The Boys Volume 4: We Gotta Go Now Review Part 1 (Issues 23-26) (Commission For WeirdKev27)
Hello all you happy people! And since I likely have a bunch of new faces in the audience, welcome. I’m Jake, I do deep dives into comics and animation.
While I haven’t talked about them nearly enough on this blog I truly love superhero comics. To me wether it’s with a vast universe like Marvel or DC, a smaller upstart one like Valiant or Catlyst, or self contained ones like Astro City , there's just no end of stories to tell or things you can do with them, from gritty street action, to straight up parody to a bunch of lesser heroes or even villians trying to make a go of things. There’s just so much that can be done, so far you can go, and so batshit and creative you can get with these characters histories long and short, that it’s no wonder DC and Marvel are STILL around today and probably always will be.. and not just because hteir easy IP factories for their parent companies. There’s a magic in superhero stories, in these flawed humans deciding to shoot for something better and use their powers, skills, or inate ablities to save lives, fight evil, and maybe take in a poker game with a giant rock man now and again.
But while I love superhero comics like most things I love.. i’m not blind to their issues either: While the bigger named characters are guarnateed to get fresh runs of their comic again and again till the heatdeath of the universe, like any media you never know if that runs’ going to be good or not or when they are good if the bigger, more interesting changes are going ot stick and even if they do, for how long. And if i’ts a bad change... you have no idea how long that stench will linger. As of this writing She Hulk is STILL not back to her old self, Hank Pym is still dead, and Conner Kent is still on the Suicide Squad.
And with smaller heroes who often can go years or decades without an ongoing i’ts even worst: They can get shuffled from writers, written terribly in crossovers or mindlessly killed off simply to provide “shock value”. In some cases characters or entire lines can be suppressed: Marvel infamously got rid of the fantastic four as a group for several years and tried to not let anything intresting happen with the X-Men simply because they didn’t own the movie rights. DC was arguably even worse as former editor Dan DiDio flat out got rid of scores of characters because he hated Legacy Heroes.. despite that being one of DC’s signature things, and characters like Wally West, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, who the idiot outright hated, were given the short end of the stick and only brought back begrudgingly, with Wally put through absolute hell to try and get fans to hate him, cumulating in making him a murderer (which was thankfully undone last month).
And sometimes you just get writers who stick around LONG after thir best years are done because tenure, like Brian MIcheal Bendis, Dan Slott and Jason Aaron, guys who DID make good comics once but are now just making bad decisions and getting rewarded for it.
My point is while I love comics there’s a LOT about the industry, it’s storytelling and it’s corporate nature to satirize. I do love a good superhero parody: The Venture Bros is my favorite show ever and both the animated and second live action versions of the tick hold a special place in my heart. So taking that to the very corporate foundations of heroes was and still is a brilliant idea.
I say all this because I want to make this clear: When I tear into today’s comic i’ts not because I have any issue with making jabs at superhero comics or the horrible corporate beast that makes them possible. The concept of the Boys is brilliant: In a world where corrupt superheroes are propped up by a mega corp seeking only to use them for profit and gleeful to cover up the worst of them’s actions, 4 brave anti-heroes and a bull dog say “Fuck that noise” and, as their leader Butcher puts it “Spank the bastards when they get out of line”.
I love the idea of making fun of the corporate side of heroics, what a big bad corp could do with this kind of power, how that’d impact the world and see how our heroes could beat the kind of menace that our government has made pretty much indestructible. Especially now decades after it landed where we’re more aware of how fucked corporations are than ever.
Now from everything I can gather the series DOES do this right, using black comedy to show just how bad this system fucks over the people and the very heroes it’s using and just how like corprate machines do with actors and athlets chews theese people up , spits them out and lets the worst ones get away with murder, while also taking playful jabs at modern superhero media. In the right hands a good story was told with it.
