The Boys (comics)

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The Boys
Cover of The Boys Volume 1: The Name of the Game (June 2007), depicting the titular group (clockwise from top left): the Frenchman, Mother's Milk, the Female, Hughie, Butcher
Publication information
PublisherWildstorm (#1–6)
Dynamite Entertainment (#7–72)
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateOctober 2006 – November 2012
No. of issues72
Main character(s)(List of characters)
Creative team
Created byGarth Ennis
Darick Robertson
Written byGarth Ennis
Artist(s)Darick Robertson
Peter Snejbjerg (#13-14)
John Higgins (#26, #28)
Carlos Ezquerra (#31-32, #34)
Richard P. Clark (#42-43, #72)
Russ Braun (#44-51, #56-71)
Penciller(s)John McCrea (#33, #39, #52-55, #65)
Keith Burns (#33, #39, #52-55, #65)
Russ Braun (#65)
Inker(s)Rodney Ramos (#11-12)
Matt Jacobs (#22)
Hector Ezquerra (#31-32, #34)
John McCrea (#33, #39, #52-55, #65)
Keith Burns (#33, #39, #52-55, #65)
Russ Braun (#65)
Letterer(s)Greg Thompson (#1-6)
Simon Bowland (#7-72)
Colorist(s)Tony Aviña
Editor(s)Ben Abernathy (#1-6)
Kristy Quinn (#1-6)
Collected editions
The Name of the GameISBN 91-33-30546-3
Get SomeISBN 1933305681
Good for the SoulISBN 1933305924
We Gotta Go NowISBN 1848562985
HerogasmISBN 160690082X
The Self-Preservation SocietyISBN 1606901257
The InnocentsISBN 1606901508
Highland LaddieISBN 1606902075
The Big RideISBN 1606902202
Butcher, Baker, CandlestickmakerISBN 1606902644
Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand MenISBN 1606903411
The Bloody Doors OffISBN 160690373X

The Boys is an American comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. It was originally published by Wildstorm (DC Comics) before moving to Dynamite Entertainment.

The series is set between 2006–2008[1] in a world where superheroes exist. However, most of the superheroes in the series' universe are corrupted by their celebrity status and often engage in reckless behavior, compromising the safety of the world. The story follows a small clandestine CIA squad, informally known as "The Boys", led by Butcher and also consisting of Mother's Milk, the Frenchman, the Female, and new addition "Wee" Hughie Campbell, who are charged with monitoring the superhero community, often leading to gruesome confrontations and dreadful results; in parallel, a key subplot follows Annie "Starlight" January, a young and naive superhero who joins the Seven, the most prestigious – and corrupted – superhero group in the world and The Boys' most powerful enemies.

Ennis has said that The Boys would "out-Preacher Preacher", presumably referring to the extreme violence and sexuality that were that series' hallmark.[2] Started in October 2006, the series concluded in November 2012 with the release of the 72nd and final issue.

The book was adapted by Amazon Studios into a television series, which premiered on July 26, 2019.[3]

Publication history[edit]

The first six issues of The Boys were published by Wildstorm, starting in 2006. On January 24, 2007, the series was abruptly canceled with issue 6. Ennis later explained that this was because DC Comics (of which Wildstorm was an imprint before it was disbanded) were uneasy with the anti-superhero tone of the work.[4] The planned collection of said issues was also canceled. Co-creator Darick Robertson said that "DC is being good about reverting our rights so we can find a new publisher and we're in the process of doing that now".[5] Ennis then released a statement that some other publishers had expressed interest, and that issue 7 and a trade of the first six issues would be available. While Robertson was on exclusive contract to DC, he was given special dispensation to continue working on The Boys.[6] In February 2007 the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment[7] and it resumed in May. A collected edition of the first six issues was also published by Dynamite, with a foreword by Simon Pegg. Pegg was the model on whom the character Hughie was based on in the way he was drawn in the comics by Robertson.[8]

