• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:The boys comic.jpg

The Last Thing You See Before You Die.

The Boys is a series by Garth Ennis, with art by Darick Robertson and others, about a CIA-backed team of metahumans who kill other supers when they get out of line. Gritty, edgy and violent, the series frequently veers into Author Tract territory regarding its gleeful depiction of all costumed supers as perverts and child molesters, dropping some anvils on a lot of ugly tropes that have been plaguing superhero comics. Much like Watchmen by Alan Moore, this series is a Deconstructor Fleet. However, instead of attacking the mythos of the superhero, it goes after the sleazy corporate underbelly that grew up around it.

As with Preacher, a few different limited series have been published. Herogasm is, for whatever reason, a six-issue limited series that's essentially an extra arc in the main plot, as Butcher's squad investigates the superheroes' annual island getaway. Highland Laddie follows Hughie during his absence from the main book, as he returns to his foster parents' home in Scotland. Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker is a six-issue miniseries featuring Butcher, reminiscing about his life after returning to England for his father's funeral.

It now has a live-action TV series from 2019, in two seasons.

The team consists of:

Now has a character page that needs Wiki Magic.

The series provides examples of:

  • Afro Asskicker: Mother's Milk
  • Alternate Universe: Beyond the whole superhero thing, the main deviations are the presence of Vought-American throughout the twentieth century, Robert Kennedy winning the presidency, George W. Bush dying in a chainsaw accident before his political career manifested and the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge due to a botched rescue attempt by the Seven on September 11, 2001.
    • Dakota Bob, the President during the series's present day, apparently got his political career started as a backup vice-presidential candidate for George H.W. Bush, after Dan Quayle's verbal tics got him thrown off the ticket.
    • In the "Barbary Coast" arc, Mallory tells Hughie about meeting Prescott Sheldon Bush - father of George, grandfather of George W. Bush, prominent figure in conspiracy theories - in 1944, on the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. In real history, the elder Bush did not pursue political ambitions until 1950; in The Boys, he's already a senator from Connecticut, although his explicit connections to Voight-American provide a handy reason why he might have gotten ahead of the game. The elder Bush is promptly shot dead in a German ambush, whereas the real Prescott Bush lived until 1972.
  • Anti-Hero: Billy, the frenchman and the female are Type V, and Mother´s Milk is a type III.
  • Anything That Moves: Tek Knight. He has sex with a male telepathic android, a cup of hot coffee, his Alfred-Expy butler's ear and a watermelon. It turns out this is because of a tumor. Then again, many of the other supers have sex with anyone or anything and they don't have tumors.
    • Terror, should his beloved Billy command it.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Compound V, the substance that Vought-American and the CIA use to create superhumans.
  • Author Tract: We know that Garth Ennis doesn't have any respect for superheroes, because he grew up reading (and later writing) Judge Dredd and most of them seem very silly to him.
    • As seen is issue 27, Garth Ennis doesn't think much of American St. Patrick's Day. Granted, in Ireland St Patty's is more of a quiet, family holiday akin to Thanksgiving in the US.
  • Badass Abnormal: Every one of The Boys was treated with a different strain of the Super Serum that created all of the superpowered people. As a result, even Wee Hughie has enough Super Strength to punch holes in other supers, and, presumably, corresponding resistance to trauma. As Butcher explained, Muggles just can't get far in the world where "superheroes" don't have much compunctions against killing or maiming their opponents.
"Can't operate without it. 'cause otherwise you get into a barney with one of these cunts, an' he punches you in the face, he's gonna take your whole head off..."
Billy Butcher, The Boys, "The Name Of The Game."
  • Badass Longcoat: All of The Boys wear a long black coat, precisely because they're scarier than most superheroes' costumes and even make the Boys feel more tough. Butcher explains the fashion accessory as an easy way to tell friend from foe in a vicious melee.
"When in doubt, fuck-up any cunt not wearin' a coat."
Billy Butcher, The Boys
  • Badass Normal: Though The Boys themselves only appear to be normal the Vought American troops play it straight, killing off a group of X-Men expies (all 60+ of them) in a matter of seconds using only present day weapons.
  • Bear Hug: Soviet superhero Love Sausage bear-hugs Billy Butcher (in a friendly fashion) when they first meet.
  • Berserk Button: The Female must not be touched. Although The Frenchman can touch her without setting off the Ax Crazy in her; quite why has not yet been explained.
