The Goon and the Ghost

The Goon #12:
When you've got a Spanish-speaking lizard guy, a resurrected villain named "Dr. Alloy" and an army of robots what more do you need?

This is the first issue of The Goon I have ever read and that's a shame. This is a really good comic book. I had heard good things about Eric Powell before and I had been told to check out this title specifically. Powell even lives in the same state I do so I had read stories in local papers about him.

The art is incredible. Powell has a gift for facial expressions and composition that rivals Kevin Maguire's work. Powell's style is nothing like Maguire's but both artists are able to convey what they want to elegantly. Check out Powell's site for examples of his work.

The writing (also by Powell) is excellent. It's funny and compelling and downright silly in places which is exactly what this story needs. The dialogue is snappy and the jokes are always part of the story. The Goon himself is an excellent character. He's the tough guy you all want to root for. He'd make a great movie action hero but Hollywood would probably screw it up. An animated series would be better but it would have to be on HBO to really convey the mood of the comic.

The Iron Ghost #1: I picked this one up on a whim. I really like World War II stories, especially those from the European Theatre. The story is introduced very well and we get some tantalizing hints about why the title character does what he does. I'm not spoiling anything by telling you that this comic is about someone who has it in for SS Officers and goes around Berlin during the heaviest American/English bombing raids killing them. The story alternates between the Iron Ghost and two German police detectives who have been assigned to solve these murders in the midst of all this chaos.

The art by Sergio Cariello is excellent. He uses a narrow, dark pallette of browns, blacks and greys to give the whole thing a historical feel. It also fits the story very well. Chuck Dixon wrote the story and he does a great job of balancing the main character's need for revenge against the brutality of his actions. This is one angry guy. The whole thing has a very "The Shadow" feel to it. In fact, the cover is an obvious nod to that look.

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