Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson - The Boys
Garth Ennis, the bad boy British writer responsible for the controversial series’ Preacher and Transmetropolitan, puts the boot into the iconoclastic superhero strip sub-genre. The first six issues, collected here, introduce the titular CIA-backed taskforce led by thuggish Englishman Billy Butcher and featuring a Scottish rookie modelled on Simon Pegg, charged with the task of policing the caped crusaders who are being corrupted by their god-like powers.
Ennis’ sly political slant on the demythologising storyline sets the action firmly in a post-9/11 world, with the morally bankrupt ‘supes’ representing hawkish neo-con America and their anti-heroic nemeses cast as terrorists. The Boys is more piss-take than tirade, however, and as such it’s enormously irreverent, shocking and hilarious with it. Plenty of sex, violence and bad language, then, but such transgressions are all in the service of a smartly subversive storyline. (Miles Fielder)