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

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  6,454 ratings  ·  245 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

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mark monday
Jan 12, 2014 mark monday rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
John Wiswell
May 28, 2012 John Wiswell rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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.)

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
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.
Jun 11, 2010 Adam rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 3 of 5 stars
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
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...more
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
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.
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
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
A.J. Smith
May 16, 2008 A.J. Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Ryan Sweeney
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
Ok, so, I read this purely because the idea sounded cool: team of guys who target superheroes told from their perspective--the villains' perspective. That was something of a misapprehension, with mixed results for me. They're not villains, more like superhero police, in what can be chalked up there with the rest of those self-reflective comic books. (see: Marvels, Watchmen) The world is overrun with super-powered people. It's somebody's job to keep them in check, right? Enter "the boys" [includi...more
Krystl Louwagie
Actually, it's a low 3 stars on this one, which is really surprising for me, considering this is written by Garth Ennis (Preacher!). And, I liked the premise of this one, too-even if it is a bit of a copy-cat of The Watchmen. Or at least they both spring off the same question-"Who watches the watchmen?". In this world, there are quite a few super heroes running around, and apparently, they're all horrible people when they're not out saving lives. So, "The Boys" are supposed to help keep them in...more
William Thomas
When I talk about comic books, I generally set them into two categories- pre and post Watchmen books. And it has nothing really to do with when the books were published although I can't rightly place Golden Age Superman books, no matter how hard edged they could possibly have been, in the post Watchmen category. However, I can and do place some titles after Watchmen into pre Watchmen category for their lack of edge and their "fluff" content.

This book, although 'edgy', may not merit being in eit...more
Colby Pryor
The Boys is a very polarizing book, it's designed that way by it's writer Garth Ennis. Mr. Ennis is well known for making these types of books, he has no filter when to violence or just about any horrible thing you can imagine. It usually shows up on the page, somewhere. Not only that but his opinions on things can usually be felt after reading a couple volumes of his work. This makes his work great for the people who get it, not so much for the people that don't. In this particular work, all of...more
Yeah, I have not read Ennis in a long time, well aside from re-reading some PUNISHER, but I can see he still has his slant.
I kinda wonder if this guy really hates everybody, so loathsome are most all of the characters he writes.
I kinda feel a little sick of the whole "inside joke" vibe he always brandishes, but I do appreciate his smart and (more often than not) crude attempts at humor. He appeals to the sociopath in us, I guess, with his "rape-on-command" Bulldog and slug-outs that include char...more
Wow. Now I am always a fan of the classic superhero story, but everyonce i a while an anti-supes book comes along and you have to get on board. This is great, with the premise that with absolute power, comes absolute corruption we can see how the mighty heroes put on a great face for the public, but behind the scenes are as evil as those they are putting in jail, hence, we get the boys. A rag tag group of slightly psychotic antiheroes, with the task of keeping everyone in check. Be prepared for...more
Mike Cruden
In the series Ennis has loads of outrageous fun deconstructing the super-hero mythos. His capes and masks are out-of-control borderline psychopaths with bludgeoning sexual appetites, and the Boys are a different group of borderline psychopaths who now and again have to take out one of the supes that step over the line. And they do it with a fair degree of deadpan humour and style and lashings of violence. The humour is one of the strongest features of the series, as you would expect when you hav...more
I enjoyed this book. I can see where many would be offended by Ennis and how he portrays his characters, but I actually found it to be refreshing. It's often too cynical for it's own good, but believe what I do about humans, I think this is probably the most "realistic" portrayal of what supers would be like in our world. The language and violence didn't bother me at all, but I'm an adult, and i would not let my kids within 500 feet of this graphic novel.
Heather Mitchell
The Boys is a particularly interesting combination of the talents of Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan). Featuring a band of agents WITH government ties AND unlimited resources, faced with the task of keeping the ranks of super"heroes" in check, this book's a keeper.

Can't wait to see the live action film, with Simon Pegg playing Wee Hughie.
4.5 stars. No, this is not okay. It's not okay for Ennis to make me have these feelings. It's just not. I get overly emotional about fictional people. Full review later.
Thought it was cool at first, then I realized it was just more misogynistic bullshit that guys can read and be like, see? Women really ARE all whores!
Holy crap! Ennis just showed what he really thinks of super heroes. Fantastic story whether you like superheroes or hate them.
Self important and unnecessarily vulgar. This book is just so fucking messy and unneeded. No thank you!
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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
More about Garth Ennis...
Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World Preacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans Preacher, Volume 9: Alamo Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun

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