Author and Illustrations Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson
This is the spoiler free review of The Boys omnibus volumes 4 through 6. If you would like to read about how this series ends including every disgusting graphic detail please visit here.
To catch up with the review for volumes 1-3 visit here.
After reading the first three volumes of The Boys I had to take a break. I just couldn’t binge read something this heavy and dark. I’m very glad I read a few lighter things at the halfway point because the second half gets even darker.
The Boys as a series is smart. It’s intense and graphic but it definitely has a strong commentary to make. It’s all about capitalism and how power corrupts. It’s about the need for goodness to balance out the evil but how easily evil can win out.
The problem is that in order to portray this commentary it requires the presence of a lot of very objectionable characters. Characters that I did not want to keep returning to. It made it very difficult for me to want to keep picking this book up.
Ultimately, I’m glad that I finished the series but I can’t say I enjoyed every second of it. The final omnibus volume is spectacular. It’s incredibly fast paced and really pays off the effort of the rest of the volumes.
The 4th and 5th volume however, drag. The volumes include some repetitive blackmail heavy plots as well as way too many flashbacks and history lessons.
The most meaningful flashback story is told by Butcher about his late wife. This one has substance and a profound effect. The others, I could honestly do without.
Annie, aka Starlight, continues to be the only tolerable character in the whole book and I consider her woefully under-utilized. I was also disappointed that we never really got a backstory for The Female. Just a couple hints.
Many of the characters progress in ways that make them even worse as people. A necessary evil for this plot but, once again, not a fun one.
The Boys is not light reading. It is not an easy graphic novel to plow through on a weekend. It requires thought and emotional energy. This is not a bad thing by any means, just something I wish I had been more aware of going in.
Overall I believe the ending makes it all worthwhile. I love it when a series has a plan from the beginning and is able to actually stick to it throughout. I recommend sticking through the sagging middle volumes to see the final showdown in volume 6. You won’t regret it.
Volumes 4 and 5: 3/5 noir people 👤👤👤
Volume 6: 5/5 noir people 👤👤👤👤👤
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