Review - The Boys: Dear Becky #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Because I think maybe you're not gone, love."

Superheroes are "in" as they say. There was a time when the concept of an anti-superhero was more appealing and in The Boys: Dear Becky #1, Dynamite Comics revisits those headier days. The issue is written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Russ Braun, colored by Tony Aviña and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Twelve years after the events of The Boys, Hughie finds himself back home in Scotland where he intends to finally marry Annie in the company of friends and family. But the sudden appearance of a peculiar document sends our hero into a tailspin and threatens to bring the events of his nightmarish past crashing down on him in the worst possible way. There was one story about The Boys that Hughie never knew. Now, whether he likes it or not, he's going to.

Ennis hasn't revisited his characters with earnest for a decade, yet despite the gap in time everything feels like he hasn't missed a beat. The issue takes place twelve years after the end of the original run and Ennis sets the stage for Hughie and Annie to enjoy their lives together. Hughie is the focus of the issue as Ellis filters a modern worldview through Hughie's eyes as a means of contextualizing the sheer incorrectness of the property in general. The fact that it's a sequel of sorts does allow Ennis to revisit events of the past as flashback, which both gives readers a look at some favorite characters from the property while also shedding more light on Billy Butcher's wife. The dialogue is every bit as coarse and crass as you'd expect from the property with Ennis imbuing the characters with plenty of swagger.

Braun's illustrations aptly capture the looks of the familiar players, although Hughie is clearly older. Each of the main players who make an appearance look familiar to fans of the franchise as Braun ensures they each have their trademark looks. Considering most of the issue takes place inside a pub, Braun still manages to provide the right atmosphere for the book that brings it in line with other books in the franchise. The panels are clean and stack rather neatly atop one another as they fan out, affording Braun the opportunity to show various perspectives throughout the issue. Aviña colors are effective at lighting the issue based on the location and mood, moving from a dimly lit bar to a bathroom at night.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is an entertaining return to characters who make a name for themselves by being people who are generally not very enjoyable to be around. Hughie is at a place where he felt the past was in the past, but the miniseries shows that might not be the case. Ennis' return to the franchise is well done and feels like he hasn't missed a beat. Braun's illustrations appropriately capture looks of the characters and gives the reader plenty of familiarity. The Boys: Dear Becky #1 practically picks up where the previous series left off.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is available April 1.