This week, the first season of The Boys, based on the popular, bloody as Hell comic created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, drops on Amazon Video, bringing the grit, grime, and guts we’ve come to love from the book. For folks who haven’t read the comic (and why haven’t you?), the live-action series follows the same premise as the comic, with the black comedy centering on vigilantes who attempt to keep in check the corrupt superheroes that plague their world. Ennis brings the whip-sharp dialogue and give-no-damns approach he’s brought to everything from Preacher to The Punisher and Robertson, making the series ring with a filthy chorus. And Robertson, of course, makes everything project he touches turn to gold, applying the same attention to detail seen in his work on Transmetropolitan and Happy!
Understandably, The Boys Vol. 1: The Name of the Game is flying off the shelves, but you can read it on the Graphite mobile app right now with a current subscription. While we don’t know exactly what parts of the series will make it into Amazon’s show, here are a few tidbits that we absolutely have to see make an appearance from the first volume.
The State of the World
If superheroes—and morally flexible-to-corrupt superheroes, at that—were as ubiquitous as we see in volume 1 of The Boys, life would have a hint of fear and unease that would permeate the world. The streets might be a hair grimier, marred by the constant struggles between the spandex set and their prey. Everything from marketing to prostitution—nothing would be untouched from the influence from a land of supers. Landmarks would be worse for wear, as we see in the state of the Brooklyn Bridge early on in the series. Tonally, Ennis, Roberson, and the creative team nail what a terror living in a world lousy with superheroes would truly be. We hope to see just how truly depraved the sociopathic assholes like the elite superhero group known as The Seven can be, which will make the moments The Boys confront them that much sweeter.
The Female of the Species
That’s it. That’s the request.
To expand: We know that The Female of the Species will crop up on the show (going by The Female) and that she will be the only member of The Boys that will have superpowers from Compound V. What we hope to see on screen is just how much of a force of nature is, as seen in the comic. Of note: The first time we meet her in volume 1, The Female visits a group of thugs laying low to dispense some of her own punishment upon them, which ends with a face literally ripped off one of her victims. *insert Face/Off joke here*
The Secret to Superpowers
In the world of The Boys, the myth-making origins of Earth’s superheroes—from being bombarded by radiation to arriving from a doomed alien world—are, in a word, bullcrap. Instead, the superpowered folk are imbued with a Nazi-created substance known as Compound V, which gives them abilities far beyond those of mortal men and women. While, per the Amazon series star Karl Urban (who portrays Billy Butcher), The Boys won’t be using the compound when fighting “heroes” like The Seven, we should get still get a chance to see the screwed up source of the super-strength and heat vision of The Seven’s ilk. (And maybe what normal folk do when they get their hands on Compound V.)
Superhero Melee with Teenage Kix
The sadistic Seven aren’t the only superheroes marring the world of The Boys, as seen in the existence of the young group known as Teenage Kix, who live a Babylonian lifestyle that would make even the most flagrant hedonist wince in horror. Luckily, Teenage Kix is the target of The Boys in volume 1, sparking a media relations nightmare for the teen heroes when The Boys threaten to expose the Kix’s decadent ways. When Teenage Kix discovers who’s behind the quagmire of crap they find themselves in, they come gunning for The Boys, which begins in a battle royale and ends with a hole in the torso of one of the Kix’s members. No guts, no glory, young’uns.
Sound like your bag? Be sure to check out more of The Boys hoopla by checking out the series here at Graphite.