Print/Digital