In February 2009 Dynamite announced a spin-off mini-series Herogasm, with art from John McCrea, who Ennis has worked with numerous times before,[9] and Keith Burns, a friend of McCrea's of whom he has said: "Keith's strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa."[10][11] The series is The Boys version of the big 'event' storylines but, according to Ennis "while we're having a pop at the notion of mass crossovers within a shared universe, we're not picking on 'Crisis' or 'Secret Wars' or 'Countdown' or whatever in particular."[12] The idea for the mini-series came about because the first part of the story does not involve the team and focuses on the superheroes, but will affect the main series:

Our heroes' minor role in the story gradually alters its dynamic, until something happens in #4 that sends things off on a completely unexpected tangent. After that, life gets serious fast, and by the end you'll have witnessed events that will change things in the Boys' world for good. We'll start to pick up on the effects of that with #31 of the regular title.[12]

After The Boys was completed, Ennis told Comic Book Resources that the comic had benefitted from Wildstorm cancelling it, as Dynamite gave him far more freedom than DC ever would have: "We'd have died on the vine [at DC]. The book would have been chipped and chipped away at until writing it was pure frustration." He also admitted to "a sigh of relief" as Wildstorm had been dissolved as an imprint not long after the move.[13]


Story arcs[edit]

Series creator Garth Ennis signing copies of The Boys Omnibus Volume 1, and posters for the television adaptation of the series (whose image serves as the Omnibus' cover image), at a 2019 signing at Midtown Comics in Manhattan

"The Name of the Game" (#1–2)[edit]

Billy Butcher learns of a presidential directive charging the CIA with monitoring all superheroes. He uses the directive to get the backing required to reform "The Boys", a black ops team designed to police the superhero community. Butcher brings together Mother's Milk, the Frenchman, and the Female of the Species, but the Boys' fifth member, Mallory, refuses to return as his grandkids were murdered due to his involvement with the group. Requiring five in the team, Butcher recruits a Scottish conspiracy theorist named "Wee" Hughie; his girlfriend was accidentally killed by A-Train, a member of major superhero team The Seven.

"Cherry" (#3–6)[edit]

At the Boys' first meeting in New York City, Butcher reveals that their first mission is to intimidate a teen superhero group called Teenage Kix. The Boys conduct surveillance on the group, using the dirt they gather to blackmail its members into compliance. It is revealed that all superpowers come from Compound V, a drug invented by Nazi scientists; a low-powered version mixed with cocaine is called Blue, and it is used to attain a singular, powerful high (or, as revealed during the surveillance, allows prostitutes to endure or recover from sex with superhumans), but it carries a risk of spontaneous and horrifying mutations. Judging that he is suitable to join the team, Butcher uses subterfuge to inject Hughie with a specially formulated mix of V that permanently gives him super-strength and durability—much to Hughie's chagrin.

Meanwhile, Annie January, an evangelical Christian who fights crime as the superheroine Starlight, is recruited to join the Seven, the most elite of the superhero teams. Annie quickly learns that the Seven are not as wholesome as their reputation suggests, as she is coerced to perform oral sex on the Homelander, A-Train, and Black Noir to gain entry into the group. Hughie and Annie meet, unaware of each other's occupations, and find themselves attracted to each other. The Teenage Kix are sent a message from The Boys, along with selections of surveillance revealing their misdeeds, with a directive to expose one of their members, or the Boys will make their own choice on whom to expose; the team picks the black homosexual hero Shout Out to appease the Boys, believing that his loss will hurt the team the least. Homelander informs the Kix that the Boys are responsible. Teenage Kix confronts the Boys, but is unprepared for their ferocity; Blarney Cock is killed in the ensuing fight when he threatens Hughie, who panics and lashes out, punching through Blarney Cock's chest.

"Get Some" (#7–10)[edit]

Butcher introduces Hughie to the Legend, a comic book magnate and one of Butcher's sources. The Legend has the Boys investigate the mysterious murder of a young gay man that he believes was committed by a superhero. The ensuing investigation leads to Tek Knight and his former sidekick, Swingwing.

