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The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game
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The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game

(The Boys Collected Editions #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  13,307 ratings  ·  770 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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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,307 ratings  ·  770 reviews

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Start your review of The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game
3 stars at times

4 at others

Hoping for 4+ star content in future volumes

This will be a tough one to rate. The story is entertaining and creative. The content is edgy, extreme, and sometimes might make you feel like it has gone a bit to far. I think my Goodreads friend L. McCoy said it best (Click for review): “This book tries a bit too hard with the NSFW content” I don’t mind NSFW content, and I kind of expect it with the more edgy comic publishers (Dynamite, Image, etc.) - in fact, sometimes it
Jun 11, 2010 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.

John Wiswell
Apr 17, 2008 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
mark monday
Oct 12, 2012 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 live abov
May 21, 2011 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.)

Dec 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2011 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
Elizabeth Sagan
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first real dive into the world of comic-books. DEAR GOD I LOVE THIS STORY. Superpowered beings doing whatever they want? Yes, please. [it's super adult, super gritty, super mature, super dark, super raw. not for the faint of heart].
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 tea
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a mockumentary on the stereotype of superheroes. In this world they are also assholes, cruel and perverted but the public dont see this side of things. When they need tk be brought into line, The Boys are sent in. It takes awhile for the characters to be introduced, some having more exposure. The story is quite violent, gory and sexual in nature but Ennis tackles it with a tongue in cheek style. The art is great and compliments the gory violent nature. The pacing is quite slow initially ...more
David Schaafsma
Aug 04, 2015 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.
May 17, 2011 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
Ill D
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this.
Sep 19, 2011 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
James DeSantis
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Like Invincible I decided to re-read series I read as a kid to see if I got a better grasp on them. The Boys is one I remember fondly for being over the top and fucking insane. Well guess what? it still is years later.

So you got the first few pages showing how superheroes can be pieces of shit. Watch as this poor character has his girlfriend body slammed into a wall and turn into a slush of blood. It's sad, fucked up, and you're like "FUCK THESE GUYS" and it only gets worse from there. Force Bl
Apr 02, 2008 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.
L. McCoy
This is definitely a good one.

The story is awesome.
The cast of characters is pretty great.
Fantastic art throughout!
The universe this story takes place in is very interesting. This book is a different take on superpowered characters (some claim it's proof Ennis hates superheroes, I guess people suddenly forgot all the other superhero books he's written) where a secret CIA subdivision has to handle superhero related matters and the superheroes are very corrupt, it makes for a very interesting
Oct 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Review of all 12 volumes.

Simply terrible. It has a somewhat interesting premise, but squanders it almost immediately. For all its claims to be a new type of superhero comic, it adheres to the worst tropes of the genre -- sexual violence against women (and fridging of women) as backdrop and motivation for male characters, gratuitous nudity for nothing more than titillation, repeated use of racial and homophobic slurs to make characters "edgier", etc. Even if you ignore this (and you shouldn't),
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.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s good. It is done in the classic, overblown Ennis style. Cartoon-like violence and practically everyone is a scumbag. Nothing is sacred and everyone is hyper-sexed. Once you get past that author-specific convention, it is a great concept and the story is fun. Characters grow on you as well.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: digital

I thought Preacher was crude and rude but wow maybe not.

It was fun though. I want to read more.
Nick Imrie
Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked - Jane Austen

Personally, I like a good hero. I have several books about sweet and noble people doing the right thing that I keep for rainy and depressing days. They cheer me right up. But I also get how stories about goody-two-shoes are sickening, and make you want to force the characters into real situations where they have to admit that they're not perfect.

The Boys is a superhero story seen in the dark mirror of The Snow Queen. It is
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
Jim Gorman
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Not a huge review here and hopefully no real spoilers at all that you wouldn't get from reading the back of the book to see what its about. So, the Boys are a team of possibly super powered agents who work off the books for a government agency to keep out of control super heroes in check. Turns out all those supers are just as human as us, don't really give a shit except being famous and having a good time. Think rock stars of the 80's, or any real decade. And if any innocent people get killed, ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
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
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-comics
The Name of the Game certainly gave me a few good laughs with it's crude, perverse take on superheroes. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for the pages in between the jokes and was surprised to see an an advertisement in the back showing that it ran for twelve volumes. Sure, there's some character and world building here, but nothing about The Boys grabbed me enough to make me want to read even the second. I might just watch the TV show instead.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’d say this series is closest to Preacher than his other stuff and I fuckin love it.

They really get the “don’t worry, we’re gonna fuck them up” British attitude down in this. The characters, the story, I just hope they get the TV show down better than Preacher.
Jesse A
Jun 12, 2014 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!
I'm very much on the fence with this book - on the one hand it's a brilliant piece of work about how absolute power corrupts absolutely, on the other hand it's a violent, misogynistic piece of work that walks (and arguably crosses) a fine line between condemning and glorifying the horror on show here.

The world that we have here is one rooted firmly in reality but where people with superpowers exist. This is as a result of a drug that they have all taken, and which is heavily controlled by the bi
Amazon is doing a TV series based on this, so I figured I’d go ahead and read it. It’s pretty much what I expected, Ennis being all ultra-violent and crude, using superheroes to stand in for whatever hypocritical authority one cares to imagine in their place: politicians, police, priests, etc.

The cynical superhero thing has been done before, and better. Watchmen, The Authority, Supreme Power (Squadron Supreme), Irredeemable, Vol. 1, etc., but this book isn’t entirely without merit. Even Invincib
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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

Other books in the series

The Boys Collected Editions (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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