Sunday, June 03, 2007

Boys # 7 - An Editorial

Okay so after all the news and big brouhaha about DC not continuing to publish this book, issue #7 has now come out and we can judge for ourselves whether their action was just or due to a whim on some corporate types.


Also Ennis and Robertson should be thrilled with DC as they could have probably tied up publication of this series for a long time and after reading this I think they might have been tempted to do so.

First off, as a pure comic book, the writing, artwork, coloring and storytelling ability is all first rate. This is a well done comic and has terrific art and beautiful coloring. The layouts are well done and Ennis has written a very readable story and his characterization is such that you don't need a primer before picking up the comic and reading it.

Second, their are some very funny moments in this book. Some of the crude humor makes me laugh (much to my own chagrin at times) and there is a heroic moment in the book.

The problem with the book is that this is not deconstruction, this is not an examination of abuse of power, this is not an examination of the seedy side of how comics started (i.e. dirty money being cleaned via publishing in the "golden age"), this is not an exploration of any real theme, this is Garth Ennis biting the hand that feeds him. After reading this book my question is does Garth Ennis respect anything about anything. His disrespect for religion is obvious, his dislike for heroes has always been evident, but this is taking it to an extreme that I think is too far.

This arc he is lampooning Batman and giving him a unique problem that he want to f**k everything. From a coffee cup to his car's tailpipe. Not as a sexual act, just as a need. The one heroic act is when he sends away his sidekick so he doesn't attack him. Okay so the Batman/Robin gay jokes have never been done before, right? So besides just disrespect of the Batman icon character, it is unoriginal joke as well.

The next subject in this book he is lampooning is a Jack Kirby / Stan Lee amalgamation. He makes him into a crass old man, who knows all the secrets of the super heroes. He lives under a comic book store and pays hookers to give him a b**w job. Nice, really nice, wow I wonder if Ennis is willing to push an old lady down a flight of steps also.

Why would DC publish this book? And as much as Joe Quesada acted like he would be happy to take this book under Marvel's banner, he said that knowing full well that contractually he would never have to actually do that, as I believe Marvel would not publish this book either. Joe was just delighting in the negative publicity storm that was surrounding DC for a few weeks.

DC did the right thing and Ennis is just showing me that he has no respect for those who came before him and gave him the opportunity to earn a living writing comics. What does Ennis' respect? I'm sure he would say that these are just caricatures of characters or that they don't deserve to be put on a pedestal. But, I'm not asking for that, but show some respect or at the very least have a point to your story. Deconstruction - Watchmen, Dystopian future - Dark Knight Returns, power corrupting - the Authority and on and on. Their are many fine examples of the darker side of things, but their was a purpose for their stories. We are seven issues in and I thought there was a glimmer of a story with Wee Hughie and Starlight (?). I was thinking that Hughie and Starlight would see how both sides are wrong and be a counter point to the Boys and the super heroes, but that story was not in this issue.

So hurrah for DC for doing the right thing and not publishing this book, but also allowing Ennis and Robertson the right to do what they want. A "brrpppphhh" to Garth Ennis for having no ability to show any level of respect for anyone. Is there anything that Garth would find offensive - if not, does that mean it is okay to do anything or say anything about anyone? The answer is no - there is right and wrong and this is wrong.

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