Continuing the story from “Nothin’ But Misery,” the second volume of the Goon’s adventures is a must-read for any fan of the series. The fact that it’s an origin story makes it a great place to start reading, but truth be told, it’s more enjoyable when read after the first.
Think of it like cheese and white wine; or in the case of Frank and the Goon, beer and pork chops.
Deciding to unravel a character’s origin after a handful of issues usually isn’t a smart thing to do, but writer/artist Eric Powell manages to weave it in almost seamlessly. Between an update an Buzzard’s status and few fun stories and new characters being introduced in between, we find out how the Goon got to become the man of action he is today. Intriguing to say the very least, readers who questioned the depth of this character before will find themselves more attached to him than ever before.
Those who’ve experienced some type of loss in their lives will have something in common with the wrench-swinging anti-hero, while those who have ever felt insecure about their own appearances and abilities for love will find themselves with a new favorite character.
When it’s all said and done, it’s safe to say there’s a little bit of the Goon in all of us.
Simply put, it’s easy to dismiss this series because of how funny it is, but beneath it all, there are touches of humanity, levity and wit in this work that make it one of the best original comics in the industry today. As far as Dark Horse comics go, no one but Hellboy himself can hold a candle to the Goon.
Because of that, you’ll be hypnotized while reading, and finish so quickly that you’ll want to run to pick up the next trade to find out what’s happening at Norton’s Pub.
As was the case in the first trade, the writing is hilarious but deeper than you’d expect. Powell doesn’t develop many new characters, but the ones he does are interesting and have plenty of room to grow. With this being the case, the series has a long shelf life ahead of it, with plenty of twists and turns that can and will take place. After reading this trade, you’ll be positive that Buzzard can hold down a series by himself; the same thing goes for Frank, a sidekick that, on his own accord, is not afraid to march to the beat of his own drum.
Seeing a cast this strong is something that’s not an average occurrence in a comic book, especially one that first reads more like a parody and tribute to the long -lost comic-noir and horror genres.
After some time, however, the trade maintains a comfortable and fun feel, thanks in part to a group of characters who, for the most part, are all leaders that look to someone special to lead them.
Nevertheless, in spite of the excellent supporting cast, finding out the tragic story of Goon’s origin is one of the best reading experiences a comic book fan can go through. Powell’s art only exacerbates this feeling more, as the remarkable splash pages and use of color are a feast for the eyes and a hailing reminder that comic-book art doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed or intelligent to be superb.
Never pompous, always gritty and whimsical and consistently thoughtful, “My Murderous Childhood” is a must-own trade that reaffirms Dark Horse’s ability to deliver the goods in a completely different way than the other companies in the industry.
Read it now, before Frank stabs you in the eye.