The Boys: Dear Becky #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 03, 2020

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Colours: Tony Aviña
Letters: Simon Bowland

It’s been 8 years since The Boys story concluded (although 12 years have passed in the comic) in a pretty definitive way, so it’s a pleasant surprise to learn we’re getting another mini-series, Dear Becky. Reuniting series writer Garth Ennis with artist Russ Braun, colourist Tony Aviña and letterer Simon Bowland, once you start reading you would forget there has been eight years since you were last immersed in this world.

The majority of the issue focuses on Hughie and Bobbi, his transgender school friend, at the pub having a drink, and discussing what being “woke” really means. It’s a typical cynical Ennis look at social awareness and set to the backdrop of two old mates having a pint works well. It also serves to reintroduce the world to us, to see what twelve years without the superheroes has done to the world. And by the looks of things not much is different to the world we live in, coronavirus and Brexit are both mentioned amongst other things. Never one to shy away from sharing his true feelings on the subject it gives Ennis a chance to vent his thoughts.

Setting the comic in Hughie’s hometown of Auchterladle means that some of the characters talk with a bit of Scottish, but it’s subtle and not over the top, ‘aboot’ instead of ‘about’ etc, and is easily decipherable even if you aren’t familiar with the Scottish accent.

But of course, this is a Boys comic, so it can’t just be two people catching up at the pub. A mysterious package has arrived for Hughie, and it sucks him back into the world of the boys, via a flashback to a time before he joined The Boys. It’s a stark reminder that The Boys is not for the faint-hearted, it’s an incredibly over the top violent and dark storyline in true Ennis fashion.

This issue could be picked up by a reader with little to no familiarity with The Boys, who would be able to follow along with no problem. It’s too early to say whether that’ll be the case for the rest of the series or not, but as it stands it’s easily accessible to new readers.  But remember, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Russ Braun, who was the series main artist for the last third or so of The Boys is back, bringing the fictional Scottish village Auchterladle to life, as well as Simon Pegg lookalike Wee Hughie to life. It helps with the feeling of familiarity for the long time reader. He does a fantastic job with Hughie and Bobbi’s drinking, really capturing that feeling of two old friends having a drink together.

Helping with that feeling of nostalgia for the series is having Tony Aviña and Simon Bowland back, Aviña being responsible for the colours throughout the main Boys series, and Bowland doing the lettering for the vast majority of the series. It’s little touches like this which help the reader slip back into it like it hasn’t been eight years since they last picked up The Boys comic.

A slower paced issue eases us gently back into the world of The Boys, the backdrop of two mates having a pint works well to reintroduce the world and the changes that have occurred over the fictional last twelve years. Having Garth Ennis reunited with the rest of the creative team from The Boys helps it feel familiar to the reader and like there hasn’t been such a long hiatus between issues. When the violence comes it’s extreme and most definitely not for the faint-hearted. This is Ennis at his most brutal and cynical, and it’s a welcome return to the dark world of The Boys.

Our Score:


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