But for the first draft of it, the original comic by Garth Ennis... it was in the very worst hands possible. As anyone reading this or who as even heard a whisper of Garth Ennis has heard, Garth Ennis hates superhero comics. it’s not something he’s even remotely hid. And just to show that hasn’t changed here’s a bit from a 2019 interview from Uproxx, where when asked if the Seven were modled off any heroes in paticular he had this as his actual response:
Well, I don’t like any of them. You can pick your favorite and watch me denigrate them. The thing is, due to a quirk of distribution and growing up in Northern Ireland in the ’70s and ’80s, I never really saw American superhero comics. Not often enough or for long enough that I was able to really get into them. I grew up on British comics until I was well into my teens. I was reading material very, very different from what you see in the American superhero tradition. I think coming to them as, pretty much, an adult, I responded to them the way adults did in those days, which is, “This makes no sense. This is ridiculous. This is silly.” That’s where the suspicion and disdain arose
And why yes he didn’t answer the very easy question, when asked next “Are you surprised to see people still crave superhero content to the degree that they do?”:
Considering the state the world is in, I’m not terribly surprised by people resorting to fantasy. I’m always a little reluctant when I see people making that choice, but I do see where, in a world like this one, when things have gotten as wretched as they have, where that longing for fantasy has. Beyond that, I think there is a long human tradition of praying that a man will come from the sky to save you. Generally, hasn’t worked out too well, but I understand where the instinct comes from.
See as I said him not liking superhero comics isn’t the issue. You can satarize something you don’t like, just look at Kevin Can Fuck Himself, that’s fine.. but you have to UNDERSTAND that thing to deconstruct it. It’s like demolishing a condemmed building: sure any idiot with some explosives can DESTROY a building but to take it down properly you have to know the place in and out, it’s weaknesses what tools to use, and how to prevent collateral damage etc.
And that’s the problem here: because Ennis couldn’t be arsed to know WHY superhero comics work for people, his satire boils down to
He can’t fathom a world where super beings would want to HELP people and that power wouldn't corrupt pretty much all of them with maybe 7 or 8 exceptions. And as we’ll see when you paint all of one set of characters with teh same douchey brush, it limits what you can do parody or satire wise.
So to show why this dose’nt work it’s best I dive into a bit of the work itself and really crawl around in the foundation, find the weak spots and smash this bastard to hell.
Now you may be asking “Why are you starting with volume 4?” The answer is twofold. The first is Kev, one of my patrons and the guy who commissions my paid for work most of the time, wanted me to cover this as i’m a MASSIVE x-men fan and reference them all the time in my reviews, and i’d also mentioned I didn’t really like what little I had read of the boys comic when he commissioned this, two and a half issues for the record. My response was graceful and greatful:
I took the job anyway. Let’s face it if I was going to cover any ONE arc of the boys, it’d be this one, I was curious if the book was REALLY as bad as I remembered, and i’d probably be covering it someday anyway so why not get paid for it. I did do my homework though: I read all 3 volumes before this and the trade with the ongoing issues after this detailing both the boys fight with Payback (Their terrible avengers parody) and their origins. Like I said if your going to deconstruct something you gotta know it in and out. So join me under the cut as, to borrow a phrase from this very comic “Give this bastard a spanking” won’t you?
Content Warning: This review contains mentions of Rape, Pedophilia, and other forms of sexual assault as it’s part of the material being reviewed. If this is a pscyholgical trigger for you you might want to sit this one out for your own mental health and i will totally understand. thank you.
A Quick and Dirty Summary of The Boys to Get You Up To Speed:
The Boys takes place in a world where Superheroes are entirely made and controlled by Voight American. Voight is a defense contractor who were great at making sales but craptastic at making actual weapons until they stumbled upon Compound V, an expensive to produce blue good that can give people superpowers. Voight made sure to get a monopoly on it, and thus found a product they could sel lin the supes: packaging assorted douchebags with colorful origin stories and making hand over fist from their comics in merch. In exchange said supes live like the douchiest of celebrties given whatever they want and as long as they tow the company line and do what Voight said, Voight will gladly bribe whoever it takes to keep their reps clean.
So to keep them in check General Greg Mallory formed The Boys, a black ops team of trench coated badasses who keep an eye on the supes and backed by CIA Director Susan Raynor. On most days they simply watch them via survillence and get blackmail material or do investigative work. But if something really bad is up then they inject some compound v themselves for those who need it and go kick the shit out of them.
Mallory eventually left after a tragic incident, the team shut down and the book opens as the team reassembles and we meet said boys:
Billy Butcher: In Garth Ennis head a total badass who takes no shit from anyone, takes the piss out of everyone and really sticks it to those supes after the tragic rape and death of his wife. In reality he’s an obnxoious 8th grade bully in the body of a grown ass man who throws around swears, homophibic slurs and other obnoxious language like candy. And to prove to those who haven’t suffered through him i’m not lying here’s a scene where he’s telling Hugie the secrets of various super heroes while in a comic shop, censored because I don’t put hate speech on my blog.
Yes this really happened. I made no alterations other than the black bars for the deorgotory slang for gay men and lesbians. In one sentence he proves to be homephobic, transphobic and racist, putting being gay or trans, or having sex with white women when black, on the same level as date rape, being in the Klan and child molestation. And choking on Cum I guess.
Butcher looks, acts and sounds like an edgelord 14 year old’s verison of the punisher, yet was somehow created by someone who was 36 at the time. He’s always like this, putting on this too cool for school attitude and being a swaggering dickhead. And Garth hasn’t regretted his characterization or anything: in another recent interview he called Butcher his favorite character and it shows. Butcher is Garth’s ego stroking big dicke swinging self insert, again a 14 year old’s edgelord fanfic punisher self insert character, but who somehow got 64 issues of his own comic.
Mother’s Milk: My faviorite of the group and easily the most complex and intresting. The son of two workers at a voight plant who got compound v through his brother’s breast milk and thus has superpowers thanks ot said milk. And yes.. he still needs it today, and we’ll leave it at that because this entire idea is deeply stupid and gross.
His dad fought Voight in court and after years of his time and sanity won.. but Voight shrugged it off. Martin, while in the marines was recurited by Butcher and became his right hand, his concisence and best friend and is both the nicest of the boys outside of Hugie, and the most intresting. Naturally it took till THIS arc for him to actually get a storyline to himself and until the next arc to get his origin story.
Wee Hughie: Our deutratgonist and the newest member of the boys, a scottish boy modelded after Simon Peg, who not concidentally plays Hugie’s Dad in the Amazon Prime series. His girlfriend was tragically mowed down by A-Train, one of the seven, earth’s mightest douchebags. Butcher gave him a purpose and a job in the states.. and also hired Huguies land lord to jack off under Hugie’s door because Butcher dosen’t like where Hughie lives.
Hugie is the most likeable of the group, a moral soul in a very fucked up world who tries to do his best and who Butcher clearly is trying to make into a killing machine and treats like garbage half the time.
Frenchie and the Female: A double act, Frenchie is a wackado from well france whose origin story involves a baguette joust.. I would much rather be reviewing his origin story. The Female is an asian woman who as a baby was doused in compound v and kept basicaly as an animal till she escaped and the boys rescued her. While Butcher, being the dick he is, wanted to put her down, Frenchie insisted on treating her like a human being, teaching her to read and right and helping her with her blood lust, as they’d only really cared about teaching the child to be a weapon. The two sate their bloodlust by doing various random stuff to stave off boredome and are certified badasses. And as you can tell anyone BUT butcher should be the lead here but Garth Ennis wanted to write himself into the lead so here we are.
Terror: Butcher’s bulldog whose a good boy.. who Butcher also likes to tell FUCK IT having trained him to hump things including a much smaller dog on command because again, 8th grade schoolyard bully.
We have one last main character whose not a boy: Starlight, a naive 20 something supe named Annie and one of the only decent ones in the entire comic.
Starlight is the newest member of the seven, basically the justice league but dickheads, and on her first day all the male members force her to suck her dick lest she not get the job. This is both played for mild douchey laughs and the narrative tries to frame it as some price she paid for it she regrets and not you know her being coereced into a sex act by assholes. Her role in the story is to get dicked around and to fall in love with Hugie, the two having a loving relationship sexually and otherwise and being the only cute thing in a book that’s concentrated deep hurting.
So far the boys have fought a bunch of teen douchebags, a russian woman with a habit for using a giant didlo because HEHEHEHEHE DILDOS, an iron man expy whose inablity to stop randomly humping objects is treated not as a serious issue he has to overcome but played for dark laughs, and his douchebag n nightwing equilvent. So so far.. you hvaen’t missed much and your better off that way. So now your ready let’s finally talk about We Gotta Go Now, the fourth Arc and Trade from the Boys.
We open at at Vought Warehouse where two employees are talking over some equipment their stockpiling.. equipment that includes depeleted uranium and flamethrowers.
Clearly Vought is getting ready to go after something big and the fact they need THAT Much fire power spells out it’s a supe.
We then cut to Hughie in bed with Annie, enjoying the afterglow before that whole “someone jizzing under his door” “Running gag” comes up. I’m still not wholly convinced Garth Ennis isn’t just two 12 year olds in a trench coat.
Cut to a diner where Butcher is having lunch with Raynor who has a new mission for him: The G-Men. The G-Men are unsuprisingly this unvierses x-men, having tons of spinoff teams, and unlike the x-men fighting in public a lot because the boys universe dose’nt HAVE supervillians. Which makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to me: if your going to sell these guys to the public they need flashy villians to fight. It’d make more sense if Voight was secretly juicing up test subjects to throw them at the seven and other teams or giving guys weak gear to get slaughterd to make thei rbottom line look better and with the x-men it’s especially galling given their supposed to fight for those who fear and hate them.. and half the time it’s against evil mutants. With no foes.. what the hell are the x-men against here exactly? General perscution? For being what a lot of other people are?
We’re not even that many pages in, and already the surface level satire rears it’s ugly head: instead of getting into the mutant metaphor, i.e. how most mutants are white and straight but stand in for black and gay people, and how messy it is and using THAT for satire he just goes with “Their popular therefore they blow goats”. And given what comic we’re in i’m sure Garth means that LITERALLY.
So back to the plot: Raynor’s reason for being suspicious is recently Silver Kincaid, The G-Men’s answer to Jean Grey only with silver hair and gravity powers, comitted suicide, standing creepily outside a small town, asking for her “uncle paul” then collapsing in a heap of gore. Naturally Voight got to the body before Raynor’s people could. Since much like Jean, Silver was an OG member of her team and very high up, something big had to have happened to tip this and she wants answers. Butcher.. wants to fuck her in the bathroom. Yeah a ““RUNNING GAG”” is that every time the two meet they have loud rough hate sex, usually with anal that Butcher usually talks her into. Because Garth Ennis takes “Fuck the goverment” literally I suppose.
So back at the Boys HQ in the Manhattan Flatiron Building, Butcher runs down what info they have from The Legend, aka the series Stan Lee stand in, a comic book writer who helped voight start making comics and being a well.. legend, he still has deep connections in the industry, working as the Boys informant since naturally working with the supes so closesly makes him hate them as much as Butcher does.
So after getting a corkboard full of really bad names, more on those later, Butcher has Hugie break it down since, convenitely, Hugie’s been studying the G-Men lately.
The G-Men much like the X-Men are outcasts, in this case young supe orphans saved from a cruel world by John Goodkin, the team’s founder and leader. Their cover is they fight a world that hates and fears them like the x-men. In practice since there’s no anti-supe prejudice in this world their wild and crazy rich kids and adults like every other damn supe. The only real diffrences are how marketable they are, their Voight’s biggest seller, and how many there are: 7 teams with over 80 indviduals.
Again there ARE ways to make fun of the x-men: Have them mostly be cis white guys who treat the gay, black and female members of the team like commodites to be propped up to show their “woke”. Have them fight a brotherhood expy like I said that voight pays for to make them look deeper. Have voight stage anti-supe attackes on them to sell the persuction complex.
There’s way more to make fun of then than “Gee they have a LOT of teams”. Especailly when ther’es a REASON for “gee they have a lot of teams”: There are a LOT of mutant characters and, especially in the current Krakoan era, a lot of directions to go with said mutants. We’ve had detectives, corporate sponsored heroes, black ops, teen teams, the old teen teens mentoring the new, pirates, the suicide squad but with mutants, a space team and Nightcrawler founding a religion with a ragtag bunch of misfits. And a lot of those are fresh NEW ideas that just happened in the last two years or so. There’s reason for all these books and while it’s fine to poke some fun at them, he’s not making fun of it being done for profit, as we learn Voight is against the expansion, he’s just saying “HEHEHE THEY HAVE A LOT OF TEAMS THEY MUST BE SELL OUTS”.
So the plan is simple: the orginally Goodkin mansion burned down last year, so the Boys Bugs, which they only had a few of as for some reason Butcher dosen’t consider them worth the time of day despite you know, constantly expanding and getting into more shite being a danger to all, burned with them. The good news is G-Wiz, the teen team (which is packed with 20 somethings, which is an actual good dig at how long the x-men keep teen members as “teens” despite clearly being older by basic logic, if an accidental one given that wasn’t as big an issue yet), lives right down the road from the new place, goes back and forth all the time and isn’t very observant... so our heroes COULD sneak in an infiltrator..i.e. Hughie.