    • It has recently been revealed that following a very, very troubled childhood, Frenchie was the first to show her kindness, becoming a father figure of sort, while the others stayed their distance until she was properly house broken.
    • For The Frenchman himself, French surrender jokes.
    • Also, don't mess with Terror, since that's when Billy goes all out.
    • Perhaps most surprisingly of all, there's Hughie. Do NOT mess with his Hamster!
  • Beware the Superman: For he cares about nothing but his own publicity. And the actual Captain Ersatz of Superman is a greedy, ruthless rapist as well as a possible Big Bad.
  • Big Bad: Homelander. And maybe Black Noir. And maybe even Butcher himself. Also the Voight American executive whose name is eventually revealed.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Terror, if you're not an enemy of The Boys. Also trained to hump dogs and cats on command.
  • Black and Grey Morality
  • Black Comedy Rape: Billy's dog Terror is trained to violently sodomize small dogs and cats. Billy and Hughie see it as the funniest thing ever.
  • Break the Cutie: The bulk of Starlight's subplot.
  • Broken Aesop: "As the old sayin' goes: With great power comes the total fuckin' certainty that you're gonna turn into a cunt."
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Vas, aka "The Love Sausage", a former Russian superhero who is so unbelievably pleasant that even Billy Butcher likes him. Hughie also enjoys his honest virtue and friendliness, and is the only one who will drink Vas' brake fluid-derived alcohol.
  • Body Horror: Happens to those with incomplete control over their powers.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: The Homelander's reaction when Butcher confronts him in the Oval Office with the rape of his wife in Issue 65.
    • Subverted. He doesn't remember because it wasn't him that did those things.
  • Calvin Ball: The Frenchman and The Female like to play Monopoly. On a Clue board.
  • Cape Busters: The Boys themselves.
    • Also an auxiliary role of The Seven. Homelander and A-Train have been shown to be utilized in this capacity.
      • Really, it's Vought's fault, expecting us to clean up their mess. Some C-Lister goes off the rails and they think there won't be any collateral? -- The Homelander
  • Came Back Wrong: People injected with Compound V have a small chance of turning back to life... as brain-dead zombies prone to soil themselves, as demonstrated by The Lamplighter and Blarny Cock.
  • Captain Ersatz: Most superheroes are obviously based on ones from other companies.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: G-Wiz
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Don't call Frenchie this.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The language is quite salty.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Butcher with Soldier Boy and Jack from Jupiter, although the latter was more about revenge than getting information.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Wee Hughie is obviously Simon Pegg, of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame, with a Scottish accent. It was done with his consent, and he wrote the foreword to the first trade.
    • He's also set to star as Hughie's father in the Amazon Prime streaming adaptation coming in 2019.
  • Crapsack World: Nearly all of the "heroes" are borderline complete monsters, America is almost completely run by corrupt corporation that can get away with selling faulty military hardware time and again among other worse things, the protagonists are nearly as bad as the "heroes" and just about everyone else is portrayed as a colossal Jerkass if not worse.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vought-America, but especially the nameless Vought-American executive who runs everything behind the scenes and functions as the series' Big Bad.
  • Crisis Crossover: Parodied. The 'Herogasm' miniseries establishes that the superheroes routinely use 'crises' of this nature as a cover story for when they want to get out of the public eye in order to have an orgy.
  • Cute Bruiser: The Female. Note that she's only "cute" in appearance.
  • Darker and Edgier: Takes this to extreme levels, so the world looks no more "realistic" than any four-color comics (it includes things like massive corporate conspiracy that allows a bunch of incredibly perverted and sociopathic people to successfully pass for The Capes since 1950s, for starters), it is just on the very opposite end of Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.
  • Dating Catwoman: Wee Hughie is sleeping with superheroine Starlight. But neither one knows what the other one actually does for a living. Until issue 44 More literaly, the threesome between Tek-Knight, Swingwing and Talon. Talon is an Expy of Catwoman.
  • Dawson Casting: An in-universe example, most of the people who are are in teen and kid superhero groups are actually in their late twenties to early thirties.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Before Queen Maeve gets killed by The Homelander, she manages to save Starlight from getting killed too.
  • Defector From Decadence: Starlight really looks like she is going in this direction. Not surprising, considering what she has to put up with.
