Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Staff Pick - The Boys by Garth Ennis
Recently I ran into a patron I hadn't seen in some time. In the past we had shared graphic novel titles we really enjoyed and this meeting of the minds was no different. He asked if I'd read "The Boys" (M) written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Darick Robertson. I hadn't and immediately placed a request on all 12 volumes of the completed comic. I was not disappointed.
Alan Moore posed the query "Who watches the watchmen?". Garth Ennis answered that question in 12 raucous volumes and the answer is The Boys. Set between 2006 and 2008 in a world where superheroes exist The Boys is a violence fueled massacre of the preconception we have of superheroes. In Ennis' world the "Supes" are presented to the masses as heroes but this couldn't be farther from the truth. They're corrupt, entitled and no one can stop them. No one but the CIA suped up sub squad The Boys that is.
This comic is not for the faint of heart. The sex and violence are over the top but it's also incredibly witty, moving and the humor, though dark, is abundant. Ennis' ability to write in several dialects is incredible, his brilliant dialogue paired with Robertson's impressive art made this fast paced, character driven story line impossible for me to put down. I championed Wee Hughie, I loved and hated Billy Butcher, The Female and Frenchie are characters like no others I've ever encountered and then there's MM, I'll leave the mystery of the initials for you to solve. And they're just the tip of the motley crew iceberg. It's a fantastic fast paced thrill ride through the corrupt world of big business, good guys who are actually the baddies and The Boys standing between us and them.
The Novelist database provides a great list of read-a-likes, including:
by Mike Mignola
Arkham Asylum: a serious house on serious earth (M)
by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
Batman: year one (M)
by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli