The Boys
Cover of The Boys Volume 1: The Name of the Game (June 2007), depicting the titular group (clockwise from top left: The Frenchman, Mother’s Milk, The Female, Wee Hughie, and Billy Butcher.)
Publication information
PublisherWildStorm/DC Comics (#1–6)
Dynamite Entertainment (#7–72, Dear Becky)
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateOctober 2006 – November 2012
No. of issues72
Main character(s)(List of characters)
Creative team
Created byGarth Ennis
Darick Robertson
Written byGarth Ennis
Artist(s)Darick Robertson
Peter Snejbjerg (#13–14)
John Higgins (#26, #28)
Carlos Ezquerra (#31–32, #34)
Richard P. Clark (#42–43, #72)
Russ Braun (#44–51, #56–71)
Penciller(s)John McCrea (#33, #39, #52–55, #65)
Keith Burns (#33, #39, #52–55, #65)
Russ Braun (#65)
Inker(s)Rodney Ramos (#11–12)
Matt Jacobs (#22)
Hector Ezquerra (#31–32, #34)
John McCrea (#33, #39, #52–55, #65)
Keith Burns (#33, #39, #52–55, #65)
Russ Braun (#65)
Letterer(s)Greg Thompson (#1–6)
Simon Bowland (#7–72)
Colorist(s)Tony Aviña
Editor(s)Ben Abernathy (#1–6)
Kristy Quinn (#1–6)
Collected editions
The Name of the GameISBN 91-33-30546-3
Get SomeISBN 1933305681
Good for the SoulISBN 1933305924
We Gotta Go NowISBN 1848562985
HerogasmISBN 160690082X
The Self-Preservation SocietyISBN 1606901257
The InnocentsISBN 1606901508
Highland LaddieISBN 1606902075
The Big RideISBN 1606902202
Butcher, Baker, CandlestickmakerISBN 1606902644
Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand MenISBN 1606903411
The Bloody Doors OffISBN 160690373X
Dear BeckyISBN 1524119903

The Boys is an adult superhero comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. The first volume was published by WildStorm, which canceled it after six issues; the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment, which published the following eight volumes.[1] Debuting in October 2006, the series concluded in November 2012 after 72 issues were published. In the fourth volume, the series is revealed to be set in the same fictional universe as Ennis' previous 1995–2000 DC Vertigo series, Preacher, with former vampire Proinsias Cassidy cameoing as a bartender. Three 6-issue spin-off limited series were also produced during the series' original run: Herogasm, Highland Laddie, and Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker, with an 8-issue epilogue series, Dear Becky, published from January–December 2020.

The book was adapted by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television into a streaming television series that premiered on Amazon Prime Video on July 26, 2019, through a brand licensing rights agreement with Dynamite Entertainment, from which a franchise was launched—web series Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman, which premiered July 7, 2021—spin-off animated anthology series, Diabolical, which premiered on March 4, 2022 (of which the third episode, "I'm Your Pusher", is set in the same continuity as the comic series)—and live-action spin-off series Gen V, which premiered September 29, 2023.[1][2]

Publication history

The first six issues of The Boys were published by Wildstorm, starting in 2006. On January 24, 2007, the series was abruptly canceled with issue 6. Ennis later explained that this was because DC Comics (of which Wildstorm was an imprint before it was disbanded) were uneasy with the anti-superhero tone of the work.[3] The planned collection of said issues was also canceled. Co-creator Darick Robertson said that "DC is being good about reverting our rights so we can find a new publisher and we're in the process of doing that now".[4] Ennis then released a statement that some other publishers had expressed interest, and that issue 7 and a trade paperback of the first six issues would be available. While Robertson was on exclusive contract to DC, he was given special dispensation to continue working on The Boys.[5] In February 2007 the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment[6] and it resumed in May. A collected edition of the first six issues was also published by Dynamite, with a foreword by Simon Pegg. Pegg was the model on whom the character Hughie was based in the way he was drawn in the comics by Robertson.[7]

In February 2009, Dynamite announced a spin-off miniseries, Herogasm, with art from John McCrea and Keith Burns; subsequent miniseries include Highland Laddie and Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, with the three series each later being compiled as volumes of The Boys.[8]

After The Boys was completed, Ennis told that the comic had benefitted from Wildstorm cancelling it, in that Dynamite gave him far more freedom than DC ever would have, saying, "We'd have died on the vine [at DC]. The book would have been chipped and chipped away at until writing it was pure frustration." He also admitted to "a sigh of relief" as Wildstorm had been dissolved as an imprint not long after the move.[9]

