Graphic Novel Review: The Boys: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men
GARTH Ennis is the master of switching tone, jumping from black comedy to heartfelt emotion, a trait evident throughout is past work, including the likes of Hellblazer, Punisher and Preacher, and continuing here in the penultimate volume of this acclaimed series.
In many ways this is the big finale of The Boys, as it offers the widescreen, big budget, no-holds-barred conclusion which delivers on every level, and it remains to be seen exactly where Ennis will go with the imminent 12th volume, even though it’s claimed this is just part one of a two-part wrap.
Criticised for their slower pace, the last couple of volumes are now revealed to have obviously been all about the lead-up to these events, and from a story-telling perspective that was vital in allowing momentum to build to this devastating climax, although the sheer amount of developments in this book may leave you breathless afterwards.
The thrust of this book is the confrontation between Butcher and The Homelander, but we also have the public revelation of the truth behind the Supes, lots and lots of people die in a variety of horrible ways, and it’s all delivered in that trademark Ennis style which mixes horror with humour in equal measures.
When it’s all over it feels as though it should be the end, but the aftermath of these events will be explored in detail in the concluding volume, ensuring Ennis gives these characters the coda they deserve, while also offering perhaps his final word on the superhero genre.