It’s not that it’s unusual for me to start a new series now and again. But it’s highly unusual for me to read three graphic novels between actual prose books; still I’ve had a batch of these books on loan for a good long time, and it seems the fairest thing to do is burn through them as quickly as possible. Which is to say, you know, not literally all in a row, that’s crazy talk. But one per graphic novel break? Most definitely.
Way back at the beginning of my time in graphic novel reviews, I read Garth Ennis’ Preacher series. It would be fair to say I enjoyed it, with the despite / because-of dichotomy of the hyper-violence and the hyper-sacrilege alike to be left to the reader to decide. I think I’m correct in saying that The Boys is the first thing I’ve read by Ennis since. Not to worry, it is still pretty violent, at least going by The Name of the Game, and sacrilege is less relevant this time around anyway. Also, it made a nice companion-by-contrast piece with Powers, since that is also about people dedicated to dealing with super-powered persons in the world, those times when they fail to police themselves. (Which, in my long and still-stalled history with classic Marvel, not to mention a sizable number of other volumes over the years, computes to practically always.) The difference is that this particular policing group is comprised of people who really dislike and distrust the super-powered community, and are not afraid to show it, whether via blackmail, veiled threats, or bloody violence.
So, yeah, I’m prepared to keep going. The superheroes are mostly horrible people, and I am so far enjoying that contrast with the normal situation. Plus, there are hints of a Romeo/Juliet scenario in the works, and I do want to see how that goes and if I will end up hating some of the nominal protagonists of the piece when it all shakes out. (This seems more possible than it might otherwise when you learn that a sizable portion of the Boys are psychotic.) But I’m pretty disappointed by the homophobia in this one. I can deal with the misogyny, because it serves the plot in a meaningful way, and I expect there to be a payoff. But the homophobia was not only puerile, it was irrelevant. Am I really supposed to believe that, in 2005 or so, someone would have to take a leave of absence from their supergroup because he had decided to out himself as gay?
 If anything, I anticipate that Volume One is going to seem light and cheerful by comparison to future events.
 And believe me, it was. Gerbil jokes? Seriously?