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The Boys, Volume 11: Over the Hills with the Swords of a Thousand Men

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It's been a long time coming, but Billy Butcher's revenge on his wife's killer is about to be realized - if he can only get his hands on the bastard. The Boys prepare for one last terrible battle, as the Homelander finally bites the bullet and sets an army of superheroes against the forces of the United States military. Battle rages at the White House, Frenchie and the Fem It's been a long time coming, but Billy Butcher's revenge on his wife's killer is about to be realized - if he can only get his hands on the bastard. The Boys prepare for one last terrible battle, as the Homelander finally bites the bullet and sets an army of superheroes against the forces of the United States military. Battle rages at the White House, Frenchie and the Female are unleashed, and Hughie faces his own terrors... while MM, patient to the last, races against time to uncover the greatest and most dreadful secret of Vought-American's superhero program. Butcher steps willingly into the jaws of death, alone and unafraid: but what he finds waiting for him is beyond even his darkest dreams. The Boys, Vol. 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men collects issues 60-65 of the hit series The Boys by Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, John McCrea, Keith Burns and Darick Robertson, and features all of the covers by Darick Robertson!


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It's been a long time coming, but Billy Butcher's revenge on his wife's killer is about to be realized - if he can only get his hands on the bastard. The Boys prepare for one last terrible battle, as the Homelander finally bites the bullet and sets an army of superheroes against the forces of the United States military. Battle rages at the White House, Frenchie and the Fem It's been a long time coming, but Billy Butcher's revenge on his wife's killer is about to be realized - if he can only get his hands on the bastard. The Boys prepare for one last terrible battle, as the Homelander finally bites the bullet and sets an army of superheroes against the forces of the United States military. Battle rages at the White House, Frenchie and the Female are unleashed, and Hughie faces his own terrors... while MM, patient to the last, races against time to uncover the greatest and most dreadful secret of Vought-American's superhero program. Butcher steps willingly into the jaws of death, alone and unafraid: but what he finds waiting for him is beyond even his darkest dreams. The Boys, Vol. 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men collects issues 60-65 of the hit series The Boys by Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, John McCrea, Keith Burns and Darick Robertson, and features all of the covers by Darick Robertson!

30 review for The Boys, Volume 11: Over the Hills with the Swords of a Thousand Men

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Yes! 11 volumes of mindless violence and gore just to get to this final bloody showdown! Was it worth it? Fuck yes. The twist! The build-up to the gotcha moment was perfect! I know! I know! I'm using too many exclamation points! I don't want to spoil anything, but this is what the entire series has led up to and it was brilliant! Yes! 11 volumes of mindless violence and gore just to get to this final bloody showdown! Was it worth it? Fuck yes. The twist! The build-up to the gotcha moment was perfect! I know! I know! I'm using too many exclamation points! I don't want to spoil anything, but this is what the entire series has led up to and it was brilliant!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Another thing that was handled well in the series was the slow build of tension. That's not easy to handle over a long series, and I've seen it go wrong quite frequently. By this book in the series, shit's getting real. The elements of funny parody have faded to the background, and you know that everything's on the verge of going terribly wrong... That's skillful storytelling at its best... (Continued in Volume 12.) Another thing that was handled well in the series was the slow build of tension. That's not easy to handle over a long series, and I've seen it go wrong quite frequently. By this book in the series, shit's getting real. The elements of funny parody have faded to the background, and you know that everything's on the verge of going terribly wrong... That's skillful storytelling at its best... (Continued in Volume 12.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    oh boy oh boy. one more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Britton

