Page 45 Review by Stephen
Back in print in time for the prime-time TV series...
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, cheers.
From the writer of PREACHER, PUNISHER MAX and WAR STORIES and the artist on Warren Ellis's TRANSMETROPOLITAN comes a darkly satirical series of ten adults-only books from the POV of a Machiavellian British bruiser who is exceedingly angry at everything regarding the nature of above-the-law superheroes, their suffocating male hegemony, and their history of publication along with the genre's real-life, attendant, corporate propaganda.
Writer and comedian Simon Pegg provides the introduction in which he offers the experience that, as an actor, you rarely switch on the TV to find yourself starring in a series you hadn't performed for. Errrmmm... will he, now that this has been commissioned for that very medium? He could probably name his price.
I mention all this because Simon Pegg - or rather a character with his exact likeness - is the star of this particular sequential-art show in which his love-life (or the love of his life) is quite literally torn apart by a couple of squabbling super-freaks in the first few pages.
Great timing, that panel, but I'll leave you to see its exceptional execution for yourselves.
This makes him easy pickings for Billy Butcher, a man with a mission to bring down the high-and-mighty but secretly down-and-dirty super-thugs and super-sluts who enjoy the adulation of millions along with the support of the authorities, yet whose team leaders like The Homelander emotionally and sexually abuse their fresher female and indeed male cohorts.
Together with The Frenchman, Mother's Milk, The Female and Wee Hughie (the naive Pegg-alike), Billy Butcher embarks on his first new mission to covertly film a team of teens in the all-together, doing the unmentionable.
Billy Butcher's not going to expose them, though. Not in the way that they expose themselves. He's going to blackmail them into self-destructing in mass-media public. It's about making these nasty, hypocritical, conceited celebrities with their polished media profiles squirm and turn on each other.
So it's still rather topical, I would have thought.
Little is left to the imagination as both Garth and Ennis trawl through an A-to-Z of what Wertham worried about, and which Marvel and DC have never allowed to be shown in superhero comics. It's little surprise, therefore, that DC - originally slated to publish THE BOYS - dropped this title. The only astonishing thing is that it took them so long.
It's crude, it's lewd, but the lascivious relish is infectious, and you wait to see what happens when The Boys start climbing the ladder to take on the equivalent of the Justice League of America.
Now they won't go down so easily - except on each other.