Comic Book Review: Boys

by Pat Johnson

Garth Ennis' newest comic is partly an attempt to see exactly where the line of "Suggested for mature readers" ends and "Beware: diabolical inflammatory contents inside" begins. Did he out Preacher Preacher? Yes and no. This is the story of corrupt superheroes and the normal Joes who hate them. Each comic, if translated to film, would be beyond NC-17. Deviant sex, drug use, and graphic violence are major elements here, but some of the headier themes of God, faith and love that existed in Preacher, haven't emerged yet. While I was reading The Boys, I imagined the paranoia I would have if I read it in public. I can picture people looking over my shoulder, eyes glued to the page. Then, when I turn around they scurry away thinking "that guy must be a total freak to read that stuff." And in the back of their mind they wonder: "what was that comic?" I wanted to give you examples, but just writing about what happens makes me cringe. This is a story about tearing down the idealism of superheroes, the corruption that comes with power, and the hate that comes from pain and loss. By the end of this run, no one is going to come out looking even remotely heroic. If there is one thing that the first five issues have delivered, it's audacious storytelling. You won't walk away unaffected and you won't believe what you see.

10 I hope no one sees me reading this (out of 11)