    Ennis got his start in the mid to late 90s, establishing a reputation as an extremist in the comics community alongside Warren Ellis, though Ennis would become the Grant Morrison to Ellis' Alan Moore, with Ennis sometimes going to extremes without letting his story threads come together in a natural way. Does that mean Ennis is a bad writer? Of course not. He wouldn't be a favorite of mine if that were the case. While The Boys doesn't entirely reach the heights of some of Ennis' finer outings li Ennis got his start in the mid to late 90s, establishing a reputation as an extremist in the comics community alongside Warren Ellis, though Ennis would become the Grant Morrison to Ellis' Alan Moore, with Ennis sometimes going to extremes without letting his story threads come together in a natural way. Does that mean Ennis is a bad writer? Of course not. He wouldn't be a favorite of mine if that were the case. While The Boys doesn't entirely reach the heights of some of Ennis' finer outings like Preacher or Punisher MAX, The Boys proved itself to be another interesting series in Ennis' catalogue. Garth Ennis is never one for the easily offended, the copious amounts of sex, violence and mayhem that inhabits this series can test even the most mentally and physically strong of people, as I said earlier Ennis is rather extreme with his content. Though luckily, Ennis does know how to pace himself and provide a good plot to keep you invested unlike some of the other artists and writers from the uber grimdark period of comics (cough cough, Rob Liefeld, cough cough, Frank Miller). Ennis, much like Alan Moore, makes a point to show that if superhumans were to exist in our world, they would bring about an apocalyptic sense of change to the world. Though unfortunately, I'm not quite as sure that Ennis is as thorough in his exploration as Moore was. He never fully goes deeper in his critique of superheroes, which is rather unfortunate. Though unlike Moore, Ennis pulls no punches when taking shots as superheroes, this is unsurprising given his well known disdain for the superhero genre, yet again, I don't find that his satire nearly goes far enough to make a grand point of it all. While The Boys' satire is admittedly simplistic unlike something that is more nuanced like Watchmen, we see Ennis' reputation for characterization shine through, with Billy Butcher being a standout and even Ennis himself lamenting that he was his favorite character to write. Most of the characters in The Boys are strongly developed and their depth and likability is reminiscent of Preacher, but we also see how they change over time. Wee Hughie in particular changes from a mild mannered normal person into a hardened, but still well intentioned person. The satire of The Boys, while sometimes going overboard and becoming crude, usually does its job, with targets being of corporatism, crony capitalism, and the incompetence of government, in particular the Bush era. I have often complained about how many modern comics have problems with pacing. But luckily Ennis doesn't have this issue, and I would lobby him alongside Ed Brubaker as having a mastery of pacing, as Ennis knows when he should slow things down and when to let things speed up. It is nice to find someone else to use as an example of how to pace your stories in a way to where you won't lose your audience, and Ennis definitely knows how to keep his audiences attention, for better or worse. Few problems come through in the series, Ennis's writing teeters in quality near the end, with some unexpected twists coming in that shakes up the story at hold and not in a way that feels natural. Though luckily Ennis manages to make it work as best as he can and manages to wrap his story up in a satisfying way. While Ennis is ruthless in his mockery of the superhero genre and its conventions, some of his edgy, extreme humor doesn't really seem to go anywhere, which is a problem that pervades through much of his work. Though unlike Preacher or Punisher MAX where he manages to tamper it with volumes of excellent story, The Boys sometimes does get brought down by its over the top extremes. The art from Derrick Robertson, while very good and well drawn, I often compare to his extraordinary work on Transmetropolitan, and I found that he hasn't ever surpassed the strange and surreal visuals from that series. Cruel and crass as The Boys may be, Ennis rarely forgets character motivation or good plotting to keep readers invested, while he may lose some of his steam by the end of the series, The Boys remains a strong and enjoyable outing from Ennis' catalogue.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    Outstanding! And well worth the wait!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I burned through this book in one frantic, heart-pounding read. After the slow burn and insightful stage-setting of the last few books, where we really get to know our characters, this one drops them straight in a forest fire and doesn't let up until everyone has ash on them. Fantastic and still surprising climax to this series. I didn't see some of it coming, and I'd forgotten some of the details this brings back to light - but it didn't matter. This was the kind of gold of book 1 or of Herogasm I burned through this book in one frantic, heart-pounding read. After the slow burn and insightful stage-setting of the last few books, where we really get to know our characters, this one drops them straight in a forest fire and doesn't let up until everyone has ash on them. Fantastic and still surprising climax to this series. I didn't see some of it coming, and I'd forgotten some of the details this brings back to