deactivated-5a162dd41dd64's The Boys #1 - The Name of the Game, Part One review

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Not a bad start

I'll admit, this isn't my style of comic. The art is somewhat sloppy, the swearing is rather gratuitous, and there's some pretty painstakingly-illustrated bits of violence, but Ennis manages to pull together something that's pretty damn readable.

The concept is solid and one that I, personally, enjoy quite a bit. Basically, this man, Butcher, is putting together a new incarnation of a previous team of government-sanctioned individuals that's organized to keep tabs on and, if necessary/possible, kill superheroes. Mind you, these aren't your typical 'boy scout' superheroes- the super-powered community seems to be largely corrupt, and Butcher explains the need for his team quite nicely:

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While I'm not quite sold on the character of Butcher, he's certainly an interesting sort of enigma. We're presented with a man that seems pretty damn determined to hunt down superheroes (as is displayed in the first two pages of the comics, where he's sitting on a park bench and says 'I'm going to kill you guys' (yes, that's rephrased) while looking at some flying individuals we can only assume are superheroes, being decked out in colourful spandex and all), and Ennis has been rather adamant in driving home the fact that this man is a) manly, b) fairly crude, c) a veteran superhero hunter, and d) a bad ass. I think Butcher is also supposed to be British, but I'm not completely sure; the phrases and cultural references he uses are laid on pretty thick, and I don't know any British people that talk at all like he does in the comic. He could just be pretending to be British, like Fantomex pretends to be French (I'm still not sure how we were supposed to know that...)

On the topic of characters, the focal character of the series seems to be an individual called Wee Hughie, who was depicted in a manner that's quite easy to feel for. He's the 'normal guy' in the comic so far, and we're shown signs that Butcher wants to recruit him for some reason for his team of hero-killers. My guess is that Butcher either identifies with him and wants to help Hughie get some sense of revenge (which is probably because someone close to Butcher was killed in a manner similar to Hughie's girlfriend), or because the latter has a reason to want to be a member of his group. It's all kind of up in the air so far.

Anyways, there's some early signs of a very irreverent take on sex that seems to persist throughout the series; it's portrayed quite frankly and coarsely, without the trappings of love or romance. There's no lead-up; we're not shown why or how Butcher and the director of the CIA, two characters who plainly seem disgusted by one another, are having sex in the office of the latter, nor are we told why 'Monkey' seems to be pleasuring himself to a website featuring a woman in a wheelchair in the middle of tossing a javelin, and for once it feels like no explanation is necessary, because it's all kind of 'squicky' anyways.

The Boys seems like it's going to be an action comic, which is frankly not the sort of thing I normally read, but I find myself liking it despite myself. It's the kind of comic one would expect to have a male fanbase; the elements that tend to exists in comics that cater to female readers, like pretty art and even prettier men (ugh), are absent, and the story seems to focus a lot on sex, violence and unnecessary swearing. But I intend to continue reading this title, partly because it comes highly recommended and partly because Ennis's writing intrigues me.

Other reviews for The Boys #1 - The Name of the Game, Part One

    The Beginning 0

    When people think of Garth Ennis most of the time they go for the most immediate link of him and Preacher. Preacher is considered to be his best by many for a plethora of reasons that is almost to long to go through. While Preacher was a great series with an amazing and compelling story, I can not of the opinion that it is the best that Ennis has done.The Boys is an intense series that takes an idea that has been mulled over before and shows us how Ennis would do it. Each character is very belie...

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