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Is It Good? The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #2 Review

The Goon has gotten a lot more literal and mean in this latest series from show runner Eric Powell. So, what’s his deal, why is this happening, and where’s the humor?

The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #2 (Dark Horse Comics)

Last month Powell dropped the bomb that is this new series on readers as Goon has gone straight violent psycho and killed a bunch of characters we know and love. Gone is the prevalent humor, replaced with a violent and unforgiving Goon. Of course, longtime readers are going to want to know what the heck is going on, so we’re all here this week to find out.

To say I was surprised how this played out is an understatement. The issue opens normal enough with Goon getting info on the next two folks he’s going to kill. On his way he picks up The Island of Dr. Moreau to kill some time. He takes a seat and begins to read the book and the comic follows him telling the story. Essentially this issue is an adaptation of that tale as it delves into what it means to be human. It’s relevant to Goon’s current state of mind because he’s gone and become an animal in all his violence. It’s a bit disappointing there isn’t more Goon in this issue, but it is a good read nonetheless.

Gotta kill some time. How about a book?

Powell draws the Dr. Moreau portion in a sketchy style with backgrounds getting the least treatment. This separates it from the Goon portion and thoroughly makes it feel more pulpy. When Goon finishes reading the story and we cut back to his killings it’s obvious what Powell is going for, but it’s not like it’s any big surprise. We know something is off with Goon and he’s gone and become a killer, but the questions we had coming into this issue still remain.

I was a bit sad to see the fun use of color in the previous issue was abandoned, but this is partly due to most of the issue becoming an adaptation of a classic novel. As single issues go the art works and it’s a nice installment, but part of me wonders if it’s just filling the time for this four part series. Time will tell how important the retelling of The Island of Doctor Mureau will be for this storyline, but as of right now it comes as a bit of a miss.

Ultimately this is a bold risk to take and yet another sign that Powell likes to take chances. The fact is, the story is served by telling another story, and those of us who love storytelling should dig the direction Powell takes here. That said, it’s a bit surprising how much of this issue focuses on a story outside of itself.

Gotta kill some time. How about a book?

Is It Good?

A surprise as the story takes a break to tell a classic tale, some might find this frustrating as it doesn’t progress the plot, but in some ways delvers into the possible psychosis of Goon.


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