Or – “We Have Excremental Impact On The Rotating Blades!”

In this issue, Billy Butcher comes face-to-face with the Homelander in the Oval Office…

Cancel Christmas.

Writer: Garth Ennis
Penciler(s): Russ Braun/John McCrea/Keith Burns
Inker(s): Russ Braun/Keith Burns/John McCrea
Cover Artist: Darick Robertson
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Colorist: Tony Avina
Editor: Joe Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $4.99

Previously, in The Boys:  Tensions between the CIA’s independent superhuman monitoring task force (aka The Boys) and the superhuman members of The Seven (World’s Mightiest Super-Jerks) have reached an all-time high.  The Homelander has mobilized all the supes into action, his plans still uncertain, but undoubtedly sinister.  While Butcher heads to the White House with no real expectations of survival, Mother’s Milk has discovered an horrifying fact in the files of Vought-American.  Will the leader of the Boys live long enough to find out the truth about the situation?


Well, any cover that features the main characters in a literal rain of blood probably isn’t one for the squeamish, I can tell you that.  The issue opens with more of the hemorrhaging, as Butcher finds Homelander in the Oval Office, holding the severed head of the man once called Vic The Veep.  “He did have brains after all,” remarks H.L dryly, before flinging the head at Butcher.  I’ve read a lot of pretty gory stories, but this one is a real high point, as both men are literally standing in a pool of blood from pretty much the entire executive branch, while having it out once and for all.  Ennis does a really good job with the tense confrontation, as Homelander makes Butcher even angrily by revealing that he DOESN’T EVEN REMEMBER the violation and death of Billy’s late wife, Becky.  The story draws out the confrontation, with neither man fully ready to commit to a battle, and Butcher trying to get answers out of an eerily calm Homelander.  At the same time, outside, Wee Hughie gets a call from Mother’s Milk that reveals an unknown truth about the heroes of the Seven, and specifically the man known as Black Noir.


Many times, I see twists of plot coming.  It’s a regrettable side-effect of having spent the majority of my adult life in the presence of at least one comic book, but I was actually surprised when I started to realize the truth behind the Homelander’s bouts of madness and memory problems.  While I still find myself missing Darick Robertson (Has anyone announced whether he’s permanently off this book?  Last I heard, he was supposedly scheduled to return after Butcher’s miniseries ended…), John McCrea and Russ Braun handle the art side of things well, and the moment of the big reveal is particularly well-handled.  The creators keep ratcheting up the tension, and when the big fight comes, it is both unexpected and more violent than I had even feared, and the sight of Homelander’s super-pals taking on the United States Air Force are frighteningly graphic in their “cannons-and-heat-vision” madness.  Most of all, Butcher finally gets his hands on the man who killed his wife, and his actions (and unexpected emotional response to them) give me a whole new picture of the man…


As always, The Boys is not for those under the age of 18, those with a sensitive constitution, or an aversion to strong language, immoral predators or graphic depictions of violence.  If you’re of age, and of the right mindset, this issue is a good’n, finally bringing to a head nearly six years of build-up.  I have to say that I was a little disappointed in how quickly things went once the conflict actually begins, but upon re-reading, it’s clear that this is a calculated decision, and even though Butcher and Homelander’s issues have been at least temporarily tabled, there’s still a lot more to play out in this story.  I believe that The Boys is expected to go another six issues or so, which means there are at least a few more brutal beatings and dismemberments in the wings.  The Boys Sixty-Five is a more-or-less successful blowoff to the Butcher/Homelander feud, not quite reaching my highest expectations, but still hitting the landing, for 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I also appreciate that they added an additional 8 pages to this book for one dollar more, rather than doubling the price as some of the other publishers have been doing lately…

Rating: ★★★★☆


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. April 10, 2012 at 3:57 am — Reply

    I love this series. And I just went back in the archive and heard MSP episode 19 where you review the first trade.
    Living on “the far side of the world” im a little behind with the issues so I didn’t read this review since I don’t want to spoil the fun :)
    But its nice to se other people likeing the Boys.

  2. Trey
    April 10, 2012 at 8:23 am — Reply

    After reading this review all I can say is this: ” I sure miss Hitman”

  3. Noobian74
    April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am — Reply

    Thought it was a nice way to bring the conventional evil doppleganger bit to a non-conventional book. Ennis? You done did it again…

  4. zebsdead
    April 22, 2012 at 9:56 am — Reply

    we often would go over the dangling threads of plot in this comic, reading each issue a few time on New Comic Day, poring over weird details (noir surviving the 9/11 fall, the obvious mislead that he was a damaged V reainimate, the fudging bizarre (yet not offensive, even to my DKR loving’ self) events of Herogasm, more and more coming back to me now as i write this, like the time noir steps in on Annie’s behalf and makes everyone back down) like lapsed Christian Scientists at an AMA meeting, puzzled, intrigued, clearly wanting and needing more. that tortured metaphor aside, the conflict was shorter than i expected too, but i agree that it was a planned effect, as now we have six issues of….what? Again, i have no idea where Ennis is going. Definitely gonna miss this book, as with Preacher and Transmet before it. Thought i had a No-Prize for my explanation of why Homelander never used his x-ray vision to look beneath Noir’s mask (was going to build a case for his hubris rendering him incapable of some forms of curiosity), until my friend reminded me of a sequence where we see the power’s effects on-panel and the resulting images are skeletal. clearly i love this book and could write all day about it. thanks for the review, sir.

    • zebsdead
      April 22, 2012 at 10:49 am — Reply

      forgot to mention loving the pryor reference at beginning of article. please make top five stand up comedians show happen, even at cost of schleicher’s fragile sanity.

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