light - but it didn't matter. This was the kind of gold of book 1 or of Herogasm, and my complaints of slowdown and feeling like this was dragged out are exonerated for being pulled together here. I can't wait to see how this gets wrapped up. Here's my plot spoilers: (view spoiler)[President gets killed accidentally by Vic the Veep (moron). This is the opportunity that Vought-American needed to set plans in motion. They install handlers for Vic, halt all CIA operations. Hughie still can't forget Starlight's past, MM finds out his wife got their daughter into porn, Hughie vows to do no further violence. MM also sees signs of something wrong with Black Noir. Boys are attacked by a lame superhero team and take them out. Turns out not to be VA who sent them, but Homelander. Frenchie and the woman attack VA back, and are offered truce by VA's leader. Butcher grabs A-Train and plays recording for Hughie of callous talk by A-Train after killing Hughie's girlfriend, inciting Hughie to kill A-Train. Then Butcher releases all the incriminating photos of all the shit The Seven and others have done over the years, then joins the military in Washington and moves in to confront Homelander. Homelander sets his plans in motion - setting all capes on the White House and Pentagon, killing Maeve when she attacks him, then confronts and kills the VA leader who's dismissed Homelander as unimaginative, uninspired. He kills Vic. Butcher discovers what MM already found out: Black Noir was created as the weapon to take out Homelander, got bored of waiting for his reason, and went psycho framing Homelander for all the crazy shit. This caused Homelander to think he was nuts and did his own sociopathic deeds because he figured he must be nuts, why not? BN kills Homelander, Butcher kills BN, Butcher weeps that Becky wouldn't have approved of revenge. Military wipes out amassed supes. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    A lot of s%#@ hits a very big fan. This is the epic confrontation that this series has been building up to. Casualties are inevitable. There's really not a lot of non-spoiler material to discuss. Been waiting to see Butcher confront the Homelander? It happens. Homelander's plan? Revealed. With all that happens in this volume, you have to wonder just what's in volume 12? 150 pages of pinups and alternate covers? Because things appear to be over. But are they ...? A lot of s%#@ hits a very big fan. This is the epic confrontation that this series has been building up to. Casualties are inevitable. There's really not a lot of non-spoiler material to discuss. Been waiting to see Butcher confront the Homelander? It happens. Homelander's plan? Revealed. With all that happens in this volume, you have to wonder just what's in volume 12? 150 pages of pinups and alternate covers? Because things appear to be over. But are they ...?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Fun volume. Things had been trickling along in this series then in this volume it all exploded.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    While the last couple volumes of The Boys has felt like Garth Ennis dragging his heels, suddenly with Volume 11 he decides to get everything over and done with in one big dump. It feels like dumping because there’s no finesse to it, it just feels like Ennis throwing everything at the reader saying “There, it’s done, happy now?”. The increasingly crazy Homelander finally snaps and all pretence that the Supes are good guys is gone thanks to The Boys uploading everything they have on them over the While the last couple volumes of The Boys has felt like Garth Ennis dragging his heels, suddenly with Volume 11 he decides to get everything over and done with in one big dump. It feels like dumping because there’s no finesse to it, it just feels like Ennis throwing everything at the reader saying “There, it’s done, happy now?”. The increasingly crazy Homelander finally snaps and all pretence that the Supes are good guys is gone thanks to The Boys uploading everything they have on them over the last several decades onto the internet. Which is good because that’s where the story was headed anyway, at least now the series has decided to move forward and at a brisk clip too. There are moments where I couldn’t help but sighing at the tediousness of it all: Hughie and Starlight are still doing their “we got problems” relationship dance, then Hughie begins whining again about The Boys being too violent – I just wish they’d get rid of him now – and Frenchie and the Female do their ass-kicking routine. So far, so ordinary. Where the story picked up was the final third when Butcher walks alone into a confrontation with Homelander – yes! With HL being the most powerful supe, how was Butcher going to defeat him? Well, I won’t spoil the surprise but the results are, naturally, gorey. And then it’s over. Sort of. There’s an epilogue that’ll be Volume 12 but it seems like the series is about done. Was it everything I’d hoped? Well, it’s the best volume since Volume 6, mostly because the series has found its footing once again after a few (unnecessary) diversions and gotten to the meat. But it took its time to get there and I feel the overall series has suffered because of this. That and Darick Robertson sitting out the penultimate book of the series he co-created, but hopefully he’ll return for the finale. “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” (excellent title) is decent, the ending saves it, but it feels like the series had more potential than what it ended up becoming which is slightly disappointing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    nidah05 (SleepDreamWrite)

