Two comics that can be loosely linked. One review. No one gets out alive.*
The Goon #32- I’m a very sporadic Goon reader, but decided to pick this issue up because I’m a sucker for anniversary issues. That and guest artist sketchbook. While that had its moments (Kevin Nowlan’s piece was especially awesome), the really interesting backmatter came from Powell’s sketches. It was really cool to see how the Goon evolved from a completely different character altogether (who looks like he could have fit in at Image in the mid-90s quite well) and get Powell’s thoughts on each step in the process.
As for the story, well, it’s what you’d expect from the Goon, more or less. It’s got some laugh out loud moments (I seriously lost it when the Rape Gorilla showed up), a monster gets punched, and the Little Unholy Bastards being little unholy bastards. All that and a Frank Darabont guest appearance to set Eric Powell (and his amazing hat with shifting text that puts 30 Rock ‘s Frank to shame) straight on his comedy rules. That’s worth $4 all by itself.
Killer of Demons #1- From a ten year anniversary issue to a debut. Chris Sims convinced me to give this a shot with his powers of reputable influence. He’d never steared me wrong on a reccomendation before. He still hasn’t.
Christopher Yost and Scott Wegener give us the story of an office drone with the unenviable task of killing demons (if nothing else, this is certainly the most straightforward title for a new comic I’ve seen in awhile) that only he can see.
It’s vaguely reminiscent of many similar stories in various media(Reaper being the one that jumped to mind immediately for me), but Yost and Wegener do it with enough humor and character work that it doesn’t feel generic. I’ve barely read any of their other comics work (I did enjoy that FBCD issue of Atomic Robo, and I know it’s got fans around here, so I should get on that), but this was certainly enjoyable.
I was a little surprised with the self censorship on the cursing (especially since the rest of the comic isn’t). It could be that, after playing 50 Cent: Blood On the Sand and House of the Dead: Overkill back to back recently, I’ve become too accustomed to genre entertainment with hot and cold running profanity. Or maybe I just think that Dr. McNinja does it better, if it’s meant to be a gag.
At any rate, this was a good first issue. It set up the premise while being a satisfying read in its own right, and delivering a pretty cool cliffhanger that ensures I’ll be picking up the rest of the series (it helps that it’s only 3 issues). The $4 price tag for a first issue’s a little much, and it’s annoying to see Image match Marvel in that regard without offering any back up material at all, but the issue was good enough that the sting of that is reduced.