One of the biggest ongoing plot points of The Boys up to this point is the stark contrast between Billy Butcher and Wee Hughie.
But what about the others?
The third volume in Dynamite’s The Boys series of Omnibuses has Mother’s Milk on the cover, and that seems appropriate since, of the five main members of the Boys, while we’ve seen quite a bit of personality from Butcher and Hughie, the other three are a bit more of a collective mystery. True, the Frenchman and the Female aren’t likely to be the deepest of characters by virtue of their respective natures, but there’s still M.M.
And after Herogasm, the annual debauchery where Homelander and the other supes claim to be fighting some big menace but actually go off to a private resort to have sex and take drugs, and an encounter with the hero team Payback, modeled after the Avengers back before those guys hit the big screen, the other three members share their origins, so to speak, with Hughie as the gentle Scotsman is not exactly enchanted with the job. Now, the Female has a sad tale that she apparently wrote down, and the Frenchman’s story is…doubtful on so many levels, but then there’s Mother’s Milk.
I get the feeling MM is the mid-point between Butcher and Hughie’s respective stances. Butcher believes the only good supe is a dead supe while Hughie believes that some of them could be redeemed and aren’t automatically evil or wrong. But what about MM? He has a conscience and doesn’t care much for Butcher’s extremism, and he isn’t the forgiving sort that Hughie is. No, he has his eyes on a bigger prize, the people above the heroes at Vought-American, and it all goes back to what Vought did to his family, a process that meant he and he alone was born with powers but still with all kinds of problems.
As for the rest of the book, we see more of Annie standing up for herself, perhaps winning over Maeve in the process. A really bad supe with Payback, one of the originals, shows up as something of a Thor stand-in named Stormfront. While lots of supes are bad, Stormfront is an actual Nazi. And, given this is a Garth Ennis script, he’s not only loathsome, but he will suffer before he goes.
Now, as much as I generally like The Boys, between Herogasm (originally a separate mini-series) and some of the initial issues, regular artist Darick Robertson didn’t draw most of the issues collected here. While none of the fill-in artists were necessarily bad (one was Ennis’ frequent collaborator John McCrea), I much prefer Robertson’s art in this world. So, story was fine, moving forward at a steady pace, but the art didn’t always work so well for me this time around.
8.5 out of 10 lost appendages.