Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Impressions: The Boys

Like the film Super, I’d been looking at the Garth Ennis comic book series The Boys for a while now. Here was my basic problem – I really enjoyed my first experience with Garth Ennis (Preacher is a really violent, but fun romance with vampires that sits pretty high in my favourite comic book series), my second experience was his run on The Punisher for Marvel comics, which I really liked at first, and then seemed to quickly devolve into a simple horrible-villain-is-horrible-then-the-Punisher-shows-up-and-kills-him cycle that I got pretty tired of pretty quick.
The a few years back The Boys came out, and as I was actually shying away from superhero comics at the time (novels however, like Superfolks by Robert Mayer still made it on to my reading lists and thank goodness, because that book is amazing!) I really didn’t have any interest in checking out some kind of (literal) hero-bashing story filled with morally bankrupt superpowered jerks.

Then in December I had the chance to check out the first few trade paperback collections of the title from my local library, and as I had a bunch of time I thought, Why not?

So, what did I think of the first few collections of The Boys?

Well, they were hyper-violent and full of adult content, but so was Preacher, they did indeed involve many issues where our "heroes" beat the ever-loving crap out of their world's Super Heroes; the stories were filled with concepts and ideas that made me sad or upset with the idea of a world wherein super powered folks weren't really doing anything for the common good, then I started getting angry, and you know what - that is kind of the point.

The main characters are the last line of a defence in a world where super-heroes accidentally kill civilians and then have the victim's families bought off by lawyers. The whole point is that you (the reader) are supposed to be disturbed and angry about what these people in positions of power are doing, and then realize that someone needs to stop them. Like Preacher, the series does have a romance angle at it's centre and yes, you end up caring for the main characters.

Is this a title for everyone? No. Is it interesting? Yes, and as a free read does it work for me? Yup. Although I wouldn't own the series, I am interested in seeing where the creators are going with it and as long as I can keep reading it from my local library, I'll keep following the series.

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