Archive for fourth wall

The Goon in: A Place of Heartache and Grief

Posted in Comics, Dark Horse, The Goon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st June, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Lonely Street lives up to its name.

Lonely Street lives up to its name.

Author & Artist: Eric Powell
Colorist: Dave Stewart

First things first, I love reading the forewords to these Goon collections.  They’re part of the Goon experience for me; I would be seriously disappointed if they shipped without one.

Eric Powell is pretty much a genius.  He practically obliterated the fourth wall altogether; his plots and characters are utterly ridiculous, and yet I find myself emotionally invested in all of them.  Powell wasn’t lying when he called it ‘A Place of Heartache and Grief’.  Lonely Street lives up to its name in what is by far the most affecting Goon story yet.  And that’s not to say that this volume is an entirely joyless endeavour, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.  The Goon, as always, is punctuated by several laugh out loud moments, provided mostly by his ethically challenged sidekick Franky.  The rest of the laughs are provided by Powell’s colourful support cast, which he has slowly and dare I say lovingly built up over the years.  The result is a rich culture and a town bustling with life.  What this means is that when the Goon is down in the dumps, the whole story doesn’t have to go down with him.  There’s still Franky, who’s just so despicable it’s funny; there’s the [relatively] new cast member Nagel the intelligent zombie; there’s those ratbag kids who’ll fight over anything including (but not limited to) ‘fish squeezin’s’; and of course, a rampaging giant transvestite.

Heartache and Grief sees a number of loose ends brought to a satisfying twist, and a number of old faces (thought lost) return.  Eric Powell rewards his long-time readers for sharing Goon’s journey, and I think that’s where a great deal of the story’s power comes from.  There’s an inherent intimacy with the Goon, having shared with him in so many experiences, and now sharing with him in his grief.  The previous volume Chinatown, was the perfect setup for this story, exploring the dark corners of his past, whilst foreshadowing his coming loss.  The Zombie Priest is relieved of his duties by the Priestly Order and it’s clear they mean business this time.  Along with his replacement comes a demon from Goon’s past – could this be the return of Labrazio?  Goon seems to think so and it’s driving him ’round the bend.  As this mysterious figure does the rounds, control of Lonely Street slips through Goon’s chubby digits.  With this dramatic change in status quo comes a feeling that the Goon and Lonely Street will never be the same again.

All of this is capped off with a hilarious Oprah parody.  Such is Eric Powell; such is The Goon.  It’s a juxtaposition of crazy cartoons, gangster politics and zombies, but it works.  It just works.

‘A Place of Heartache and Grief’ is a great addition to an already great series.  It really is the culmination of years of plot and character development.  Seemingly disparate plot threads resurface and intertwine which will satisfy Goon fans to no end.  But it’ll also leave them hungry for more.  Everything is building to a head in Lonely Street, and I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.

If you’re looking to jump into the world of The Goon, start at Volume 2 and read all the way through.

A Word of Warning to All Deadpool Fans:

Posted in Comics, Deadpool, film, Marvel, Wolverine, X-Men with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 4th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell

Do NOT see Wolverine. It will piss you right off.

To everyone else: the first two-thirds, then walk away. No malice, no hard feelings, just try to stem your curiousity for thirty seconds and walk calmly out of the cinema. There, that wasn’t so hard, now, was it? And congratulations – you’ve just rewarded yourself with the perfect Wolverine experience.

Protip: if Wolverine is on 'The Island', you've gone too far.

Protip: if Wolverine is on 'The Island', you've gone too far.

You won’t be scarred for life if you don’t (though you may be disappointed), but Deadpool fans WILL.

Fortunately for me, I don’t count myself among their ranks, but I do know that Deadpool is known as the ‘Merc with a Mouth.’ With Stan Lee and Richard Donner executive producing, someone on the set must have known that this would be tantamount to a big, sick joke.

Deadpool: breaking the fourth wall since 1997.

Deadpool: breaking the fourth wall since 1997.

I’m really not exaggerating, but to tell you why would be to spoil the ending which I’m imploring you not to see!

It doesn’t make one iota of sense to me. They hired Ryan Reynolds for the part – lithe, muscular physique, and a smart mouth; a perfect choice – and for the first half of the movie, he nailed the part perfectly. The only thing missing was the mask, and my guess was that Ryan Reynolds wanted to show off his beautiful face.

Tell me you can't imagine Ryan Reynolds saying that.

Tell me you can't imagine Ryan Reynolds saying that.

You know what? If you can forgive the masklessness, Deadpool fans, just do the same: go and see the first two thirds of the film and you’ll have an enjoyable Wolverine experience with a splash of Deadpool.

(I know it’s in the trailer, but it’s worth going just to see the helicopter bit.)

Marvel may not be on their A-game, but Wolvie’s still the best at what he does (and what he does best is take down helicopters).