Retards and Brainwashed Clowns

At first glance, the cast from Adult Swim’s hit show “Metalocalypse” and Eric Powell’s Eisner Award-winning series “The Goon” don’t exactly mix. One is fueled by making fun of pop culture and the present state of the music industry, while the other, involves zombies, sci-fi and noir elements and stabbing criminals in the eye.

By the end of the one-shot comic “Deathclok vs The Goon,” however, it’s hard not to be won over by the antics and great artwork throughout.

When it’s all over, what is so different about both of these entities ends up not being so different after all. That’s essentially because Powell never tries to separate them. Instead, a witty concoction is forged, allowing these two wild forces to co-exist, albeit for a short time.

Capturing the look and feel of “Metalocalypse” could have been difficult, but Powell does an exceptional job here. He makes you feel like you’re in your underwear with a beer, watching the show like you normally would be when these characters pop up. Overall, Powell makes the characters viable and aesthetically pleasing in the medium, without taking out any of the traits that make them so hilarious away from them.

As a matter of fact, you might say that the writing here is even funnier than what is on the show. That though is partly responsible due to the idea that these two worlds have been smashed together. It certainly helps too that the situations all of the characters face are all once in a lifetime. And of course, Powell makes awesome use of this. Toki and Frankie especially find themselves in a heap of trouble that no one can help them out of. The type of laughter produced here as a result doesn’t normally come from a comic book.

That is if you find rock and roll guitarists sleeping with elderly gypsy women and getting an STD afterwards, hilarious.

At the same time, the best part of the comic is that both Frankie and the Goon are able to do more than co-exist with Deathclok. Without a doubt, they are the harbingers of many of the jokes and blood spilled in the tale. This in turn makes the story feel more like a Goon comic, yet one that will never be written again.

With the best elements of both of these worlds are put on showcase, it’s hard to not find something to like here. The pace overall is quick and it’s a decent sized one-shot, full of great art and a fun story, it just all ends as you’re getting used to everything.

You don’t want the fun to end.

That, however, isn’t Powell’s fault. Instead, it’s a testament to his ability to take his readers on a ride that is unlike anything else out there right now.

Throw up your devil horns because this one-shot rocks, and hard.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9556 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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