Anyone familiar with the first two trades of Eric Powell’s “The Goon” knows exactly what to expect in the third volume, “The Goon: Heaps of Ruination,” as the throwback noir-stories with a zombie twist are just as funny and engaging as ever before.
This time around however, the story, which collects issues five though eight of the series, is fleshed out even more, making for some of the most memorable tales in the series thus far.
Continuing to develop all of the characters, Powell does a stellar job of showing just how lonely a man the Goon actually is. Seeing a sexy, vampire spirit that has plagued the entire town take pity on his soul, due to the amount of emptiness in his heart is easily the most compelling moment of the series up to that point. Most characters as funny as the Goon don’t have such a soft side and seeing him battle with severe depression and still find away to be a good guy is extremely endearing.
This kind of character development isn’t limited to the main character however. Seeing the Buzzard deal with his own immortality is also an extremely emotional moment that is written carefully and charismatically. Feeling like an ode to “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Frankenstein,” Powell has created a world pull of drama, intrigue and blood.
Because of this, anyone bored with the offerings from the bigger comic book companies owes it to themselves to check out the series and this trade.
Making this trade a must own is also the continued development of characters like Merle the Werewolf and Dr. Hieronymous Alloy, who like the other characters Powell has introduced in the series, are cool enough by themselves to draw readers’ attention on their own. Scared of everything and preferring to stay by himself in his human form, Merle is incredibly helpful as a werewolf and does whatever he has to do to help the Goon. The same thing goes for Alloy, who after being released from jail, has become a good guy and one that is quite possibly the strongest character in the comics universe. Seeing him subconsciously battle his own demons while help the Goon is a fun ride as well and goes a long way in helping keep the series fresh and different.
Continuing this process is the one-shot with Hellboy, which by itself is a huge reason to pick up the trade. Seeing these two characters mingle, argue, fight and eventually come to terms with each other is a blast. Seeing Mike Mignola’s art combined with Powell’s writing is a treat as well. After reading this story in the collection, you’ll wonder why these two weren’t paired together a long time ago.
After establishing the character through its first handful of issues on the independent scene and its first five issues with Dark Horse, “Heaps of Ruination,” is anything but a letdown and proves that this is a series with staying power with even more room to grow than anyone could have expected.
Pick up this trade before Peaches Valentine throws feces at you.