The Boys, as the song goes, are back in town.
Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, and Darick Robertson return this May with a follow up the best-selling series The Boys, with The Boys: Dear Becky. Taking place 12 years after the original series' finale, Dear Becky takes a look at Hughie and Annie’s marriage that is suddenly derailed by recently undiscovered events of the past.
Ennis and Robertson spoke with Newsarama ahead of their series' April 1 debut, and we hit on the idea of falling back into the world of The Boys, the Amazon TV show, and if this is the last time he’ll add to the mythos of this universe.
Newsarama: Garth, Darick, belated congratulations on the Amazon Prime series doing so well, were you surprised by the critical response?
Garth Ennis: I don’t often try to predict these things, just cross my fingers and hope for the best. But it’s certainly nice. I imagine the glut of superhero films currently being released has helped enormously; there’s bound to be an appetite for the darker aspects of the genre.
Darick Robertson: I've been overwhelmed and delighted to see the show hit so big and reach a whole new audience. Eric Kripke and the producers love for our original comic really came through and clearly brought all the right elements together to bring the characters that we co-created into a live action format without pulling any punches. It's one thing to see it coming together and be hopeful, but to see it launch and be such a success was everything I hoped for.
Nrama: So take us through Dear Becky. It's 12 years later after the original series, correct, but also acts as a flashback?
Ennis: Broadly speaking - the framing sequence is set in the present day, as Hughie struggles with the trauma of his time with the Boys while trying to get his sh** together to marry Annie. He’s been sent a document which details Butcher’s time with the Boys in their first incarnation- around 1999/2000, when they were led by Greg Mallory. And in those sequences Butcher is himself remembering his time with his wife Becky, back in the mid-1980s.
Nrama: Why did you feel like this was a good time to return to this world?
Ennis: I’d been thinking about the original series for obvious reasons, and the story gradually presented itself. Becky was the character I realized I most wanted to revisit, and so the story largely revolves around her.
Nrama: You have Russ Braun returning to interiors and Darick, you're on covers, what was the decision that lead to who goes where?
Roberston: I love these characters, and the world that we co-created, but I was already committed to a couple of other projects that I'm excited about, including the next chapter of Oliver for Image Comics with Gary Whitta and another collaboration that will be announced later this year. So the decision to have the very talented Russ Braun tell this chapter of The Boys seemed like a natural choice.
Ennis: This was the arrangement we settled into during the second half of the original series, and was certainly the most comfortable, at least from my own point of view. Returning to this particular set-up made the most sense.
Nrama: Garth, with this as well as the Preacher show, what is it about your work do you think that makes it accessible to multimedia?
Ennis: Not sure, but long may it continue.
Nrama: After the Amazon series hit, The Boys omnibus and trades sold incredible numbers, what are your hopes for season two of the show?
Ennis: More of the same.
Robertson: Dynamite smartly put the collections together in anticipation of this response, so it was great planning and timing on their part. That the show is bringing in new readers that haven't yet read the comics, is the kind of synergy that I've hoped to see happen in comics for years, wherein the live-action stuff boosts sales on the original material. So, to see it happening with The Boys is gratifying.
With season two, I'm hoping that the energy and excitement that the audience had for the first season carries on. I know it's going to be great, but we're in that anticipation phase again. The cast, the writers, are all amazing and Kripke knows what he's doing, so I'm optimistic!
Nrama: Do you feel like Dear Becky is the final final chapter in The Boys? Do you feel like this story has an end and will we be there in April when this comes out?
Robertson: It's hard to say, as I thought the series was done, yet clearly there was more story to tell! I am excited about the possibility of being able to collaborate on more of The Boys in the future.
Ennis: I believe so, yes. I know I said something similar after the original series concluded, but I think this really will be the end. Writing Butcher and Becky in particular has been a real treat, and I think I’ve managed to come up with a good story for them, showing a side of things with Butcher that we haven’t seen before. But I’ve no intention of writing my two favourite characters into the ground and letting the whole thing become stale, which would be a disservice to all concerned.