Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Colorist: Tony Avina
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Darick Robertson
Editor: Joe Rybant
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Warning: this issue contains a depiction of graphic violence against a child.
The Boys: Dear Becky #1 takes place 12 years after the epic battle between superheroes and The Boys – a CIA-backed team of dangerous humans that is in the business of confronting and containing superhumans. The final confrontation ended when the plot of the “supes” to overthrow the U.S. government failed. Since then, Wee Hughie has put his days as a member of the team behind him and settled down in his hometown of Auchterladle, Scotland, with his lover Annie January. In Auchterladle, Hughie passes the time with alcohol and cynicism.
The story begins slowly, and most of the plot unfolds in a bar where Hughie and his friend Bobbi (aka Bobby) engage in banal conversation punctuated with contemporary references (COVID-19, Donald Trump, Brexit). Dear Becky does not show any real potential until nearly the end of the issue, when Hughie receives a package in the mail containing a journal belonging to Becky, a woman who kept secrets from Billy Butcher but whom Butcher is now trying to reach. Hughie reacts with unexplained horror at discovering the contents of the journal — thereby piquing the reader’s interest for the next issue.
Much of Dear Becky comes across as rather dull. Except for the occasional flashback (one that is particularly gruesome, see warning), this issue consists mainly of dialogue that sounds exactly like what it aims to be: two grown men who have given up on life critiquing the world from a small town bar. While I recognize that the author is setting the stage for events to come, the pages that fill Dear Becky are tempting to skip. It could be, however, that I am too harsh a critic. It is, after all, a first issue. Perhaps the writer is setting up the dullness and complacency of Hughie’s life in order to contrast it with the rude awakening of dangerous secrets brought to light.