Superheroes are great…but what if they weren’t?

Superheroes live on the pages of comics. There, they have always been a symbol of hope; a bastion of goodness. Each hero has a code that defines them; Batman’s “Do not kill,” Spider-Man has “with great power comes great responsibility.”

But these characters live in a fantastical world ruled by morals; a world created to give humanity guidance on how they SHOULD act. They are the modern day “Aesop’s Fables,” teaching readers to strive for better- for justice, for goodness, for faith in mankind.

Unfortunately, those mantras are not reflected in the real world. Our world is ruled by the powerful; those with money and privilege are exempt from consequence and punishment- one set of rules for the average man, one set of rules for the rich and powerful.

So what happens if these two worlds were to collide? What would the world look like if the rich and powerful were actually UNSTOPPABLY powerful with superpowers? Could the government moderate them? Would they be held accountable to law? Of course not!

Think of the biggest jerk you know. Now imagine them with ultimate power. Imagine Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg as actual “Supes” with the ability to do (and get away with) whatever they want. That’s KIND of the idea behind legendary writer of “Preacher” and “The Punisher” Garth Ennis’ comic, “The Boys.”

Who Are “The Boys?”

The Boys are an elite team of Superhero haters; recruited by the C.I.A. as an elite brute squad to keep the powerful in line. They’re joined together in camaraderie by their individual grudges against the Supes and beefed up by the C.I.A.’s secret serum that elevates their power so they can go toe-to-toe with the Caped Crusader’s of the world.

Because there’s nothing like a back-alley-bat-beatdown to let the pervasive and powerful people with powers understand that “with great power, comes great accountability…” So when the Supes mess up, The Boys clean house.

Garth Ennis has created one of the most amazingly raw, dark and gritty beat down books ever with The Boys. Now, as Amazon Prime starts to wedge their way into the growing market of Superhero TV and Movies, they are launching their newest show, The Boys, TODAY!

The show sports an amazing cast including Karl Urban playing Billy Butcher, Jessie Usher as A-Train, Jack Quaid as Wee Hughie, and Elizebeth Shue as Madelyn Stillwell.

The Boys has already a ton of praise from critics and fans alike, and Midtown Comics was fortunate to get a chance to get some answers from Ennis to some of our questions:

Questions for Garth Ennis from Midtown Comics:

1: What Character is the most like you?

(Ennis) The weary, pissed off German government minister at the start of the Starr one-shot in Preacher, the guy who realizes that the hijackers, SWAT cops and everyone else involved want the whole thing to end in a massive slaughter. I think he says something like “Why can’t people just be nice?”

2: Are any of your characters inspired by people you know? Who, and why?

(Ennis) Only in terms of certain aspects of their character, I rarely ever fictionalize whole people. Billy Butcher spoke with Steve Dillon’s voice, for instance, but apart from that they weren’t remotely similar.

3: You did such a fantastic job infusing your writing flavor to The Punisher. If you could take on and write any character/historical figure with no restrictions who would that be, and why?

(Ennis) Always fancied a go at Hawk The Slayer. Also got half an idea for Dirty Harry. And a few old British characters like Rat Pack and Rogue Trooper.

4: You are a WW2 fan: Why is that and what fascinates you about that era?

(Ennis) It began with the comics I read as a kid, which led into an interest in military history- wherein I discovered that the stories I’d been reading were by and large inspired by actual events. Highly dramatic events, in fact. World War Two defined the world we live in today, featured a level of design in hardware that I find more interesting than any other conflict, and- like all wars- is full of accounts of human behavior that absolutely defy fiction.

5: What was one of the first characters you fell in love with (that you didn’t create)? What drew you to them/made you love them?

(Ennis) One would be Sam Slade, Robo-Hunter, who appeared in 2000AD when I was a kid. Great writing and art by John Wagner and Ian Gibson. Sam was sort of long-suffering loser, hamstrung by his idiotic assistants, struggling and failing to navigate a crazy world of robots running wild. He was fairly capable, certainly, but he was a world away from grim-faced killers like Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha. “Why is this always happening to me?”  is the line that sums up Sam.

6: Are you currently reading/watching anything that we should be reading/watching?

(Ennis) Recently I’ve enjoyed Veep, Derry Girls and Fleabag. Just getting into Years And Years. Reading a lot of non-fiction right now, but about to start James Ellroy’s latest. And enjoyed a book of short stories by Joe Lansdale, Driving to Geronimo’s Grave.

7: What drew you into comics? And what’s the first comic you remember loving?

(Ennis) 2000AD was my first love, it was the first to give me that sense of limitless potential that comics have.

8: Being a big name in the comic world must be rewarding, but I imagine it’s also a bit frustrating. Least favorite/Most enjoyable part about fan interactions?

(Ennis) No real horror stories, I tend to do all that on my own terms. Not bothering with social media probably helps enormously. I like 90% of the people I meet.

9: Oddest place you got inspired for a story?

(Ennis) A beach in the Maldives, absolute tropical paradise- palm trees, umbrella drinks, sunset just beginning to paint the sky. I was supposed to be reading up for my scuba certification; instead I found myself imagining a lone, grizzled figure with an ancient rifle striding out of the sunset. That was the starting point for 303.

10: What are the best/worst parts about writing a story?

(Ennis) There can’t be many better ways of making a living; it would be churlish of me to complain about any aspect of it.

11: The Boys will be hitting Amazon soon. Is there any comic story (that you didn’t create) that you would like to see come alive as a TV show?

(Ennis) There are very few I wouldn’t, so long as they were done right. Some of my war stories would work well, I think, particularly something like The Night Witches.

12: Is there anything fans should know about your new show, “The Boys” that you feel like they should, before watching it?

(Ennis) One of the things I’ve always liked about The Boys is how simple it is: superheroes are bastards, they need a slap, the Boys are going to deliver it. There it is in one line.

To find more information on the show:

To read The Boys:

To check out Garth Ennis’ work:

To grab some of Garth Ennis’ signed books:

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