The Boys: Herogasm #1 - 'One: Babylon' - Ennis, McCrea, Burns and Avina
Story - This is the third book we've reviewed in The Boys franchise, we reviewed #1 way back when, and also #19, and I found it interesting to see what my thoughts were then, and how they are now, back when we reviewed #1 I said I wasn't a Garth Ennis fan at all, that has now changed, thanks to this book and Preacher, in fact, a lot has changed, we are now about halfway through the planned run of Ennis and Robertson's satirical opus, and it's time for a spin-off mini, focusing on the so-called Heroes. Preacher had several successful spin-offs, most notably the Saint Of Killers mini, and I have high hopes for the first such series for The Boys, are my expectations met? Pretty much.
By now, you should be comfortable with the world of The Boys, it's a world with superheroes, but they are all massive twats, and under the control of a mysterious multi-national conglomerate, Vought-American. It's up to our heroes, The Boys to yadda yadda yadda. This mini changes it up a little by focusing on the capes rather than The Boys, and we see what they get up to during a 'Crossover', basically, they tell the public they are off to fight some huge world-threatening evil, but instead they go to a private island and fuck themselves silly, it's a funny idea, and one that fits in with what we've seen before in the main series, some of what they get up to is amongst the sickest and funniest stuff I've read in a comic for a while, lines like 'Dude you smell like Pussy!' and 'Come on my hump!' will live in my filthy little memory for a while!
Herogasm is operating on a couple of levels, it's more than just superhero sex, there is also some nice little digs at the Big Two's comics and characters, the names of previous 'Herogasms' such as 'The Civil Dispute' and 'Downcount' are sure to make someone who follows Marvel and DC smile, I also particularly liked the use of Zatanna-esque backwards speech, 'kcus ym kcoc', and that was even used for a Preacher nod too (Odin Quincannon anyone?). Some of the best examples of superhero parody I've seen, and pretty subtle for an orgy. Along with the sex and the parody, Herogasm has another thing going on! Another layer! It's like a filthy jizz-covered onion, and that third layer is a little something we like to call plot progression, and it's all over the place here. First of all the mysterious Vought dude, throughout the series he's been there, being nondescript and creepy, until the end of the G-Men arc (LOVED how Homelander linked their deaths in with the fake crossover) where we saw some of what he's about, and that continues here, we learn more about him, and about Vought's pet Vice President (and probable retard, Vic The Veep), this is, I think one of the book's main threads, and I'm glad to see it continue. We also have more of perhaps the book's out an out villain, Superman analogue, The Homelander, the scene with him and the Captain America analogue, post-coitus was very interesting, and hints as to what the fuck his deal is, 'I could do anything', coming from him, is chilling indeed. And then there's the relationship between Starlight, perhaps the only superhero who is a decent person, and Wee Hughie of the boys, their phone conversation was very nice and sweet, and still integral to the book, their relatively normal relationship is what grounds the book for me, without something like this, all the crazy goings on don't mean much, and of course, the tension of neither of them knowing what the other does gets even stronger here, and there was a nice little transition where we see that Hughie and the rest of The Boys have found their way onto the Island, and are planning on taking out Vic The Veep. This ending surprised me, I thought this was going to be a story just about the capes, and not about The Boys, so them being involved only heightens the tension for what might happen, and assassinating the Vice President? That's a pretty neat hook to end #1 on.
Overall, Herogasm #1 is a very enjoyable book, the sex and language may be a little over the top, but that's par for the course for Ennis, if you look beyond 'Oh Jesus use your stretching powers!' this is a comic with a healthy does of intrigue, great characterisation, and clever parody, if you read The Boys, it's not to be missed, and if you don't read The Boys.., what are you doing reading this review? Go and get the trades now! NOW!
Art - I'm not really familiar with John McCrea, but what I saw here was competent, if not as good as what I'm used to with Darick Robertson's excellent work on the main series, he handled the sex scenes well, but it just wasn't as polished as Robertson, good, but not that good.
Best Line - 'Let's fuck!'