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The Boys Volume 2 review
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Outlanders
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5/1/2008 8:50 PM
    When I was a child, I loved to read comics. In fact, they were some of my earliest memories, looking at all the four coloured pictures of Spider-man, the Hulk, Batman, and the Fantastic Four.
     
    The thing I remember the best was, of course, the art. The artists were what made comics for me many years ago. Writers, well – when you consider that I couldn’t read at the tender age of 4 or 5, they didn’t mean all that much to me.
     
    Of course, as I grew and learned to read, the writers became a little more important to me. The artists, take for example John Byrne, Marc Sylvestri were what made the comic what it was.
     
    But, then the stories began to get more and more complex, and I started to pay closer attention to the writers.
     
    Sadly, they still took a back seat to the artists.
     
    That was my trend for years, before I finally got tired of the silly super powered soap opera that most of the titles I used to read had become.
     
    I started to look at independent comics and other companies that relied more on story than on the art. A perfect example right now would be Dark Horse comics.
     
    Then the unthinkable happened. I got married and found I was about to become a father. So, I had a choice to make – it was either my family or comics. Well, my family won out. Lets face it, this was a no contest.
     
    It wasn’t until many years later, mainly due to a co-worker and friend that I started reading a couple of titles again.
     
    Not a single title from the major contributors, you know, Marvel and DC. Instead I started reading several titles from a smaller company called Dynamite.
     
    For me, the flagship title for this company is The Boys. Written by Garth Ennis (who’s gained notoriety and infamy or fame? You be the judge – for his work on the Punisher and Preacher), and the Artist Darick Robertson.
     
    I was hooked from the first issue (technically the first volume, since I borrowed my co-workers copy to read).
     
    It had everything that I never saw growing up. The super-heroes, those people pledged to protect humanity from all manner of threats, as they really are when they’re not in the limelight.
     
    Petty, egotistical, evil, nasty, depraved, you name it.
     
    Sort of like the rest of humanity in general. They have their strengths and their weaknesses. Because, despite the fact that they are super-powered, they are still just human.
     
    The Boy’s is essentially a watchdog group set up to keep the Supers under control and to look into unpleasant occurrences that might have taken place where supers are involved.
     
    Volume 2 covers two complete story arcs… one dealing with a Batman type character known as the Tek Knight and his involvement in the death of a young homosexual man, and the other a possible revolt led by supers in Russia.
     
    Now, with Garth Ennis you have his style of writing. Dark, gritty, in your face. And of course there is humour to be had to, and plenty of it. Typically at Wee Hughies expense.
     
    There were numerous times in th second volume that I laughed out loud while reading, especially the whole deal in the Tek Knight’s lair. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.
     
    Great stuff, to be sure.
     
    However – the one thing about comics today that still remains true to me is that you need an artist that you like.
     
    I’ve never been exposed to any of Darick Robertson’s work before, although my co-worker says that I should pick up his Transmetropolitan.
     
    I digress…
     
    It did take a little time for me to get used to his work. It was very dark, and exceptionally bloody and graphic at times.
     
    Which is EXACTLY what the Boys needed. An artists who could pull it off. His work grew on me, and now I can say that I am a fan of his work in the Boys. And, maybe I should pick up his earlier work as well. 
     
    His work compliments Garth Ennis’s style perfectly.
     
    So, the review I wrote for Volume 1 was in praise of Garth Ennis, this is in praise of Darick Robertson’s exceptionally well done work for a very violent and dark comic.
     
    5 out of 5.
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    DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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