'The Boys' Interview: Garth Ennis On Why Superheroes Are "@$#%!"
Troy-Jeffrey Allen

In a world where superheroes roam the earth in search of justice for the common man, who brings justice to the superheroes? Fan-favorite/critically-acclaimed writer Garth Ennis has the answer, and it comes in the form of The Boys!

Originally released in 2006, Ennis and artist Darick Robertson sent spandex-clad do-gooders running for the hills for 72-issues. As a matter of fact, The Boys did such an impressive job terrorizing the superhero genre that DC Comics - the book's original publisher - ran screaming from it. This gave current publisher Dynamite Comics the chance to nab up a guaranteed cult hit.  

16 years later, The Boys is now primed (pun intended) for Amazon Prime with an all-new TV series. To celebrate, Dynamite is re-releasing the comic in collected editions omnibus. Making it the perfect time for new readers to catch up on The Boys, and for Diamond to catch with up Garth Ennis to reflect on his co-creation in 2019.

The first three volumes of The Boys Omnibus are available now.


Diamond: What makes superheroes so dangerous?

Garth Ennis: In the real world, I think the fact that such a dumb genre dominates a great storytelling medium is lamentable- but even beyond that, an outright fantasy of hope and empowerment is not a sensible answer to the atrocious times we live in. On the other hand, in the world of The Boys, superheroes represent the corporate corruption of government and the general dumbing down of public discourse. They have to go.

Diamond: What was it like to work with artist Darick Robertson on the series?

Garth Ennis: By the time we did The Boys we’d already been working together for some time, most notably on Born and Fury, so we could pretty much read each others’ minds.

Diamond: Was there a particular character you enjoyed writing the most?

Garth Ennis: Billy Butcher, my all-time favourite of all the characters I’ve created. His wife Becky was a close second. I could have written those two wandering ‘80s London and being in love forever, but alas, it was not to be.

Diamond: Did you have a particular issue or arc that stood out as the most fun to put together?

Garth Ennis: Butcher’s origin, for the reasons cited above and for the gruesome, wretched horror that the man’s life became. One sequence always comes to mind there, Butcher casually following some bleeding supe as he crawls out onto a frozen river- Darick really nailed that one.

Diamond: What does The Boys say about celebrity culture?

Garth Ennis: That it’s s@&#?

Diamond: What's your involvement with the Amazon Prime show?

Garth Ennis: Fairly limited. I had a few notes at the start and then I was happy to take a back seat. The book’s the book and the show’s the show, would be my take on that.

Diamond: Any chance you'll direct again? Maybe an episode of The Boys?

Garth Ennis: That I very much doubt. What I do is write, no more and no less than that.

Diamond: Any plans to write a comic book follow-up to The Boys?

Garth Ennis: Hmmm. Now that is an interesting idea.



Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of Diamond Weekly. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.