Comic Book Review: Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide
I haven’t read a lot of Criminal Macabre. I read the FCBD story, but that’s about it. As for The Goon, I’d like to think I’m a bit of an expert in that department, having religiously collected the book since issue #2.
So I felt I had a bit of an idea what to expect with Dark Horse’s Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide. Monsters, horror, and humor. And yeah, it delivered.
For those not in the know, Criminal Macabre tells the tale of Cal McDonald, a paranormal investigator and his assistant Mo’Lock, the ghoul. And The Goon is all about a depression-era thug who likes to smash slack-jaws with his best buddy Franky. Tough guys fighting monsters. What’s not to like?
The two creative geniuses behind Criminal Macabre and The Goon are Steve Niles and Eric Powell respectively, and together they’ve come up with this fun, little, unique one-shot. Nile is credited with the story while Powell is responsible for “Farts and Negativity” and it seems to me they gel together well.
I love this kind of team-up. I know cross-0vers and guest stars are all too common in some of the bigger comic book universes like Marvel and DC, but on the more independent scene these kids of things are few and far between. And having been a huge fan of books like The Goon #7 and Beasts of Burden/Hellboy this book was very quickly on my radar.
Reading this issue, I must say it seemed a whole lot like a lot of filler. Now hear me out, I’m not saying it’s bad. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But as far as the story was concerned, I found myself three-quarters the way through and feeling as if the story was still only just getting started or that it was still setting up the real story. At this point I had to double-check if it was a one-shot or maybe the first issue of a longer story. But no, it’s definitely a one-shot.
But having said that, the end of the comic is fully worth the price of admission. I was correct in thinking this entire issue was building to something else. I don’t want to give it away, but if you’re a fan of Dark Horse’s supernatural characters you cannot miss Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide. There is something brewing on the horizon and you don’t wanna miss it.
The art by Christopher Mitten is perfectly suited to this book. I will admit, after ten years of The Goon being drawn and painted by Powell, I found the art a little jarring at first, Mitten’s style being so different from Powell’s. But only at first. Before long I was totally immersed in the story and the art only helped me along further. And the two different covers by Powell and Fiona Staples? I couldn’t decide which I wanted…so I bought both.
All in all, Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide is a great jumping-on point for both books (since reading it, I’ve added Criminal Macabre to my regular pull list; I don’t want to miss another issue). If you’ve been a little curious as to what The Goon or Criminal Macabre is all about, buy this book.
Legal Disclaimer: “Zombies provided by Jethro and Earl Zombie Wranglin’ Inc. and the Adopt-a-Zombie Foundation.”