Category Archives: the boys

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.

Ennis’ Genesis of The Boys? ‘The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe’ (1995)

As Garth Ennis puts to rest The Boys (with the finale a few issues away), it is interesting to see elements of Billy Butcher in other work that Ennis has done. If we go back as far as 1995, maybe we see the proto Billy Butcher, and maybe the kernel of the idea that eventually became The Boys?

In ‘The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe’, the title is probably the most spoilerific spoiler that I have known in comics. The contents are well described by the title. I will not elaborate much more on the plot, merely to say that the (ahem) ‘trigger’ for Frank Castle’s rampage of revenge, is the loss of his loved ones by the actions of Superheroes.

Sound familiar? That’s probably because, if you read The Boys, that is exactly the same scenario that gives Billy Butcher and Wee Hughie their drive and motivation. The main motivation of Butcher, seemingly, is to kill all the Capes, just like Frank.

Frank….or Billy? (It’s Frank -aka The Punisher)

They even look alike;

The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe is one of those ‘What-If?’ scenarios taken to the extreme. It is funny if you get the Garth Ennis black humour, and his love of putting Superheroes through a metaphorical mincer. He may have even put a superhero through a mincer for all I know. Anyway, this Marvel one-shot is well worth your time.

Links!!! – Someone doesn’t like this Punisher one-shot, and has a bit of a rant. Someone bothered to leave a couple of comments, which are the perfect coda to the review. Funny.

Solicitation for The Boys #67 (Dynamite, 2012)

32 pages FC  •  $3.99  •  Mature
Written by GARTH ENNIS 
The ghosts of the Legend’s past rise to haunt him, and in a way so do MM’s- as he catches up with his daughter and finds out much, much more about her recent mistakes than he bargained for. Meanwhile Hughie investigates the recent tragedy and ends up in an unexpected showdown… with Monkey? The bodycount mounts in part two of The Bloody Doors Off.

Solicitation for The Boys #64 (Dynamite, 2012)

32 pages FC  •  $3.99  •  Mature
Written by GARTH ENNIS 
Still reeling from the events of last issue, Hughie follows his boss to Washington DC, where the US military struggles to throw a ring of steel around the Capitol. Meanwhile, MM’s research finally bears fruit, but with all Hell breaking loose will his discoveries come too late? Billy Butcher goes off to meet his destiny, in the penultimate part of Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men.

Solicitation for The Boys #63 (Dynamite, 2012)

Shipping: February, 2012

Everything comes to a head at once as Frenchie and the Female take on Team Titanic, Maeve and Annie have a heart to heart and Hughie comes face to face with the reason he joined the Boys in the first place. Vought-American are suddenly ready to parley, but with the White House in new hands and the Homelander’s plans finally kicking in, is Butcher in any mood to listen?

See here;

10 facts about how ‘The Boys’ ends (2011)

                                   Images from issue #59 of The Boys (courtesy of Dynamite)

Needless to say – Spoliers!

If you are a fan of The Boys, then you will probably be aware by now that the series wraps up with issue #72 (so around a year left to go). But if you are curious how the series may end, some interviews over the last few months have provided a little more insight. From the following interviews;

we know that;

1) There are only 2 arcs left -the first has just kicked off with issue #60, ‘Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men’

2) The final arc will run from #66 to #71.

3) #72, the final issue, will be an epilogue.

4) There will be no more spin-offs from the main series.

5) Once The Boys ends, there will be no more comics or series featuring these characters.

6) Aside from Team Titanic, there will be one more superhero team introduced to the series.

7) A lot of history on The Seven, and particularly The Homelander, will be covered in the current arc ‘…Swords of a Thousand men’.

8) #63 should be interesting for Queen Maeve fans.

9) There is no question of Annie, having left The Seven, becoming part of The Boys.

10) Ennis completed the writing for the final issue in the summer.

Review – The Boys #60 (Dynamite, 2011)

It’s a review, so needless to say – SPOILERS for this and previous issues of The Boys. If you read (and wait) for the trades, you may NOT want to read this.

So, we kick off the final 2 story arcs with part 1 of ‘Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men’, which is a nice tribute from Ennis to a great band;

Anyway, what the issue does nicely, with a plot device you probably see coming as soon as it is introduced, is set the endgame up. Vought American finally get their man in control in the White House, which, considering their man has the intelligence of a dull 5 year old, means effectively VA now rule America.

What the issue does not do, is really take in the repercussions of the death of one of The Boys last issue. Butcher, in a subtle series of panels, touches on the loss, but that is it. I am sure Ennis will explore it further.

Mothers Milk has issues, and is off to sort out a family problem (it involves Porn) -but how that ties into the main plot? Don’t know, but I guess at this stage, as we approach the end, all the plot strands will be significant. MM’s involvement in #60 did feel a bit ‘stuck-on’ though. I don’t know what purpose it served.

The introduction of the ‘Team Titanic’ was a fun way to wrap up the issue, as they have a bit of a Liefeld look about them, a real early 90’s vibe about their attire. Their entrance was suitably stupid – but what else would you expect from this title?

 I thought the book as a whole was humorous, there was some of Ennis dark humour throughout, some digs at Marvel, there was Sex, Violence and gruesome Death. All the elements that make The Boys (generally) so great (when its on form). And it is on form now. The story whizzed by – could have done with a few pages more to be honest.

A great cover from Robertson as well.

The Boys #62 cover for January 2012

Courtesy of

Well, that’s a true first for a comic book cover as far as I know, a post-masturbation scene, with a Queen Maeve magazine image as the catalyst for the (ahem) ‘act’.

If anyone was ever going to provide the comic book world with such a front cover, one of my top choices to provide it would be Garth Ennis. Bless him. He has delivered.

The Boys #62 will be out in January, courtesy of Dynamite.