During the course of the investigation, Hughie and Butcher discover Tek Knight (a hero the Boys never approached because his powers came from technology, not Compound V) is suffering from an odd compulsion to fornicate with any orifice that presents itself. Hughie sorts out that the victim had approached Swingwing and confronts the hero, who reveals his intense homophobia and tries to escape. Hughie chases him down and fights Swingwing, Butcher staying out of the fight. After Hughie defeats Swingwing, Butcher approaches Swingwing under the premise of forcing him to become an informant for the Boys; unbeknownst to Hughie, Billy sabotages Swingwing's jetpack, which later fails leading to Swingwing's death from being run over by the Staten Island ferry.

However, Hughie becomes depressed that there is no real justice for the murder victim. Despite this, he is able to bring a gay couple back together. Tek-Knight, disgraced by his former butler's expose of his condition, rescues a woman from a falling wheelbarrow and subsequently saves the planet when he destroys an asteroid by engaging in coitus with an orifice in the asteroid, dying in the resulting explosion. This is revealed to be a hallucination; the wheelbarrow actually killed him, and his delusion (and likely his sexual compulsion) turned out to be the result of a large brain tumor.

"Glorious Five Year Plan" (#11–14)[edit]

The Boys travel to Moscow, where the local supes are mysteriously exploding. Working with Vas and being targeted by Russian organised crime boss Little Nina, they discover that Vought-American is working with Little Nina to engineer a coup - an army of 150 East European/Russian supes, organised by Nina, will ravage the country before she remotely detonates them all via their altered metabolisms and rises to power based on "saving" Russia (however, Vought is just using her as a pawn and have another figure they want in charge). The Boys stop this plot by placing a bomb in Nina's vibrator, and Butcher detonates the supes, while Hughie bonds with Vas and is disgusted by the group's willingness to torture. However, when Butcher gives the information to the CIA, he finds Director Rayner isn't going to do anything about it, due to the fear of Vought-American using their superhumans on the CIA, and possibly the country itself, in retaliation.

"Good For The Soul" (#15–18)[edit]

Hughie visits The Legend, determined to find out more about the Boys - their history, their personalities, and their mysterious hidden agenda. Annie January (alias Starlight) has her own doubts about membership of the Seven. Hughie must also deal with his new romance with Annie January and the return of Blarney Cock as a brain damaged zombie (Compound V is used to resurrect some supers, but with extreme brain damage), as the Boys get closer to finding out about their relationship.

"I Tell You No Lie G.I." (#19–22)[edit]

Hughie learns the true origins of the supes while the rest of the Boys meet with members of the Seven for a discussion. The Legend goes on to reveal the history of Vought-American, concerning their faulty contributions to both WW2 and Vietnam. He then tells Hughie about their first major success regarding the Supes, the creation of the Homelander, the Seven, and his own past experiences working for Victory Comics, Vought-American's publishing company, specialising in fabricating VA's superheroes deeds. The Legend then reveals the Seven's part in the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge on 9/11 and how it led to the creation of the Boys. Afterwards, The Legend elaborates on the death of Mallory's grandchildren and Lamplighter's death/resurrection as a brain-damaged zombie. Meanwhile, as the rest of the Boys meet with the Seven, A-Train attempts to rape Starlight, only to end up being blinded in one eye.

"We Gotta Go Now" (#23–30)[edit]

Following the very public suicide of an original G-Men team member, Silver Kincaid, The Boys are sent in to investigate the G-Men, Vought-American's most bankable team of outcasts. After a brief history of the team is given, the Boys send in Hughie undercover to G-Wiz, one of the junior teams in the franchise, with the Female and the Frenchman as back up in case anything goes wrong. Mother's Milk discovers that Silver Kincaid was abducted as a child from outside a store where her uncle had taken her for ice cream. It is later revealed that most, if not all of the G-Men were abducted as children, and not, as the G-Men claim, "orphans and outcasts". Meanwhile, the members of G-Wiz are instructed to kill Hughie, after Hughie is revealed to be a spy. Hughie's life is saved when the Frenchman and the Female intercede and murder most of the group. Through interrogation of a surviving member of G-Wiz it is revealed that the founder of the G-Men, Godolkin, abducts young children and injects them with Compound V in order to manifest powers within them. It is also revealed that Godolkin and other members of the G-Men sexually abuse the young recruits. This revelation is delivered before one of the G-Men kills the survivor, revealing Godolkin with the rest of the G-Men ready to kill the Boys; however, this only spurs Hughie (the rest of the team following his lead) to attempt to attack the entire G-Men forces at once. Before they can launch this potentially suicidal attack, Vought-American forces arrive and slaughter all of the G-Men with heavy weapons and flamethrowers before confronting Butcher, telling him that they are capable of cleaning up their own mess. The team deals with this in many ways, while Vought-American gears up to try to destroy the Boys.

Miniseries: "Herogasm" (#1–6)[edit]

This first of the series' stand alone miniseries chronicles the Boys as they sneak into Vought's secret, exclusive annual superhero bacchanalia "Herogasm". Funded by the company on the premise of being a giant superhero battle to the public, the "heroes" spend a weekend at an island resort running wild and indulging in reckless debauchery - primarily vast amounts of sex and participating in the use of illegal drugs. Meanwhile, the Vought-owned Vice President joins the festivities, and the Boys learn more about the corporation's plans as they target a Secret Service agent to try to determine V-A's infiltration of the White House through Red River operatives placed in the Secret Service. Homelander destroys an entire passenger jet on a whim, and is preparing to tell all the other heroes all about it as an example of their superiority over humanity, but he is cut short by Vought.

"The Self-Preservation Society" (#31–34)[edit]

The world's second most powerful team, Payback, are contracted by Vought American during the events of Herogasm, to take out the Boys. In exchange for their service, they are promised the opportunity to have their own team's profile elevated up to the level of the Seven. The Female is ambushed by Stormfront and is badly beaten, falling into a coma. The team is attacked at an abandoned hospital, where the Female has been taken. Mother's Milk is severely injured and Butcher proceeds to eliminate each of the remaining members of Payback while providing the rest of the team cover to get the Female to safety. With only Stormfront remaining, the remaining Boys, with Vas called in for backup, defeat the former Nazi superhero in battle. The Female recovers after the battle in the hospital when Hughie makes the mistake of trying to eat one of her Chocolate Limes, getting his forearm broken in the process. The story arc ends with Soldier Boy tied to a chair, while Butcher prepares to torture him for information.

"Nothing Like It in the World" (#35–36)[edit]

Mother's Milk tells Hughie his life story, how he came across the Boys, and why he continues to fight.

"La Plume De Ma Tante Est Sur La Table" (#37)[edit]

Frenchie tells his life story to Hughie. It is an absurd tall tale of a village called Franglais (which translates to French-English, a comment on how everyone speaks in France in English comics) where even his own parents call him "Frenchie." Frenchie returns from the war to find his lover has run off with his "rival" (shown in flashback to be a victim of constant bullying by Frenchie). He has devoted himself to pacifism, and refuses to joust his opponent on a bicycle with French bread. He finishes the story and jumps out of the window, leaving Hughie to question the tale's validity (such as the title itself, quoted often as "a notorious example of one such misleading statement that probably confused the student more than teaching them anything functional about the language"[14]). This is the first stand alone issue in the series.

