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The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game (The Boys #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  8,323 Ratings  ·  348 Reviews
THIS IS GOING TO HURT! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone's got to make sure the "supes" don't get out of line. And someone will. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother's Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: A CIA backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the mos ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published June 29th 2007 by Dynamite Entertainment (first published March 28th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Jan 12, 2014 mark monday rated it liked it
Recommended to mark by: Anthony Vacca
somewhere in the first third, one character warns another to watch out for the "flood of blood-flecked semen" that he would probably see in his new tenement digs. I read that phrase, cringed, and then realized that at some point I'd probably be shown that image. golly gee, I was right! The Boys is that kind of graphic novel and Ennis & Robertson are that kind of writer & artist. that repulsive image is a pretty good representation of the entire escapade.

synopsis: dangerous superheroes l
Paul Nelson
What an awesome concept this series is, there's an abundance of superheroes on the planet and not all of them are nice guys, in fact during their rescue missions they occasionally kill an innocent bystander or two.

Hughie has found true love, unfortunately it's shattered irreparably when a superhero accidentally takes his girlfriend out while in pursuit of a villain (and that's not for a candlelight dinner). The Scot is approached by Billy Butcher and his dog Terror with an offer to join his team
John Wiswell
May 28, 2012 John Wiswell rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy hating superheroes
Apparently Garth Ennis hates superheroes and decided to show it in this comic book about a bunch of people dressed in black who cuss a lot and torment lame caricatures of superheroes. This is the kind of weakly-written tripe made for teenagers who still think swearing and explosions of blood are the height of artistic achievement.

Oh, oh but wait! The heroes are jerks! In fact they're almost entirely depicted as violent degenerates or greedy elitists who don't care about the people they serve - a
Feb 06, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Having just finished the recently-released conclusion of this series. I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite work by Garth Ennis to date.

The start of the series is quick and sharp. It wastes no time, and brings you into the story without a lot of tedious backstory.

(Since this series is 12 trades long, I'm going to spread my thoughts about the story over reviews of several of the books, rather than write one massive rambly review.)

Aug 29, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing
Next to the super-earnest DC comics I've just been slogging through in an effort to branch out of my Marvel-and-indie bias, this Boys book knocks my socks off! Somehow I've forgotten how laugh-out loud funny, vile and imaginative Ennis is - and paired up with the incredible gonzo art from Robertson, this is gold-plated entertainment for me!

I'm now frankly embarrassed that I somehow put three Boys volumes on a shelf for two years and haven't been devouring this immediately. Who's been keeping thi
Jun 11, 2010 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: borfs
Shelves: comics
My friend Max coined a word. "Borfs." Since "nerd" has slowly been drained of most of its negative connotations and become a synonym for "obsessive and knowledgeable" (e.g., "Ask my friend about that band, he's a total music nerd"), we need a new word to describe a particular kind of person. He thought of this word while watching The Matrix, as he was wondering what kind of person thinks good guys wearing dark glasses and leather gunfighting bad guys in suits is cool. Borfs ... that's who.

May 17, 2011 Julian rated it it was amazing
In Watchmen, Alan Moore posited the idea that superheroes were actually not quite as perfect, as motivated by a desire for truth, justice and so on and so forth as you might think, creating a frightening world where the most morally responsible character happened to be the one who was most openly psychopathic. In The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless, Warren Ellis took a stab at taking this one stage further and seeing what a world controlled by superheroes might be like, but turned back from exposin ...more
May 05, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it

I became a big fan of Ennis after Reading his Punisher Max run but after reading this i have to say it's not his best work. Ever wondered what it would be like if the superheroes let their powers go to their heads? Well then you have to get this book if you're curious to see what happens.

In The Boys universe superheroes don't bother with saving innocent people and such stuff They don't care who they hurt to capture the "villain". In this story a team of experts is put together, backed by the CI
Dec 18, 2010 Dan rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2008 Nicky rated it did not like it
Shelves: comic-books
Character interaction is poorly written and comes across really awkward. Plots are not particularly strong. And frankly, once you've seen him do cynicism and toilet humor for the fiftieth time, it wears a little thin. Plus, Alan Moore, Mark Waid, and Frank Miller have all tackled this basic premise in better books already. And that's just off the top of my head.
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Very dark, very brutal and at times very disturbing. It is also incredibly well written, highly original and brilliant.
Jul 11, 2016 Jeanne rated it really liked it
UPDATED: Just reread this book, and it's still ultra-violent fun, but it also has issues. No surprises, books like this kind of thrive on being over-the-top crude.

