Last Updated 3 weeks ago.If there was only one Garth Ennis to read, it wouldn’t be The Boys, because nothing is better than Preacher. That said, in my opinion, The Boys is quite fun, especially if you are a superhero comics fan.
What is The Boys about?
Illustrated by Darick Robertson, The Boys follows Billy Butcher and his team. They work for the CIA in order to keep an eye on the superhero community. Of course, because Ennis wrote this, the “heroes” are mostly fuck ups. Everything starts when Wee Hughie – based on Simon Pegg – watched his girlfriend being killed in front of him by a superhero who didn’t care about the collateral damages. Butcher invites him to join his team in the US and teaches him all he needs to know about the birth of superheroes and how they are just propaganda material for a failed military consortium.
The Boys is full of Marvel and DC references, there’s although an Animal House storyline and a lot of really dark and disturbing things, you know, like in a Garth Ennis comics. I really like the idea that the heroes are just for show and the comics industry told “their” stories which is basically a tool to criticize the real industry. It’s satirical, but it’s not the main point. The evolution of Hughie and Butcher is the heart of the story. Overall, The Boys is pure Ennis with a lot of rage, a lot of dark and twisted humor, a lot of violence, really good characters and a healthy dose of emotions.
How to read The Boys comics ?
The first two short storylines of The Boys were published by Wildstorm, before the series got cancelled because DC didn’t like the tone and the subject. After that, the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment. There’s the main series and some mini-series. Here is the reading order :
- The Name of the Game (issues #1-6) — contains the “The Name of the Game” and “Cherry” story-arcs.
- Get Some (issues #7–14) — contains the “Get Some” and “Glorious Five Year Plan” story-arcs.
- Good for the Soul (issues #15-22) — contains the “Good For The Soul” and “I Tell You No Lie G.I.” story-arcs.
- We Gotta Go Now (issues #23-30) — contains the “We Gotta Go Now” story-arc.
- Herogasm (Herogasm #1–6) — contains the miniseries “Herogasm”, which is presumably a stand alone, but you need to read it at that point in the series.
- The Self-Preservation Society (issues #31–38) — contains the “The Self-Preservation Society” and “Nothing Like It in the World” story-arcs, plus the stories “La Plume De Ma Tante Est Sur La Table” and “The Female of the Species Is More Deadly Than the Male”.
- The Innocents (issues #39-47) — contains the story “What I Know” and two story-arcs, “The Innocents” and “Believe”.
- Highland Laddie (issues Highland Laddie #1-6) — contains the miniseries “Highland Laddie” which takes place right after the “Believe” story-arc.
- The Big Ride (issues #48-59) — contains the “Proper Preparation and Planning”, “Barbary Coast” and “The Big Ride” story-arcs.
- Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker (issues Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #1-6) — contains the miniseries “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker”. Again, not really a stand alone, it needs to be read at that point in the series.
- Over the Hill with the Sword of a Thousand Men (issues #60-65) — contains the “Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men” story-arc.
- The Bloody Doors Off (issues #66-72) — contains the “The Bloody Doors Off” story-arc and the last issue “You Found Me”.
The Omnibus Edition
So now, there’s also a new omnibus edition!
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 1 – Collects The Name of the Game & Get Some.
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 2 – Collects Good for the Soul & We Wanna Go Now.
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 3 – Collects Herogasm & The Self-Preservation Society.
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 4 – Collects The Innocents & Highland Laddie.
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 5 – Collects The Big Ride & Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker.
- The Boys Omnibus Vol. 6 – Collects Over the Hill with the Sword of a Thousand Men & The Bloody Doors Off.
Good Read !