"The Boys" #65 gets us straight into the action after Butcher stormed off to face the Homelander in last month's cliffhanger. This storm has built over 64 issues and the wait was worth it. Garth Ennis decides to throw a curve ball into the monumental moment that is either genius or completely ridiculous depending on whether you wanted this book to live up to its farce foundation or were hoping for something more serious. When you take into account all the things that have come before, this bloody denouement is the climax the central animosity deserves.
While the concept of the introduction of a third party in this issue makes for interesting retroactive knowledge, the characterization is mostly distracting and downright silly. It's a great idea that reads well on the first pass but loses fidelity with inspection and any desire to find deep understanding. From here, the madness descends and readers will be given the violence and grand ideas they crave from this title. It's a shame it comes at a cost to the seriousness of the book and possibly even the showdown.
"The Boys" #65 takes the showdown through all its stages right here. Nothing is decompressed. The manner it plays out is gonzo wacky but the greatest part is Butcher's reaction to every little moment. He's a smart man who keeps up with situations in a preternatural fashion. His plans diverge within microseconds of verifying new information. It's not the action of the man but the reaction that will fascinate you. This is the moment where plenty changes and Butcher deftly does what he needs to.
Splitting the art duties between Russ Braun and John McCrea with Keith Burns is very well done in this issue by giving them completely different scenes and locales to cover. McCrea and Burns cover the heavy artillery outside with random supers being bombarded and plenty of massive destruction occurring, while Braun gets the more emotional and revelatory moments. The issue plays to the strengths of the artists and makes it all come together as a cohesive whole where very distinct, differing pages don't feel out of place.
"The Boys" #65 drops some massive bombs and certainly entertains. It retains a silly Ennis quality but at the cost of all the brutality and tone built up over years. This book continues to be Butcher's tale and this step along the path is set to finally bring some closure to his world as we wander into the final arc.