I mean the book has an anal hamster joke. They drew it in meticulous detail. So yeah.

The part that's interesting (upon reread) is how the book appeals to this sense of superiority within the reader that allows them to simultaneously look down on "heroes" and tradition comic book ideals of heroism while excusing or even justifying the
David Schaafsma
Aug 04, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Who watches the watchmen, in this comic? The Boys. And the supes are as far as I can tell all stupes, jokes. This is really raunchy, a sort of satirical comedy about superheroes, and pretty funny. A comical bulldog is featured. Sometimes it settles down for a bit from the sex and violence and you get to see a warmer side of a couple of The Boys, but that's really just to give you a breather from the laughs. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.
Think of the most over-the-top Tarantino movie you've every seen. Or maybe Scorcese. Then add even more gratuitous violence and sex. Now you're getting into the realm of Ennis's world. And his world is a very cool spin on the world of superheroes, I might add. Imagine a world where superheroes are all over the place, with more coming up each day, and imagine what that kind of "loosely" checked power can do a human? What to do if a superhero happens to kill a pedestrian in pursuit of a villain? A ...more
Jul 12, 2007 Korynn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with bad taste who find terrible things very funny
Utterly crass and unapologetic, this is Garth Ennis's best black humor superhero book yet. You may have read his previous work in this vein, The Pro about a prostitute who gains superpowers. This is just as good, if not better because he is allowed to bring in some firepower - a covert group who scares the shit out of superheroes by beating the crap out of them when they go over the line. As a concept it doesn't make a great deal of sense but Wee Hughie, our common man protangonist, really pulls ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
Ennis is a skilled writer, I won't deny that. But I didn't like Preacher, and I don't like this.

I think it all comes down to two things. I don't believe that humans are all inherently evil, which seems to be his basic premise here. So naturally superheroes are all depraved monsters, because they can be. It's about as subtle as a sledgehammer, and I find it as unrealistic as a world where humans are all inherently evil and superheroes are naturally perfect and flawless. So I really couldn't even
Jesse A
Aug 05, 2015 Jesse A rated it really liked it
I understand the bad language, ultra violence, and gratuitous sex are all juvenile but I guess I'm just a big dumb kid because G.E. can sure write a book!
Nov 04, 2009 Brendan rated it really liked it
The Boys is Garth Ennis’ take on the Watchmen question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? In a world where superhero teams are mostly about marketing and only a little about saving people, The Boys do the dirty work for the CIA, quashing corrupt supes and going after the mother of all villains, the Supreme 7. It’s the usual Garth Ennis fare, with enough grotesquerie thrown in that Wildstorm kicked it to the curb, after which Dynamite comics–which seems to be known for a robust line of boob comics–h ...more
Alan Chen
Feb 17, 2015 Alan Chen rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This is volume 1 of a fairly long series comprising of over 80 issues. The story seems promising but I'm not completely sold yet. It's about superheroes going out of control and instead of helping people become mired in sex, violence, and marketing themselves for profit. While I understand a lot of this is not to be taken seriously there is a lot of crass, sexual jokes and misogyny. The "heroes" of this novel is less than perfect themselves. Led by Butcher, they are rag tag and not the shining b ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it
I’m a clearly a johnny-come-lately when is comes to the oeuvre of Mr. Ennis – shocking to many adult readers of comic books and graphic novels, but true. DC’s Vertigo line was a major mainstay of mine in the 90s – as it brought me back into the four-color world of the comic book industry – but I somehow never meandered over to Ennis’ seminal work on Preacher (although I have now ponied-up the first volume on my library hold queue). But having previously missed this bus, I’m proud to say that I’v ...more
Nov 08, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it
Garth Ennis is offensive, and if you aren't ready for gritty over the top Sin-City level violence & sex then you probably should just stay away from this book. The Boys does something though quite remarkable- it paints a world where superheroes aren't saints, that they have human moralities and so the "good guys" are no more than evil male chauvinist run for profit organizations. Through this all there is a small group hired by the government to enact a kind of revenge on these superheroes g ...more
Jun 02, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Garth Ennis has a knack for packaging up horrible scenes of depravity in a way that's just absurd enough to keep me from feeling sick to my stomach. There's a bit in this first volume that exemplifies that. The Boys is kind of like The Watchmen held up to a fun house mirror so that you're seeing a twisted, satirical view of a world that was already a satirical view of yet another world. I dig it.
Nov 17, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Good: What happens when the superheroes are the bad guys? That's the basic premise of this graphic novel. Unlimited power goes to superheroes heads and them become lazy and corrupt. More concerned with merchandising and getting laid than keeping citizens safe. It's a really fun premise and the execution is brutally vivid and violent. Lots of possibility for future volumes.

