THE BOYS comic series was introduced to me by a friend who read the first few issues. He told me there was violence, a storyline that wasn’t bound to any past storylines, and written by, “that guy who wrote the Punisher.” This piqued my interest. What made me drive to my local comic shop and pick up the series was the question that the series asked, “Who polices the police?” Or in the comic world, who would keep superheroes in check if there really were superheroes on earth? Who cleans up Superman’s mess when he rampages a city, or why does Wonder Woman fight the most powerful beings in the universe wearing a one-piece bikini? THE BOYS has the answers you are looking for.
“I’m gonna fuckin’ have you. You cunt.” These poetic words are how you are first introduced to Butcher, the leader of The Boys. They set the tone for this aggressive comic. As you will quickly realize this language is just as commonplace as the ensuing violence. Garth Ennis proves, once again, that his comics are not your average Aquaman read.
We next meet Hughie, a love-struck Irishman whose girlfriend is killed by A-Train (who we can presume to be a superhero) during pursuit of a villain. If you have been keeping count, that’s three characters the reader is introduced to in the first five pages. There are actually five important characters introduced in this single issue alone, and it really sets the stage for how many cogs will be in the wheel of THE BOYS. The dichotomy of a villainous superhero, (A-Train) an anti-hero, (Butcher) and a meek Irishman, will have you immediately wondering who the true hero of this story really is. You’ll also be interested in the history of all of those involved.
The pacing of The Boys #1 is very fast. The reader is thrown in the middle of a personal vendetta not to mention a world that you don’t quite understand. Expect a lot of past history to get you caught up to speed.
Darick Robertson’s artwork reminds me of the feeling I got when I read Sin City. It is just as important as the writing. The art is gritty, and his dark colorwheel really gives you the feel being in the world of THE BOYS.
The most interesting panel of the issue is when the government sends their ‘cleanup crew’ to Hughie’s house. They get him to sign a no-compensation release form for the brutal loss of his girlfriend. This is the first look we get at how the mess that heroes create would be dealt with in the real world.
Garth Ennis does an incredible job in The Boys #1, and the artistic style of Darick Robertson fits the writing like a puzzle piece. If you, like me, are tired of reading the same Batman story for the 15th reboot, strapped down with DC’s PG rules and character guidelines, then this series is an absolute must after issue one.
- Tasteful violence
- Unique take of the superhero universe
- Some readers won’t be interested in the kind of violence that THE BOYS portrays