The preview pages of “The Boys: Herogasm” #1 pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the issue. Under the pretense of an alien invasion, the world’s heroes (and some villains) fake a team-up in space to, instead, go have a vacation that involves many of the expected forms of debauchery. Normally, this would be a set-up that Garth Ennis would play for big laughs with some witty and biting mockery of superheroes, but it turns out to mostly be a standard orgy seen a few times before in “The Boys.”
Ennis and McCrea do manage to work in a few funny bits. A Zatanna-esque word balloon that references Odin Quincannon from “Preacher” nearly had me on the floor laughing. However, there is little development of that plot in this issue beyond stating and restating the premise a few times. If that’s all “Herogasm” was, it wouldn’t be worth picking up, but Ennis does begin setting things in motion for future issues by introducing Vic the Veep to the situation. The long talked about Vice President of the United States is firmly in the pocket of Vought-American, the corporation behind most of the supes.
While Vic the Veep doesn’t do anything in this issue, Ennis continues to build up the awe-inspiring stupidity the character apparently possesses when the VA executive that handles the Seven goes on at great length how he just cannot deal with the blank stare and general sense of subhuman intelligence. With any other writer, the expectations for Vic the Veep would almost certainly lead to failure, but Ennis has a knack for these sort of characters.
On art, there aren’t many better choices than John McCrea, a career-spanning collaborator with Ennis. McCrea has the perfect style, very cartoony, very jokey, which plays up the comedy of each scene. Half of the laughs come from his ludicrous pictures featuring superpeople getting their freak on.
While there isn’t a lot going on here beyond variations on the same joke, “Herogasm” #1 is a brisk and entertaining read. Hopefully the amount of time spent on mining “superpeople having lewd sex” here means the plot will pick up next issue.