Aren’t those Darick Robertson covers awesome? They’ve had a guest artist do a variant on every issue of this arc, but I haven’t picked up any because Robertson draws such hilarious covers. But what’s sad is that for the first time, Darick Robertson’s art is absent on the interiors. What’s up with that? I don’t know, but what I am sure of is that John Higgins is a perfect substitute.
Wow, John Higgins, you may know that name from some Alan Moore comics. He did the colors on Watchmen and The Killing Joke. And now I see his art in The Boys, how cool? Anyway, if Robertson has the bubonic plague or something, Higgins should definitely take over. He keeps the same artistic tone so well that I didn’t even notice Robertson’s absence until I began writing this review. That should tell you something.
This is the longest Boys arc yet and so far it’s sadly been the worst. The series has kind of reached the superhero-bashing fart joke mediocrity that many think this book is without even reading it. That’s incredibly tragic. But we do have an improvement here. Sure it’s more making fun of the X-Men, but it’s also making fun of the way Marvel treats those characters. Comments on the ridiculous excess of teams and more like that make this issue succeed at least comedically.
Another thing that makes this issue special is the further exploration of Hughie and Annie’s relationship. Ennis has made them one of the most interesting couples mostly because of their secret identities. Annie gives a hint this issue and though these romantic moments are beautiful, there’s also the looming shadow of the terrible thing that will happen if the secret gets out. This makes the last page terrifying.
Garth Ennis is one of my favorite writers. I always want a title where I can get my monthly dose of Ennis goodness. Though The Boys may never be as good as something like Punisher, it is certainly very well done. It’s almost always a great read and I hope this arc ends with a bang. Ennis, I know you have it in you.