The Boys: Dear Becky #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 30, 2020

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

The debut issue of The Boys: Dear Becky through us back into the dark world of The Boys as though there hasn’t been any absence, with Wee Hughie in the present day being sent a diary that Butcher kept to his wife Becky. It’s an interesting account of the effects of loss and grief, and it’s a harrowing account of a man sinking to new lows. Butcher is well aware that his Becky wouldn’t be OK with his violence, or the atrocious acts he’s committing in the name of keeping the superheroes in check, and while he may regret that it doesn't deter him from this dark path he's embarked on.

This second issue shows us that this prequel story is going to be incredibly informative in terms of not only The Boys, but also the rise of Julian Baxter-Pugh within Voughts ranks. Ennis takes great steps to remind us however that no matter what acts The Boys commit, the supes are even more deplorable and need to be kept in check.

The present day sections at first glance appear to just be bookending the flashback section, although on further inspection are a look at Wee Hughie and how the damage done to him during The Boys still affects him. He’s not in a good place. And, rather tellingly, Annie January has now been absent from the page for two issues now, only appearing off panel while Hughie is in the toilet. Ennis is keeping something back from the reader and it’ll be interesting to see what that is. Knowing Ennis and his clever storytelling the flashback sections and the present day storyline are sure to intersect or tell parallel stories with the same theme, although it’s far too early to say how it’ll all come together.

So far this description of The Boys makes it seem dark and sombre. Dark it undoubtably is, in typical Ennis fashion, but it’s also hilarious at times. Again, it’s a dark sense of humour, but it’s Garth Ennis doing what he does best and it works hilariously. The way he pokes fun at various different superhero teams is genius, this issue there’s a great moment with the equivalent of Thor and the Infinity Gauntlet which is sure to have fans in stitches. Ennis doesn’t hold back and we wouldn’t want him to either.

Russ Braun’s art and Tony Aviná’s colours draw you straight back into the world of The Boys like you’ve never been away. By having the same art team returning it helps to bridge the gap since The Boys finished. The iconic Boys are all brought back to life on the page, and the new superheroes that are introduced manage to look both iconic and ridiculous at the same time. For the bookend sections of the story Hughie facial expressions are excellent, which works for both comedic purposes and storytelling purposes.

It’s a welcome return to the dark world of The Boys. It’s a look at Butchers descent into madness and the long lasting effects of the trauma that Wee Hughie endured. It’s darkly hilarious and feels like catching up with that old friend, where no matter the length of absence the years fall away and it’s like you’ve never been away. Fans of Garth Ennis will lap this up, as will fans of The Boys, and it works as an introduction to this world if you haven’t had the pleasure.

Our Score:


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