Review: The Goon #51

This is a pretty dense issue all things considered.  The story builds a little on the previous issue but the narrative framing device uses The Island of Dr. Moreau to provide parallels between the characters in the book and the emotional state of Goon.  It’s effective but thick not providing a whole lot of instantly relevant information or action.  You’re mostly reading passages from The Island of Dr. Moreau and forced to think about how that relates to our current situation. The-Goon-#51Normally I would classify such an act as being up one’s own ass.  When Alan Moore used a pirate comic book in his regular comic book I thought it was that bearded wizard being up his own ass.  Really, I think most of his work could be classified as being up his own ass.  I know, I know, please send all hate mail to dorstincableal@comblicbrastards.corn.  Dustin loves hate mail and will take the time to address every single one of your concerns.  In great detail.  So, normally I would look at using a classic work of fiction in your contemporary work of fiction as a way to steal profundity without earning it.  You simply say “THIS IS LIKE THIS!” as you bang two concepts together like toy cars.  But it works for me here.  I don’t know why, but I feel that if you have been on the road with the Goon all along it might be even more relatable.

The text talks about animal versus man and the progression of our protagonist from an animal that thinks it’s a man to someone that sees himself and the world for what it really is: a world of animals living a lie.  The Goon is feeling that descent into animalism and at first there is an impression that he might be disgusted by this realization and seek another route.  At one point you can see this realization on his face and he gets up and appears to leave, but in the last few panels we see that he was only getting up to murder two people sent to kill him in a terrible way.  I’m sorry to spoil it, but it’s the reason this narrative framing works instead of feeling pretentious.  It takes you one way and then delivers something else and does it in a way that’s more affective.  Not effective, it certainly ends up being an effective story device but it makes affective.  It influences how you feel about the story and the character.  It influences on an emotional level and it enhances a story that could have easily descended into pretentiousness.  More importantly we see another side of Goon as he realizes his inner darkness and chooses to embrace it instead of taking the ‘high road’.  Another really solid story but I think the best story of this arc is yet to come so I'm saving that perfect score for when this inevitably blows my mind.

Score: 4/5

The Goon #51 Writer/Artist/Creator: Eric Powell Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/25/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital