When I heard The Boys was to be a live action series on Amazon Prime, I suspected it couldn’t possibly be a particularly faithful one. Sure enough, the actual series has taken many liberties with the original story while still staying largely true to the main characters of Butcher and Hughie while adding Homelander to the mix. Seeing the trailers for the upcoming season tells me it’s going to be even more of a departure, but that’s OK.
I’m not sure the series could have done a faithful adaptation anyway, and after rereading the stories from the second Omnibus, I am even more certain of that.
Now, part of that is due to the simple fact that the TV series is adapting to fit the concept of superheroes in 2020 as opposed to when the series was new and superhero movies and TV shows weren’t as prevelent. Instead, writer Garth Ennis focused on superhero comic book conventions, and to that, he has a few things to say. This volume covers three storyarcs. One details how superheroes return from the dead, one is the history of the Seven and Vought-American, and the last one shows what this universe’s version of the X-Men looks like.
To that end, this volume covers some rather creepy stuff, but that’s the sort of creepy stuff The Boys was built on. Superhero resurrection from the dead can happen, but it doesn’t really work the way the public thinks it should. There have been hints that something different happened to this universe on 9/11, given it seems the Brooklyn Bridge is missing and not the Twin Towers, and sure enough, it is the Seven’s fault. Hughie gets a lot of backstory from the Legend, though not the backstory he’d asked for.
And then there’s the G-Men, and it does a few things well. For one, I dig Darick Robertson’s design of many of these characters. These are knock-offs, unpleasant characters who for the most part deserve what happens to them, but at the same time, they are very recognizable as who each one is a stand-in for. Robertson does some great character design work here.
As for Ennis, he’s still underlining the big differences between Butcher and Hughie. Butcher is an angry man who believes the only good supe is a dead one. Hughie actually sees some of them as decent people who can maybe be reformed. Infiltrating a New Mutants-style team, Hughie wants to take the lot of them out of where they are even though they are a group of really spoiled frat boy types. Then again, the leader of the G-Men has some really nasty secrets of his own, enough to even make V-A stand back and notice.
So, yeah, I still dig The Boys even if I don’t much care for Ennis’s sense of humor anymore. 9 out of 10 untrained idiots trying to stop a plane crash in the worst way possible.