"The Female of the Species Is More Deadly Than the Male" (#38)[edit]

A stand-alone issue, with some of the visuals and dialogue paying homage to the Alien movies. The Frenchman gives an account of the Female's origin to Hughie, speaking from her point of view, which is required, as she herself never speaks. He explains that, when she was an infant, her mother left her unattended in a lab in Japan, where a doctor was synthesizing Compound V. She climbed into a pail of Compound V waste and then immediately killed the doctor, so all of his secrets died with him. She grows up in captivity, and is treated like an experimental animal as the company tries to use her blood to replicate the doctor's lost research. She occasionally escapes and causes mayhem until recaptured. Eventually the Boys, led by Mallory, capture her during her latest escape. Butcher drops in a concussion grenade to knock her out, with the intent of using her as a weapon. When she awakens, the Frenchman volunteers to instruct her on integrating her within the world, treating her with compassion and love and attempting to manage her recurring bouts of homicidal rage, which she tries constantly to control.

"What I Know" (#39)[edit]

Butcher stumbles upon Hughie's relationship with Annie, aka Starlight. On the other side, Jess Bradley, an executive of Vought American, shows Stillwell her eagerness to work for his department during the celebration of the new CEO of Vought American.

"The Innocents" (#40–43)[edit]

After consulting The Legend, Butcher assigns Hughie to watch a C-list team called "Superduper". Hughie discovers that unlike the superhero community at large, Superduper is a minor-league group of low-powered supers who truly desire to use their abilities for good. The arrival of a new team leader, the dangerous Malchemical, upsets Superduper's safe environment; Malchemical is doing "community service" for Vought by working with SuperDuper because of a transgression with his previous team. Hughie accidentally befriends the team when he steps in to save one of their members from choking by performing an emergency trachaeotomy, but takes a stand against Malchemical in defense of the group, an act which irritates Butcher. After Malchemical plays a cruel prank on one of the members, he threatens them to stop making him look bad, declaring he will do as he pleases. Upon seeing Malchemical threaten to rape two of the female members, Hughie steps in to stop it. Butcher's test of Hughie was that, in the event of a direct conflict, had Hughie been a Vought plant, Malchemical would have had orders not to hurt him. However, Hughie is nearly killed; Butcher, now convinced of Hughie's innocence, steps in at the last minute to save him, killing Malchemical by setting fire to him while he is in a gaseous state. Butcher almost misses his opportunity to do so because his plan is discovered by Mother's Milk, who himself contacted the Legend and confronted Stillwell to assess Hughie's role with Vought. Angered at Butcher's secrecy, the two have their first severe discussion, creating tension between the two.

On the other side, Stillwell brings Jess Bradley up to speed on The Homelander's profile, including a unique incident occurring twenty years ago. The photos of this incident, showing the Homelander killing and devouring people, are the main weapon "The Boys" have against The Homelander.

"Believe" (#44–47)[edit]

The Homelander uses a Christian convention of superheroes and fans in New York, to gather all superheroes who are able to fight for Vought America in the case of an open conflict against the government or the military of the USA. The content of this meeting remains unknown, but The Boys watch over the events. The meeting culminates after the Homelander offers one family a gift of a new car, offering to carry them home in it; however, after lifting the car thousands of feet up, he tells the frightened family that "the only man in the me," before dropping the car with the family still aboard. From there, he meets a large group of other supers to consolidate his plans.

Meanwhile, Hughie learns of Annie's identity as Starlight, and subsequently discovers how she joined the team. Angered and hurt, he leaves her.

Miniseries: "Highland Laddie" (#1–6)[edit]

After the events in Believe, Wee Hughie takes a vacation back to his family's house in Scotland to think about his life and whether he should leave The Boys or not.

"Proper Preparation and Planning" (#48–51)[edit]

The full story of Butcher's vendetta is revealed, as is Vought American's part in the events of 9/11.

"Barbary Coast" (#52–55)[edit]

Greg Mallory tells Hughie about Vought-American's involvement during the Battle of the Bulge, and how he put together The Boys. Mallory also shares his own personal fears of the direction Butcher is taking the team, and Hughie confesses his real identity to Annie. This is the full story that The Legend offered to tell Hughie in "I Tell You No Lie, G.I.", but didn't.