    Another weird but good kind of series that gets insane but you can't help but want to read the next one, kind of volume. Another weird but good kind of series that gets insane but you can't help but want to read the next one, kind of volume.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deepu Singh

    Giving this one five star cuz it was so satisfactory and twists and all, you know some more secrets and stuff, and while you were reading these graphic novels you must have think of some action against supes or whomever, and this one does it, it satisfies you completely.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    While the last couple volumes of The Boys has felt like Garth Ennis dragging his heels, suddenly with Volume 11 he decides to get everything over and done with in one big dump. It feels like dumping because there’s no finesse to it, it just feels like Ennis throwing everything at the reader saying “There, it’s done, happy now?”. The increasingly crazy Homelander finally snaps and all pretence that the Supes are good guys is gone thanks to The Boys uploading everything they have on them over the While the last couple volumes of The Boys has felt like Garth Ennis dragging his heels, suddenly with Volume 11 he decides to get everything over and done with in one big dump. It feels like dumping because there’s no finesse to it, it just feels like Ennis throwing everything at the reader saying “There, it’s done, happy now?”. The increasingly crazy Homelander finally snaps and all pretence that the Supes are good guys is gone thanks to The Boys uploading everything they have on them over the last several decades onto the internet. Which is good because that’s where the story was headed anyway, at least now the series has decided to move forward and at a brisk clip too. There are moments where I couldn’t help but sighing at the tediousness of it all: Hughie and Starlight are still doing their “we got problems” relationship dance, then Hughie begins whining again about The Boys being too violent – I just wish they’d get rid of him now – and Frenchie and the Female do their ass-kicking routine. So far, so ordinary. Where the story picked up was the final third when Butcher walks alone into a confrontation with Homelander – yes! With HL being the most powerful supe, how was Butcher going to defeat him? Well, I won’t spoil the surprise but the results are, naturally, gorey. And then it’s over. Sort of. There’s an epilogue that’ll be Volume 12 but it seems like the series is about done. Was it everything I’d hoped? Well, it’s the best volume since Volume 6, mostly because the series has found its footing once again after a few (unnecessary) diversions and gotten to the meat. But it took its time to get there and I feel the overall series has suffered because of this. That and Darick Robertson sitting out the penultimate book of the series he co-created, but hopefully he’ll return for the finale. “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” (excellent title) is decent, the ending saves it, but it feels like the series had more potential than what it ended up becoming which is slightly disappointing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    What if all the superheroes got together and took on the United States Government? Well read this volume and find out! Maintaining the darkly comedic underbelly of this series, we still get a tense ridden build up to the clash we know that has to happen for Butcher. The road to endings though, is paved with some superb gems and confrontations. A masterclass in savagery, plotting and characterisation - with the final issue see The Boys put it altogether. For Becky. 10 out of 12. A Five Star Read. What if all the superheroes got together and took on the United States Government? Well read this volume and find out! Maintaining the darkly comedic underbelly of this series, we still get a tense ridden build up to the clash we know that has to happen for Butcher. The road to endings though, is paved with some superb gems and confrontations. A masterclass in savagery, plotting and characterisation - with the final issue see The Boys put it altogether. For Becky. 10 out of 12. A Five Star Read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luana

