Review – The Boys #72 (Dynamite, 2012)

The end of a long running title can bring about a few emotions – sadness, disappointment, relief, frustration. If it is a long running title, there is a hope that this has enabled the writer(s) to fulfill their vision. With The Boys, Garth Ennis brings down the curtain on 6 years of the titluar groups adventures / vendetta against the Supes. It was a fitting coda, with Darick Robertson returning for this final issue, and Ennis focussing only the last ‘Boy’. In the end, was it all a protracted Love Story, with Hughie losing love through a tragedy, only to find it again with the ‘enemy’? The very last page was a simple, quite moving image, with a very meaningful few words placed underneath;

‘I found you’

so maybe the story was all about Hughie and his finding closure through finding love again. Before that, there was a scene evoking the first issue where we witnessed Hughie’s loss. This time there was to be no tragedy. There was also closure for readers. The good guy got the happy ending.

In the background of this happy ending, the usual Voight-American shenanigans continued unabashed (though they have inevitably rebranded and are now American Consolidated). With AC working a new angle, Ennis makes it clear that the Supes are going nowhere, their deployment imminent, their re-imaging and rebranding almost complete, as soon as something suitable was found to pass off to the general public, then maybe a new story about a new team of ‘Boys’ would begin. But not here. This was an ending, and a fitting one. So goodbye Hughie, Billy, FotS, Frenchie, M.M & Terror. It was always interesting, though I could have done without Herogasm.

To cap it off, there are some lovely full page portraits of all The Boys at the end. The one of Butcher & Terror was really quite moving, and I don’t know why. Maybe because they looked at peace.

I shall miss The Boys, it was one of the few titles I still bothered with on a monthly basis, and was consistently engaging. It was funny, offensive, sometimes really gripping, and did not take itself too seriously. Even the spin-off series were good on occasion (okay – only the Butcher one in particular). TWLB will miss you, and thanks.

Review – The Walking Dead #104 (Image / Skybound, 2012)

The cover is a fair indication of some of the contents this time, which is split into several plots that flit around nicely. There is so much going on at the moment, and it is all very very positive. This is without a doubt shaping up to be a great run, with the action and plotting in this issue an indication of how far things have come over the last few months. The arrival of Negan and the Saviors has really got this title fired up.

For a summary of the latest issue, go here;

From here on in, it is SPOILERS, so you have been warned….

Random thoughts on issue 104

1) Carl is the major focus in this issue, and it is handled really well. His stowing away in Negan’s convoy is completely in character – impetuous, brave – and his arrival at the Saviors base is explosive and, again, believable. The kid has the guts but his limitations are also apparent. The outcome was not what he planned, and now Carl is a ‘guest’ of Negan, so what happens next is going to be fascinating. His actions in issue 104 are going to have major ramifications for the near future. I cannot wait to see how Kirkman plays this one.

2) Negan is fascinated by Carl and Negan (no doubt) knows the possibilities he has to use Carl in his favour. My feeling is Negan will try to win Carl over, while having him as a devastating weapon / hostage/ bargaining  tool against Rick.

3) And with his son hostage, Rick’s reaction is likely to be swift and brutal. The long game that Rick planned against Negan is most likely going to be forgotten now. That cover to issue 106 could well be indicating a rescue operation.

4) Which leads me onto the Saviors HQ, aka ‘The Sanctuary’, which had an imposing building reminiscent of a power station. It also had the zombie barrier / zombie scarecrow defence that Crawford has in the latest episode of The Walking Dead Game (Episode 4 ‘Around Every Corner’). It was a suitably imposing first look at the base camp of the enemy. Great work from Charlie Adlard on that.

5) There was more of Dwight this issue, and more Negan, and when they shared some time together, it was apparent that there is no love lost between the 2, which came as a (nice) surprise. Dwight is a character that I think could play a major part in the downfall of Negan. There is a comment that Negan makes about having ‘ample time to throw the wood in at least a couple of wives’. This rather repulsive comment is further fuel to the fire as far as Dwight is concerned, as the look on his face is one of complete contempt toward Negan. Why? There is more to this to be discovered. The comment also serves to further highlight how much of a dick Negan is. It is going to be really great when he finally gets payback. He is a bully, a braggard and, although he has intelligence, he has a loathsome character. Kirkman knows how to push the buttons to get the readers reaction on Negan. As I said in a previous review, he is so pantomime its ridiculous. And I mean that in a good way.

6) Jesus! He is so cool. He is the sharper, deadlier Abraham (R.I.P). Long may he live and prosper. And I seriously doubt he is a Savior now. Don’t kill him off please!

7) ‘I’ve seen the weapons you use. I know you don’t have a lot of guns’ is such a fantastic line from Carl. Is it also an indication that The Saviors are not as well equipped as we assume?

8) ‘Think we’ll get one of these mattresses?’
‘I fucking hope so, but who knows what we’ll have to do to earn one’
This small exchange between 2 of the Saviors suggests that, alongside the ‘wives’ comment, Negan treats all those within the Sanctuart as servants and playthings. A post apocalyptic Feudal Lord, with a sense of outrageous entitlement and a very dirty mouth.

9) Alexandria appears to be a fragmented, divided place now, with mutiny a possibility.

10) Did I tell you how good this issue was? It’s a 9.5 out of 10. The best one of the year, and the best one of last year as well.