"The Goon" Strikes Back with Eric Powell

As the late 20th century philosopher James Todd Smith III once said, "Don't call it comeback."

Indeed, according to creator Eric Powell, "The Goon" never really left.

It has been nearly a year since #18 of the Eisner Award-winning series hit the shelves, but Powell told CBR News not to get our fancy pants in a knot.

"Aww, c'mon, guys! Don't make it sound so drastic," joked Powell. "We did give you the 'Goon: Noir' [anthology] series during that time."

True enough, but fans of the buff brawler have been anxious to return to their bi-monthly fix of "The Goon" from Dark Horse Comics.

Eric Powell's the Goon is a mob enforcer who has faced everything from ghouls to grave robbers over the course of the first 18 issues of a series that captured Eisners for Best Single Issue/Single Story in 2004 and Best Continuing Series and Best Humor Publication in 2005.

Powell, who made headlines in February when it was announced he would illustrate a three-issue Bizarro arc in Geoff Johns and Richard Donner's "Action Comics," said, "'The Goon' #19 picks up where #17 left off due to the fact that #18 is a fill-in book following the outcry over the 'Satan's **** Baby' issue," which was later released as a one-shot on April 25, never to be printed again.

The Tennessean Powell explained, "#17 was supposed to be the cliff hanger but that plan got screwed up. Norton's Pub has been destroyed and the Priest's new changeling army is swarming the town. #19 is really the beginning of the second arc of 'The Goon.' The story is starting to spring off in a new direction."

Norton's is of course is the Goon's favorite watering hole, while the aforementioned Priest is actually the Zombie Priest, the Goon's personal Lex Luthor.  

Powell revealed that in the forthcoming arc, zombie Willie Nagel will become more of a main character and that an old foe returns for some more roughhousing with the Goon and his sidekick Franky.   Willie Nagel, the serviceable slackjaw, is "becoming more useful for the Goon to keep around," said Powell. "And the Harpies and Drakston Entity will be making a return. Other than that, you'll just have to read it."

With "The Goon" #19 due in stores Wednesday, July 18 readers need not wait long. And while #19 is a great place for folks to jump on the Goon bandwagon, Powell explained that is the case for most of his books. "I try to make all the 'Goon 'issues somewhat self contained," Powell explained.

The highly idiosyncratic Goon's popularity in the mainstream market is vexing to some, and even Eric Powell is not exactly sure why the Goon is such a beloved hero in this world of webslingers and men of steel. "I really have no idea why people have responded to it the way they have," said Powell. "But If I had to guess it would be because it kind of sticks out in the crowd of caped crusaders. Not that the caped ones can't have a little fun, as well."

Of his time on DC's "Action Comics," illustrating Superman and Bizarro, Powell proclaimed, "It has been awesome. "[Writers Geoff Johns and Richard Donner] are giving me some really fun stuff to work with and letting me throw in some quirky input, which I appreciate."

Powell's three-issue "Action Comics" arc debuts in #855 on August 29 while his highly anticipated 128-page original graphic novel "The Goon: Chinatown" is expected September 19.   

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