The Boys Cover
Book Cover

The Boys: The Big Ride by Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, Darick Robertson and John McCrea

4/5 stars
Book review by Ryan Agee.
Published 15 December 2011

The Boys is author Garth Ennis’s attempt to, in his words, "Out-Preacher Preacher." If you haven’t read his earlier Preacher comics, suffice to say that this means it’s violent, gruesome, bloody, and often hilarious, if you’ve got the stomach for it. This is a comic set in something close to a real world, but with superheroes in it. And those superheroes are actually the villains, with the top hero group, The Seven (a version of DC Comics' Justice League) being manipulated by corporate interests, and the others being all kinds of ridiculous, as crimefighting in fancy dress would be. Who watches these watchmen? The Boys do. They’re a group of super-agents for the CIA, led by the smart but thuggish Englishman Butcher. They don’t even necessarily approve of the CIA’s methods, but they’re much the lesser of two, or more, evils. In this episode flashbacks tell us much more than before about the founding of The Boys, and where their powers come from, whilst in the present they move closer to a final battle with The Seven. Best to start at the start if you haven’t read this before; if you have, this is a solid and entertaining ninth installment. [Ryan Agee]