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‘Goof #1-4:’ Comic Book Review

Not all superheroes can be of Superman or Batman quality. They make it seem so easy to be a superhero, but it’s really much harder than it seems. Sometimes, there will be superheroes a bit goofier and not so graceful, even more so than Peter Parker is in his daily life.

That’s the underlying premise of Goof #1-4 from New World Comics. A very goofy average Joe (Nick) is approached by aliens (the Jun) and given superpowers to save the world from an onslaught of alien invasions. A contract is signed with the U.N., he’s given a costume and a name (Captain Gorgeous), and set off on his own to protect mankind.

Only it doesn’t go that great. Nick (a.k.a. Captain Gorgeous) likes to think he’s doing a great job, but it’s bang-up at best. His goofiness and clumsiness translates into everything he does, sometimes more than he realizes. Daily, he’s punched around by media, his family, his U.N. assigned publicist, and the general public just for doing a job he didn’t want in the first place. But, Nick keeps his head up and keeps trying to do the right thing, even if it isn’t easy.

Along with this great storyline comes a lot of humor in many different forms. No matter what type of humor one attempts, it’s a difficult gig. The writer risks jokes falling flat or not appealing to various senses of humor with readers. Not so with Goof. From slapstick to subtle jokes, the comedy in these comics really steals the show and can appeal to just about everyone who enjoys a laugh. Some of the humor is laugh-out-loud funny, while in other areas it’s more of a good chuckle. I laughed so hard in some places that my asthma started up. That’s a great laugh to have when reading a comedy-based comic book. In fact, I’m still laughing now thinking about the issues.

Yet this humor is nicely balanced with a loveable character in Nick. I just want to hug him and tell him, “Thank you for trying so hard!” It really is a great lesson for everyone, no matter their story, that you can get kicked around, stepped on, and treated like you don’t mean anything, but it shouldn’t change your focus and it shouldn’t change your heart. And, that’s where this comic series and writer Guy Hasson really reeled me in. A fantastic moral woven in the threads of a humor-filled tale. Oh, did I mention there is a bit of mystery involved? Can’t ask for much more than what this story brings.

When you have a humorous comic, it’s important that the art matches the intent. In Goof #1, the art was wonderfully created by Guillermo Ramirez. The drawings are clean, bright, and fit the tale perfectly. It just feels right and highlights the humor. The lettering is brilliant, and I absolutely loved how the narrative was told on scraps of lined, spiral notebook paper. As someone who makes notes in spiral notebooks all the time, it was those little touches that made me connect so much with Nick and his story.

Goof #2-4, however, has a different artist: Borja Pindado. It’s extremely difficult when an artist change occurs mid-series, and, unfortunately, the changeover isn’t as smooth as I would have liked as a reader. Not that the art is bad in #2-4; it is really great and I do not want my comments to take anything away from Pindado’s skills. Those who space out #1 and #2 may not notice too much. But, it isn’t the same art in the books and reading the four comics in the same sitting made me aware of the differences. Changes were made to the main character’s appearance (hair, face, etc.) and costume, and changes were also made to other characters from #1. These changes take place despite #1 and #2 taking place on the same day. The art in #2 is more sketch-like and a little darker with some shadows, lacking in the brightness that really emphasized the comedy in #1. And, I miss those torn-out pieces of spiral-notebook paper that were brilliantly used in #1. In fact, much of the lettering is noticeably different. Some of these things continue to change in #3 and #4, as if the creators were trying to discover what type of lettering and look was best for the comic. Again, Pindado is a great artist and does a wonderful job in that area. It’s just my personal preference as a reader to desire things to remain the same or as similar as possible, especially in appearance of the characters and the costume when the events are taking place during the same period of time.

Overall, Goof #1-4 is a total win for underdogs everywhere. A lot of people will be able to relate to Nick and his story. The laughs are plentiful and a well-deserved reaction to an expertly crafted blend of humor style. Each comic thus far in the series leaves off with a nice cliffhanger that makes the reader beg for the next issue to see what Nick will be up against. And, under all of that are some great lessons that anyone can take with them in everyday life. I can’t wait to see what happens to Captain Gorgeous in #5!

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