Sunday, October 08, 2006

Boys Will Be Boys

Wildstorm has released the newest title from writer Garth Ennis- The Boys, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

The basic premise is simple enough- The Boys are a team of normal humans who are tired of being pushed around by super-powered beings. Check out this opening sequence from the first issue in which we see "Wee" Hughie and his girlfriend come between a superhero and his prey. (Sorry if it's too small to read the text, but I haven't figured out how to do that "click on the picture to see a bigger version" thing. I think the pictures tell the story pretty well, though.)

Thanks to this little encounter, Hughie is recruited by Billy Butcher to join "The Boys", a CIA-sponsored group whose mission is to keep an eye on super-powered beings, and use whatever means necessary to "dissuade" them from using their powers.

The whole Hughie sequence came out of the blue- it was completely unexpected (in the book, the two pages weren't facing each other- you had to turn the page to see the bloody outcome, making it that much more startling and- dare I say it?- hilarious.) The book's first two issues are very darkly humorous, and have me waiting anxiously for the next one.

I really like the idea of a book from outside the POV of a superhero, where we can see how their actions affect the "little guy." I've always been able to suspend my disbelief for a lot of what goes on in comics- flying, time travel, super-strength, etc. One thing that has always bothered me, though, is the rampant destruction that goes on in most titles. In the Marvel Comics world, Manhattan seems to be under constant attack- the real estate surrounding Avengers Mansion alone must be pretty much uninsurable. Yet, we are supposed to believe that the average citizen takes it all in stride- that the major destruction that even a run of the mill battle between superbeings can lead to doesn't phase them. They rebuild the block, and move on.

Marvel addressed this issue in regard to The Hulk- that his city destroying rampages never killed or seriously harmed any civilians because they were always able to evacuate the city in plenty of time to get them out of harm's way. I call BS on that- it's just a convenient way to direct attention from the fact that in the real world having a superhero in your city would be more a curse than a blessing.

It would be nice if The Boys addresses this issue, but I have the feeling it won't get too deep into it- Ennis seems to be going for more a dark humor vibe than a think piece. Still, so far, two issues down, and I'm waiting for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Strange... I was sure I posted a comment on this a bit ago...

Sounds like an interesting idea for a comic book! I will have to give a look-see. Thanks!