The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, volume#1 contains issue 1 to 6. The series started in 2006 and is ongoing. The publisher that released The Boys, Wildstorm an imprint of DC Comics, dropped the series after six issues due in part to the anti-hero bashing. The series was later picked up by Dynamite Entertainment with 9 issues out.
So how did I pick up on The Boys? The bookseller at my favorite comic bookstore knew I was a fan of Garth Ennis and he strongly recommended this series to me. I am a huge Garth Ennis fan. Ever heard of Preacher series? As for The Boys, I can’t quite say that I love it but it did keep me turning the pages. It is not for everybody. Ennis’s work is often characterized by the extreme violence, sex and profanity. It is rated M for mature audiences. Here is the product description:
THIS IS GOING TO HURT! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone’s got to make sure the “supes” don’t get out of line. And someone will. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: A CIA backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the most dangerous force on Earth-superpower. Some superheores have to be watched. Some have to be controlled. And some of them-sometimes-need to be taken out of the picture That’s when you call in THE BOYS.
How can one describe this series? Shocking and entertaining. This is not for the faint of heart. If you’re easily offended then this is not the series for you. The story opens with Billy Butcher reassembling his team of boys. The BOYS are supposed to be a secret group of CIA agents who are contracted by the government to keep the “supes” in line. The “supes” are the costumed superheroes who fight for the good of mankind but in reality they are a bunch of arrogant jerks.
When the story opens we see two superheroes in heavy combat that results in one civilian death. The reader is shocked to see the superhero walk away without a bit of remorse. He just brushes off the death as collateral damage while leaving the victim’s loved one grieving. This is the type of stuff that no one really thinks about in the comic book world. What happens to civilians when superheroes fight with each other? Also, do they truly believe in their cause?
You can’t help laughing at some of the issues these guys have. Some of these superheroes are really bad but society doesn’t even know about it. The media has created this image of superheroes as icons who are “good people” when in reality they are truly flawed. They also have a strong legal defense team that cleans up whatever mess they leave behind, too. Therefore, it’s up to Butcher and his “boys” to keep the “supes” in line. Butcher figures that somebody has to stand up for the everyday man who may find themselves taken advantage of by these “supes.”
The Boys is a guilty pleasure read. There is a lot of stuff in here that is downright offensive (especially to women) but damn if it isn’t entertaining. There is a lot of anti-hero sentiment here so it’s no wonder that DC comics dropped this series. Also, it’s no surprise that Ennis continues to push boundaries like he did with his Preacher series. Some of the content in The Boys is completely tasteless and crude. Despite all that, I’ve decided to keep up with this series because one thing it is not and that is predictable. Here I go again with another series. After Hunter Killer I said I wasn’t going to do this anymore. Waiting for each issue from month to month. It gets to be tedious and frustrating. However, I went ahead and subscribed to this series. I can’t wait to see what Ennis comes up with next. I’m also frightened. My grade, B+.
[tags]Garth Ennis, Superhero,The Boys Comic Book Series[/tags]