The Boys #19


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The Boys #19


  • Words: Garth Ennis
  • Art: Darick Robertson
  • Inks: Darick Robertson
  • Colors: Tony Avina
  • Story Title: "I Tell You No Lie, G.I." Part 1 of 4
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 4, 2008

Hughie sits down for a little chat with the Legend. He learns all about the Secret Origin of the Seven and the meteoric (I really couldn’t help the pun) rise, fall, and rise of Vought-American. Meanwhile, Butcher and the Homelander have a little face time to discuss why this is all so personal between the two leaders.

It must be glorious to sit from outside the United States and be able to telegraph stories getting to the heart of the problems this country currently faces. Warren Ellis brought this to comic reader’s attention with the smash hit known as Black Summer. With this issue of The Boys, Garth Ennis sets his sights on the other side of the fundamental problems with this home of the free.

Ennis gets right to the heart through the Legend’s narrative. The way that corporate America gets away with murder through lobbying and the face of business as usual. The fact that the fictional Vought-American may be the cause behind old-timers' tales of gremlins in World War II is really only the tip of the iceberg here. It is clear that he is making a statement on our quick buck governmental and business philosophy that has a ripple effect on everyone who is on a lower rung of the economic later. Of course, he is smart enough to disguise this discussion under allegory, as any good writer would.

The secret behind the Seven is one of those explosive things that is set to make this book really tick again, like it did in its first arc. I’ll admit that as much as I like this book, the last two arcs have meandered a bit, but the moments have made up for the restless narrative. Now it seems to be hitting its stride again as it takes the Homelander’s origin and telegraphs the character’s analogue to Superman. Fearlessly mocking the superheroes that make up the bread and butter of this medium, the book crosses back into that dangerous air that it had when it had a WildStorm logo in the left hand corner.

Robertson is one of those artists. He may not be the cleanest guy around, but he makes up for the areas in which he lacks with emotional content and pure brilliant storytelling. In the end, it is the storytelling that makes a great artist. While the planes in the flashback scenes may not be as accurate as those of Chaykin in War is Hell , the unique way that Robertson tackles the gruesome nature of warfare from shocking ground scenes to exciting dog fights is pure gold. The other thing to note in this issue is the menacing countenance of the Legend. While I may never forgive Ennis for making references to Will Eisner in the Legend’s portrayal, I can definitely get with the scary Larry King growl of his portrait. This guy haunts my dreams and that is due more to Robertson than Ennis’ lack of respect.

Really it is that lack of respect for anything that makes this book what it is, from its toilet humor to its scathing satire. The story here is back on full throttle and is the best the book has been since it opened with "The Name of the Game" storyline.

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