‘The Boys’ – Hilarious, Twisted and Not for the Faint of Heart
If you frequent this site, I’ll assume you read other comic sites. So, chances are you have heard of The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and how the title was dropped by Wildstorm/DC after six issues and is now being published by Dynamite Entertainment. Story goes, DC was not pleased with some of the content in the series and decided to let it go. Well, I never read the series when it was initially released, but now I had to see what all the hoopla was about. After all, these guys are known for (not together, mind you) books like Preacher, The Pro and Transmetropolitan. If you’ve read those, you know both are not shy about writing and drawing some pretty messed up stuff. So whatever was in The Boys must be way over the top and I just had to see for myself .
Thankfully, the first six issues are now available in trade form. It was released last week along with issue #7 of the series. Nicknamed the Boys, the group consists of the team leader, Billy Butcher, along with the Female, the Frenchman, Mother’s Milk and Wee Hughie. Anyone familiar with the movie Shaun of the Dead will immediately recognize the inspiration behind the look of Wee Hughie. The most prominent of the super teams is called The 7 and you can guess what well known characters inspired these heroes. In this world, superheroes may use their powers to save the world, but out of the public eye they behave like overprivileged rock stars. We’re talking the Sunset Strip at the height of the metal scene back in the ’80s. It’s sex, drugs and rock and roll with no boundaries.
The supes are into everything and anything and if Ennis can imagine it, Robertson can draw it. Nothing is off limits. This is where the Boys come in. They are supposed to keep the supes in line. Thing is, the Boys are as whacked out as the people they are supposed to be policing. The first story arc serves to introduce the Boys and show why they are needed. Once those formalities are done, the second arc is where Ennis and Robertson really let loose.
The Boys have targeted a team of super-powered young adults called Teenage Kix as a way to show the rest of the supes the Boys are back in business. The crew goes about documenting and taping all sorts of things the Teenage Kix are into – and what this team is into will make you either laugh or go “Oh man, that’s just wrong.” Once the evidence is collected, the Boys tell Teenage Kix to either out one member or else the Boys will out the whole team. Once this happens, The 7 realize Butcher is back and their days of living above the law are numbered.
I thought about giving examples of some of the more twisted stuff you can find, like a dead body with a strategically placed rodent or the initiation scene of a new member of The 7 or how the Female deals with some mobsters but the truth is, I can’t do these scenes justice in a PG-rated forum. This is definitely not a kids book. But, if you like your comics filled with outrageous violence and colorful language combined with an anything goes attitude, this is for you. For the rest… you’ve been warned.