BOYS #39

Review by: akamuu

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Avg Rating: 3.7
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Writer: Garth Ennis
Penciller/Inker: Darick Robertson
Colorist: Tony Avina
Covers: Darick Robertson

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

A couple of years ago, a reporter for The Boston Herald came into the store I was working at.  Our conversation started pretty typically.  I was new at that location, so he started asking me what titles I read.  I went through all the X-titles, Batman, the Vertigo that I was reading at the time, and said that I’d just started reading The Boys, which had just moved from Wildstorm to Dynamite.

When I told him this, his posture changed, and he swayed his head at me and asked why I would read “such filth”.  Now, I know Garth Ennis is not for everyone, and assumed his problem with Ennis was either his dirty mouth, or his ultra-violence.

I was wrong.

“Garth Ennis,” he said “is a complete homophobe.”  And he went on to detail the writing campaign he’d undertaken against The Boys.  How it represented homosexuals in a negative light.

I replied with “I think you’re missing the point.  The series portrays EVERYONE in a bad light.  The superheroes are deviants, the people trying to take down the superheroes have almost no morals, and even the protagonist is weak and barely likable.”  And we argued back and forth for a while until he said “Well, being a straight man, you wouldn’t understand.”  I guess if he were actually perceptive he wouldn’t be a reporter for a crappy tabloid.

While I still stand by my argument that Ennis’s work isn’t homophobic, it’s anthropophobic.  The point of this series appears to be that everyone in the world is flawed in some disgusting way.  Everyone you want to root for has some characteristic that disappoints you.  Hughie, the character *is* homophobic.  Though, you know “some of his best mates….”

I’m fairly certain that this story is a direct response to the ignorant assholes who got The Boys kicked off of Wildstorm.  It’s the first post-origins story (and thank God that arc is over), and while it sets up a major plot development for future issues, this issue seems to stand as an exploration of wee-Hughie’s flaws; In particular his homophobia.  Oh, don’t worry, it’s not Judd Winicky.  There’s absolutely no preaching, and, as per usual with Ennis, no redemption.  It’s just a really well put together character examination.

McCrea’s art has a lot of fun little easter eggy details.  But it’s the writing that makes this a solid five star book.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I think Ennis is just over the top.  He loves to push the envelope and that’s why I love him.  I have an extraordinarily dark sense of humor, and Ennis satiates that just about every time I read his work.  It’s funny the way that people perceive him though.  For instance, Blair Butler on Freshink can’t stand The Boys, but not because its homophobic.  She just hate male posturing and that’s all she see’s in The Boys.  She reads most of Ennis’ other stuff (and if I’m not mistaken, she’s gay), so obviously your friend from Boston is a little over sensative.

  2. @vadamowens: He is *not* a friend, but your other assessment is 100% correct.

  3. I was being a cheeky fuck. I assumed he wasn’t a friend.

  4. @vadamowens: I find the word cheeky VERY homophobic.  😉

  5. lol

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