Monday, 22 March 2021

The Boys: Dear Becky Review (Garth Ennis, Russ Braun)

Set ten years after the events of the last book, Hughie and Annie are living a happy, quiet life in Scotland - a life suddenly disrupted by the delivery of Butcher’s notebook. A notebook full of letters to his long-dead wife, Becky - but what secrets does it contain, and who sent it?

Dear Becky is an unnecessary and really, really boring coda to The Boys. Appearing this late in the (name of the) game, I can only speculate that this was published to capitalise on the success of the more recent TV show because this book adds nothing to the series that ended in 2012.

Maybe Garth Ennis felt that he needed to give more substance to Butcher’s wife Becky to better explain his actions in the story but that should’ve really been done before and during the main story - not nearly ten years after! And I think Ennis did enough in the main series anyway to explain Butcher’s motivations. We didn’t need to read eight dreary issues of him saying over and over how much he loved his wife - we got that from the little bits and pieces Ennis dropped throughout the series, which was enough, and better, because it allowed readers to fill in the blanks themselves.

The flashback “B” storyline was some convoluted rubbish about how Vought are putting together a new team of supes that secretly don’t have superpowers. It was so, so, sooooo dull to read - I couldn’t have cared less. It’s just an excuse to bring back the characters to smash some more supes once again. I suppose the “Shazam” bit was kinda funny though. Ennis also clearly hates Thor but then he hates most superheroes so eh.

Ennis still writes incredible comics - the last couple of his I’ve read, Punisher: Soviet and Sara, are two of the best comics I’ve read in recent years - but Dear Becky certainly isn’t one of them. The Boys has some gems but it’s a very uneven series with some utter crap mixed in like Highland Laddie and Herogasm. With all the Hughie/Scotland stuff, and the general low quality of the book, Dear Becky is basically Highland Laddie 2 and one of the worst books in the series. Definitely skippable and worth ending the series with just The Bloody Doors Off instead.

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