I love digging into new series with creative teams I’m not familiar with since it allows for unbiased opinions and a lack of preconceived notions. Let’s give this one a look; Goners #1 — is it good?
Goners #1 (Image Comics)
The Latimer Family is a big name; for centuries, they’re the people you called when something mythical or supernatural goes down and you need to put an end to it. (Sorry Ghostbusters.) They are the best of the best at disposing of/driving out these evil creatures and demons. However, one night, it all goes wrong…
Oh my god, what did those evil spirits do to that poor kid’s neck!?
Most comics would spend a first issue doing the standard “setting things up for the audience” deal to help ease everyone into the world they’re about to enter; you know, introduce them to the characters, the backstory, some mythology, and other fun stuff like that.
Goners #1 isn’t having any of that though. It jumps straight into the action, showing the beginning of the end for this family, and not their rise or how they got there. On one hand, jumping straight into the story right away helps grabs the audience’s attention and hopefully hook them. On the other hand, not giving enough setup can leave the audience with a lack of foundation, rules, or any sense of attachment to the main characters.
It’s an iffy thing honestly and Goners #1, for better and for worse, succeeds and fails in different ways with its first outing.
The good? The comic did a great job of hooking me in personally with the intriguing mystery and supernatural angle. I’m quite pleased from what I’ve seen and I can definitely see other readers wondering exactly caused this mess and who could be behind the whole thing. Plus, the added fact that all of the characters are relatively good people and no one is acting unintelligent or jerkish does help us empathize with them.
Like I said, however, the downside is the lack of foundation and time spent with the character introductions. It’s hard to really know how people are feeling, how bad situations really are, or even what limits there are with the characters and the monsters. We don’t have any sort of connection to the characters since we haven’t been given any insight into their personalites, so they aren’t much more than blank slates at this point. The issue raises a lot of questions as well, so ultimately I hope the title can really start diving into some backstory and development in the next issue to help hook us in more.
Look, killing Egyptian demons takes priority here.
Regardless of the somewhat flimsy foundation, Jacob Sehman’s writing isn’t bad. It’s good that the pacing is constantly moving the story forward but this also hurts the impact of certain scenes, as we aren’t given time for anything to sink in. The dialogue is fine for the most part, though it isn’t all that memorable. The characterization is sort of there, but isn’t really focused on or allowed to develop. The ending is decent and makes me curious what’ll happen next, but it is not that exciting or shocking. So overall, the writing here is fine but in need of some work.
The artwork by Jorge Corona I’m also rather iffy on. He’s not a bad artist by any means but his style and tone doesn’t really fit the book; it’s a little too cartoonish and colorful, especially in depicting the action and supernatural aspects, reminiscent of Rob Guillory’s work on Chew. The difference is that Chew, while serious at times, remains a very goofy and silly series and the artwork reflects that. The tone conveyed in Goners #1 is serious and dark and never really dives into a lighter or more humorous tone outside of the beginning pages. As such, the art, as appealing and good as it is, just doesn’t fit too well with the mood and atmosphere that the writing creates.
Is It Good?
Goners #1 isn’t a bad start for this new series. There’s an interesting story with plenty of potential. The problems are that there isn’t much in the way of setup or characterization and the art style could be more congruous. I say give it a look after the second issue hits. Give it some time to develop we may be looking a real gem here.
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