But with a bajillion films employing similar methods to beat the bad guy, there’s a boring homogeneity to the whole scene. Enter – The Boys.
A quick glance at the poster and you’d think you’re looking at an alternate reality Justice League. But this is Garth Ennis we’re talking about, and he does not do choir-boy comic fare. This Irishman has one single goal, to make his comics as fucked up, as twisted, and as goddamn entertaining as possible.
Here’s the general storyline – Superheroes have become completely corrupted, abusing their powers with impunity. A covert group calling themselves The Boys come in to ‘give them a spanking when they step out of line’.
It begins with our protagonist Hughie, who’s innocently strolling along with his girlfriend when the super-fast A-Train plows straight through her – all that’s left of her is her hands. The worst part? A-Train doesn’t even say sorry, brushing it off as an accident and treating her death as collateral damage in the pursuit of bank robbers.
The Boys revels in its bizarre setting and over the top aesthetic. It’s like everything’s on meth, which basically means the show’s addictive as hell.
You’ve got to love casual irreverence, and this show’s got heaps of it. It’s a dark comedy that isn’t afraid to throw punches. In a world consumed by polished superhero universes that run on a formula made to mint money, The Boys is satire that was a long time coming. And damn, does it feel good.
There’s been a smattering of valiant efforts over the years – Watchmen, The Tick – that tried to breathe fresh air into the superhero genre. But none had the balls of The Boys (okay wait, that sounds wrong).
This show really digs deep into the realities of heroism. It’s fun and comforting to imagine an idealistic world where superheroes never do wrong, but the truth is that there’s a fundamental rot at the core of the human condition. And The Boys explores and really pushes the boundaries of that concept.
A-Train laughs about running full speed through a woman and swallowing her tooth in the resulting explosion.
Translucent – he can turn invisible – is a pervert who generally hangs around in the women’s loo, watching all the goings on.
And The Deep coerces a woman into giving him oral sex by threatening her with dire consequences.
So yeah, the supers are absolute scum. And going by the reality of what power and money seems to do to humans, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate representation of how things would go down.