"Goners #4" 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 January 21st, 2014
With the amount of comics I read, there are a few tropes that I should probably see coming. These twists and turns that seem to appear in a majority of funny books. Despite that, the final page of Goners #3 got me. Writer Jacob Semahn got me good. That last page hit like a punch to the gut. Now, I should have known better, but in my defense, I've grown quite attached to these characters, so that might have clouded my judgment. Issue #4 picks up right where the last one left off and reveals a bit more about the Latimer family past and raises several new questions.
What's interesting about this issue is the change in dynamic between the children, Zoe and Josiah Latimer. Up until now, Zoe, the older sibling, has been the rock, helping to guide young Josiah through the insanity that has followed the death of their parents. The events of the last issue have broken Zoe and that void has been filled by Josiah. His eyes have been opened and he realizes the importance of his family legacy. The Latimers protect not just each other, but the entire world from all kinds of supernatural threats. Yes, Zoe and Josiah are children, but they have to step up to put a stop to this terror that has murdered their mother and father.
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The amount of monsters in Goners is reaching a critical mass. It's like they all came out of the woodwork with the death of Mr. and Mrs. Latimer. They're roaming the streets and looking for any and all people that could be related to the family to eliminate any possible threat. We've already seen a few of these creatures in action, but this time around we're introduced to the skinwalker. He looks a bit like a werewolf draped in Native American garb, but he's far more ruthless than your average lycanthrope. Artist Jorge Corona delivers a magnificent two-page spread showing the sheer chaos of these monsters as they do battle with local law enforcement. People are being ripped apart. Blood is flying everywhere.
While all that is going on, Zoe and Josiah are looking for the source of all this madness. Their quest is very much like that of many '80s adventure movies, except with a lot more bloodshed...and you know...dead parents. They can't depend on the adults to save them. They have to take matters into their own hands. There are still some questions regarding who the big bad is behind all of this, but we're getting closer to the answers.
Some of that mystery is revealed in a flashback sequence at the beginning of the issue. This appears in a slightly different style than Corona's regular work throughout the book. This is illustrated with water colors which gives it a dreamlike feel that really stands out.
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A big part of this issue (as well as Goners as a whole) has been about learning that your parents aren't perfect. Some of us learn that earlier than others, but for Zoe and Josiah, they are only just finding it out. They had heroes for parents. Their mother and father were on TV, protecting the world from all types of things that went bump in the night. Suddenly they're gone and the kids are discovering all of their deep dark secrets. It's far worse than a shady web browser history. They made mistakes that have cost lives. They were arrogant and ignorant and paid a major price for it. Now their children are forced to come to grips with this harsh reality.
Goners continues to excel. This is a monster-filled comic surrounded by characters with heart. It seamlessly mixes the horror with emotional drama and throws in some staggeringly good character development. Each issue has unraveled a bit more of the mystery, pulling you deeper and deeper into the Latimer family rabbit hole.