So after a cut to the seven where they get a prank call that will be explained shortly we cut back to the boys and end with Hughie dressed up lke a supe with Butcher naturally laughing like the jackass he is.
Before we go on you may be wondering: “Wait won’t Hugie be discovered since he dosen’t have powers?”, especially if you watcfhed the show where the boys, minus the female, indeed don’t. In the comics though? Yeah outside of the aformentioned diffrence with MM, the rest of the boys all shoot up with compound v to
So yeah in a book decrying superheroes.. the main characters are a bunch of superepowered beings playing black ops judge jury and executioner who are only sympathetic because their facing WAY worse cardboard cutouts, and even then not by much. Clearly Ennis only has a problem with superheroes who have a “pretense” of being good people but flawed anti heroes who murder reguarly are a-ok. Then again his biggest mainstream book and faviorite hero is the punisher, so it shoudln’t be that suprising that when given the chance his version of the punisher “Is like him but he can kick them in the balls and not just shoot them off”. And yes that’s something punisher actually did, but i’m saving that for later.
So we open the issue and the G-Whiz boys are all singing Louie Louie.
Come on Garth everyone knows all the teens were still groving to this...
2 years later and still straight fire. Anyway, we then cut to Mother’s Milk whose investgating the scene of Silver’s Suicide, running into the cop who found her who runs his creditinals since you know, Voight faked some earlier that week, gotta be careful.
So the G-Frat Bros show Hughie around tellin ghim he dosen’t have to use codenames. We also meet Blowchowski, whose a parody of Blutarski from animal house. In that he’s literally just Bluto from animal house with no real change other than wearing a panty on his head. I think my thoughts on this can be best summed up in gif form.
So being immature twits, the guy showing Hugie around shows him to the porn room they have and asks if he wants to jerk off.
At the Legend’s Comic Book Store Basment Lair, I may hate this comic but I still love a job that lets me say shit like this on a regular basis, Butcher visits and we get some exposition on how the fuck he got in there: The Legend faked the necessary papers for Voght, which will be given to Goodkin who will pass it off to a G-Man who can’t be arsed to actually look into it, thus giving them time before they contact Voght and realize they didn’t actually send Hughie. Butcher also came down because frankly he dosen’t trust Raynor: She visited in person and while he knows she WANTS him to think she just wanted to fuck him, he shockingly didn’t fall for it and instead thinks there’s something she’s not telling him.
Back in the small town, MM finds out from the pop at a local mom and pop store that the place used to be a lot of things.. including an ice cream parlor at one ponit... and said store was exactly where Silver was starring. When asking the sheirff if she came from here he admits there’s never been an orphanage, but she COULD’VE come from here he just has to check records... there will be a lot but as MM says “I”m one patient motherfucka”
Less awesome is back at G-Delta Chi, where unsuprisingly it turns out the strangest frat of all... is the one sending homophobic immature prank calls to the Seven, the latest being just Blowchowski farting into a phone.
We do get a genuinely funny moment though right after as X-Frator ask Hughie to do a call.. just as annie answers.
We get a nice interlude with Frenchie and The Female, with Hughie letting Frenchie know he’s heading up to the big house while Frenchie let’s the Female know he knows she’s been killing mobsters to relieve her bloodlust, and while a mite condesending about it isn’t going to let butcher know as he knows better than to tell that shithead anything.
The issue ends with the frant bros frat bros coming Goodkind’s way and with the G-Men greeting them at the door.
Okay while the designs are fairly generic, I will give artist Darrick Robertson full credit for accurately parodying how goofy the x-men’s posing can get, having them all do this.. to answer the damn door. When it came to the 90′s and even the claremont era, awkard posing was just one of the x-men’s mutations and I’ts fair enough to take the piss out of that.
Also “It’s not gonna be an orgy”. Of course it’s not. .that’s the mini series after this. Not even kidding. One of Garths’ actual clever ideas honestly: Having the annual crossovers really be a smokescreen for the supes to have a big orgy.
Honestly more intresting than most crossover events i’ll give him that.