    I called the Homelander twist, but it's such a satisfying conclusion to the super-storyline that it don't matter too much. Oh boy, this series is one I'm going to have to start defending with a bunch of caveats, isn't it? I wish Ennis' puerile humor wasn't matched by his skill with a poetic turn of phrase and dramatic know-how. "I'm like English." one of my favorite comic book moments of all time??? MEBBE I called the Homelander twist, but it's such a satisfying conclusion to the super-storyline that it don't matter too much. Oh boy, this series is one I'm going to have to start defending with a bunch of caveats, isn't it? I wish Ennis' puerile humor wasn't matched by his skill with a poetic turn of phrase and dramatic know-how. "I'm like English." one of my favorite comic book moments of all time??? MEBBE

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex E

    The inevitable finally happens in this volume, with the final showdown between Butcher and Homelander gets underway... This book is really Ennis firing on all cylinders. He has let the tension build for over 10 volumes, just to get to this moment. Because we all saw where we were heading, and with each volume, it got closer and closer. And volume 11 delivers. From the ending of the first issue in this volume, all the way to the end, the book never relents, as the unstoppable momentum from Homelan The inevitable finally happens in this volume, with the final showdown between Butcher and Homelander gets underway... This book is really Ennis firing on all cylinders. He has let the tension build for over 10 volumes, just to get to this moment. Because we all saw where we were heading, and with each volume, it got closer and closer. And volume 11 delivers. From the ending of the first issue in this volume, all the way to the end, the book never relents, as the unstoppable momentum from Homelander's plans finally come to a head. But in classic Ennis style, he has one more twist up his sleeve that pulls the rug out from under the entire series, pretty much. When all is said and done, the team is still alive, but they definitely now live in a different world, one where The Boys may either be not needed, or needed more than ever. And the art team knocks it out of the park in this one. From Derick Robertson to Russ Braun to John McCrea, they all do a fantastic job of making this violent and visceral. This is a volume where you cant really pull any punches just because its been so built up, and the art team definitely didn't. The art in this one is really top notch, I enjoyed it a lot. One more volume to go to wrap up the entire series, and I'm definitely on board to see how Ennis closes out the original run.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mik Cope

    The culmination of all the dastardly plans of the Homelander! Can our 'heroes' save the day? Plenty of the same - sex, ultra-violence, moral conundrums for Hughie, the only character in the book who seems to have any kind of conscience or moral compass ... and some twists that I did not see coming. The culmination of all the dastardly plans of the Homelander! Can our 'heroes' save the day? Plenty of the same - sex, ultra-violence, moral conundrums for Hughie, the only character in the book who seems to have any kind of conscience or moral compass ... and some twists that I did not see coming.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sylvester

    The final showdown between the Boys and the Seven, all secrets are revealed. It's the most violent volume of the series and I thought the twist was rather clever, well worth the title as the penultimate volume. The final showdown between the Boys and the Seven, all secrets are revealed. It's the most violent volume of the series and I thought the twist was rather clever, well worth the title as the penultimate volume.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shane Kiely

    After a slight dip in the middle chapters this series really starts to get great as it moves closer to its climax. The elements that irritate me are still there to a degree but the good stuff by & large drowns it out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Poetniknowit

    Wow, trudging through all the political BS was definitely worth it, bc the revelations and climax of this volume was fantastic!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Stewart

    A brutal, fast, yet mostly satisfying "conclusion." A brutal, fast, yet mostly satisfying "conclusion."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ross Alon

    Well, that was a little anti-climatic. As most of this series the story here could have been told in less pages than actually took. Some surprising revelations (Black Noir, I'm looking at you) but the resolution was quick, and too gruesome even for this series. Funny thing is, we've got another volume. Well, that was a little anti-climatic. As most of this series the story here could have been told in less pages than actually took. Some surprising revelations (Black Noir, I'm looking at you) but the resolution was quick, and too gruesome even for this series. Funny thing is, we've got another volume.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Devon Munn

