The first issue of Goners showed some potential and had some interesting ideas, but the writing needed a lot more polish and didn’t do a good job of setting things up. The newest issue has just arrived though, so let’s see if things can improve for this comic. Is it good?
Goners #2 (Image Comics)
I’m forgoing the usual opening summary/synopsis and getting straight to it. This issue is just like the last issue for better and for worse. The story still feels very rushed and not properly built up; the story just progress forward without us learning anything new. We don’t really have much context for why this is happening or what caused all of this mess to begin with. We don’t know why this family is being targeted (maybe a past foe with a grudge?) and we still don’t know much about the family themselves. This is a rather big problem in my mind and what is hurting the comic the most: a lack of backstory and basis for what we are seeing.
The flipside to this though is the fact that the story and mystery here are still interesting enough to encourage the reader to want to see the next issue. Considering the intense opening and just how brutal these monsters are being in trying to finish off this family, it does make you slightly interested in wanting to see who is behind this and what their motivations could be for this insanity. The book will have to quickly improve in the areas mentioned soon though, otherwise the mystery won’t be so tempting or intriguing anymore. You can’t keep the audience in the dark for too long before they get fed up with it.
The writing did undergo some improvements though between issues. The pacing is perfectly fine and the story never feels too slow or too quick. The story structure and flow are good, with no poor transitions between the scenes and nothing that feels out of place. The dialogue is alright, with a touch of humor in certain areas (even if it doesn’t fit the mood or tone at all). The bigger improvement here is with the characterization. There are some decent flashbacks here that do help set up what the family dynamic was originally like and shows the values and morals the characters have. For example, the scene where the girl does a magic trick is pretty nice and feels genuine.
Where the comic did not improve sadly is with the visuals. Again, this style of artist isn’t all that bad besides some very wonky and weird anatomy (though given the cartoonish nature of it, that may be intentional) and I’m sure this artwork can work on the right book somewhere. However, given the very serious nature and dark imagery of the book, the art really continues to clash with the mood it’s trying to convey. The overly gory images with the cartoonish style just do not work together remotely. In the flashback scenes, the artwork works a little bit, but not during any other time in the book.
Is It Good?
Goners #2 is a very mixed bag. There are elements that work and the story and concept still remain very intriguing. However, the lack of backstory, foundation, or context for anything in the comic really hamper the experience and make it hard to really get into the book. There are things that can definitely be improved upon, and hopefully that happens soon.