"The Big Ride" (#56–59)[edit]

Hughie returns to the fold as he and Butcher are investigating a murder of a transgender sex worker that may be linked to Jack from Jupiter of The Seven.[15] Tensions escalate between the two groups as unknown forces may be trying to steer them into direct conflict with one another, with the first casualties from both sides since the aftermath of 9/11 occurring as a result.

Miniseries: "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker" (#1–6)[edit]

Butcher returns to London, to view the body of his deceased father, and begins to reminisce on what led him on the path of vengeance against superheroes. Billy was born into a family where his father, a baker by trade and a bully by nature, abused his wife and was indifferent to his sons. Billy always possessed a streak of violence (something he blames on his father) and has to be restrained by his brother from killing their father after their mother is savagely beaten. Billy becomes a Royal Marine and channels his deep-seated rage into combat during the Falklands War. However, peacetime gives him no outlet for his nature, and he begins picking fights, and not always coming out the winner.

Then fate brings him into contact with Becky Saunders, a social worker who connects with Billy, and is one of the few people who can calm his anger. As they fall in love, she encourages him to give up drinking and fighting, to aim his energy into positive ways. He is still outspoken, but Becky's influence improves his life. It is Becky who helps Billy, his brother, and his mother see that she has to leave her husband, and her presence helps their mother succeed.

Billy and Becky get married, but their shared honeymoon is altered when the Seven show up at their hideaway. Becky suddenly becomes withdrawn and listless, which worries Billy. His worries are violently justified when he wakes up one night and finds Becky disemboweled by the fetus that was within her, a fetus that hovers in the air and has glowing red eyes. It attacks Billy, burning twin scars in his arm before he beats it to death.

While he is being questioned about the death of Becky, a V/A representative visits him to try to stifle the story and Billy's account, suggesting Billy might be accused of her murder. Billy blinds him with his thumbs in response. Later, Mallory shows up with Becky's diary where it is revealed that The Homelander was responsible for the rape, pregnancy and death of Butcher's wife. That is the point where Mallory recruits him into the CIA task force that will eventually become "The Boys."

Billy begins to enthusiastically grow into his role as a one-man reckoning, especially after the death of his brother, who he considers the last person who could stop him. He finishes by revealing his hatred for the fury his father instilled in him, and pays his last respects to his urinating on his face and voicing his relief that it's an open-casket funeral.[16]

"Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men" (#60–65)[edit]

The Homelander leads a superhuman coup d'etat against Washington, D.C.. Butcher confronts the Homelander inside the White House, as he is defiling the corpse of the President. Homelander confesses to Butcher that he has no memory of what he did to Butcher's wife nor the horrific events in the photographs of him. Their confrontation is interrupted by Black Noir, who unmasks and reveals himself to be an insane clone of the Homelander. Black Noir committed the cannibalistic murders of women and children (as well as the rape of Butcher's wife), and sent the photographs to the Homelander to make him doubt his own sanity and unhinge him. The Homelander wonders whether he would have gone through with his own horrible crimes had he not believed he had a homicidal split personality, then flies into a childish rage realising that his clone ruined his life. Black Noir kills the Homelander, and Black Noir in turn is killed by Butcher and the marines. With the Homelander's army in disarray as a result of facing military weapons designed to track sources of Compound V, the military swiftly crushes the coup.

"The Bloody Doors Off" (#66–71)[edit]

In the aftermath of the coup, Stillwell appears before Congress and blames Bradley for the disaster, having set her up as a scapegoat years in advance when he realized that VA's superhuman project was headed for catastrophe. Meanwhile, the Boys are dealing with their own crisis, as the unit has been disbanded and the members' citizenships have been terminated. Hughie discovers that Vogelbaum never committed suicide and was secretly helping Butcher develop a bioweapon that will kill anyone who was exposed to V, including millions of non-supers. Having already killed the other Boys, Butcher lures Hughie to the Empire State Building to witness the detonation of the anti-V bioweapon. Hughie and Butcher scuffle and tumble out a window. The fall breaks Butcher's neck. Not wanting to live as a quadriplegic, Butcher manipulates Hughie into killing him by falsely claiming to have murdered Hughie's parents.