    • Recent issues portray Queen Maeve in this light, in a weird sort of way. We've mostly seen her as a martini-swilling background character, with a personal butler and, we're told, a penchant for bodybuilders. She's clearly post-traumatic after the events of September 11th, and turns out to be the Boys' mole in the Seven.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Many, many of the villains.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Moscow does not have any mountains surrounding it, some hills, a few lakes and a big river going through the middle, but no mountains. Also the architecture of the city is more akin a small town in America, and not the huge communal apartment housing that was built up during the Soviet era.
  • Disposable Woman
  • Distracted From Death: In the issue that shows Butcher's past as a Royal Marine, we see him and his squad charging a machine gun nest during the Falklands War. Butcher makes it into the nest and slaughters the Argentinians there, then triumphantly turns to celebrate with his mates, only to see that they all were mowed down charging the nest.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Wee Hughie didn't expect to be able to punch a hole through the stomach of a super, as evidenced when he accidentally killed Blarny Cock. Later, he expresses his fear of ripping off his own stomach the next time he jack off.
  • Eats Babies: The Homelander, albeit only in one particularly psychotic episode that had him doing horrific things to what looked like an entire family.
    • Subverted. It wasn't him.
  • Empty Shell: Maeve appears to be this, despite actually being The Mole
  • Epic Fail: The Seven's attempt to save a hijacked plane on September 11th. Even if their plan had run smoothly, they would have entered the plane from both sides through the forward doors. The plane would have depressurized from both sides.
    • Also, the fact that the Seven saving a hijacked plane was part of V.A's plan to boost supers for national defense. That they would allow such a poorly thought out plan of attack with so much riding on it is idiotic.
    • Vought-American in general. An earlier version of the company managed to fail so badly (by selling uselss guns that got a thousand US troops slaughtered in Vietman) that even their epic levels of political manipulation couldn't save them.
      • Vought-American is, overall, a representation of a small but recurring theme in Ennis's work: the greed and essential carelessness of war profiteers (and corporations in general). While Vought's activities throughout history (as discussed in issues #19-22) are pretty ridiculous when you see them on the page, they're reasonably believable when you consider, for example, the body-armor shortages at the beginning of the Iraq War. Essentially, his theme is that such corporations are really only interested in bottom-line profit, not any moral concerns, and if there's a way for them to increase their profit without having to worry about such concerns as safety, morality or even whether the product works (such as, say, if they've bought and paid for all the lawmakers who might intervene and restrain them), then they won't hesitate to follow it.
  • Evil Versus Evil
  • Expy: As with Hitman, most of the antagonists to appear in the comic are thinly disguised parodies of mainstream superheroes. The Seven are roughly analogous to the "Big Seven" Justice League, although Starlight is the replacement for another member from a Teen Titans analogue, so her corresponding character seems to be Starfire; Tek-Knight, despite his suit, is a Batman parody; the G-Men are a barely-concealed take-off on the X Men; the Maverikz, a one-shot super-team that appears in issue #31 long enough to get maimed, are take-offs of the original line-up of the Outsiders; Payback's members all correspond to various Avengers; and Paralactic, the superteam sent to mildly inconvenience the Boys in issue #61, are vaguely similar to the Wild CATS.
  • Eye Scream: Lots of it. A particularly horrifying one occurs when one little girl's powers backfire and she ends up with her eyes melting and running down her face as she cries that she's sorry.
  • Fan Disservice: Plenty of it. The death of The Crimson Countess and Hughie and Starlight's first sexual encounter are both prime examples.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Hero: Butcher. Wee Hughie gets more time in the spotlight, but he's closer to a Supporting Protagonist than to The Hero.
    • The Lancer: Mother's Milk.
    • The Smart Guy: This role gets divided between Butcher and Mother's Milk.
    • The Chick: Wee Hughie. He fits this role much better than the actual woman in the group.
    • The Big Guy: The Female and The Frenchman. They're almost exclusively portrayed as the muscle of the group.
  • French Jerk: Averted. The Frenchman is probably the warmest, friendly, most genial guy in the entire series. Of course, he's also a homicidal maniac, but that just makes it even more remarkable how affable he is.
  • Gag Penis: In his first appearance, the Boys look on in horror as Vas stands proudly in his spandex uniform, and it is very blatantly obvious why his superhero name was "Love Sausage." It's so big that he becomes physically unable to run after encountering a room full of scantily dressed women. That's right, he was stopped by his own erection.
"Big titties...are my kryptonite."
