"Goners #3" Comic) Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jacob Semahn
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
2014, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on December 17th, 2014
Zoe and Josiah Latimer are having a very bad day. First they saw their parents die on national TV. Then they were chased from their home by a group of supernatural baddies. Now they've narrowly escaped a group of monsters who attacked the police station. Things have definitely been better. I guess this comic is called Goners for a reason, huh?
The story bounces from the present day predicament of Zoe and Josiah to moments from the past, showing some past exploits of the Latimer family. This is the lineage that has protected the world from all kinds of supernatural ne'er-do-wells over the years. The complete history has yet to be revealed (this is only issue #3 after all), but it's clear that there is a lot more to this bloodline than the ghost-hunting adventurers portrayed on TV.
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This also leads to some possibilities as to why the Latimers are under attack. They've pissed off a lot of monsters over the years and now it's all come back to bite them in the ass. Zoe and Josiah are just kids, but they're the next in line. They're supposed to be the new defenders of this dimension, but they are quickly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of evil and bloodshed. This is a more terrifying take on those old adventure movies we grew up with. Can you imagine how much different The Goonies would have been if those kids just watched their parents get murdered? It casts the entire story in a different light and it's not something like Batman. These two children don't have the luxury of spending several years training before coming back to clean up a city. They're thrown right in the thick of it and they are not prepared for what's coming at them.
Although I've only known Zoe and Josiah for a short time in Goners, I feel very close to them. Writer Jacob Semahn has made them very real. They come across like old friends or distant cousins, like I grew up with them. This makes the trouble that they face so much more extreme. It's one thing if this was happening to some strangers, but it's quite another if it's happening to someone you know. After Semahn shared his inspirations as a writer with us, I can see how people like Spielberg and Stephen King are influencing Goners, and the results are magical.
Jorge Corona's artwork aids in this instant kinship with the characters. There's a slight cartoonish quality to it that lulls you into this false sense of security, like everything is going to be OK because of the oversized sideburns or funny looking cop car. This is just the occasional comic relief. These tiny moments where you can catch your breath from the near non-stop action that has been coming since the first page of issue #1. It hides the sinister forces at work until they're right upon you.
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There has been a wide array of monsters seen in the pages of Goners to date. This issue is no different. The Chenoos seen early on are lumbering mountain-like creatures that look like they'd be at home in a Mike Mignola comic. They're horrifying and seem obscenely powerful. On the other end of the spectrum is the menacing severed head that is out for Latimer blood, building a new body in the way of Dr. Frankenstein mixed with the supernatural.
The tension has been building in Goners for two issues. This time around, it snaps like a rubber band and hits you like a punch in the gut with a cliffhanger ending that will leave you with your mouth agape. It's the kind of final page that almost makes you scream out in rage. How can the story just pause there? Why aren't there more pages in this comic? Why do I have to wait a month to get the next fix? That's some powerful storytelling right there.