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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Boys
Volume 6
The Self-Preservation Society


Author: Garth Ennis
Artists: Darick Robertson and Carlos Ezquerra
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99, US $24.95
ISBN: 978 1 84856 715 3
Available 28 May 2010

Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother's Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: A CIA-backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the most lethal force on Earth - superpower. Some superheroes have to be watched. Some have to be controlled. And some of them - sometimes - need to be taken out of the picture...

The Boys: The Self-Preservation Society collects together issues #31-38 of the comic book series. It's not essential that you've read what's come before as it's pretty easy to catch up on the basic plot. However, I must admit that I am now determined to seek out the previous five collections.

You can only maim and murder so many superheroes before someone decides to do something about it, and in the Boys' case that means Payback - a superteam of unimaginable power, second only to the mighty Seven. Pulping teenage supes is one thing, but how will our heroes fare against Soldier Boy, Mind-Droid, Swatto, the Crimson Countess, and the Nazi juggernaut known as Stormfront? Blood flies and bones shatter, as Butcher & co. meet fire with fire.

And in the origin tales of Mother's Milk, the Frenchman and the Female, Hughie learns of the strange paths by which this disparate trio came to join the Boys. From tragedy in Harlem to the slaughter on the Brooklyn Bridge, from the festival of Les Saints De Haw-Haw to the horror lurking under Tokyo, this is a journey of discovery like no other - with only the flickering lamp of intensity to light the way.

For those who have been following The Boys, you won't need any encouragement to buy this. For everyone else... give it a go. You won't regret it.


Darren Rea

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