The Goon – Once Upon A Hard Time – Part 1
Here, I’ll even put it in quotation marks so you can tell people I said it, “This book is literally like a brick to the face, but in a good way.” -Don Pankievicz, Black Ship Books.
Wow, a lot less cheering and undulating than I thought their would be.
Bad or good, I’m here and that’s that. This week was another hard choice for me. My pullbox was chock full of goodies. Escape From New York #3, Night of the Living Deadpool, Lady Killer #2 (You know I love me some LK), and I also snagged a discount copy of Robert Kirkman’s Outcast Vol. 1 trade. I was really trying to steer clear of that one but damn it’s good and I’m a sucker for half priced trades. Kirkman is one of those cats that can drag you into a story. Good stuff there.
The word going around is that this latest storyline in The Goon saga will be a game changer, possibly bringing the 15 year culmination of creator Eric Powell’s fantastically dark and gritty tale to an end.
Once Upon a Hard Time is the follow up miniseries to Powell’s last, Occasion Of Revenge and The Goon’s 50th issue. Let me tell you folks, this is a must read for any Goon fan. Eric Powell is a man in his element. Writer, creator, artist. There are other artists who write their material, Dark Horse is home to the best, but very few do it like Powell.
In this first book, part 1 of 4 in the series, we follow up in the aftermath of events that takes place in Occasion of Revenge. Let’s catch up: The Goon’s unnamed town holds a dark secret, a curse. The town is a creature unto itself and it tends to drag it’s inhabitants into it’s unholy clutches. A race of witches wages war on the Goon intent on claiming the town for themselves. Exhausted by battle and fearing the worst Goon sends out a call for help to Don Rigatti. The Don asks a simple favor, protect one of his guys, Rory. Like any favor asked by a gangster, this was far from simple. We got a glimpse into Kid Gargantuan’s past and learned of a connection between him and the man Goon has asked him to protect. While all this is playing out Goon has found love, a beautiful dame, Ramona, and for once he is truly happy. She fills Kid in on his connection to Rory, the man who lived a life he should have, his own brother. Rory is a real piece of sheet and Kid can’t help but kill the bastard. In an epic fit of rage, beautifully rendered by Powell, we watch in part 4 of OOR as Goon exposes Romona as a harpie and brutally murders his once love with a hammer.
Now, on to part 1 of Once Upon a Hard Time. Goon, like so many in his town, wallows in a pit of despair. His heart broken he he does what he knows best, inflict pain. This issue starts with the brutal beating of Ramona’s twin. Goon does his best to crawl into a bottle and not even the ones closest to him can pull him out. Powell paces this issue perfectly and, as per the norm, the book is visually compelling. In one instance we can feel Goon’s heartbreak as each panel gets tighter and tighter on his tear streaked face.
We are left with the question of whether or not the town has once again claimed another victim of it’s curse. Can Goon do what needs done or is he too far gone? It’s easy to see where the rumors came from. Good old Franky says it himself in the final images, maybe it’s better if Goon does die.
The Goon – Once Upon A Hard Time – Part 1 is in stores now.
If you haven’t already, find me on Twitter at @DonPankievicz or you can find me on Facebook. Also, *cough shameless plug cough*, you can find my latest comic Harm’s Way on Comixology today.
See ya when I see ya.