I mean maybe we woudln’t need an orgy but a big party with all the super heroes sounds way better than “Venoms generic goth vampire dad is evil and stuff”
We open with two Voght execs talking shop, the current head of Vought American who I’m not sure has a name and James Stillwell, who works directly with the Seven and showed up in a previous arc peddling compound V to the russian mob, which resulted in a didlo based plane explosion, a giant dicked russian beating some people in the face, and butcher head exploding a wherehouse full of supes. Why?
So it’s then Hughie meets Groundhawk, the G-Men’s version of Wolverine. Behold the full and vast complexity of his character:
Yeahhhh there’s a lot to unpack here. So starting off the outfit isn’t remotely similar to wolverin’es aside from the mask which is some weird combination of Wolverine’s and Hawkman’s. What do Marvel’s Wolverine and DC’s Hawkman have in common besides wearing masks, kciking ass and being kind of grumbly and standoffish?
Like it’s barely any comparison. Secondly instead of claws he has hammers for hands.
This confuses me to NO end. Did.. did he really have NOTHING he could do with the finger claws? People have been making fun of those for YEARS. Shiskabobs, having them be forks, even x-men the animated series, an actual x-men product had this
When an ACTUAL X-Men Product has wolverine carving up some turkey casually and all you can think is stop hammer time, maybe your just not cut out for comedy Garth. And given his other works since have been dead serious, he clearly agrees.
Then there’s the name: Groundhawk. Besides the STILL baffling decision to merge Wolverine and Hawkman, which is somehow NOT the most disturbing fusion that’s happened to Carter..
There are SO many animals to go with: Mongoose, Racoon, Possum, Landshark, Badger, Badger Badger, Mushroom MUSHROOOM, Snake (A snake), swordfish, the alps, Atari Lynx, Atari Jaguar, Kitty Boo Boo Fuck. All of these would’ve been better than “Groundhawk, including just calling him groundhog! Wolverine’s name is not that complicated, making fun of him by giving him a sillier animal is the EASEIST joke you could make and one of the most satisfying. GAH.
Finally there’s the simple fact that Ennis has gone FAR harder on wolverine before. As research I read some of Ennis other work to get a good gage, and to specifcally gage how much he apparently hated wolverine, as unlike Captain America (And yes he REALLY hates Captain America for “making a mockery of the troops”... despite being created by two former serviceman, being loved by serviceman then and now and you having never served a day in your life, Garth), I couldn’t find a record. So I read issues 16 and 17 of his second punisher series, the one before MAX, and the confederacy of dunces arc that closed out said series by having superheroes try and fail to stop frank. And well yeah not only does he REALLY hate Logan.. but when writing the ACTUAL character his writing was so bafflingly insane and off character, so utterly trying to tear said character down, that mere words cannot describe it.. so instead here’s a montage of panels. Feel free to play this certain song used by LInkara that popped into my head when reading these moments for mood. Or don’t. Either wayyy...
As you can see when Ennis writes the ACTUAL canon wolverine with these stories so far not rectconned out, he writes him as a blithering catcphrase spewing idiot who can’t do anything, who Garth’s boy Punisher gets to humiliate again and again, including SHOOTING HIM IN THE BALLS because he’d “get in the way”. Yes the nigh unstoppable former samurai, secret agent, and all around badass who can heal and has unbrekable claws is going ot get in the way of the unhinged man whose powers are “military guy who owns a LOT of guns”.
While Garth did go out of his way to actually give Wolverine’s KNockoff a character the character assaination parade he had with the ACTUAL wolverine just makes it come off as laughably tame. You HAD FRANK CASTLE SHOOT THE REAL WOLVERINE IN THE NUTS. You can’t top that in terms of insutling the character, to the point he’d make sure to have Butcher actually do that to Soldier Boy, take a wild guess who he’s refrencing, next arc.
