|Publisher||WildStorm/DC Comics (#1–6) |
Dynamite Entertainment (#7–72, Dear Becky)
|Publication date||October 2006 – November 2012|
|No. of issues||72|
|Main character(s)||(List of characters)|
|Created by||Garth Ennis |
|Written by||Garth 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)
|Editor(s)||Ben Abernathy (#1–6) |
Kristy Quinn (#1–6)
|The Name of the Game||ISBN 91-33-30546-3|
|Get Some||ISBN 1933305681|
|Good for the Soul||ISBN 1933305924|
|We Gotta Go Now||ISBN 1848562985|
|The Self-Preservation Society||ISBN 1606901257|
|The Innocents||ISBN 1606901508|
|Highland Laddie||ISBN 1606902075|
|The Big Ride||ISBN 1606902202|
|Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker||ISBN 1606902644|
|Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men||ISBN 1606903411|
|The Bloody Doors Off||ISBN 160690373X|
|Dear Becky||ISBN 1524119903|
The Boys is a comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. The first volume was published by WildStorm, who canceled it after six issues; the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment, which published the following eight volumes. 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 is set to premiere in 2023.
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. 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". 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. In February 2007 the series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment 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.
In February 2009, Dynamite announced a spin-off mini-series, Herogasm, with art from John McCrea and Keith Burns; subsequent miniseries included Highland Laddie and Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, with the three series each later being compiled as volumes of The Boys.
After The Boys was completed, Ennis told CBR.com 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.
An eight-issue epilogue series, Dear Becky, was published from June to November 2020.
The series is set between 2006 and 2008 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 corrupted—superhero group in the world and The Boys' most powerful enemies.
Main article: List of The Boys characters
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|
|#||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)
Variety reported in February 2008 that Columbia Pictures had optioned the comic for a film adaptation, to be produced by Neal H. Moritz. and Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi writing the screenplay. 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." Columbia Pictures reported in February 2012 that it had dropped its option regarding a film adaptation of The Boys. However, Adam McKay said in a Twitter response that Paramount Pictures had picked it up, and that it was still in the works. On April 30, 2013, Manfredi and Hay were hired by Paramount to write the film, though the project never came to fruition.
Main article: The Boys (TV series)
In October 2015 it was reported that Cinemax greenlit a television series adaptation of The Boys, and that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke were producing the series. In September 2017, Variety reported that Amazon Studios had picked up the series. The series premiered on July 26, 2019. The second season premiered on September 4, 2020, while the third season premiered on June 3, 2022.
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. 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+.
Main article: The Boys Presents: Diabolical
An animated spin-off series of The Boys, The Boys Presents: Diabolical, was released on March 4, 2022.
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, set for a 2023 release.