UPDATE: As expected, the ever entertaining Rich Johnston has provided even more information on the cancellation of The Boys. He certainly ruined my prediction of the book going to Marvel:
So which home for “The Boys”? What about Marvel? Garth Ennis has a good history with their MAX line (though Darick’s has been quite unfortunate). And the Icon line might also suit a creator owned property and has similarly few issues with extreme content. However, part of DC’s agreeing to readily release the creator-owned book, is that it not move to Marvel. DC also wouldn’t be happy with Darick Robertson, under an exclusive DC agreement, working for Marvel either.
I’m putting off an Obscure Back Issue of the Week for a day or so, but in the meantime I want to put in my two-cents about the situation with The Boys, which has quickly become one my favorite comics.
If your not up on the latest news, or are too lazy to click through the above links, then I’ll give you a quick run down. The Boys is a really fun, gruesome, and all around entertaining comic by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan). The basic premise is that most superheroes are jerks and idiots and there needs to be a small covert team of people that can take these jerks-with-capes down if need be. But, as per usual, Ennis writes this book like he wants to make your parents and little sister cry, and DC/Wildstorm just couldn’t take it anymore, so they gave it the ol’ ax as of issue six. The trade paperback, collecting the first six issues, has also been canned.
Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed to read of the cancellation, since I felt the book was was just out of the gate and still had a lot to show us.
Okay, so let’s get to the point here.
I think DC/Wildstorm made a really big mistake on their part. Yeah, there were some parts of the book that would push anyone’s buttons taste-wise, but it was billed as a mature reader’s book and never tried to be anything else. It wasn’t pornographic, and I honestly thought that I had seen some worse things in previous DC-published books, such as Preacher and Transmet. Heck, even the mothership published Superboy punching another person’s head off, and that book wasn’t even marked “mature.” The sales on The Boys were fairly strong, hovering around 25 – 30K a month, and considering Wildstorm’s relaunch was pretty much a bust, they stand to lose a good selling comic, i.e. a good chunk of money.
DC/Wildstorm are at least taking the high road and releasing the rights back to Ennis and Robertson, so we will see more Boys, but we just have to wait, which sucks. Whoever picks up the rights (and I’m now putting my money on Marvel/Max /Icon after Joe Quesada’s latest comments – towards the bottom) is sure to have a modest hit at the very least, especially after all the press the book has received based on the news of the cancellation.
I believe this will be good for The Boys is the long run, but will end up being a point of embarrassment/regret on the part of DC/Wildstorm. Here’s to hoping they get the new issues and trade out sooner than later.