Monday, January 16, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: The Boys

With an overabundance of superheroes in pop culture these days, The Boys is the antidote. This brash and irreverent graphic novel comes from the creator of Preacher, Garth Ennis. The series of comics depicts superheroes in the harshest of lights and focus more on the repercussions of their existence than their heroic deeds. Created by a corporation and the mysterious substance V, superheroes do what they please unless they are kept in line by the most powerful or The Boys, a CIA operation that seeks to hinder the free reign of superhumans.

Wee Hughie, who looks just like Simon Pegg, had found happiness until the carelessness of a top hero result in tragedy. Hughie is recruited by Butcher, leader of the Boys, to join the team. The remaining members a Frenchie, the Femme, and Mother's Milk. These covert operatives spy on the biggest supergroups and find the troublesome ones that needed to be taken out, not always in the most discreet manner. 

The superheroes that populate the world of these comics are corrupt in some of the worst ways and Ennis digs up the most obscene forms of debauchery to show the depravity of these colorful characters. The plot thickens as the Boys take on the strongest supergroup known only as the Seven. Their leader, the Homelander is a vicious hero that takes pleasure in doing heinous though his public person is nothing but altruistic.

Hughie falls in love with a member the Seven, unbeknownst to him. Things come to a head as Butcher has his own plans for revenge. The art is beautiful in this book even when it is showing some horrible things. The comic panel are filled with vivid and absurd details that render the world very real.

The events also take on the tragedy on 9/11 and the alternate universe of superheroes. The military-industrial complex is the main villain as corporations and government converge together with men in suits worried about the bottom line. The books aren't easy to get ahold of but I found them all and I'm glad I stuck with the series for a fitting ending. 

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