THE BOYS volume 6: THE SELF-PRESERVATION SOCIETY graphic novel
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Darick Robertson, Carlos Ezquera, John McCrea, Kieth Burns
Publisher: Titan Books
Review by Stewart Loud
The conflict between The Boys and the worlds super human community jumps up a notch as, Vought America launches their first open attack against Butcher and his crew since they resumed their campaign to police the super heroes that inhabit Garth Ennis’ fucked up Marvel/DC universe parody. Then the pace slows down a bit for some origin stories about Mother’s Milk, Frenchie and the Female. Another shockingly violent, laugh out loud instalment of the New York Times best selling series, The Boys.
Up until this point Butcher, Hughie and co’, the elite unit of lunatics, psychopaths and cockneys empowered with compound-V and tasked with making sure the Earth’s morally bankrupt super heroes are held to account for the varied and perverse crimes they commit, have mostly been tackling small, lower powered groups of misbehaving meta-humans or using stealth and subterfuge to take down more powerful groups and make their sponsor corporation Vought America’s life difficult with blackmail or sabotage. In this book however, Vought bring out the big guns and sic one of their leading super groups on them in the first big fight in the series that isn’t just a massively one sided beating with Butcher shouting “Cunts!” as him and the boys make like football hooligans and kick a bunch of teenagers teeth out.
After the blood bath of the books first half, things slow down a bit as each of the Boys members take it in turns to tell Hughie the story of how they got their powers and joined Butcher’s crusade against the spandex crowd (with the exception of Butcher himself). These few short stories add a welcome bit of depth to the team’s characters. Up until now, very little has been revealed about any of them apart from the fact that they’re about the last group of people on Earth, you’d ever want to get into a fight with.
As any of you who’ve read much of Garth Ennis’ other work (Preacher, Punisher, Crossed) will no doubt expect, the stories aren’t just simple cases of being bitten by a radio active spider or taking a nuclear blast in the face. No, we’re treated to a series of bizarre, interesting and in places incredibly funny tales with French people on bicycles jousting with massive French loafs and a fantastic parody of one of the scenes from Aliens. A lot of questions are answered and a few interesting ones get raised.
Is Garth even capable of writing a bad book? Another great instalment in a brilliant series. If you haven’t read any of the other books so far, it’s about time you did! I’ve got volume 7 to read as well so you can expect a write up of that within the next week too.