Customer Reviews: The Boys, Vol. 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men
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Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's The Boys has been a bloody blast since it first debuted, and this 11th collected volume of the series, Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men, leads up to what will be the end of the series. Everything has been leading up to these moments: Hughie's relationship woes, the dissolving of The Seven, and the shocker of a final showdown between Butcher and The Homelander. While the series has hit a bit of a lull recently, this is the beginning of the big payoff folks. It's twisted, shocking, and packs enough twists and punches that it will leave you salivating to see how it all comes to an end. Ennis' darkly humorous style still drives it along wonderfully, making it all the more bittersweet that the series is reaching a close. All in all, if you've missed out on The Boys thus far, you need to start giving it a look from the beginning; you won't regret it.
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on June 14, 2012
I've been reading The Boys since the relaunch around issue 7. While I'm not necessarily a fan of some of the explicit content at times, it does generally help tell the tale and paint the picture of the corruption that could ensue from ultimate power.

I've always been about the story, first and foremost, and the realistic take on how superpowered beings might behave in an otherwise typical society.

For 60 issues we've waited for the showdown between Butcher and The Homelander, which has been eluded to since very early on. Vol 11 pays all for what we've been waiting for, with a twist that was completely unexpected until just a few pages prior. This trade makes all the waiting worthwhile. If you haven't read The Boys yet, don't start here. Start from the beginning, and read through the story in it's entirety, including the offshoot storylines about Herogasm, Hughie, and Butcher.

Kudos, Mr Ennis.
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on August 13, 2012
My buddy and I - who was reading through each of The Boys issues the same time I was - were both disappointed with this issue, which was probably the second-worst of the series (after Hughie's solo bit). Ennis spent 10 volumes meticulously crafting the world of The Boys, with loads of background detail on all the major players, all of which lead to...basically, a quickie finish in which random plot points are suddenly introduced and then disappear (example: MM's ex-wife/daughter) and the main plot points are disposed of quickly with little to no detail or explanation as to what is happening and why.

The whole thing feels very rushed, as if Ennis suddenly got bored and wanted to wrap the series up as quickly as possible. The main action, Homelander's coup, makes little sense in that there does not seem to be any real point to it and the plan itself, as executed by the supes, has zero chance of succeeding. That Homelander is able to get these supes to go along with it seems totally absurd. The Black Noir thing is totally ridiculous.

Oh, I've read #69 which begins in the aftermath of Homelander's coup and I can tell you - without revealing spoilers - that the trend in "Over the Hill" continues; major characters (including the fates of 60% of The Boys team) and plot points are closed with little to no explanation and you have absolutely no sense of what effect Homelander's coup has had on the supe community. Also, very disappointing.
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on November 4, 2013
Seriously just WHOOOOOOOAAAAA!!!!

After Volume 10 & getting to know Butcher more, the bittersweet part was knowing there were only 2 more volumes left & wondering if the series would end with quality writing.

I've been reading comics since 1989 & it's hard to surprise me.
I'm happy to say Volume 11 was BRILLIANT!!!!!!!

The fact that there is one more volume left... wow.
I will be reading this trade again & again.

spoil yourself & get this from Amazon NOW!!!!!!
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on July 11, 2012
I discovered The Boys few months ago and was immediately attracted to the idea of the dirty secrets behind superheroes and a group to keep them in line. I was hooked from the first few pages. I agree with others that the series did have some issues with getting bogged down in the middle, but this particular volume, Volume 11, really comes storming back with a knockout punch! When the big showdown between Butcher and The Homelander happens, I have to say that the revelation behind the motivations for everything that leads up to it really came out of left field and knocked me for a loop. And I mean that in a positive way! It would have been easy for this to have been a "Deus ex Machina" situation, but instead it is something that really makes sense. I was floored, and I loved it.

The only negative aspect is that this is the next to last part of the story, so I am now sad to see it go. =(
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on September 27, 2015
Ennis is as good here as he was in the heydey of Preacher. This next to last volume is fantastic with a few surprises. And the hilarious, obligatory profanity and risky content. Hollywood will never adapt this comic!
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While the last couple volumes of The Boys has felt like Garth Ennis dragging his heels, suddenly with Volume 11 he decides to get everything over and done with in one big dump. It feels like dumping because there's no finesse to it, it just feels like Ennis throwing everything at the reader saying "There, it's done, happy now?". The increasingly crazy Homelander finally snaps and all pretence that the Supes are good guys is gone thanks to The Boys uploading everything they have on them over the last several decades onto the internet. Which is good because that's where the story was headed anyway, at least now the series has decided to move forward and at a brisk clip too.

There are moments where I couldn't help but sighing at the tediousness of it all: Hughie and Starlight are still doing their "we got problems" relationship dance, then Hughie begins whining again about The Boys being too violent - I just wish they'd get rid of him now - and Frenchie and the Female do their ass-kicking routine. So far, so ordinary. Where the story picked up was the final third when Butcher walks alone into a confrontation with Homelander - yes! With HL being the most powerful supe, how was Butcher going to defeat him? Well, I won't spoil the surprise but the results are, naturally, gorey.

And then it's over. Sort of. There's an epilogue that'll be Volume 12 but it seems like the series is about done. Was it everything I'd hoped? Well, it's the best volume since Volume 6, mostly because the series has found its footing once again after a few (unnecessary) diversions and gotten to the meat. But it took its time to get there and I feel the overall series has suffered because of this. That and Darick Robertson sitting out the penultimate book of the series he co-created, but hopefully he'll return for the finale. "Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men" (excellent title) is decent, the ending saves it, but it feels like the series had more potential than what it ended up becoming which is slightly disappointing.
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Garth Ennis has done some a lot of work on THE BOYS. Some of it has been kind of mediocre; most of it has been brilliant (especially the mini-series BUTCHER, BAKER, CANDLESTICK MAKER). What usually hampers this comic is it gets bogged down with a lot of exposition and you feel as if you've been overloaded with information. This is not uncharacteristic of Ennis' style, but I'd rather have someone trying too hard than not trying hard enough. THE BOYS has been one wild ride and this arc, "Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men", is the penultimate chapter of this book and the climactic showdown between Billy and The Homelander. But it's also the showdown between The Boys, the U.S. Government and the rest of the "Supes" of Vought-American.

If nothing else, the final reveal of the secret of The Homelander and the final moments between Billy and The Homelander are something of legend. The final battle may not be as epic as you might have hoped for, but that's what actually makes it better. It's a more emotional conflict, and finally Ennis manages to squeeze some humanity out of Billy in this main title (it appears in abundance in B, B, CSM).

One of the things I don't understand is why Russ Braun is doing art chores on this book and not Darick Robertson. He's the co-creator and the book is coming to an end. It's irritating mostly because Braun's art isn't quite as polished or as evocative as Robertson's is, but it's still good.

This is obviously a necessity for any fan of THE BOYS, because really... if you've stuck with this book this long, you're with it until the very end.
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on July 5, 2012
I was losing faith in this series after Vol 9 The Big Ride (which you could entirely skip and still be completely in the loop as far as I'm concerned), but man Ennis really delivered in this trade. Alot of shite hits the fan and alot of loose ends are wrapped up. We are finally back to the main story arc for the Boys and done with all the back stories and flash back issues. Loved it.
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on August 25, 2013
its no surprise that this is where the story ends essentially. we all know who the Boys are going after and why, and by now you know exactly how it will turn out. read it to end the series
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