    To admit (view spoiler)[The plot twist that Black Noir is basically Homelanders twin and pretended to be him and do alot of horrible things and was the one who caused Becky's death and that the Homelander was tricked into becoming a killer was a good twist (hide spoiler)] To admit (view spoiler)[The plot twist that Black Noir is basically Homelanders twin and pretended to be him and do alot of horrible things and was the one who caused Becky's death and that the Homelander was tricked into becoming a killer was a good twist (hide spoiler)]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zec

    Great climax with a great twist. Everything than can go wrong goes wrong.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This series has spent a long time setting up the final confrontation between the Boys and the Seven (and a lot more time spinning its wheels), but we finally get it all in this volume, and it all feels a bit anticlimactic in how it comes about. The presidency finally changes hands (due to a ludicrous scenario that is 100% "The Boys"), and with that, the chess pieces on the board finally start making their moves. We finally learn a lot in this volume--such as the name of the man in charge of Voug This series has spent a long time setting up the final confrontation between the Boys and the Seven (and a lot more time spinning its wheels), but we finally get it all in this volume, and it all feels a bit anticlimactic in how it comes about. The presidency finally changes hands (due to a ludicrous scenario that is 100% "The Boys"), and with that, the chess pieces on the board finally start making their moves. We finally learn a lot in this volume--such as the name of the man in charge of Vought American (why Ennis kept that a mystery for 60+ issues I really don't know), and we get a pretty major revelation toward the end of the volume that I really don't want to spoil here. It is pretty shocking, and Mother's Milk's narration to Hughie intercutting with Billy Butcher discovering this for himself is pretty effective. But ultimately, one can't help but feel the same kind of disappointment that Butcher feels at the end. Did he get his revenge? Yes, sort of--but not in the way he envisioned for so many years, and (view spoiler)[he can't really claim to have killed the man when he was falling apart on the battlefield anyway, his guts literally hanging from his body. It's more accurate to say he puts him out of his misery rather than kills the man himself. The vast majority of the work was already done by other parties. (hide spoiler)] The Frenchman and The Female go after Vought after an attack that they can only assume came from there, and this is the first time I can recall that The Boys actually face enough serious opposition (who are portrayed as a bunch of buffoons) that they actually suffer any kind of loss. This feels a bit weird after their going up against Payback in a previous volume, though there were only two of them against a larger team here. Mother's Milk is taken off the table by events in his personal life and his biggest contribution to the story is researching on his laptop and making a phone call. And Hughie doesn't contribute too much either, mostly shadowing Butcher and again acting like a little bitch with his girlfriend Starlight (and being rightly called out for it by her). You don't own that pussy, Hughie. She's been with other people. Grow the fuck up and get over it. Maybe he could actually concern himself with her trauma and experience rather than obsess over the fact that his isn't the first dick she's had inside of her. There's one moment where Butcher gives Hughie what he thinks he wants on a silver platter, and Hughie doesn't react the way Butcher hoped...until he does. It's honestly well done--you think you have certain boundaries set and then something sets you off and you cross them in a way you can never come back from. And this is something that should have major repercussions for Hughie's psyche, but this volume moves so quickly it doesn't take the time to even begin exploring them. 3.5 STARS

