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.

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