Vas, aka Love Sausage, The Boys, "Glorious Five Year Plan."
    • Justified by the sad real life example of a man with a two-foot-long penis. Even minor arousal sends a significant amount of blood to his genitals, causing him to lose consciousness.
  • The Ghost: Mallory
  • A God Am I: Believe arc, issue 46, as the Homelander sends the Mullers to their deaths, he spends the final moments of the "flight" bashing religion as whole aside, the existence of God in particular, then he spouts the settling line.
"The only man in the sky is me."
The Homelander, The Boys, "Believe."
  • Gorn: Lots of it.
  • Gratuitous French, Gratuitous German: The Frenchman and Stormfront, respectively.
  • Groin Attack: Butcher's keen on these, as part of his overall dirty-fighting methods. Stormfront gets a pretty serious one from Mother's Milk in The Self-Preservation Society and apparently Monkey suffered quite a bit after Butcher did it to him.
"He kicked me so hard my junk doesn't work!"
Kessler, The Boys, "The Big Ride."
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Billy Butcher is shown to be very quickly going down this path, if he hasn't already.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Black Noir is looking more and more like this for the franchise as of Issue #64.
  • Historical In-Joke: Batman's alter ego is Bruce Wayne, and the alter ego of The Boys' version of Batman, Tek Knight, is Robert Vernon. Sounds like a small reference to Robert the Bruce
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Played back and forth with Hughie. While he had very loving (adoptive) parents, they have some difficulty in seeing that he's a grownup. Then there's the tapeworm...
  • Large Ham: Vas/Love Sausage.
  • Limited Special Collectors Ultimate Edition: Limited edition hardcover collections featuring full-scripts, artist sketchbooks, cover galleries and an introduction by Simon Pegg.
  • Kick the Dog: after being thrown out of the Seven, during their latest confrontation with The Boys, Jack From Jupiter kills Terror. Maybe.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Billy spends 60-odd issues showing what a calculating, cool-headed manipulator he can be. When Terror is killed, however, he throws it all to the wind and brutally murders the guy he believes to be responsible, regardless of the repercussions.
  • Kids Are Cruel: A flashback shows that upon seeing a dog stranded on a rock in the middle of a river, Hughie and pals proceed to throw stones at it. Fortunately, Hughie realizes what he's doing and rescues him.
  • Madness Mantra: Butcher, at the end of The Big Ride arc, repeatedly asking Jack From Jupiter "Why'd you kill me dog, Jack?" each time he stabs him.
"It ain't me, son. I'm somewhere else, watchin' it happen."
Billy Butcher, The Boys, "The Big Ride."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Billy Butcher. He is willing to say and do anything to draw Hughie into his personal crusade.
  • Meaningful Name: Stormfront, a Superman/Thor analogue with a, ahem, fascist bent, shares his name with a white supremacist message board.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: All supers got their powers from a drug called Compound V.
  • Mooks: Subverted when an army of faceless mercenaries under Vought-American's pay obliterates an entire army of superheroes with cold, efficient ease.
  • Morality Pet: The events of Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker states that Terror is a literal example for Billy, on the advice of his late wife.
    • The Female, despite being an irredeemable sociopath, clearly adores both Terror and Jamie the Hamster.
    • Inverted - Hughie is already a really nice guy, so him adopting Jamie the Hamster makes sense. Threatening Jamie, however, turns out to be Hughie's Berserk Button.
    • Subverted - Billy initially portrays his relationship with Hughie in this way ("I always wanted a little brother"), but it quickly becomes clear that this is just another part of Billy's machinations to get Hughie doing dirty/wetwork that The Boys require.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Vas.
  • Multiple Choice Past: The Frenchman's backstory in Volume 6, which is clearly completely insane.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Starlight's official role in The Seven, although she rebels against it. She also spends an awful lot of time naked through out the series.
  • National Stereotypes: Played with in the case of The Frenchman; he's from a village called Franglais, where they speak a unique dialect and regularly engage in the time-honoured tradition of baguette-jousting on bicycles whilst wearing stripy tops and onions and uttering the "Haw-he-haw-he-haw" battlecry. Just don't suggest to him that the French are cowards. Of course since he's an insane Unreliable Narrator, the accuracy of his backstory is questionable, to say the least.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: This is the case with most of the Superheroes, but is especially prominent with Swingwing and the Homelander.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Legend is a rather sleazy, yet somehow likable take on Stan Lee.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Played with. The reason of why Mr Marathon, the original speeder of the Seven, died in the ill-planned rescue of the hijacked plane was because of his half-baked attempt to stick to the allegedly heroic ideals of the team. When the Homelander was about to turn up tails and leave, Marathon insisted he continued. No because The Flash expy's moral sense or anything like that; he just pointed out that Vought-American would surely fire them if they gave up.
