'The Boys' Interview: Garth Ennis On Why Superheroes Are "@$#%!"

by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

In a world where superheroes roam the earth in search of justice for the common man, who brings justice to the superheroes? Fan-favorite and critically-acclaimed writer Garth Ennis has the answer, and it comes in the form of The Boys!

Originally released in 2006, Ennis and artist Darick Robertson sent spandex-clad do-gooders running for the hills for 72-issues. As a matter of fact, The Boys did such an impressive job terrorizing the superhero genre that DC Comics - the book's original publisher - ran screaming from it. This gave current publisher Dynamite Comics the chance to nab up a guaranteed cult hit.
Thirteen years later, The Boys is now primed for Amazon Prime with an all-new TV series. To celebrate, Dynamite is re-releasing the comic in several revamped omnibus editions, making this the perfect time for new readers to catch up on the comic and for PREVIEWsworld to catch up with Garth Ennis to reflect on The Boys.

Dynamite has a look at all of The Boys Omnibus Editions here!

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PREVIEWSworld: What makes superheroes so dangerous?

Garth Ennis: In the real world, I think the fact that such a dumb genre dominates a great storytelling medium is lamentable- but even beyond that, an outright fantasy of hope and empowerment is not a sensible answer to the atrocious times we live in. On the other hand, in the world of The Boys, superheroes represent the corporate corruption of government and the general dumbing down of public discourse. They have to go.

PREVIEWSworld: What was it like to work with artist Darick Robertson on the series?

Garth Ennis: By the time we did The Boys we’d already been working together for some time, most notably on [PunisherBorn and Fury, so we could pretty much read each others’ minds.

PREVIEWSworld: Was there a particular character you enjoyed writing the most?

Garth Ennis: Billy Butcher, my all-time favourite of all the characters I’ve created. His wife Becky was a close second. I could have written those two wandering ‘80s London and being in love forever, but alas, it was not to be.

PREVIEWSworld: Did you have a particular issue or arc that stood out as the most fun to put together?

Garth Ennis: Butcher’s origin, for the reasons cited above and for the gruesome, wretched horror that the man’s life became. One sequence always comes to mind there, Butcher casually following some bleeding supe as he crawls out onto a frozen river- Darick really nailed that one.

PREVIEWSworld: What does The Boys say about celebrity culture?

Garth Ennis: That it’s s@&#?

PREVIEWSworld: What's your involvement with the Amazon Prime show?

Garth Ennis: Fairly limited. I had a few notes at the start and then I was happy to take a back seat. The book’s the book and the show’s the show, would be my take on that.

PREVIEWSworld: Any chance you'll direct again? Maybe an episode of The Boys?

Garth Ennis: That I very much doubt. What I do is write, no more and no less than that.

PREVIEWSworld: Any plans to write a comic book follow-up to The Boys?

Garth Ennis: Hmmm. Now that is an interesting idea.

DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A/CA) Darick Robertson
All-new printing collecting the first 14 issues of the critically acclaimed series, now heading to live-action on Amazon Prime! This is going to hurt! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone's got to make sure the "supes" don't get out of line. And someone will! 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 dangerous 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. That's when you call in The Boys! After the opening story arc introducing Hughie to the team (issues 1-6), Dark avenger Tek-Knight and his ex-partner Swingwing are in trouble (issues 7-14). Big trouble. One has lost control of his terrifyingly overactive sex-drive, and the other might just be a murderer. It's up to Hughie and Butcher to work out which is which, in Get Some. Then, in Glorious Five-Year Plan, The Boys travel to Russia - where their corporate opponents are working with the mob, in a super-conspiracy that threatens to spiral lethally out of control. Good thing our heroes have Love Sausage on their side.  
Featuring some ever-so-slight tweaks the creators have meticulously restored, The Boys Omniobus Volume 1 also features bonus art materials, the script to issue #1 by Garth Ennis, a complete cover gallery, and more!
In Shops: Mar 20, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #191
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Darick Robertson (CA) Photo
All-new printing collecting the first 14 issues of the critically acclaimed series, now heading to live-action on Amazon Prime! This is going to hurt! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone's got to make sure the "supes" don't get out of line. And someone will! 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 dangerous 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. That's when you call in The Boys! After the opening story arc introducing Hughie to the team (issues 1-6), Dark avenger Tek-Knight and his ex-partner Swingwing are in trouble (issues 7-14). Big trouble. One has lost control of his terrifyingly overactive sex-drive, and the other might just be a murderer. It's up to Hughie and Butcher to work out which is which, in Get Some. Then, in Glorious Five-Year Plan, The Boys travel to Russia - where their corporate opponents are working with the mob, in a super-conspiracy that threatens to spiral lethally out of control. Good thing our heroes have Love Sausage on their side.  
Featuring some ever-so-slight tweaks the creators have meticulously restored, The Boys Omniobus Volume 1 also features bonus art materials, the script to issue #1 by Garth Ennis, a complete cover gallery, and more!
This edition features a photo cover based on the new Amazon Prime television series starring Karl Urban and Elizabeth Shue.
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
SRP: $29.99
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A/CA) Darick Robertson
An all-new omnibus printing that includes The Boys Volume 3: Good for the Soul & The Boys Volume 4: We Gotta Go Now!
In "Good for the Soul..." Everyone has something to get off their chest: Frenchie and the Female are up to something nasty with the Mafia, Mother's Milk goes to see his mom, Annie January wants a word with God himself, and Butcher enjoys yet another ghastly tryst with CIA Director Rayner. The Legend, meanwhile, offers to tell Hughie everything he wants to know about The Boys - all Hughie has to do is take a walk with the dead.
In "We Gotta Go Now..." All is not well with mysterious millionaire John Godolkin's band of misfits. Silver Kincaid, one of the original G-Men, has just committed suicide in the most public and grotesque way imaginable. That's not good news for Vought-American's number one franchise, with G-Force, G-Coast, G-Style, G-Wiz, the G-Brits and the G-Nomads all depending on their slice of the G-pie. There's far too much at stake for anyone to go poking around the G-Mansion now. Who knows what dirty secrets might be waiting down there in the dark?
In Shops: Jun 12, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #208
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Darick Robertson (CA) Photo
An all-new omnibus printing that includes The Boys Volume 3: Good for the Soul & The Boys Volume 4: We Gotta Go Now!
In "Good for the Soul..." Everyone has something to get off their chest: Frenchie and the Female are up to something nasty with the Mafia, Mother's Milk goes to see his mom, Annie January wants a word with God himself, and Butcher enjoys yet another ghastly tryst with CIA Director Rayner. The Legend, meanwhile, offers to tell Hughie everything he wants to know about The Boys - all Hughie has to do is take a walk with the dead.
In "We Gotta Go Now..." All is not well with mysterious millionaire John Godolkin's band of misfits. Silver Kincaid, one of the original G-Men, has just committed suicide in the most public and grotesque way imaginable. That's not good news for Vought-American's number one franchise, with G-Force, G-Coast, G-Style, G-Wiz, the G-Brits and the G-Nomads all depending on their slice of the G-pie. There's far too much at stake for anyone to go poking around the G-Mansion now. Who knows what dirty secrets might be waiting down there in the dark?
This edition features a photo cover based on the new Amazon Prime television series starring Karl Urban and Elizabeth Shue.
In Shops: Jun 12, 2019
SRP: $29.99
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A/CA) Darick Robertson
An evil so profound it threatens all mankind! The mightiest heroes on the planet uniting to defend us all! A secret crisis of such utter finality that a countdown to civil or infiite war seems unavoidable! But have you ever wordered what really happens during Crossovers? The Seven, Payback, Teenage Kix, Fantastico, and every other superhero on Earth team up for an annual event like no other - and where the superheroes go, can a certain "five complications and a dog" be far behind? But as fun and games begin, it seems our heroes have set their sights on bigger game than usual.
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 and company meet fire with fire. Includes both volumes 5 & 6 of this acclaimed series in one volume.
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #204
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Darick Robertson (CA) Photo
An evil so profound it threatens all mankind! The mightiest heroes on the planet uniting to defend us all! A secret crisis of such utter finality that a countdown to civil or infiite war seems unavoidable! But have you ever wordered what really happens during Crossovers? The Seven, Payback, Teenage Kix, Fantastico, and every other superhero on Earth team up for an annual event like no other - and where the superheroes go, can a certain "five complications and a dog" be far behind? But as fun and games begin, it seems our heroes have set their sights on bigger game than usual.
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 and company meet fire with fire. Includes both volumes 5 & 6 of this acclaimed series in one volume.
This edition features a photo cover based on the new Amazon Prime television series starring Karl Urban and Elizabeth Shue.
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $29.99
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A/CA) Darick Robertson
An evil so profound it threatens all mankind! The mightiest heroes on the planet uniting to defend us all! A secret crisis of such utter finality that a countdown to civil or infiite war seems unavoidable! But have you ever wordered what really happens during Crossovers? The Seven, Payback, Teenage Kix, Fantastico, and every other superhero on Earth team up for an annual event like no other - and where the superheroes go, can a certain "five complications and a dog" be far behind? But as fun and games begin, it seems our heroes have set their sights on bigger game than usual.
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 and company meet fire with fire. Includes both volumes 5 & 6 of this acclaimed series in one volume.
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $29.99
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Darick Robertson (CA) Photo
An evil so profound it threatens all mankind! The mightiest heroes on the planet uniting to defend us all! A secret crisis of such utter finality that a countdown to civil or infiite war seems unavoidable! But have you ever wordered what really happens during Crossovers? The Seven, Payback, Teenage Kix, Fantastico, and every other superhero on Earth team up for an annual event like no other - and where the superheroes go, can a certain "five complications and a dog" be far behind? But as fun and games begin, it seems our heroes have set their sights on bigger game than usual.
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 and company meet fire with fire. Includes both volumes 5 & 6 of this acclaimed series in one volume.
This edition features a photo cover based on the new Amazon Prime television series starring Karl Urban and Elizabeth Shue.
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #181
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) John McCrea, Russell Braun (A/CA) Darick Robertson
Includes both volumes 7 & 8 of this acclaimed series in one volume.

