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Comic Book: The Goon

The Goon is Eric Powell's award-winning fantasy comic book series, published by Dark Horse Comics. Goon, a musclebound former freak circus assistant, is the top enforcer of the secretive mob boss Labrazzio, and he is at war for the control of the city with the nameless Zombie Priest, who directs zombie hordes from his citadel at Lonely Street. Together with his loudmouthed sidekick Frankie, Goon battles zombies, robots, aliens and mad scientists. Mostly with his fists.

A Genre-Busting epic of pitch-black humor, tragedy and utterly grotesque monsters getting punched in the face, any description pales in comparison to the real thing. The Goon is a comic where a vampire gets set on fire while being tied on the hood of a car zooming around the town. The Goon is a comic where a Wild West zombie hunter must eat the flesh of his prey. The Goon is a comic where the main character must blow up a burlesque but is diverted by a giant, violent transvestite.

Eric is working with David Fincher and the crew down at Blur Studios to turn the Goon into an animated feature film. A proof of concept preview came out around Comic-Con 2010. There was a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for it.

This series provides examples of:

  • All Myths Are True: There are multiple types of vampires, zombies, ghouls, Kaiju... and the nameless priest is Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Goon's Aunt Kizzie was the Strongwoman in the circus where he grew up. It's noted that while Kizzie herself was considered fairly plain-looking, her strength was what made her attractive to men.
  • Anti-Villain: Dr. Alloy, a Well Intentioned ExtremistKlutz
  • The Atoner: Buzzard. He wasn't able to stop the Zombie Priest from killing and enslaving the town he was sheriff of so he intends to kill the Priest no matter the cost.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Rather often.
  • Bears Are Bad News
  • Bi the Way: Roxi Dlite.
  • Big Bad: The Nameless Man, The Zombie Priest.
  • Blank White Eyes: Frankie.
  • Call Forward: Young Goon hitting the Zombie Priest in the face with a rock because he "didn't like the look of 'im".
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The tone of the series after Chinatown, to a certain extent. Vol. 11 takes things back into silly territory, though.
  • Circus Brat: The Goon himself, who was originally raised by his Aunt Kizzie.
  • Cross Over: With Hellboy and Metalocalypse.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "They glued it back together... With Glue!"
  • Development Hell: The teaser for the film was compiled in an effort to get funding for a full feature. Despite the internet generally agreeing that it's pretty damn awesome, they still don't have any yet. Eric Powell/Dark Horse and their fans are crossing their fingers, though and the Kickstarter to help fund a story reel to ship around to studios just might help.
  • Disappeared Dad: Goon's father unceremoniously dumped him with his Aunt Kizzie, having already killed the mother and threatening to throw baby Goon into the river if she didn't take him.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom
  • Driven to Suicide: Happens to the Buzzard, repeatedly. Unfortunately for him, he can't die.
  • Driving Question: What happened in Chinatown? Eventually explained in the titular arc.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Parodied here and there.
  • Eye Scream: Franky's infamous "Knife to the Eye" attack.
  • Fastball Special: The Goon does this with Frankie, naturally.
  • The Film of the Book: Currently in preproduction.
  • First Episode Spoiler: At the end of the first series (which is only three issues long), it is revealed that, Labrazio was Dead All Along, and The Goon is the real man in charge.
  • Funny Animal: Spider...a Giant Spider in a derby hat with a gambling problem.
  • Genre-Busting: Action comedy-urban fantasy-Pulp adventure pastiche-Noir crime fiction-dramedy
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Kizzie wound up getting an abortion after she was pressured into it by her then-lover in the circus, though she wound up regretting this when her lover died in an accident. When Goon was dumped on her she decided she'd raise him in place of the child she would have had.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Though hidden most of the time. But how does this work with a Sociopathic Hero?
  • Gratuitous Spanish: El Hombre de Lagarto only speaks (intentionally bad) Spanish.
  • Guile Hero: The Goon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Goon and Franky
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Hey Lex Luthor, don'cha have any of them high-tech gadgets to bust slackjaws with instead of just punchin' 'em? Eventually it may get to the point where there is only one and you'll have to either get a job as a prison guard or else open a burger joint.
  • Hobos: Are treated as a re-occuring race of creatures, basically comparable to a Cannibal Tribe.
  • The Hunter: Buzzard
  • I Know Your True Name: The Zombie Priest
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Isabella. Twice.