"You Found Me" (#72)[edit]

Six months have passed since the events at the Empire State Building. Hughie arrives at the Brooklyn Bridge to leave his memorial to his fallen friends as well as to leave a final ultimatum for Stillwell for Vought-American (now American Consolidated) going forward. Rayner's political career is dealt a fatal and filthy blow by the perverse Kessler. Meanwhile, Stillwell begins to undergo a mental breakdown, realizing that Superheroes are a "bad product." Hughie and Annie finally find happiness.

"Dear Becky" (#1-6)[edit]

Set 12 years after the events in “You Found Me”, Hughie has finally proposed marriage to Annie and the nuptials are to take place in his native Scotland. However, someone has sent Hughie a series of documents that shines a new light on his days in The Boys. The main focus of the information is on Billy Butcher and his late wife, Becky.

Collected editions[edit]

Dynamite releases both hardcover and trade paperback collections on an ongoing basis (including those comics previously published by Wildstorm). In addition, Dynamite also releases "Definitive" slipcased hardcovers, which contain two trade/hardcover collections to an "omnibus".

# Title TPB ISBN TPB Release date TPB page number Collected material
1 The Name of the Game ISBN 91-33-30546-3 June, 2007 152 The Boys #1-6
2 Get Some ISBN 1-933305-68-1 March, 2008 192 The Boys #7–14
3 Good for the Soul ISBN 1-933305-92-4 October, 2008 192 The Boys #15-22
4 We Gotta Go Now ISBN 1-84856-298-5 July, 2009 192 The Boys #23-30
5 Herogasm ISBN 1-60690-082-X November, 2009 144 Herogasm #1–6
6 The Self-Preservation Society ISBN 1-60690-125-7 March, 2010 192 The Boys #31–38
7 The Innocents ISBN 1-60690-150-8 December, 2010 216 The Boys #39-47
8 Highland Laddie ISBN 1-60690-207-5 April, 2011 144 Highland Laddie #1-6
9 The Big Ride ISBN 1-60690-220-2 November 9, 2011 276 The Boys #48-59
10 Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker ISBN 1-60690-264-4 March 6, 2012 144 Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #1-6
11 Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men ISBN 1-60690-341-1 June/July, 2012 152 The Boys #60-65
12 The Bloody Doors Off ISBN 1-60690-373-X December, 2012 170 The Boys #66-72

Definitive Editions[edit]

# Title THB ISBN THB Release date THB page number Collected material
1 The Boys: Definitive Edition 1 ISBN 1-933305-80-0 December, 2008 344 The Boys #1–14
2 The Boys: Definitive Edition 2 ISBN 1-60690-073-0 December 23, 2009 384 The Boys #15–30
3 The Boys: Definitive Edition 3 ISBN 1-60690-165-6 April 5, 2011 552 The Boys #31–38 + Herogasm
4 The Boys: Definitive Edition 4 ISBN 1-60690-340-3 July, 2012 370+ pages The Boys #39–47 + Highland Laddie
5 The Boys: Definitive Edition 5 ISBN 978-1606904121 July, 2013 430 pages The Boys #48–59 + Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker
6 The Boys: Definitive Edition 6 ISBN 978-1606904350 February, 2014 320 pages The Boys #60–72


  • 2008: Nominated, "Best Continuing Series", Eisner Award.[17]
  • 2009: Nominated, "Comic Book of the Year Under $3.00", Diamond Comic Distributor Gem Awards.[18]
  • 2010: Nominated, "Best Comic Book or Graphic Novel", Scream Awards.[19]


Aborted film[edit]

Variety reported in February 2008 that Columbia Pictures had optioned the comic for a film adaptation, to be produced by Neal H. Moritz.[20] and Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi writing the screenplay.[21] In August 2010, Adam McKay said that he had been signed on to direct the film. McKay added, "They already have a script and we're doing a rewrite on it so hopefully getting the whole thing into shape in the Fall with maybe a shoot happening in January."[22] Columbia Pictures reported in February 2012 that it had dropped its option regarding a film adaptation of The Boys.[23] However, Adam McKay said in a Twitter response that Paramount Pictures had picked it up, and that it was still in the works.[24] On April 30, 2013, Manfredi and Hay were hired by Paramount to write the film,[25] though the project never came to fruition.

