The Boys #24

With a cover inspired by Nick Meyerowitz and opening pages featuring toga-clad young men singing along to "Louie, Louie," it's hard to miss the "Animal House" allusions in the latest issue of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's "The Boys." The frat here, though, is the house for the members of G-Whiz, the trainee branch of the G-Men, and, like nearly every other superhero that's appeared in this book, they are a bunch of debauchers.

Except not really, since there aren't any girls at the party and it's really just kind of sad. G-Whiz are celebrating their new member, Bagpipe, aka Hughie, member of the Boys and on undercover duty to gain access to the G-Men's mansion. Ennis and Robertson have a lot of fun with the frat party and showing just how sad it really is with a bunch of young guys in togas getting drunk and maybe later masturbating to a few of the titles in G-Whiz's library of pornography. While some no doubt see this as more mockery of superheroes, it reads more like a mockery of young men and how stupid they can behave at times. In one scene, Blowchowski vomits in a fish tank and everyone celebrates, except for Hughie, who is a little bit older and just looks uncomfortable. Robertson's art is perfectly matched with the disgusting nature of the party and with Hughie's obvious discomfort at the whole thing.

The only time Hughie seems to fit in is when G-Whiz makes a prank call to the headquarters of the Seven and Hughie gets into the moment by referring to A-Train as a part of the female anatomy. This provides a small bit of catharsis since A-Train was the superhero who inadvertently caused the death of Hughie's girlfriend at the beginning of the series. Not only that, but the member of the Seven on the other end of the phone is Starlight, Hughie's current girlfriend, although neither knows the true identity of the other. It's a cute little tease of the eventual revelation that one is a superhero while the other "manages" superheroes.

The rest of the team keeps itself busy with various tasks, none of which add up to much yet, but suggest payoffs in future issues. This is one of the slighter issues of "The Boys" with so much of it taken up with Hughie and G-Whiz, but there are also a few funny moments, including the final page where G-Whiz arrive at the G-Men's mansion to find them at the door posing in a ridiculous fashion. Again, Robertson's art is the perfect match for Ennis's writing as he poses the G-Men in some of the most cliche and absurd poses. The Boys is a joy to read if only because of the creative cohesion between Ennis and Robertson, and this issue is no exception.

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