Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: The Goon Volume 1 Nothin' But Misery


The Goon and Frankie are back in action in Nothin' But Misery, written and drawn by Eric Powell and published by Dark Horse.

This first volume collect issues #1 to #4, The Goon Color Special and the short story Die Fish Die.

In this volume the Goon and Frankie have to deal with Zombies (of course), Alien Mook, Haunted Houses, Fishy Pete, ancient revenges and Santa Claus.

How is it?

Eric Powell continues the saga of the Goon and his pal Frankie, this time with Dark Horse. And it all starts with our good friend Fishy Pete in Die Fish Die. What?! You don't know Fishy Pete? Well, he's a dock worker that opposes the Labrazio's Mob presence in the docks. Still don't remember him? Then go read my Volume 0 review. This time Fishy Pete strikes back at the Goon. Basically it goes as well as you're imagining, but with some very hilarious and Monty Python ish moments.

In the first chapter the Goon will learn two important lessons. First and foremost loony old people that play in the mud know a hole lot of stuff, secondly haunted houses are no laughing matter. As fate as it the Goon and Frankie stumble upon an old treasure buried deep in a haunted house by some low life a few years before.

Yes Goon, you can touch
Eric choose to write this book with episodic short or issue long stories, that are, for the most part, interchangeable with each other. While the weak continuity and lack of a strict reading order might turn some comic book readers off, I love it here. Eric does a great job coming up with original, albeit a bit gimmicky, ideas that keep the light humor and heavy action rolling and far from stale.

So the second chapter is a new story, and this time is for an old foe of the Goon to inhabit the body of an Ogre and seek revenge. Needless to say there will be fist-a-cups, blood, tears and inflatable chickens. Also, contrary to popular mythos, this Ogre is very well-spoken, much more than our hero and galaxies more than Frankie.

Question: Have you ever asked yourself how Eric would incorporate a Ghost Rider, Phantom Stranger or Crimson Avenger type of concept into The Goon? No? Me neither, but Eric did and the result is in the third chapter of this book. The ending is somewhat predictable but that didn't stop me from enjoying this odd but entertaining story.

Fishy Pete

The Goon Christmas Story. This alone should make you want to read it. But if you have to know more, then here it goes. Evil elves, badass cowboy Santa, hot lady in red, frozen zombies and gift giving Goon.

The forth and (almost) last chapter is the weakest . During a night out on the town with his girlfriend Frankie gets kidnapped by a magician and his evil assistants. Then Goon goes to the rescue. Its not a bad story but its not quite up to par with the previous ones.

Last but not least there is a short story about an Alien Mook that comes to Earth to conquer some turf and get down to business. Well, being a short story there isn't much to talk about, but I can say one thing... I laughed hard when the punchline came.


Overall this is a fun and entertaining book. I had high expectation and I wasn't disappointed. Eric kept the writing cool, funny and dynamic and the art constant in quality and always a delight to see. If you've read the Goon and didn't like it, then this is not for your. If you never read the Goon then this is a good jump in point. If you're a fan then you should already own it. Recommended.

Publisher: Dark Horse
Authors: Eric Powell

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  1. I read the first issue in one of those Dark Horse reprints that go on sale for 1 buck. And I enjoyed it. A lot. I don't know why I didn't order the trade. I love Eric's writing and his art.

  2. This was one of those "greatest books I never read". Then I got Volume 0 as a gift for Christmas and I was immediately hooked.

    Eric Powell manages to balance a fun and fast paced writing with consistently good art. Like yourself, I'm also a fan :)

  3. This sounds fun! I recently read (but haven't posted the review yet) the latest Criminal Macabre TP and it includes a single-issue Goon crossover. I'd never even heard of him before but really enjoyed the story, then I remembered someone posted about him last month so came back to check out your post. Will have to add it to the never ending list of must reads!

    1. Hi Nicola,

      This is fun!

      And cheap, as much as a american tpb can be. The good news is that this is widely available.

      I've only started reading the Goon this year but intend to catch up by next year.