Despite the similarities the logo shares with “Goonies” and the apparent zombie on the cover of this comic book, “Goners” #1, co-created by writer Jacob Semahn and artist Jorge Corona contains a story that is equal parts mystery, adventure and supernatural thriller — imagine “Escape to Witch Mountain” meets “Leave It To Chance” with a side of “Invincible.”
Semahn and Corona elect to hit the ground running in “Goners” #1, introducing readers to the Latimer family and the rain-soaked, shadowy world that surrounds them. The elder Latimers, Raleigh and Evelyn, are news darlings, chasing down mysterious threats and righting wrongs in televised affairs. In this debut issue, however, their adventures are cut short while the spotlight shifts over to their children: seventeen-year-old Zoe and twelve-year-old Josiah. Semahn keeps the duo arm’s reach from most of the literary sibling cliches, a choice that gives the characters a chance to reach out to readers. The writer doesn’t dwell on either character, nor does he choose to elaborate on setting or scenario, choosing instead to advance the story and raise the stakes for all involved.
Corona’s art, colored by Gabriel Cassata with lettering from Steve Wands, is animated and manga-influenced, with characters sporting button noses, enormous eyes, barrel-chests or all of the above. Corona squares off fingers in a very Kirbyesque manner, giving the art an odd balance of being flashy and classic at the same time. Cassata compounds that vibe by employing ben-day dots instead of textures and keeping the panels cleanly colored. Wands’ letters find all the right voices and grunts for the characters present, the devices the stories are transmitted through and the creepy creatures attacking from the shadows. The storytelling in “Goners” #1 is sharp and dynamic in the present day, nostalgic and warm in the flashbacks and crisp throughout this comic book.
My initial thoughts on seeing the cover to “Goners” #1 was, “Great. Another zombie book.” If there’s one thing this adventure from Semahn and Corona is, it is not another zombie book. This first issue is an action-packed thriller that establishes a world where magic held sway. That sway shifts and now the real story can be told as readers learn about the world inhabited by the Latimers, the bakaaks they are attacked by and the unknown mysteries Raleigh and Evelyn were pursuing. Image has another sneaky fun hit on the stands with “Goners” #1, and they start it off right, with action, adventure and mystery. Worlds will be built around that, but for now this is the core of this series and Zoe and Josiah are relatable point of view characters to guide readers through those introductions.