October 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Boys Dear Becky

Years after his time with The Boys, someone sends Hughie Billy Butcher's old journal...

I made it a point last year to finally finish the comic version of The Boys.  Overall, I really liked what I read, and it did show some growth of Garth Ennis as a writer even if his usual juvenile humor was on full display.

And then I found out he did a years-later sequel subtitled Dear Becky.

Ten years after the events of The Boys sees “Wee” Hughie Campbell and Annie “Starlight” January living a quiet existence in the Scottish village he grew up in.  Hughie’s parents have both since passed on, but the biggest problem seems to be Hughie isn’t sure he wants to marry Annie or not.  The two are getting along fine, but she does seem to want to tie the knot even if Hughie isn’t sure about that.

But then someone sends Hughie something he really didn’t want:  Billy Butcher’s journal.  Who sent it?  Hughie isn’t sure.  But he can’t stop himself from reading it, learning more about Butcher’s long dead wife Becky, more details on why Butcher may have started down the path he was on (it’s a bit ambiguous that Butcher would have gone that route with or without Becky’s death), and all while trying to keep the fact he even got the thing from Annie.  The whole thing sent Hughie back into the sort of anxiety-ridden life he long thought he’d left behind.

In the grand scheme of things, this was not a necessary story.  It maybe provides a nice postscript to some of the surviving characters from the original series, showing through flashback return appearances by some of the characters that didn’t, and maybe provides more information on how well Butcher got along with Colonel Mallory and Becky, but much of that wasn’t really new.  I don’t think I learned anything new about these characters than I already knew.  Sure, we got a little bit of information on where some people ended up later, but I wouldn’t say anyone other than huge fans of the original series need to read this.

Not that it was bad or anything.  Ennis still knows these characters, and while co-creator Darick Robertson is limited to covers, artist Russ Braun is a good enough substitute.  It’s basically like Toy Story 4:  perfectly fine, nothing really wrong with it, but entirely unnecessary.

8 out of 10 weaponized air conditioners.

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