Goon + Halloween = a no brainer.
From Goon’s ghouls and monster fights to the gloom and doom of the town in which he lives, the combo is about as logical as it gets. Is it good, though?
The Goon in Theatre Bizarre (Dark Horse Comics)
Since this is a one-shot there’s really no need to know who Goon is or his sidekick either. They’re two rough and tumble characters who like to drink and fight. This issue opens with a question, “Where do monsters come from?” That may not be answered in this issue, but you certainly learn of a dark source of evil which just so happens to run a circus: Zombo the Clown. Zombo is not a very friendly dude and we soon find Goon trapped in the circus due to the meddling burlesque queen Roxi D’lite.
Why does this comic book matter?
It’s Halloween and there’s a potentially awesome horror story to be had here. It’s going to be creepy for sure because artist/writer Eric Powell knows how to lay down the creepy with atmospheric weirdness. Plus he has the help of John Dunivant to make this a truly haunting affair. Plus who doesn’t like a good evil circus?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
There is some beautiful art to be had in this one-shot from freaky skull clowns to some epic red moon scenes. There’s blending of styles too from sketchy pencil to full on paintings and another page that I could swear was 3D animated. The landscapes and night sky are just spooky to the point of deserving to be blown up and put on your wall. Simply put the art alone is worth the price of admission.
The story isn’t too bad either. It has its customary humorous undertones sure, but there are overarching vibes of ominous and eerie at play as well. It really all starts with Zombo the Clown and by issue’s end I wanted to learn more about this creature. Roxi D’lite and the rest of her circus coworkers are slaves of a sort, but they’ve found their place within their line of work. Her character is somewhat sad considering what she does, but she’s cunning (she thinks so) and out for freedom. It’s unfortunate Roxi takes so much time in the spotlight away from the creepy Zombo, but she’s interesting enough to hold court when she’s on the page.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The story itself isn’t very deep. Sure Roxi has a plan but from the start you can see how this tale will unfold. Goon isn’t ever in danger, but then again he’s so invincible nobody should really be worried for him, but that admittedly decreases any tension.
It’s not so subtle with the sexual undertones either. “Queen of the Cooch” isn’t very veiled and could offend some, but since when does Powell ever curtail his message?
Is It Good?
There’s no better place for atmospheric weirdness this Halloween than The Goon in Theatre Bizarre.
You can find this comic on the stands October 14th.