  • Only Sane Man: Mother's Milk, at least before Wee Hughie's arrival.
  • Older Than They Look: Specifically invoked for Mallory, Vogelbaum and Stormfront, and suggested for everyone else, due to the effects of Compound V making them age slowly.
  • Pedophile Priest: Oh Father, superhero with 12 under-age apostles.
  • Poisonous Friend: Billy Butcher to Hughie as of issue #46, in one of the scummiest ways possible.
  • Private Military Contractors: Red River, the Blackwater Expy responsible for, among other things, slaughtering the Ersatz X-Men.
  • Psychic Radar: Member of the super team Payback, Mindroid, can use his telepathy to detect the presence of another person in an area at least the size of a building. He can't precisely define an exact location, only whether or not someone's in the room or not and what their surface thoughts are.
  • Rape as Backstory: An in-universe example, oddly enough. The Seven are having their image reworked into a Darker and Edgier mold, and the public relations people try to convince Starlight to go along with rape being a part of her backstory and motivation for becoming a hero. 1) This wasn't true, and 2) Starlight has been sexually abused, by members of the Seven, including a forcible Attempted Rape. As a result she's not pleased and verbally chews out the PR guys.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Stillwell, the nameless Vought-American executive, delivers a major one to the Homelander in #64, pointing out that for all his raging God-complex and Complete Monster tendencies, he's done absolutely nothing worthwhile or original whatsoever and is ultimately just an insecure little speck desperately trying to find some way of impressing him. The Homelander... doesn't react well.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Technology that could be made to improve living conditions and save lives is instead being used exclusively to make shiny suits so millionaire playboys can go on high-tech joyrides.
  • Scotireland: Lampshaded in-universe example. Hughie is Scottish, but when infiltrating the G-Men on St Patrick's day, they ask him if it's celebrated the same back in Ireland.
  • Serial Escalation: In an interview, Garth Ennis said that The Boys would "out-Preacher Preacher (Comic Book)."
    • Ennis himself said later in an interview: "What the fuck does that even mean?"
  • Shout-Out: The Female got her powers from falling into a big canister of synthesized Compound V. The name of the person in charge of the project? Doctor Uderzo. The team that was sent to retrieve Female are about as successful as the marines in Aliens and even quote the movie directly. The few comics that aren't on the receiving end of a Take That are the 2000AD ones Frenchie buys for Female.
    • The bar that Butcher is drinking in during issue #27 is an extremely subtle reference to Preacher (Comic Book), as is its bartender.
    • The "Get Some" story arc (The Boys # 7) opens with the Tek Knight talking to a shrink. The point is the way this shrink is drawn in some panels bears a certain resemblance to actor Michael Keaton (maybe not as blatant as Christopher Walken in "Punisher Presents Barracuda", also written by Garth Ennis, but the similarity is there). It's quite fitting since Tek Knight is a pastiche/parody of Batman, and Michael Keaton is of course well known as having played the Dark Knight in the Batman films by Tim Burton.
    • Mother's Milk purchases a large bottle of maple syrup from an individual bearing a distinct likeness to Marge Simpson in "We Gotta Go Now".
    • Spider Jerusalem can be seen in issue 1 (page #10, panel two), in the background between A-train and the Glaswegian Policemen.
      • In Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker, Butcher directly quotes Spider's favourite catchphrase of "If I gave two tugs of a dead dog's cock...."
    • During the Name of The Game arc, as Butcher explains why he works for the C.I.A he makes an allusion to Batman in his reasons.
"I mean, what else am I gonna do? Use me billion dollar inheritance and operate out of a cave?"
Billy Butcher, The Boys "The Name of The Game."
  • Silent Bob: The Female hasn't made so much as a sound on panel, yet she is quite capable of making herself understood to the Frenchman.
    • Except that one time she laughed at Hughie for stealing Queen Maeve's file from Doc Peculiar's place in the hopes of scoring some wank material. Everyone else was as disturbed as you'd think by this.