So where are the real superheroes? The warriors for truth and justice, the defenders of the American way, the heroes who fight to make things right and ask for nothing in return? Hughie finds out when he meets the teenage adventurers known as SUPERDUPER... but unknown to the little Scotsman, Butcher has finally learned his secret. A dire scheme is set in motion, and at the vast superhero evangelist festival of BELIEVE, Hughie's relationship with Annie January - aka Starlight of the Seven - reaches its terrible conclusion.

Next... a special story featuring everyone's favorite pint-sized Scotsman, Hughie. Mind reeling from cataclysmic events in New York, Wee Hughie heads home to Auchterladle - the semi-idyllic Scottish seaside town where he grew up. All Hughie wants is some time to himself, to return to the bosom of family and friends, and get his head together after two years of unimaginable chaos. But our hero's luck has always been more cloud than silver lining, and the familiar surroundings he craves are not all they might be. Old pals are warped beyond recognition, strangers in town are up to no good, and a figure from Hughie's recent past has come back to resolve some unfinished business. You can go home again - but whether or not you should is another matter entirely.
In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
Final Orders Due: Aug 19, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #189
DYNAMITE
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Darick Robertson, John McCrea, Russell Braun (CA) Photo
Featuring a photo cover from Prime's version of "The Boys," this omnibus includes both volumes 7 & 8 of this acclaimed series in one book.

So where are the real superheroes? The warriors for truth and justice, the defenders of the American way, the heroes who fight to make things right and ask for nothing in return? Hughie finds out when he meets the teenage adventurers known as SUPERDUPER... but unknown to the little Scotsman, Butcher has finally learned his secret. A dire scheme is set in motion, and at the vast superhero evangelist festival of BELIEVE, Hughie's relationship with Annie January - aka Starlight of the Seven - reaches its terrible conclusion.

Next... a special story featuring everyone's favorite pint-sized Scotsman, Hughie. Mind reeling from cataclysmic events in New York, Wee Hughie heads home to Auchterladle - the semi-idyllic Scottish seaside town where he grew up. All Hughie wants is some time to himself, to return to the bosom of family and friends, and get his head together after two years of unimaginable chaos. But our hero's luck has always been more cloud than silver lining, and the familiar surroundings he craves are not all they might be. Old pals are warped beyond recognition, strangers in town are up to no good, and a figure from Hughie's recent past has come back to resolve some unfinished business. You can go home again - but whether or not you should is another matter entirely.
In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
Final Orders Due: Aug 19, 2019
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #189

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.

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