The Boys #2 starts out with Hughie and Butcher meeting on a park bench. Unbeknownst to Hughie, this meeting is no coincidence. Butcher wants to use Hughie’s, growing hatred of ‘supes’ to his advantage namely, recruiting him to become a member of The Boys.
Skip to meeting the “Frenchman” in a coffeeshop, mumbling to himself about a past love (past love seems to be a recurring theme). Some Americans in the shop take notice of the Frenchman and begin making fun of him for his apparent nationality and otherwise goofy appearance. Frenchman proceeds to quite literally break their faces. We shortly find out that the Frenchman is member two of The Boys.
Cue the mysterious female, known as “Female.” Through the onlooking eyes of Butcher, we watch Female enter a house. We hear screams. We see a decapitated head fly into a window. Female is unharmed. Hello member number three of The Boys.
Finally we are introduced to “Mother’s Milk” as he sits drinking coffee out of a mug that reads “Badass.” Why? Because Mother’s Milk is a badass. See, Frenchie and Female are cool, but in a deranged kind of way – in a Ramsey Bolton kind of way. For the most part, they are psychopaths. They are Reservoir Dog’s Mr. Blonde. Frenchman and the Female have no real direction in life, so they do as Butcher tells them. They are not the brains or the brawns. They are the psycho wild-card who Butcher happens to have some control over. Mother’s Milk, on the other hand, has an alluring past. He looks and reminds me of Luke Cage (aka Marvel Badass). Mother’s Milk is the brawns with a brain (none more than Butcher though). Mother’s Milk is a badass.
At this point, it is fairly obvious that we have the main members of The Boys, although we are not very sure what they are supposed to do. We get a small hint that they work for the CIA and are being recommissioned. Otherwise, we are being left in the dark as to what they will exactly be doing.
With Ennis already in introducing three more characters to the story, another layer is added to The Boys. This arsenal of characters is a double-edge sword. On one hand, you get to see an array of interesting characters, similar to Game of Thrones. On the other hand, the writing may seem slow in order to accommodate everyone’s story.
Ennis’s writing is incredible. Each character has distinct qualities that vastly differentiates them from the other. A small example of this is Ennis going so far as to have four characters with different accents; an Irishman, the Frenchman, an Englishman, and a New Yorker (you will be hard pressed to find DC or Marvel comics with such character depth). These accents are easy reads and really builds on the characters. You can truly hear them having real conversations as you read panel to panel. Ennis even has some fun with Terror, Butcher’s dog, who has been taught to hump things when issued the command “fuck it,” by Butcher. This command will be used more than once throughout The Boys and the crude humor flows nicely with the theme of the comic.
Again, Darick Robertson’s artwork looks great. Some characters look skinny and weak, balding and tired, while others look fresh and ready to take on the world. Robertson does not make everyone ripped and attractive with a six-pack. Insead, Roberson makes characters look like real people. The idea here is clearly to immerse the reader into The Boy’s world – this is really happening. His art flows very well with the story and reading panel to panel is a breeze.
The Boys #2 is not as violent as the first, and drives around introducing us to The Boys. Ennis even adds in a few jokes just for the sake of a joke. We find out that Butcher works for the CIA and that The Boys will do something about out of control superheroes, we are still not exactly sure what. The mystery behind who The Boys are and what Butcher wants to accomplish is genuinely interesting. I remember getting the sense that although Butcher cares about his people, he cares about himself the most. Why does Butcher hate supes? Once again, it is clear that we will need a lot of backstory in order to understand why and where Garth Ennis is taking us.
- Character development
- Some comedy
- Story could be slow moving with so many characters