So Hugie gives Goodkin his papers, who predictably passes them off to Critter. Critter is their best analogue except instead of being erudite he’s just really harry and REALLY homophobic, reguarly taking shots at fellow teammate The Divine, the angel analogue whose gay. Which baffles me since the X-Men actually HAD a gay member by the time this comic came out, Northstar, and instead he picked Warren because, if I had to guess , “Well he looks the most like a homosexual so...” I also find it ironic given one of the OG5 would be retconned as closeted evenutally with Iceman. And i’ts not lead time either this came out in 2008 SIX YEARS after Northstar joined the team. It just shows that Garth’s research didn’t go beyond flipping through a few issues of xmen while at marvel and going “Well gee they probably blow goats”
So the G-Mutants decide to go grab a beer. Something I want to bring up before we get to their actual conversation: NONE of these guys resemble actual x-men characters. The only MAYBE one is Buzzcut, the leader who looks like Cannonball, but again it feels like Garth read a handful of x-men and related comics or picked a few characters off Wikipedia and was done with it.
So we find out that the older G-Men don’t like the G-Neration X all that much, shocker and as many have worry about G-Coast and G-Style showing up to the funeral. Oh boy... these guys. Okay so instead of modeling a team after x-factor or bringing in the hinted at g-brits, aka excalibur or doing anything else... two of the teams are G-Coast and G-Style, based on the east coast west coast rap fued and the deaths of two-pac and biggy. Yes really. Not only is this mildly stupid and nonsenical it gets DOWNRIGHT RACIST soon enough. .but we’ll get to that. Five-Oh comes in and he’s the cyclops parody... and he’s a cop for some reason. Because Scott Summers is kind of straight edge and has a visor?
He also is mad about Silver because welll i’ll let him tell it...
“Hehehe GET IT BECAUSE JEAN DOSEN’T SLEEP WITH CYCLOPS AND WANTS WOLVERINE GET IT GET IT GET IT” My god if your going to spend 8 fucking issues on one team, you THINK you’d have more than the most surface level fratbro bullshit to make fun of them. God damn. Also just to pedantically twist the knife, Scott and Jean famously had this scene during the dark phoenix saga, aka one of the x-men’s biggest stories.
There’s also the fact New X-Men had a whole storyline about the fact Scott was th eone not wanting sex so.. yeah is this petty. A little? Do I want to blast Garth for not doing ANY research and pandering to peopple who don’t actually like superheroes instead of doing his damn job and doing any actual research, absolutley.
So we get another cut back to Mother’s Mlik whose found no Silver Kincaid, but figured it was a long shot.. he’s really looking for Uncle Paul. He and the cop shoot the shit with Marvin explaning why he got into his line of work, the cop thinks he’s cia... which given their they contract the boys out..
So back with Hughie he’s taking a piss when he runs into Nubia their Storm fill in, whose been talked about before in the story and is currently wondering around like a zombie saying Killlll meeee which naturally freaks Hugie out.
This requires a bit of boys lore to explain: In this world comic ressurections do happen.. but they don’t last long and as you can tell are NOT pretty. The subject comes back braindead, as the body heals but the brain can’t, incoherent and while retaining SOME semblance of their old life and goals, it’s not enough to make them functional> This was demonstrated when Blarney Cock, yes BLARNEY COCK, was killed by Hugie in the first arc only to return with the goal of shoving his hamster back up his ass.
My thoughts exactly. This brings up an issue with the boys comic in general: it REALLY dosen’t treat women well. It’s female characters are a sterotypical silent asian murder machine, an innocent who while not a bad character gets fucked with constantly, a wonder woman expy who spends most of her time drunk or fucking and is STILL one of the more actually intresting supes, a Laura Kenney Expy whose on the teen titans for some reason and cuts herself because ‘THAT’S EDGY RIGHTTTT”, and now, a Jean Grey expy who dies as a plot device and a storm expy whose a suffering zombie. Every supe team has maybe one woman at the lest, two at most when most super teams generally have at LEAST two , usually three. While me are usually the wost with debachary it dosen’t mean women can’ tbe awful or that isn’t an agnle he coudl’ve explored , but since that’d require effort beyond “their kind of a dick and MIGHT have some unique gimmick like pulling a Cousin Walter”, of course he didn’t.
So Goodkin comes in and has.. Europo take her away. Europo.. EUROPO.
Like with Wolverine and Cyclops THAT’S the best nightcrawler parody name you had. Europo. It sounds like a silver age superman one off character.
BEHOLD THE GLORY OF .. EUROPO, EUROPES SUPER MAN! CAN HE SUPLEX A GIANT WHALE BEFORE IT KILLS LOIS?
