Brace yourselves kids. The Boys, one of the most explicit and controversial comic books of all time is being developed as a TV series for Amazon.
Originally intended for Cinemax, Amazon has now taken over the rights and is currently developing the project along with Preacher team Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Eric Kripke, writer on Supernatural will be on script duties at this early stage.
The entertainment industry has been going through a “Superhero” phase for the last couple of decades, with big companies cashing in any way they can from the advancements in the vfx Industry and the extensive treasure trove of stories that the comic book medium represents.
After all, since the 1930s, comic books have been establishing a pantheon of modern mythology that today seems deeply ingrained into our popular culture; indistinct from your age, gender or nationality, almost everybody knows Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent.
Comics still seem to be considered a children’s affair by some. In reality, the art form has gone through several revolutions over the years, being today a fully mature medium able to tackle on the most darkest aspects of society, with enough history on its shoulders to be self referential and autocritical.
The Boys, written by Garth Ennis and drawn mainly by Darick Robertson, is a poignant deconstruction of the whole superhero genre and a ruthless commentary on contemporary mainstream culture.
The story depicts a “grounded” world in which superheroes exist and have ridiculous celebrity status. These superpowered beings, cleverly written and drawn to represent thinly veiled analogies to Marvel and DC characters, are completely corrupted by wealth and unconditional admiration from the public, and go about basically as god-like jerks doing whatever they please (just imagine if Justin Bieber had powers. God no, please)
To face this crisis, the CIA creates a black ops team called “The Boys” to monitor and eliminate these dangerous, omnipotent divas. The team itself is not made out of the most sane people, every operative with a very dark personal tragedy lurking in the shadows of their past.
The series has more in common with extreme gore films like Serbian Film or Martyrs than with your traditional multicolored Avengers flick. This is a story that descends into the blackest pits of depravity, and just when you think they’ve hit the bottom, Ennis and Robertson bring out their shovels again and dig up some more.
Really, I’ve seen few works in any medium that display such shocking and extreme content as this, reason why the announcement of the series being turned into a TV series is more than interesting.
The Boys was initially published in 2006 by DC’s Wildstorm imprint, but later on moved to Dynamite Entertainment. It wrapped up in 2012 after 72 issues and is available today in 12 trade paperbacks. It was nominated in 2008 for an Eisner Award (comic book industry equivalent to The Oscars) for “Best Continuing Series”.