ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Boys: Dear Becky,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Boys: Dear Becky #1

The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is published by Dynamite, written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Russ Braun, colored by Tony Aviña, lettered by Simon Bowland, and returning for covers is the one and only Darick Robertson. The smash-hit series which spans a whopping 12 volumes, that ran from 2006 until 2012, is back on the shelves! The series was even recently adapted into a TV show on Amazon Prime and received an 84% critic score and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ennis was eager to return to the series to give a platform to a character he felt was overlooked in the original run, Becky Butcher.

The issue opens up 12 years after the climactic event of the previous series in the Scottish town of Auchterladle with wee Hughie drinking with his friend Bobbi on a Saturday evening. The two are bantering back and forth in typical pub culture fashion catching up on some of the events of the past, and some trending topics.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1

The conversation jumps about before inevitably landing on the subject of what Hughie and Annie are doing back in Scotland, and what exactly did Hughie do while living in the US. Essentially, the topic serves to set the scene for the premier issue.

After Hughie gets home he finds a package addressed to him. The contents, a diary. As Hughie begins to read it while sitting on the toilet, a chilling realization hits him: this is Becky Butcher’s diary, and Billy has written a personal message to her. A message with dreadful implications, even for Butcher.

Even though the series has been finished for 8 years, everything about this issue still feels, and looks, like The Boys always did. Ennis’ writing and humor have always been notably pointed and reflective of what’s currently happening in society, and so he’s able to capture through Hughie and Bobbi the general feeling of many people in society. As the two are sitting out on the beach drinking a few tins of what you can assume is a lager, Hughie states that the bar owner Beezer hopes the two of them catch COVID-19. For context, the Beezer hates the two of them as Bobbi is a transgender woman, and Hughie has the audacity to be her friend and treat her like an actual person. Ennis has never shied away from a controversial topic, and he’s able to get a few digs in on the President of the United States, Brexit, and woke internet culture.

The two characters, while drinking their problems away, embody a feeling of futility in the state of the world. Even though the ‘supes’ have been removed from the picture, at their core, the majority of people are still awful regardless of whether they have physical powers or not, because power comes in many forms.

Ennis does focus a majority of the time on Hughie, which some readers may have an issue with. However, as has always been the way in The Boys, our protagonist is the narrative focal, the eyes through which we view the world. Hughie’s discussion with Bobbi is the prologue into opening the story of Becky up through the use of Becky Butchers’ diary.

Braun, and Aviña, haven’t missed a beat in the unique visual style of the boys. In parts, it is both disturbing, and engrossing with the level of details. Braun has a particular talent in being able to visually reproduce the way the characters’ facial expressions respond non-verbally as they discuss certain topics. Aviña particularly does a brilliant job in coloring Bobbi and Hughie by gently giving them lighter, more vibrant tones, so that as the two sit in the pub, they pop to the forefront. In comparison, the patrons in the background are dulled, so as to draw you to the real focal point of the story.

This issue is heavy in dialogue so Bowland had his work cut for him in balancing the lettering so as not to distract from the illustrations, which he does well, as he’s always done in the past with this series. Bowland particularly brings his style to the front lines during the panels when Hughie is reading the words of Billy Butcher on the lined diary pages to give you that look and feel that you’re seeing the words through the eyes of Hughie.

Stepping into The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is consoling in a bleak viewpoint that I for one revel in. Issue one is like being wrapped in a bear hug of comfort that feels like even though the world is on fire, The Boys are on the case and they will deliver swift retribution and gory justice to all the inhumane acts that have been levied upon this planet. This creative team has cohesively resurrected this world so effortlessly, and I for one can’t wait to be horrified and engrossed by where this story leads.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is available on May 6th wherever comic books are sold.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1
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TL;DR

Stepping into The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is consoling in a bleak viewpoint that I for one revel in. Issue one is like being wrapped in a bear hug of comfort that feels like even though the world is on fire, The Boys are on the case and they will deliver swift retribution and gory justice to all the inhumane acts that have been levied upon this planet. This creative team has cohesively resurrected this world so effortlessly, and I for one can’t wait to be horrified and engrossed by where this story leads.