When questioned WHY keep her in this state of living death< Goodkin explains “because she’s my child, their all my children”
So with that we get an interlude with Monkey. Monkey is Raynor’s subordinate and the boy’s liason. He’s called that for two reasons: because he once got fucked in the ears by two mutant monkeys, I wish I was kidding, and because he’s Butcher’s personal butt monkey, who he tortures and terrroizes on a seemingly daily basis, caling him during his off hours time and in their first scene on panel, pulling the poor guy out of his office to torment him.
Now granted Monkey isn’t exactly a LIKEABLE guy, he has a fetish for paraplegic women which is later revealed to be because he assumes their helpless.. when he tries raping one only to learn that , no the fuck they aren’t and get his ass kicked as he deserves, and the guy is frequently seen with his hand shoved down his pants. But it’s STILL FUCKING QUESTIONALE to have a white man basically enslave a man.. who as I neglected to mention, is POC.
How could DC, who published this book before it’s current and forever punisher Dynamite, and then Dynamite themselves look at this and go “This is okay”. what the actual fuck?
So a handicapped prostitue comes to his door and he dose’nt question this at all, while Hugie prepares for bed and instead accidently walks into a circle jerk to very vanilla porn from the other guys. Hugie’s response to this is my own
So the issue ends with the prostitute getting frustrated an dleaving, telling MOnkey’s “Friend he can hav ea refund” also she’s not really paraplegic. Eh.
Monkey puts two and two together and when entering his apartment finds his hard drive gone and we end on Butcher sauntering down the road singing with a bag at his side clearly containing said hard drive.
Our last issue for this part, I decided to split it into two as this one is way too long to do as just one and I overestimated how much I could summarize, begins with Hugie leaving the frat for the day. He tries to talk Butcher into getting to stay longer as Hugie’s realized something: these are’nt BAD guys. Immature as shit sure, but they’ve been fed into Goodkind’s machine for so long Hugie figures he can stop them before they become G-Men and turn into an even worse problem. Butcher in one of his far more humanizing moments, tells Hugie to follow his nose and keep going as he did good on the Swingwing case. He also tells him no supe is good because of course he does.
So while Hugie is plesantly suprised by Annie and Butcher orders his dog to rape a cat for his own amusment.
We cut to the G-Men... and get an ACTUALLY funny and amusing bit of satire. I know after Groundhawk and europo i’m stumped Ennis actually knows anything about X-Men other than Wolverine’s nuts are vunerable, but we get some actual on point parody, making fun of Charles Xavier’s penchant for big sweeping speeches... which has never remotely died and in the hickman era only balloned awesomely.
I... really can’t stop laughing at this. It’s genuinely funny, applying Charles grand declarations of mutantkind.. to fucking brunch. This is what I wish this series had more of.
Critter DOES end up showing some intelligence during the brunch, and once again his homophobia towards Divine and Flamer.... yes FLAMER.
But Critter despite being an ass does have a point.. not about the homphobia, he can fuck himself with pink glitter incrusted rake for that, I mean about the expansion: the more teams they have, the worse security gets, as evidenced by the fact the boys were able to sneak in a member called bagpipe with no real danger. Goodkind understands.. but says he just can’t help hi mself, another creepy hint for the future.
So after a really cute and sweet scene with Annie and Hugie who just had sex outside and are just.. precious together, we get back to butcher.. who is UTTERLY HORRIFIED AND SUPRISED by what he finds on the hard drive. Given this is Monkey’s hard drive, that could be a lot of things but it’s clearly G-Men related.
Mother’s Milk meanwhile finds not Paul.. but Pauls’ brother, but wants to know why THE Paul shot himself and after some reistance is let in.
Back at Goodkin Manor, Divine proves he’s not much better than Critter by throwing around a bunch of stertoypes and othe rbullshit as G-Coast and G-Style are arriving soon, and the whole team joins in.
So with that one of the two teams arrives, and we cut to Butcher who says he’s going to have to kill a c-word over what he’s found.
That does it for part 1. Tune in next time to find out just what goodkin is hiding, if Hugie can save G-Whiz, and just how horribly racist g-coast and g-style are. If you enjoyed this review please consider joining my patreon whic hhas exclusive reviews and even for just 1 buck a month you get a FREE REVIEW ON SIGNUP. So if you have any x-men you want me to cover or any other boy syou want me to dig into, please consider it and i’ll see you at the next part.
Update: Now i’ts finished you can find part two RIGHT HERE
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