What’s really scary is how unscary it can be.
Eric Powell has come a long way in his Goon series; the pencils get better with every issue, and his amazing touch seems not to be adding, but rather taking away from what’s unnecessary to reveal the truth of the character that’s been there all along. Like a sculptor chipping away at marble to release the art inside, Powell has turned this clump of foul humor and rampant violence into a stoic, tragic creature whose pain, sorrow, and misery allow us victory and pathos.
SPOILERS for the series (but not for this issue) follow.
Having dealt with the boys sent to kill him in the last issue, the Goon heads to take out the man who sent them. In a sequence that is mystifying and terrifying, he confronts his tormentor in a scene reminiscent of Alan Moore’s classic, Watchmen, where the Comedian confronts Moloch. Yeah, it’s THAT good. The terror comes through in this homage to the classic scene, but Powell’s dark, twisted, and sadistic heart (all of this said with the greatest admiration for him being exactly that) finishes it as only he can.
What Powell can do on a page with so little seeming effort is incredible, and his form seems only to be getting better with every issue. Every line has purpose, every motion and moment thoughtfully crafted, even so far as how much some characters like Frankie have sunk to the sidelines to allow the major pieces to shine, and watching Goon’s slow destruction is mesmerizing and heartbreaking. The cant of a head, the loll of a tongue, the spatter of bloodspray Powell turns into an art so incredibly delicate under the raw power and action of every scene that it’s hard to imagine any subject not being filled and fraught with meaning and conviction.
So, yeah, I think it’s good. Go and buy it, read it good, too. (Used up all my eloquence and syntax above. Sorry.) Bye bye now. Read.
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