An eight-issue epilogue series, Dear Becky, was published from June to November 2020.[10]


The series is set between 2006 and 2008[11] in a world where superheroes exist. However, most of the superheroes in the series' universe are corrupted by their celebrity status and often engage in reckless behavior, compromising the safety of the world. The story follows a small clandestine CIA squad, informally known as "The Boys", led by Billy Butcher and comprising Mother's Milk, the Frenchman, the Female, and new addition "Wee" Hughie Campbell, who are charged with monitoring the superhero community, often leading to gruesome confrontations and dreadful results; in parallel, a key subplot follows Annie "Starlight" January, a young and naive superhero who joins the Vought-American-sanctioned superhero team called The Seven, the most prestigious—and corrupt—superhero group in the world and The Boys' most powerful enemies.


Main article: List of The Boys characters

Collected editions

Dynamite releases both hardcover and trade paperback collections on an ongoing basis (including those comics previously published by Wildstorm). In addition, Dynamite also releases "Definitive" slipcased hardcovers, which contain two trade/hardcover collections to an "omnibus."

# Title TPB ISBN TPB Release date TPB page number Collected material
1 The Name of the Game ISBN 91-33-30546-3 June 2007 152 The Boys #1–6
2 Get Some ISBN 1-933305-68-1 March 2008 192 The Boys #7–14
3 Good for the Soul ISBN 1-933305-92-4 October 2008 192 The Boys #15–22
4 We Gotta Go Now ISBN 1-84856-298-5 July 2009 192 The Boys #23–30
5 Herogasm ISBN 1-60690-082-X November 2009 144 Herogasm #1–6
6 The Self-Preservation Society ISBN 1-60690-125-7 March 2010 192 The Boys #31–38
7 The Innocents ISBN 1-60690-150-8 December 2010 216 The Boys #39–47
8 Highland Laddie ISBN 1-60690-207-5 April 2011 144 Highland Laddie #1–6
9 The Big Ride ISBN 1-60690-220-2 November 9, 2011 276 The Boys #48–59
10 Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker ISBN 1-60690-264-4 March 6, 2012 144 Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #1–6
11 Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men ISBN 1-60690-341-1 June/July 2012 152 The Boys #60–65
12 The Bloody Doors Off ISBN 1-60690-373-X December 2012 170 The Boys #66–72
13 Dear Becky ISBN 978-1524119904 February 23, 2021 176 Dear Becky #1–8

Definitive Editions

# Title THB ISBN THB Release date THB page number Collected material
1 The Boys: Definitive Edition 1 ISBN 1-933305-80-0 December 2008 344 The Boys #1–14
2 The Boys: Definitive Edition 2 ISBN 1-60690-073-0 December 23, 2009 384 The Boys #15–30
3 The Boys: Definitive Edition 3 ISBN 1-60690-165-6 April 5, 2011 552 The Boys #31–38 + Herogasm
4 The Boys: Definitive Edition 4 ISBN 1-60690-340-3 July 2012 370+ pages The Boys #39–47 + Highland Laddie
5 The Boys: Definitive Edition 5 ISBN 978-1606904121 July 2013 430 pages The Boys #48–59 + Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker
6 The Boys: Definitive Edition 6 ISBN 978-1606904350 February 2014 320 pages The Boys #60–72



Further information: The Boys (franchise)

Scrapped film

Variety reported in February 2008 that Columbia Pictures had optioned the comic for a film adaptation, to be produced by Neal H. Moritz.[15] and Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi writing the screenplay.[16] In August 2010, Adam McKay said that he had been signed on to direct the film. McKay added, "They already have a script and we're doing a rewrite on it so hopefully getting the whole thing into shape in the Fall with maybe a shoot happening in January."[17] Columbia Pictures reported in February 2012 that it had dropped its option regarding a film adaptation of The Boys.[18] However, Adam McKay said in a Twitter response that Paramount Pictures had picked it up, and that it was still in the works.[19] On April 30, 2013, Manfredi and Hay were hired by Paramount to write the film,[20] though the project never came to fruition.