  • Kaiju: El Lagarto Hombre
  • Karmic Death: Issue 37. A factory owner and his shoddy policies accidentally cause the death of 142 (mostly female) factory workers. When the survivors go on strike and get the Goon to support the union, the factory owner gets the help of demonic forces. While in the middle of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech while staring at the riot down below, he sees the face of a widow that worked in his factory that he saw at the trial. She disappears and appears in his room, explaining how while she died, she will have justice.
  • King of the Homeless: The Hobo King, who seems to be Bob Dylan.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Buzzard converses with a ghost who killed several people - including his own wife and child - to feed a cannibalistic mistress he lusted after. The mistress however, didn't return the favor and left him to starve.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series is as good at drama as it is at comedy, and often switches between the two.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The man who would become Buzzard was content drinking himself into a shallow grave, until the Zombie Priest came by to taunt him and lord his takeover of the town over him, spurring the man to his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Noodle Incident/Noodle Implements: Many of them. Frankie uses this trope when he talks about his sexual escapades, or describes the action in the metacomic, "The Goon and Satan's Sodomy Baby." There's also a character named Charlie (ahem) Noodles, who is always discussed in stories but never seen. There's also a few other ones here and there.
    • Chinatown was one until it had an arc devoted to it.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: A historic instance of this - combined with a spot of Love Makes You Evil - is apparently responsible for the curse on the city.
  • One-Winged Angel / Scaled Up: Xiang Yao does this at the end of Chinatown.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Buzzard is a human being from the days of the Wild West placed under a curse by the Zombie Priest that basically makes him a Ghoul or an "Anti Zombie"- a living person condemned to wander the earth feeding on the flesh of the (preferably walking) dead. Of course, seeing as this makes Buzzard effectively immortal (at the very least, he doesn't age any more), causes him to hate the Zombie Priest, and compels him to devour both the Zombie Priest's followers and the corpses he uses to make new ones... this essentially makes Buzzard a fine example of The Punishment. At least in the sense of wanting to ask the one who gave him the curse "You thought this was a good idea... why?" Because it was an accident. Buzzard was about to shoot him in the face and the Priest used zombification magic on him, even though it's only supposed to be used on dead people.
  • Re Tool: The first volume of the comic (released as a volume 0: "Rough Stuff") had a busier art style and less direction, and Powell's comments on it clearly paint it as almost an Old Shame.
  • Real Person Cameo: Burlesque performer Roxi Dlite in issue #36.
  • Running Gag: The dinglepiper
  • Shout-Out: Atticus Finch shows up for a page to take a shot at a rabid transvestite.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Goon and Franky
  • Silence Is Golden: Issue #33 has no dialogue, just sound effects and one thought balloon that said "Censor".
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: In an early issue, federal agents investigating Labrazzio uncover one of the Goon's most closely-kept secrets. In a dramatic climactic scene, they confront the Goon with what they've discovered, and announce the obvious conclusion: that all the evidence they've uncovered was planted by the Goon to send them off on a false trail. The Goon concurs with their conclusion, while making a mental note to destroy the evidence before somebody smarter finds it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Often enough. Most of them are from Frankie.
  • Take That: Against South Park, Oprah, Anne Rice, Twilight, the entire superhero genre...
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Guess.
  • Totem Pole Trench: The orphans do this.
  • Unsound Effect: KNIFE TO THE EYE!
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Issue 37 is actually based on a real life tragedy although obviously with some events fictionalized.
  • Wham Line: In Chinatown.
    "I don't want you."
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Spoofed in one short. invoked
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The Goon himself
    • Although as he points out to a female vampire (a spoof of Ann Rice vampires), she was the manliest person there until the Goon and Frankie showed up.
  • Zombify The Living: The Zombie Priest accidentally created his nemesis Buzzard (who's technically a sort of "anti-zombie" who feeds on the dead, but otherwise counts); by using the zombie creating magic on him when he was alive.

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alternative title(s): The Goon
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