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    2021 reads, #61-72. In preparation for finally watching the Amazon Prime Video adaptation currently being made out of it, I recently had the opportunity to acquire the entire six-year, 72-issue run of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's The Boys (broken down at Goodreads into 12 larger graphic novels; this review covers them all, which I'm copying and pasting into each book page), the anti-superhero tale from the creator of legendary '90s Vertigo Generation-X hit Preacher that is now popularly kn 2021 reads, #61-72. In preparation for finally watching the Amazon Prime Video adaptation currently being made out of it, I recently had the opportunity to acquire the entire six-year, 72-issue run of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's The Boys (broken down at Goodreads into 12 larger graphic novels; this review covers them all, which I'm copying and pasting into each book page), the anti-superhero tale from the creator of legendary '90s Vertigo Generation-X hit Preacher that is now popularly known as "The Darkest Comic Book In History And We're Not Just Buying Into The Hype When We Say That, You Should Do Yourself A Favor And Seriously Take That Warning Legitimately;" and while the original plan had been to read only a few issues of what I was fully expecting to be a mediocre title, whose reputation I assumed had been artificially inflated by a bunch of uncultured nerds who wouldn't know true transgressive literature if it reached up and bit them on the dick, I ended up doing a feverish binge of all 72 issues in a mere 72-hour period this weekend, because the hype turned out to be fully believable in this case, and I kept greedily drinking it all in as fast as I could, partly because I couldn't believe something this relentlessly dark could even exist within the comics industry in any form at all, and kept half-expecting it to disappear in front of my eyes as I was reading it, like some kind of evil magical spell that had finally reached its end. And indeed, the first thing you'll wonder as you start making your way through it is how this possibly could've started life at "mainstream indie" Wildstorm in the first place, which was just about to go through an acquisition by DC when The Boys was first brought on, which is why Wildstorm unceremoniously dumped The Boys six issues in, although to their credit with the enthusiastic help of the pre-DC staff to get it to a more unknown publisher that would do it right before the acquisition happened, and even giving Robertson a special allowance to his otherwise DC-exclusive contract in order to continue working on it. And this is not just because the title is a particularly sickening example of the Dark Age "superheroes are actually barely disguised Nazi monsters" trope that's been around since literally the early '80s (imagine taking Alan Moore's infamously apocalyptic ending to his early underground hit Miracleman and making that page 1 of issue 1 of The Boys), but it's just as much an indictment if not more so of the corporate psychopaths who own the intellectual property rights to such superheroes, intimating here that if we lived in a world where Time Warner owned not only the story, movie and merchandising rights to caped heroes but the actual real-time life rights of the human beings committing these acts of derring-do, the employees of Time Warner would essentially spend a billion dollars a year attempting to hide the psychopathic crimes such "heroes" would of course start immediately committing, the moment they realize that they have powers that can only be stopped by only a handful of other creatures on the planet, and a fully oiled corporate machine going around cleaning up whatever messes they choose to cause with such powers. That leads to a world where the violent gangrape initiation ceremony of a new member of the Justice League of America, by this universe's version of Superman, Batman, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, is merely chapter one of a sprawling, always worsening look at the depths of the human race's capacity for depravity, as we quickly learn that the "super" powers of this universe are not caused by superior alien DNA or bites from radioactive spiders but rather a single "supersoldier" serum developed by a Nazi scientist in the 1930s, which makes it just a bunch of normal, everyday random people who end up becoming said superheroes in the universe of The Boys (around 200,000 of them now, by most people's estimates, although with the vast majority of them never making their powers publicly known, and the only "famous" superheroes being the ones who have managed to achieve corporate sponsorship); and it turns out that when you give superpowers to a bunch of normal, everyday random people, and not the "paragons of virtue" that DC and Marvel have made sure all their own superheroes over the years have been, those normal, everyday random people almost immediately become corrupt, perverted serial killers upon realizing that no one can stop them besides their equally corrupt, equally perverted superfriends. And this is not to mention creating the very real threat of a future government coup by the main multinational superhero conglomerate, Vought-American (a clear stand-in for real-life baddies Marvel-Disney), if their whims aren't catered to by an increasingly nervous Congress and White House (whose current VP, by the way, is a literally mentally challenged Vought stoolie). That's led the CIA to quietly putting our titular Boys on the payroll, four equally violent psychopaths (plus our hapless Simon Pegg everyman reader-stand-in character) as a dirty-tricks squad being desperately used by the government as a secret behind-the-scenes check and balance against the growing dictatorial control of Vought-American, while a billion dollars are being spent by V-A at TMZ and TikTok to keep up the public appearance of these caped rapists' Dudley Do-Rite reputations, then eventually (in what many comics fans will consider the most cynical turn of the entire storyline) creating their own version of "Dark Age" comics when the Boys' shenanigans make it too impossible to keep their corporate mouthpieces' various horrific vices out of the public spotlight anymore, deciding to turn the vices into virtues so to not cause even the slightest interruption to the hamburger-selling that's been going on the whole time. So in this, then, the 72-issue uber-plot going on here is an angry condemnation of the entire superhero comics industry, not just the intellectual premise of turning such Nazi ubermen into toothless rah-rah heroes, but the psychopathic mindset needed among the emotionally stunted man-child comics creators to pull off this premise, the glib incel glee among the industry's Comic Book Guy fans who made such material so popular in the '80s and '90s to begin with, the corporate middlemen who know exactly what kind of Nazi rape-porn twaddle they're peddling but simply don't care, and even you for thinking that a mean-spirited but ultimately toothless satire of the subject somehow counts as an effective antidote. It doesn't, as this series' infamously pessimistic climax proves, and now I'm more curious than ever to see how this ceaselessly piss-fueled indictment of the entire industry ended up getting adapted at the corporate-friendly Amazon, whose own employees are guilty of many of this story's most damning behavior. Certainly you shouldn't take this on unless you're ready for one of the most relentlessly bleak stories you've ever read in your life; but absolutely you should do so if you're ready for such, and big kudos to creators Ennis and Robertson for actually managing to finish it without slitting their own wrists somewhere around issue #54 or so. Do yourself a big favor and go into it with this attitude in mind.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ***Dave Hill

