By Todd Allen

OK, I admit it.  That cover graphic of all the super heroes going straight down the toilet cracks me up.  It’s also symbolic of The Boys. As the title ends in November, it is worth noting its strange journey.

The Boys is an off-color, if not outright profane, piss-take on super heroes, corporate America and the industrial-military complex’s incursions into politics.  Sometimes it’s more serious than others, but Garth Ennis shows off his dark sense of humor.  Regular readers may recall some amorous green monkeys, a beard made of blood and the phrase “if it has a hole…”

I probably can’t get much further than that without going far into NSFW territory.  That’s just the kind of comic it’s been.

The Boys started out at Wildstorm.  It was selling well for Wildstorm, but DC’s Publisher at the time, Paul Levitz, didn’t care for having that kind of raunchy material directed towards super heroes under DC’s banner (Wildstorm being a sub-imprint).  DC was surprisingly cool about letting The Boys switch publishers.  It landed at Dynamite and it quickly became apparent that Ennis had been toning it down a little at Wildstorm.  You wouldn’t have realized it until your started the Dynamite issues, though.

The Boys was arguably the highest profile creator-owned comic for a while, especially in it’s early years, when it was selling over 30K for awhile.  The sales have drifted down, with some of the inevitable shift to tpbs that long-running serials have, but as Ennis notes below, if you add in the varies companion mini’s, The Boys ran 90 issues, which is a good long run for an independent comic.  Actually, that’s a pretty decent run for a corporate comic, too.

Official PR follows:



August 16, 2012, Runnemede, NJ – It’s an end of an era this coming November, as The Boys conclude their historic run with issue #72!  The Boys has been one of the most critically acclaimed books on the shelves, but writer Garth Ennis always intended for the series to be finite and issue #72 is his final statement on The Boys!  Look for it this November!!!

In The Boys #72, the long day closes on the Brooklyn Bridge, as our hero finally meets his destiny. There’s one last deal to be done, As Stillwell finds out the real cost of doing business, and one last surprise for Rayner too- as she begins her long-dreamed of political career. The Boys’ story comes to an end in this final issue containing 24 pages of story, 5 pin-up pages of brand-new art as well as a complete cover gallery!!!

“Seventy-two issues plus three minis adds up to ninety issues, making this a very busy six years – more than six years, of course, because we very nearly didn’t make it,” says writer Garth Ennis.  “But all’s well that ends well. I finished #72 well over a year before it’s due to see print, and I’ve been missing Butcher and Hughie ever since. Goodbye, Boys. I doubt we’ll see your like again.”

“The end of The Boys with this issue ends a chapter in my career I will always look back upon as a significant challenge,” adds artist Darick Robertson. “I am proud of the work I’ve done on the book and will miss it.”

“Endings are always bittersweet, but this book has always been just that, bittersweet,” says Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt.  “There’s not much left to say except thanks to Garth, Darick, Russ, Tony and Simon for all of their incredible work month in and month out. Cheers, all.”

“The Boys will be missed.  The good news is it’s a great ending with a complete story, and is going out on top.”, states Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “Garth and Darick created the series with characters and stories that can never be replicated.  I want to thank Garth and Darick for their faith in us, and look forward to future series with both creators.  This is a series whose legacy will live on as trade paperbacks.  I also want to thank DC Entertainment, especially Paul (Levitz), Jim (Lee), Dan (Di Dio) and Hank (Kanalz), and many more – who helped make the transition as smooth as possible and allowed fans to continue to enjoy one of the best comics in the market.  And, most importantly, thank you to the fans and the retailers who supported the series throughout.  The Boys has been a fun ride.”


  1. I read a few issues of the boys and it totally lost me. Especially once I found out that The Boys

    [[[[SPOILER ALERT]]]]

    are superpowered too. It just lost me there. Should I have been more open minded.

    Garth Ennis is probably my favorite writer in comics but I don’t ALWAYS like his work. Like that book he has about the housewife who kills people? It’s just sorta meh.

    But his early PUNISHER stuff is hilarious and PREACHER is like MOBY DICK as far as I’m concerned. I just find I either go nuts for his work or I barely care.

    And I barely cared about THE BOYS. Should I have gone further?

  2. Should you go further with The Boys? Yes. Like some other Ennis series (see Hitman), it seems to hold up a lot better when read as one sustained read.

    The housewife who kills people book is Jennifer Blood, and actually got much, much better after Ennis left and Al Ewing took over writing. He seems to turn it into something a lot more than what Ennis started off with, and it all is an outgrow of those first six issues Ennis did.

  3. Ewing’s Jennifer Blood (and the Ninjettes) are OUTSTANDING. I think I called it in a past review as something like David Mamet reinterpreting Desperate Housewives while on a brown acid binge.

    And I for one am sad to see the Boys go. It’s really proven to be one of the more original series in years and years. It’s a sin how many folks presume that with the cursing and hyper-violence and kinkiness, that there’s not loaded intelligence along with the package, but there truly is.

  4. I love THE BOYS, probably my favorite series of the past decade. Ennis’ ear for dialogue is amazing and the twists and turns of the story have kept me guessing.

    The final Wildstorm issue actually had a “next issue” box, advertising the … well, next issue. Before it got shunted off to Dynamite.

    It’s totally worth reading – yes, it’s over the top but it’s at its heart, a story about male friendship, like most of Ennis’ best work.

    Not sure what I’m gonna read once it’s over.

  5. Hitman has similar themes and is much more enjoyable, but The Boys is worth your time if you dropped it early because the superhero hate came on too strong. All of the Boys develop into well-rounded, sympathetic characters; this is a smart speculation about what an actual government-sponsored superteam would be like.

    I’m one of those who likes Ennis despite, not because of, his raunchiest humor, but I still found a lot to like about this book.