Graphic Novel Review: The Boys: The Innocents

(Titan �12.99)

Writer Garth Ennis, artist Darick Robertson

WHEN superheroes cross the line, you call in The Boys, a quintet of ultra-dangerous individuals tasked with the job of keeping the costumed contingent under control.

But in a world full of corrupt caped crusaders and vile vigilantes, surely there must be some good heroes, champions of right and defenders of decency? Meet the true superheroes of The Boys’ universe, the teenage adventurers from our far future known as Super Duper, and find out whether they are really as pure and innocent as they seem… Meanwhile, The Butcher investigates his suspicions that Wee Hughie is a double agent after discovering he’s dating celebrated superhero Starlight.

If your idea of superheroes is all truth, justice and the American way, then steer clear of this outrageously offensive look at the other side of the genre, a series packed with excessive amounts of bone-crunching violence, wickedly dark humour and general nastiness. It’s very, very funny, and there are some great moments of characterisation, but this is not a book for anyone of a nervous disposition, and is definitely for adults only. If you’ve never experienced The Boys before, it’s worth picking up some of their previous collections, but that said there’s still enough here to appeal to new readers and long-term fans alike. Hilarious.