Television series[edit]

In October 2015 it was reported that Cinemax greenlit a television series adaptation of The Boys,[26] and that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke were working on it.[27] In September 2017, Variety reported that Amazon Studios had picked up the series,[28] with an order for eight episodes that began filming in 2018. The series premiered on July 26, 2019.[3]

Season 2 premiered on September 4, 2020.[29] A third season has also been ordered.[30]


  1. ^ Ennis, Garth. "Garth Ennis Commentary On The Boys #66". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  2. ^ Kurt Amacker, columnist (August 23, 2006). "Hanging with the Boys: Ten Questions for Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson". (ref article originally at Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 8, 2017). "Amazon Orders 'The Boys' Superhero Drama Series Based On Comic From Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen". Deadline. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  4. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (February 9, 2007). "Garth Ennis talks The Boys and more (interview)". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
  5. ^ The Boys Ends At Wildstorm Archived February 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Newsarama, January 24, 2007
  6. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (2007-01-24). "So long, Boys — Ennis's Statement". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  7. ^ Brady, Matt (February 7, 2007). "The Boys Lands @ Dynamite Entertainment". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  8. ^ Longridge, Chris (26 July 2019). "Why *that* cameo in Amazon's The Boys is more significant than it looks". Digital Spy.
  9. ^ Ennis & McCrea Bring You to Herogasm (press release), Comic Book Resources, February 27, 2009
  10. ^ A Quick Herogasm Check-In with John McCrea, Newsarama, March 18, 2009
  11. ^ John McCrea Talks Herogasm, Comic Book Resources, March 25, 2009
  12. ^ a b Ennis & McCrea's Epic "Herogasm", Comic Book Resources, March 11, 2009
  13. ^ "Saying Goodbye To "The Boys" with Garth Ennis, Part 1". 25 September 2012.
  14. ^ [1] (blog article), February 6, 2011
  15. ^ "Garth Ennis' THE BOYS - 50 Issues of Superhuman Corruption".
  16. ^ The Boys - Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker #5(January 2012)
  17. ^ 2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (press release), Newsarama, April 14, 2008
  18. ^ Diamond Announces 2009 GEM AWARD Nominees (press release), Newsarama, January 4, 2010
  19. ^ Scream (awards) nominees announced Archived September 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine,, September 3, 2010
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 20, 2008). "Columbia, Moritz call on 'The Boys'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (August 26, 2008). "Two men will adapt 'Boys'". The Hollywood Reporter. e5 Global Media. Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  22. ^ Oldham, Stuart (August 6, 2010). "Q&A with 'The Other Guys' director Adam McKay". Boffo on Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  23. ^ Kit, Borys. "Columbia Pictures Drops Comic Book Adaptation 'The Boys' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  24. ^ "Adam McKay on Twitter".
  25. ^ "Screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay Talk THE BOYS Movie, Adam McKay's Vision, the Involvement of Garth Ennis, and More". 30 April 2013.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 12, 2015). "'The Boys' Drama Based On Comic Book Set At Cinemax With Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Eric Kripke, Original Film & Sony". Deadline.
  27. ^ Farchi, Devin (October 12, 2015). "Seth Rogen Is Shopping An Adaptation Of THE BOYS To Cable Nets". Birth.Movies.Death.
  28. ^ Cynthia Littleton; Daniel Holloway (8 September 2017). "Amazon Orders Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Comedy, Wong Kar-wai Drama, 3 Other Projects (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  29. ^ [2], Season 2 release date.
  30. ^ [3], Season 3 renewal of The Boys.

External links[edit]