• Jay

Review: The Boys Vol. 1: The Name of the Game

Whenever there’s a story about a big hero, there’s always follow-up to tell that same story from a different point of view. It’s something that’s pretty great about reading just about anything; knowing the story can be spun in anyway. In the Superhero genre, we see that with things like the movie Megamind and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. They’re stories about the villains where the hero isn’t as heroic as everyone first thinks.

The Boys takes that very idea and says “yeah, but what if it’s worse than that?”

The Boys is about this team who exist simply to keep the superheroes (or “The Supes”) in line. It mostly follows Wee Hughie; a man who lost his girlfriend in a horrible accident caused by the negligence of one of these “Heroes.” A man named A-Train who has no regards for the safety of the innocent when fighting villains in a highly populated area. This is when Hughie is pulled into the group by Billy Butcher; a man who’s been doing this job for a while for his own personal reasons. And it would seem they fell underground for a bit, but Butcher had plans to show their return. By exposing the heroes for what they really are.

This comic is very much an adult comic. Once again, this has very little to do with the gore and violence and more to do with the actions of characters. There’s a lot of themes that should not be shown to children or even young teenagers. A lot of the things done by the supposed "heroes" is messed up to state it as lightly as I possibly can. To see what the heroes are doing in this comic kind of made me uncomfortable, which is clearly its intended purpose. It’s like someone took Superman and decided he needed to be the worst kind of person behind closed doors. And I really mean the worst. Some of the biggest bad guys I know don't cross the lines the heroes do in this.

Of course, the comic made me want to keep reading because of two of the characters. Despite all the horrible events taking place, there is still good in this world that everyone keeps trying to snuff out. That good comes in the form of Starlight; a novice hero that just joined the team known as the Seven. I feel sorry for her more than I do any other character in this story.

Anyway, this comic was lent to me after I heard about the Amazon series that’s recently been released. I’m pretty intrigued by the concept of subverting the superhero genre, so I thought I’d give it a chance. And if you’re into dark, gritty and (at times) downright cruel stories, this one is for you. Maybe I’ll return to review the TV series at a later date. Who knows? Anything could happen in these universes!

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