    Ennis suddenly brings all the threads together of his tale in a Grand Guignol, plots uncovered, irrevocable actions taken, Rubicons crossed, strange allies made ... and, of course, lots and lots and lots of blood, complete with assorted organs and body parts. Through it all, we see a lot of the characters of the Boys (as well as some key moments for the supporting cast, including the antagonists). And it certainly seems that all sorts of threads that Ellis has been spinning out over the previous Ennis suddenly brings all the threads together of his tale in a Grand Guignol, plots uncovered, irrevocable actions taken, Rubicons crossed, strange allies made ... and, of course, lots and lots and lots of blood, complete with assorted organs and body parts. Through it all, we see a lot of the characters of the Boys (as well as some key moments for the supporting cast, including the antagonists). And it certainly seems that all sorts of threads that Ellis has been spinning out over the previous 60 issues get pulled here into a fully revealed tapestry. The irony is that, while this *seems* to be the climax of the story, the real final conflict is yet to come ... Good, entertaining stuff.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ryk Stanton

    August 2019 - Such a great climax to this series February 2015 - It has all been building up to this point, and wow does it deliver. Everything I was hoping for / dreading as well as a holy-cow-I-never-expected-that shocker. This series has the earmarks of literature. It's not like the ongoing superhero titles that never end; this arc was quite clearly the climax of the story, and now we just have some odd ends to tie up that should be quite interesting. Same warnings and stuff, but if you can stom August 2019 - Such a great climax to this series February 2015 - It has all been building up to this point, and wow does it deliver. Everything I was hoping for / dreading as well as a holy-cow-I-never-expected-that shocker. This series has the earmarks of literature. It's not like the ongoing superhero titles that never end; this arc was quite clearly the climax of the story, and now we just have some odd ends to tie up that should be quite interesting. Same warnings and stuff, but if you can stomach the series' gore and sexuality you will get your payoff here. Very very impressed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    This volume is a bit of a ruse, for this is not the last battle and we find out the target was not even the real target. In fact we almost pity the real target because he has no core being, no core self. All in all the feeling is one that is not satisfying, but then again revenge rarely is. It is a hollow exercise without end. That is the wisdom stuck between the pages of gory violence.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Albert Yates

    Ok. let's back the narrative truck up. there has to be something i missed along the way because that just happen? the epic war wages on in this volume and it's as glorious and violent as you might expect it to be. Ok. let's back the narrative truck up. there has to be something i missed along the way because that just happen? the epic war wages on in this volume and it's as glorious and violent as you might expect it to be.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stargyde

    Ok, I loved The Boys, but the ending was a little light. However, as far as stories go, this was one of the better comic runs. Definitely up there with Preacher, not quite as good as Transmet.

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