A Goon Halloween special? The hell you say! I both love and hate writing reviews for The Goon. I love it because I get to talk about The Goon. I hate it, because The Goon doesn’t really need to be reviewed and everything has been said about. I’ve said everything about it. Other reviewers on the site have said everything about it. It’s a book that you either love and respect or one that you’ve never read and really should.
We’re given a quick introduction to the Theatre Bizarre which is a carnival that you don’t want to run away and join because you’re basically damning your soul. After that we pick up with Goon, Franky and the Kid as they caravan with their carnival to the next stop. They get lost in the fog though and come across the Theatre Bizarre. Goon has a bad feeling about it, but after Franky spots a “Girls, Girls, Girls” sign he’s ready to go in. The story introduces an old character to the Goonverse and sets the stage for jokes and hijinks.
Eric Powell’s humor is still sharp. His wit on this series is always impressive. When he’s in his element with his characters he’s incredibly funny and this special just proves it. There’s a great gag about what the Kid should say if anyone tries to abduct him. I actually laughed out loud. Not just a smirk and me saying I laughed when I in fact did not, but a real laugh. There’s dozens of throwaway lines that are funny as hell. There’s a great Halloween vibe to this story that Powell captures and really this is the vibe and the execution that you want for any Halloween story.
Like every Eric Powell book the art is exceptional. Powell really puts everything into this special making each page and panel a work of art. The thing is, this issue isn’t any better than a normal issue of The Goon because Powell always puts his all into every issue. There’s some maturish content in the issue depending on your level of prudness, but for everyone else it will just be a visual treat.
The question becomes, “if I’ve never read The Goon, is this the place to start?” Probably. I mean if you want a deep backstory for the characters and to know why their altogether then you won’t get that here. What you will get is a story that feels inclusive. You don’t have to have read every issue of The Goon to read Theatre Bizarre. You just need to understand what the story is doing and get that there’s going to be a mixture of comedy and drama when the story calls for it. Or if you’re just a fan of Halloween one-shots, then check this baby out.
The Goon in Theatre Bizarre Creator: Eric Powell Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/14/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital