Monday, June 23, 2014

Review - The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot)

"Well, no luck here. Three beers barback!"

Ever find yourself out on one of those nights where you can't really remember anything that happened? Fighting followed you from bar to bar, even as you were trying to help a new friends. If you're The Goon, you're more than capable of handling yourself, especially when you've got your trusty friend Franky on hand. Dark Horse Comics tells that tale in The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) written and illustrated by Eric Powell and colored by Dave Stewart (and a tribute cover by Jack Davis).

Goon and Franky meet a sailor from Georgia who's on the hunt for his buddy Harvey. The trio (Georgia included) decide to hit every bar they can think of looking for him, but trouble ensues when the trio go bar to bar in genre-hopping pursuit. There's a lot that can happen when you order three beers a bar and hit double-digits in the number of bars. And there's a ton of mad happenings in play for Goon and Franky.

Pub crawls aren't exactly the most exciting things by the end of the night, primarily because you're too drunk to really understand what's going on. That's fine though, as it still leads to some really great stories. Goon and Franky's escapades looking for Harvey is deftly written by Powell, moving them from one bar to the next. Why it works so well though is because it's just crazy enough to be both crazy and true for the characters at the same time. And Powell definitely pulls out all the punches, returning to characters he's extremely familiar with and content to putting them in situations that test their easygoing personalities.

The Goon has always had that nostalgic, 1920s look to it and Powell doesn't disappoint in that regard. The characters bear their trademark, caricature style that affords the book some sense of humor and adds levity to their plight. Powell throws Goon right in the thick of some heavy battles that are illustrated with a lot of fighters and combat smoke. His take on a group of famous historic characters also bear the same style, providing a break of sorts amidst the otherwise "mundane" bar crawl. Stewart's colors are washed out and fairly close to the newspaper finish that Sunday comics are most known for, again keeping the book in a certain era.

The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) is just what the title intends it to be: a book that you read with no requirements to get attached. It's something of a shame, seeing as how it was quite enjoyable and most people would love to read an ongoing series about Goon and Franky bar-hopping. Powell feels completely comfortable with the characters and puts them in situations that are both believable for them and pretty exciting. His art maintains the iconic look that the series has become known for, presenting a pretty sarcastic drawing style that promises to deliver on entertainment value. The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) is a book that reads as fun as you would imagine the characters are having in their misadventures.

The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) is in stores June 25.


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