The Bad: A friend recommended this series and I should have really considered his tastes before getting my hopes up. The
May 23, 2016 Kristen rated it it was ok
Another take on the whole "who watches the watchmen" theme, with a group of people brought in to put down corrupt superheroes. It's not my cup of tea but if you like feeling like you're getting an STD just reading something, you might like it.
Aug 06, 2015 Bucletina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fefu-insiste
Brutal mirada sobre la sociedad estadounidense, a través de un terrible retrato de los superhéroes. Tiene algunos pasajes implacables, tanto visual como narrativamente.
"Pozo séptico = yanquis"
"Son tan estúpidos, Hughie. Tienen tanto miedo de perder la poca fortuna que creen tener, que ni se les ocurre levantar la vista"
Muy bonita edición argentina.
A.J. Smith
May 16, 2008 A.J. Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any mature comic fan.
If you like Garth Ennis' work, then you should absolutely love this. Take one part Punisher, one part Simon Pegg (who consented his likeness rights for the main character, and gives the introduction), one part superhero pulp, and a whole lot of disfunction, and you'll come close to scratching the surface of The Boys. As usual, Derrick Robertson does a wonderful job illustrating.
Brent Thomas
Mar 06, 2016 Brent Thomas rated it liked it
This is Ennis at some of his most Ennis-ish. I can't really say if that is a good or bad thing. I can say that this isn't for the faint of heart. There is a good story here, but there is also a feeling of Ennis and Robertson going for viscous gags first and story second. I think this would have more punch if it weren't mining the same ground as Bendis' Powers in a fairly similar style, at least in terms of supers being pretty much hedonistic jerks. All that said, I am wasting no time in picking ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Matko rated it it was ok
There are at least two possible star ratings here, and both are equally „correct“. The 4-star rating (mentioned here and only here) applies to this comic under certain restrictions. Or restriction. Singular form is better. “The name of the Game” is fairly good stuff if you’re reading Ennis for the first time. In that scenario, I could easily say go for it. There are far worse comics out there and if it just happens that “The Boys” are your cup of tea, you might go one exploring and eventually co ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
More no holds barred work from Ennis; filthy, vile, authentic. In this world, the 'Supes' operate with impunity from the law. The Simon Pegg lookalike character is out with his girlfriend, and she ends up dead at the hands of a Superhero capturing a badguy. Collateral damage indeed. This opens us to the Boys, a team set up by the CIA to counteract the Supes (who in this world, are a bunch of assholes more interested in merchandising rights, and getting head from the new female team member). Lead ...more
Ryan Sweeney
Jun 23, 2012 Ryan Sweeney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
When you imagine a world with superheroes, I'd wager that you have that image of Super-humans with great power using it responsibly, like Spiderman swinging his way through the streets of New York City to stop a robbery or Superman saving babies and battling a giant space alien in pursuit of truth, justice and the American way. The basic formula for a comic book is simple; good beats evil and everyone learns a valuable lesson - but what 'The Boys' does is asks the question 'What if the good guys ...more
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Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting ch ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Boys (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Boys, Volume 2: Get Some
  • The Boys, Volume 3: Good For The Soul
  • The Boys, Volume 4: We Gotta Go Now
  • The Boys, Volume 5: Herogasm
  • The Boys, Volume 6: The Self-Preservation Society
  • The Boys, Volume 7: The Innocents
  • The Boys, Volume 8: Highland Laddie
  • The Boys, Volume 9: The Big Ride
  • The Boys, Volume 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker
  • The Boys, Volume 11: Over the Hills with the Swords of a Thousand Men

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