To say that this issue marks the end of The Boys is somewhat disingenuous. In truth, the series ended last issue. Issue #72, the final issue, is merely the epilogue – a final, subtle goodbye to the characters we cared about, and the tying of loose ends from the series. Well, what ends remain that is – let’s be real, most of the characters didn’t quite make it to this point. While this issue doesn’t measure up to the high points of the series, particularly in comparison with the stellar previous issue, it’s still good for what it is. Besides, if you’ve been reading this far into “The Boys”, you already know you’re picking this up.
WRITTEN BY: Garth Ennis
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: November 14th, 2012
OK, let’s get this out of the way first – Darick Robertson is back! Robertson, for those who forget, is the original artist and co-creator of “The Boys” who left midway through the series due to scheduling issues, though he contributed to side issues like “Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker”. While Russ Braun filled in admirably, and in particular drew an arguably superior Butcher, there is something appropriate about Robertson returning to the work he helped create for its end. It brings a sense of closure to this issue, which is the quality that defines this issue in every facet.
There isn’t much of a story in this issue. Ennis just shows us what’s happened to some characters who avoided their deserved comeuppances in the last few issues, like Susan Rayner and James Stillwell. But while that can be humorous, what’s rewarding about the issue is to see how Hughie has grown over the course of the series while still remaining the same affable, moral human being he’s always been. In the final two pages, we finally see Hughie resolve his lingering anxieties and find happiness.
This isn’t the most exciting issue. There are a number of moments that will elicit a chuckle, but other than that it’s mostly just Hughie paying respects to his former friends, talking to Stillwell, and being reunited with Annie. It’s just a way of saying goodbye to the characters, especially Hughie himself. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s just not capable of meeting the high quality of some of this series. So “The Boys” doesn’t go out with a bang, just a farewell.
Reviewed by – GeorgeShunick