Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson (3 stars)

The Boys No.1 (Wildstorm)

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ADULT SUPERHERO

When you see Garth Preacher Ennis’ name at the top of a front cover, you pretty much know what to expect. While this latest series of his is set in a world of superheroes and villains, it’s not all men in tights battling to uphold the forces of good and evil, by the end of the first issue, we’ve already had a rough sex scene between a crazed mercenary and his married, middle-aged boss, and another of the protagonists’ young fiancée being graphically mashed against a wall while some battling bad guy or other.

It’s taste-free business as usual from Ennis, but this story of ‘The Boys’ - men who hate and hunt down those of a superpowered nature - is also refreshingly free of the clichés of the genre. Ennis’ characters speak in natural, expletive-peppered tones (if any clichés do emerge, they’re simply those which run through the writer’s fiercely individual work), and the pacing of his tale is just as roughly eloquent.

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