Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Boys.

I borrowed this comic from a co-worker; to be honest. I would've felt dirty if I'd paid money to read it. The Boys is a series by Garth Ennis that makes you long for the "pure of heart" hero worship of the original comic version of Wanted.

The premise is fairly simple. "Who watches the Watchmen? The Boys do." Superheroes have become a liability, and a small CIA group is formed to keep them in check by any means necessary. This includes blackmail, threats of violence and even murder. I have to say that I honestly lost count of all the problems I had with the series, but I'll try to keep as good of an inventory as possible.

The first introduction to superheroes in this world (called "
supes" as a derogatory) is a shot of the leader of the group looking up in the sky to say "I'm gonna get you." The second is a tender moment between a young couple interrupted by a Flash-wannabe slamming the girl of said couple into a wall, with her boyfriend still holding her dismembered hands. He's given the runaround by the "supes'" lawyers. Soon after, the young man who just lost his girlfriend is approached by the leader of "The Boys," Billy Butcher.

What follows is an epic depiction of evil vs. slightly-less evil. The lead superhero team, "The Seven," are seen putting a new, doe-eyed young female recruit through an initiation more suited to a porn starlet than a defender of liberty. A young edgy
superteam is caught on tape doing things which would make Caligula blush and given the ultimatium to throw one of their own to the press.

You see, The Boys monitor every
superteam. They know everything that goes on behind closed doors, and they're not above using it for purposes of blackmail. There's an implied theme among the group that all of them have suffered losses at the hands of careless superhumans, but it really just feels like window dressing for the real issue.

The leader of The Boys, Billy Butcher, makes several telling statements over the course of the story. They are all along the theme that some
superhumans need to be watched, some need to controlled, and some just need to be taken out. And all of this is because someday they might realize that they have something better to do than save people. This seems to imply that they would become rulers and tyrants if not closely monitored. This may be a valid case, if not for the fact that there seem to be no supervillains in this world. No one with powers who just openly attempts to take control by force.

Along with some stray lines about corporate sponsorship and the pampered lives of "bloody yanks," it paints a pretty clear picture. Personally, I can think of nothing better for a world such as this, than the few who have yet to be corrupted really learning that they do in fact have something better to do than save people