Television series

Main article: The Boys (TV series)

In October 2015 it was reported that Cinemax greenlit a television series adaptation of The Boys,[21] and that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke were producing the series.[22] In September 2017, Variety reported that Amazon Studios had picked up the series.[23] The series premiered on July 26, 2019.[2] The second season premiered on September 4, 2020,[24] while the third season premiered on June 3, 2022.[25]

Audiobook series

All 98 issues of the comic series have been adapted into 7 audiobooks produced with a full cast of actors, immersive sound effects and cinematic music by GraphicAudio. Volume 1 was released on May 4, 2020.[26] Volume 7 adapts the Dear Becky epilogue series and concluded the audiobook production on May 20, 2022. The entire series lasts 31 hours, retains the 2006–2008 setting and the dialogue is a very close match to Garth Ennis' original scripts. The content rating is Ages 18+.

Animated series

Main article: The Boys Presents: Diabolical

An animated spin-off series of The Boys, The Boys Presents: Diabolical, was released on March 4, 2022.[27]

"We Gotta Go Now" adaptation

Main article: Gen V

A live-action spin-off series of The Boys, Gen V (formerly The Boys Presents: Varsity), serving as a stand-alone adaptation of the "We Gotta Go Now" arc from the comic series, focused on the G-Men and inspired by The Hunger Games, was announced on September 20, 2020, and premiered on Amazon Prime Video on September 29, 2023.[28][29]


  1. ^ a b "Inside The Boy's publisher Dynamite Entertainment after the series success". Forbes. October 17, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 8, 2017). "Amazon Orders 'The Boys' Superhero Drama Series Based On Comic From Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen". Deadline. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  3. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (February 9, 2007). "Garth Ennis talks The Boys and more (interview)". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  4. ^ The Boys Ends At Wildstorm Archived February 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Newsarama, January 24, 2007
  5. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (January 24, 2007). "So long, Boys — Ennis's Statement". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on January 28, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  6. ^ Brady, Matt (February 7, 2007). "The Boys Lands @ Dynamite Entertainment". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  7. ^ Longridge, Chris (July 26, 2019). "Why *that* cameo in Amazon's The Boys is more significant than it looks". Digital Spy.
  8. ^ Ennis & McCrea Bring You to Herogasm (press release), Comic Book Resources, February 27, 2009
  9. ^ "Saying Goodbye To "The Boys" with Garth Ennis, Part 1". September 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Abbate, Jake (September 20, 2020). "Garth Ennis Hints at New Discoveries in The Boys: Dear Becky".
  11. ^ Ennis, Garth (May 3, 2012). "Garth Ennis Commentary On The Boys #66". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  12. ^ 2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (press release), Newsarama, April 14, 2008
  13. ^ Diamond Announces 2009 GEM AWARD Nominees (press release), Newsarama, January 4, 2010
  14. ^ Scream (awards) nominees announced Archived September 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine,, September 3, 2010
  15. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 20, 2008). "Columbia, Moritz call on 'The Boys'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (August 26, 2008). "Two men will adapt 'Boys'". The Hollywood Reporter. e5 Global Media. Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  17. ^ Oldham, Stuart (August 6, 2010). "Q&A with 'The Other Guys' director Adam McKay". Boffo on Variety. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys. "Columbia Pictures Drops Comic Book Adaptation 'The Boys' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  19. ^ "Adam McKay on Twitter".
  20. ^ "Screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay Talk THE BOYS Movie, Adam McKay's Vision, the Involvement of Garth Ennis, and More". Collider. April 30, 2013.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 12, 2015). "'The Boys' Drama Based On Comic Book Set At Cinemax With Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Eric Kripke, Original Film & Sony". Deadline.
  22. ^ Farchi, Devin (October 12, 2015). "Seth Rogen Is Shopping An Adaptation Of THE BOYS To Cable Nets". Birth.Movies.Death.
  23. ^ Cynthia Littleton; Daniel Holloway (September 8, 2017). "Amazon Orders Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Comedy, Wong Kar-wai Drama, 3 Other Projects (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  24. ^ [1], Season 2 release date.
  25. ^ Gelman, Vlada (January 7, 2022). "The Boys Season 3 Gets Premiere Date — Watch Announcement Video". TVLine. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  26. ^ "The Boys Volume 1". May 1, 2020.
  27. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (January 18, 2022). "Diabolical: Amazon Sets Premiere Date For The Boys Spinoff Animated Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 27, 2021). "'The Boys' Spinoff Series Developed by Amazon with Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters as Showrunners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  29. ^ Maas, Jennifer (October 2, 2020). "The Boys Supe College Spinoff Is 'Loosely Inspired' by X-Men Parody From Comics, Eric Kripke Says". TheWrap. Retrieved October 2, 2020.