Review by: Bedhead

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Avg Rating: 3.3
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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

OK, this is obviously shit. That said, to paraphrase Socrates, the unexamined shit is not worth shitting; and as such, I think it’s appropriate to take a moment and consider how an author as gifted as Ennis managed to drop such a doodie.

The issue’s plot is as thin as the anorexic super-heroines it so delightedly mocks: instead of having a summer event where they fight this year’s unlucky cosmic bad guy, the heroes of The Boys universe have an orgy. That’s about it. Oh, yeah, there’s some unmemorable plot stuff at the end that’s stuffed tightly between heroes stuffing each other tightly.

Now, there’s a long and fascinating history of comics that use the excuse of condemning a low down practice to revel in the stank of it. On its surface, the classic Crime Doesn’t Pay is about, y’know, crime not paying; but in fact the book was a voyeurs’ view of the dirty, grimy, wonderful stories behind these crimes. Similarly, the not inconsiderable joy in this issue derives entirely from watching heroes act in a way Ennis works so hard to say he deplores. However, unlike with Crime Doesn’t Pay, there’s an honest sense throughout this issue (and throughout The Boys) that Ennis genuinely hates these characters; in fact, he pretty much hates the superhero genre and he’s super eager to super expose all its contradictions and absurdities in the most super offensive way possible. For a comic ostensibly about sex, there’s a whole lot of anger between those panels.

Like a modern day Wertham, Ennis sees the superhero genre as brimming with just such horrible, horrible sexual undertones; all the stories of these colored naked men in capes just amount to a bunch teen fantasies about people beating into each other as a substitute for fucking. Oh, and the genre supports corrupt, American corporations who giggle at the fools (you, me, not Ennis) who believe in all this nonsense.

Now, it’s the origin of this vitriol that makes this shit comic worthy of closer inspection. Ennis is undoubtedly a master of the craft of comics. Preacher is simply the Watchmen of the 90s—the best piece of genre fiction this medium could produce at that time, and his current work on Battlefields has been consistently heartbreaking and breathtaking. As he pours his talent and passion into these fascinating stories of normal men, how frustrating it must be for him then to see comics dominated by banal stories of super men. So frustrating it probably drives him to rise from his writing desk, open the window and peer out at the real, hero-free sky, and scream just bloody scream.

Herogasm is this scream; it’s the translation into pencil, ink, and color of an artist’s panic at trying to function in an industry dominated by a form he detests. It’s Andy Kaufman reading Gatsby; it’s Gore Vidal reviewing the top ten bestsellers; it’s Wittgenstein’s tractatus; it’s a big gleeful pog mo thoin to those who love and buy in the midstream from a man drowning under its current.

So from a great fan of the genre and a great fan of yours Mr. Ennis, let me say thank you for allowing these vulnerabilities to penetrate your art; for shit, it’s interesting and stimulating shit, and if getting this out gets you back to your desk then we’re all the better for it.

–T. King

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 2 - Average


  1. Ha great review! Is still want to read this mind because I’m an Ennis apologist!

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