      • As of issue 66, after a timeskip of unspecified length, she's still laughing.
  • Sociopathic Hero or Villain Protagonist: All of The Boys except for Wee Hughie and Mother's Milk, but especially Billy Butcher. For a given value of "heroic", of course.
  • Stripperiffic: Starlight's costume becomes progressively skimpier as the series goes on, though not by her own choice. She finally finds the courage to say "no" when they attempt to dress her in what is effectively a slingshot bikini.
  • Super Serum: Compound V, when it actually works. And when it doesn't...
    • Mother's Milk has to periodically breastfeed from his mother in order to survive, hence the name.
  • Take That: Against superheroes in general.
    • Also, it is mentioned that when Vought American was looking for a vice presidential candidate hand puppet, they went to the Bush family, but the last son had managed to cut off his own head playing with a chainsaw.
    • Starlight's reaction to the aforementioned "bikini" costume can be seen as a shot at quite a few Rape as Drama plots in mainstream comics in the 2000s, particularly Identity Crisis (the storyline, we were told, that involved a DC editor's decree that "we need a rape") and Kevin Smith's "The Evil That Men Do."
    • Swingwing's public service announcements on behalf of teenage gays are an extremely thinly veiled shot at Judd Winick's notoriously anvil-laden run on Green Lantern.
    • Ennis seems to despise the Bush family in general. Prescott Bush is a Sleazy Politician who dies because he ignores the objections and military procedure of those who know what they're doing in favor of following orders from the corporation who bought him, George HW Bush is less competent than his own vice-president and only gets to be president because he served his time and it was his turn, and George W. Bush, (as has been mentioned a few times on this page) accidentally cut his head off while playing with a chainsaw before ever gaining national recognition.
    • The whole story can also be seen as a Take That to anti-heroes who are presented as being as noble as traditional superheroes, like the tagline on the Rob Liefeld created Young Bloods. Especially in light of The Seven being more focussed on making money from their merchandise than being heroes, which is commonly stated as Liefeld's reasons for not getting comics out on time in the 90s.
  • There Is No God: A favourite Author Tract.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Stormfront, created by Vogelbaum for the Nazis, now working for Vought. He still holds to the ideals of the Third Reich, though.
  • The Unfettered: The nameless Vought-American executive, to the point where he terrifies superpowered-individuals who could kill him in an instant.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Averted. Wee Hughie is the only member of The Boys who isn't a violent psychopath.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Homelander is fond of these when he doesn't get his way. Stillwell seems to be most likely to instigate these.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Ironically, Superheroes. The Legend even says there aren't very many genuine super villains because most of the amoral sociopaths realize that being a privileged, well paid "Superhero" is so much easier.
  • Wham! Episode: Issue 31 The next issue line is "And Then There Were Four..." Also the last issue of the We Gotta Go Now story arc.
    • Issue 63 may be the start of a series of whams, as Frenchie loses an arm, and A-Train and Queen Maeve are killed.
    • Issue 65. Homelander is dead. Black Noir is dead, a clone of Homelander, and the one who REALLY raped Becky. He also is the reason why Homelander became, "...a complete fucking psychopath by accident."
    • Issue 66. It opens with Butcher killing Vas in a warehouse in Moscow. Hughie and Annie separate, Butcher promotes him to second-in-command, and the Boys are on hiatus for three months.
  • Wham! Line: "I think your tough old bastard war veteran's as much of an act as your kind-hearted English gentleman. I think you're a fake."
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: So an American, a Brit, a Frenchman and a nostalgic Russian beat the shit out of a Nazi? Nah, I'm sure there's no deeper meaning to it... This was actually lampshaded in the scene itself. The Boys quite cheerfully inform Stormfront that, while yes, they are representing the Allies, they are going to let the beatdown be done by a representative of the folks who did it to the Germans in 1945: Cue Love Sausage!
  • Worf Effect: Stormfront bigtime. Despite several references to him being second only to the Homelander, he loses an eye to the Female, whom he fails to kill, has his testicles crushed by Mother's Milk which causes him to abandon his team in a fight. He retreats again when Butcher blows glass in his other eye leaving the rest of Payback to die at Butcher's hands and yet The Boys are so worried about facing him after all that, they call The Love Sausage in from Russia to help stomp him to death.
  • You Meddling Kids: But being a Garth Ennis comic, considerably ruder language is used, and followed up by Police Brutality.