11 March 2013

Review: The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off

The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off
The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off by Garth Ennis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Boys comes to its final conclusion in this volume. It's a weird one, because the bulk of the resolution comes in volume 11, except we finally get Butchers endgame and tie up the remaining loose ends.

The biggest story, the overall plot, is the bigger issue overall. I can't really say for sure I love where the Butcher ended up in this book. On one hand, I definitely feel as if the monomaniacal way Butcher wants to end things makes some sense given what we know about the character. The Supes are bad, Voight is bad, and so on. On the other hand, that he spends so much time building this group up simply to tear them apart? Allegiances seemed to matter for Butcher, but maybe not. As we see in his final scenes, everything he does seems to have a purpose. I'm just not sure I'm buying this specific one.

The end is a little more nihilistic than I would have preferred as well. Outside of Hughie and Annie, the idea that it's just going to be a new rotation all over again...I don't know. It doesn't really make sense with the "kill 'em all" attitude the series has had.

I can nitpick all day, though. At the end of it, the way things went about concluding was pretty satisfying, especially when I felt things were essentially done. For a series I went into with a ton of skepticism, with imagery and ultraviolence I had a lot of trouble with, the fact that this story made me place a lot of other comic trades on the back burner says a lot about how addictive the series was and how strong the writing is. Herogasm aside, I don't feel as if there was a significant miss anywhere along the line, even with the brutality. There's something to be said about that.

I wish I could recommend this series to everyone, but that wouldn't be right. There's too much questionable stuff to unequivocally say "yep, this is how to do a comic about superheroes gone bad, and you'd love it." But, really? This is the way to do a comic about superheroes gone bad, because it probably would be ultraviolent, with a lot of weird sex and bad drugs and terrible people and worse outcomes. And maybe that was the point - that we should be glad we don't need the Butcher. I know I am.

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